Nobody quite embraces the time before and after a hurricane like those who surf. They anticipate its arrival, not in terms of its landfall or the coming inconvenience, but the type of swell it will produce. For those who are capable of riding waves of that force and intensity, its an occurrence that only those athletes really understand. On our beach access you always see them running with boards in hand toward the ocean. Very few times have I noticed a surfer walking toward the ocean. It’s always running toward and walking from. The conditions can change dramatically in a matter of minutes, hence the running part. It’s really a snooze and you lose sport, so when it’s good, most are hustling to catch the conditions when they are best. And they are doing this throughout the year. In the winter, when the water is cold, but the waves are typically larger, they still pursue their love of the sport, albeit while donning wet suits, gloves, booties etc. Now I don’t surf and while I admire the dedication, the part about getting into the water under winter conditions is something I have a hard time believing can be fun. But, I never tire of watching them, for they are truly having fun, and that is something, in my opinion, that we can never do to excess.

We were lucky in this part of North Carolina and the day that Irene was leaving our coast, I knew that there were some who didn’t mind if the waves she produced would hang around just  a little bit longer. These individuals said good bye in their own manner. So, I grabbed some gear and walked out to the beach. I didn’t stay too long, as it was still blowing stink and the sand was whipping, but I stayed long enough to catch a few images of people, who I knew, had smiles on their faces.