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Fall Back... to back to back Hurricanes

30 Days of Wet Suits

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by Nolan

Fall is widely regarded as the best time of year in New England. Most will credit the pleasant early-season weather, or the brilliant foliage turning our small towns into techno-color dream-worlds. Others love the “shoulder season” when Maine begins to quiet back down after a busy, tourist-filled summer. Unofficially, Fall seems to begin after the last of the Labor Day crowds cross the bridge on their way south, and transitions into winter once all Thanksgiving left-overs are finally finished. Thanksgiving is an appropriately timed holiday for giving thanks, as there is much to be grateful for in a New England fall.

As surfers, we have even more reasons to love the fall; the water and air temps are still warm (that's a relative thing), the likelihood of tropical swell, and fewer folks paddling out. As a group, we're more thankful then most, for it is the best surf season of the year. The time of year wetsuits never have a chance to dry. When said wetsuits, which had never before caused a rash, start to leave sores after weeks of daily use. The time of year we make the trek to spots always overlooked by the trusty and convenient go-tos frequented on most short-lived swells. The time of year we take out every board at the shop, trying multiple shapes in a session. When paddling out to a “crowd” usually means we’re surfing with a big group of friends. The time of year every surfer we know is in a prolonged positive mood, made strikingly obvious from the tonal contrast between their big grin and suntanned faces. When it is not hard to find back to back reasons to be thankful.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the most active, already earning a number 7 ranking on NOAA’s ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) index, measuring tropical storms recorded since 1850. September featured the memorable back-to-back-to-back major storms Irma, José, and Maria, which in addition to causing repeated devastation to the Caribbean, sent groundswell to the East Coast for the entire month. For those of us north enough to have had the good fortune of receiving good waves without any storm damage, we can look back on this fall and give thanks for the odd feeling of surfing weeks on end. But, as we come into the holiday season, we shouldn’t forget that many residents of the southern U.S. and Caribbean are still recovering from the storms. There are many ways to help out and donate; one outstanding effort to check out is the Caribbean Hurricane Relief Initiative by Waves for Water. (http://www.wavesforwater.org/project/hurricaneirmareliefinitiative)

Enjoy these images from Nick LaVecchia shot during fall 2017, and know that we're thankful to you for being a friend of Grains.