Posts Tagged ‘surfing’

It’s been warm today. Balmy to say the least.  Thirteen degrees Celsius is not at all typical for December in Nova Scotia. Odd weather occurences are becoming more frequent than usual this year, already predicted to be the warmest in Canadian history.

But this afternoon, even news of surfers in Fisherman’s Cove came as a bit of a surprise. I wasn’t able to get out to see the action in Eastern Passage, but I did get a few images of the waves in the Cow Bay area towards Rainbow Haven beach.

The whole sea appeared to be in the process of being stirred up by an invisible hand.  Both the number and size of the waves were remarkable.

What was even odder was the number of flies hovering in the air.  (You might be able to spot some in the photos).  Though I didn’t walk down to the shore, I imagine they would have been swarming in even greater numbers near the seaweed that’s been churned up over the past day.

I hope all the surfers had a great time trying to catch the Big One.

Sybil at Eastern Passage Passage managed to capture surfers in the images she took of today’s waves at Fisherman’s Cove.  You can visit her post at Surf’s Up.

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In the natural world, penguins, seals and dolphins are known for their surfing antics.  Their bodies are well equipped to tackle the elements. But why would humans surf in the cold waters off Cow Bay, Nova Scotia in January?  ‘Because the waves are there,’ they’d probably answer.  What many would regard as Nature’s fury, some see as Nature’s playground.  

Surfing expresses … a pure yearning for visceral, physical contact with the natural world.
~ Matt Warshaw

The fog on Sunday made it difficult for me to see both the waves and the surfers.  No, those black specs aren’t cormorants on the water.  They’re young men shivering in their wet suits, waiting to catch the next big wave.

The parking lot near the Cow Bay Moose was packed full of vehicles, surfboards and young men changing in and out of their wet suits.  Things seemed more quiet  in the waters behind Christ Church where surfers are also known to congregate.

I managed to see some surfers waiting for the next wave in these waters just off Christ Church, but they’re so far off shore that you can’t even see them in the photo. 

In the past decade, big waves have drawn crowds of surfers to Cow Bay whenever there’s been a hurricane or other fierce storm in the area.   This weekend’s first snowstorm of the year was expected to deliver waves up to 8 metres in height.  Hopefully, everyone found the excitement they came for without any accompanying frostbite.

The above photo was taken yesterday by Reed Holmes during the first swell of the new year. For more information about surfing in Nova Scotia, see Scotia Surfer.

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A raft sits vacant in the marsh area behind Rainbow Haven Beach.  It’s been covered with cormorants every time I’ve been by in the past couple of weeks.  Do the shore birds know that Hurricane Bill is on its way?

marsh behind rainbow haven beach

Herons, ducks and seagulls were still visible in the marsh this morning.  I wonder how long they’ll wait before they take cover from the heavy winds and rains.  The tide was lower than usual when I ventured out around 6am.  Hurricane Bill’s arrival coincides with a ‘spring tide.’  These extremely high and low tides occur when the earth, sun and moon are in a line.


This boardwalk at Rainbow Haven Beach has been rebuilt since Hurricane Juan hit the area in 2003.  Back then, the boardwalks were rolled back by the wind like the lids of sardine cans.  This one is much larger and more ruggedly constructed.


All provincial parks in the area closed yesterday at 5pm and will remain so until after the hurricane has passed.   Still, there were a couple of people tenting at the edge of the park last night in anticipation of the increased surf today.  The waters around Cow Bay are very popular with surfers during hurricane season.  Waves off the shore today are expected to be as high as 35 feet.  The media is warning people to stay away from coastal areas.  Visibility is very poor due to the mist and fog.

waves 2

Because the leaves are still on the trees, they won’t fare well during the storm.  Tree breakage and power outages are inevitable.  When Hurricane Juan hit, we lost most of the large trees on our property and were without power for five days.

Although it’s still likely to be a few hours before the storm comes down with full force, winds were already quite strong, and rain, though sporadic, was already coming down hard and fast this morning.  Hopefully the wild animals will have the sense to tuck themselves away into sheltered areas.  The trees can only stand and wait.

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