(Sept. 13, 2019) We’re about right smack dab in the middle of it. That’s correct, boys and girls, hurricane season is of what I speak and Hurricane Dorian the specific storm.
Friday, Sept. 6, Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8 gave us a good idea of what happens when a hurricane stays out to sea. Hurricane Dorian had headed out as it left the land mass of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Friday was overcast, very rainy and very windy. The ocean was in frenzy mode; big, heavy, confused and quite threatening.
We were under a tropical storm warning and coastal flood watch. Fortunately, we escaped relatively unharmed. There was some flooding in low-lying areas, but compared to neighbors to our south, it was nothing.
Saturday cleared and dawned beautifully to reveal solid overhead waves, though the swell was a bit mixed, somewhat crossed-up, and coming from different directions.
It was definitely the “day of Dorian,” with surfers taking part up and down the Ocean City coastline as well as Assateague Island.
Offshore winds and sunny skies completed the majesty of the day.
Into Delaware, a major event was going on at Indian River inlet.
The Diamond State Surf Classic contest was being held by the Delaware Surfrider Chapter. A better scenario could not have been had.
Overhead waves were coming through on the north side as the competition heats were held with plenty of room for non-competitors to also enjoy the fruits of the swell.
Speaking of contests, another event was also being held in the 35th Street area of Ocean City.
This was the O’Neill “Grom” contest, which was specifically targeted for younger surfers.
It could be said that a better picture could not have been painted for surfing on the Delmarva Peninsula. I even heard of activity on a particular barrier island on the southern most reaches of the peninsula only accessible by boat.
Sunday saw leftover set waves into the shoulder-high range as the dying swell was still evident throughout the day. Once again, light winds prevailed through the morning and early afternoon to keep the conditions favorable for those lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time.
Dorian was a storm to remember. Devastation in the Bahamas was horrific, with scores of people left homeless and losing everything, even their lives.
This storm affected the entire East Coast even up into the Canadian Maritimes.
Great surf was had by some. Life-changing damage was had by others.
Hurricanes are notoriously fickle and unpredictable though the science seems to get better and better. In any case, this storm was kind to our area with memories that are sure to be cherished by some but just as well forgotten by others.
– Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City.