On the most recent run of surf offered up by Hurricane Gonzalo on the East Coast, New Englanders were greeted by well groomed ground swell, cold northwest winds, and the official arrival of true Fall weather.
According to long time Maine local, Trevor Fitzgerald, the then Category 2 Hurricane would send solid 5ft+ surf at an 11-13 second period with WNW winds to the New England coastline around Sunday, October 19th, a near-perfect forecast for that region.
Things have been a little weird lately in the Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts region as air temperatures ranged from lows in the 30s to highs in the 80s. Some would say summer stuck around for longer than usual, welcomed by many- just as long as the swells continued to file in as well. However, over the weekend New England surfers experienced the beginning of an annual ritual, which usually starts around this time of year. Climbing into thicker neoprene in preparation for a colder session is a respected practice and also a resented necessity.
While the water’s still warm enough to trunk it or wear only a 3/2 further south in places like New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico, boots, gloves, and sometimes hoods are the most common items you’ll find in the back of a surfer’s car in New England from now till as late as May.
Photographer and long time New Hampshire resident Ralph Fatello of www.ralphspic.com said Gonzalo was no “Perfect Storm” like that of October 30th, 1991 which were “by far the biggest waves” he’d ever seen since he began surfing there in 1964. However, he did say Gonzalo was appreciated by everybody, especially considering it’s getting to be late hurricane season for the east coast.
Hurricane Gonzalo brought some decent action to the East Coast, and if this is any indication of what’s in store for the New England winter, let the games begin.