Back to Normal after Hurricane Dorian

Damaged Nags Head Pier. The last 10 yards or so of the pier have disappeared.
Damaged Nags Head Pier. The last 10 yards or so of the pier have disappeared.

Hurricane Dorian is gone, thank goodness, and the cleanup is going very well. The northern Outer Banks completely opened to visitors this afternoon and hopefully Hatteras Island will follow suit in a few days.

Ocracoke, though, is going to take a while to cleanup and get ready for visitors. Initial reports seem to indicate there was record flooding from the storm surge. That much water, about 8’, does a lot of damage and the mess that has to be cleaned is time consuming and kind of yucky.

The northern Outer Banks got off pretty easily. There was some damage, but nothing catastrophic, unless of course, a tree is resting on your roof. There was, thankfully, very little of that.

There was some damage though.

Both the Avalon Pier and Nags Head Pier lost part of the pier. It appears to be about last ten yards in both cases. Avalon Pier has already said they are going to rebuild. We haven’t heard anything from Nags Head Pier yet, but it’s a really popular fishing site, so hopefully they will also be rebuilding.

Dominion Power is getting high marks for getting power restored as quickly as they have. One of their most remarkable feats has been replacing every power pole along the Causeway between Nags Head and Manteo. 

Every pole was taken out. Some were shattered like matchsticks, others leaned almost to the ground. Not count on how many poles there are, but there were a lot there.

Mostly, though, life is pretty much getting back to normal now that Hurricane Dorian has passed.

The ESAs are this coming week beginning on the 15th. Held at Jennette’s Pier, it’s the largest amateur surfing competition on the East Coast and one of the largest anywhere.

We’re back to almost normal on the Outer Banks. See for yourself how special life on a sandbar is a when you reserve your Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home.

Fall-Surfing Time on the Outer Banks

 JLWRVPr.jpg September 1, 2019 859 KB 1050 by 700 pixels Edit Image Delete Permanently URL Title JLWRVPr Caption Chauncey Robinson in his Round 1 heat at the WRV Outer Banks Pro, Thursday, August 29. Photo, WRV Pro Surf.
Chauncey Robinson in his Round 1 heat at the WRV Outer Banks Pro, Thursday, August 29. Photo, WRV Pro Surf.

The waves have been rolling as the surf competitions come to the Outer Banks. Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head is the place to be in September as some of the best surfers around check out the break generated by the sandbar that builds up just south of the pier.

The WRV Outer Banks Pro just wrapped up today with Noah Schweizer from Florida taking home top prize.

The weather this year was just about perfect for the event. Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures throughout the four day event. Surf conditions were pretty good, although they today the break was pretty small.

Still it was good event with competitors from the US, Costa Rica and a number of other countries.

Coming in a couple of weeks are the ESAs, the Eastern Surf Association championship. It’s weeklong competition—September 15-21, that features the best amateur surfers in on the East Coast. 

The ESA is one of the largest, if not the largest, amateur surfing organization in the world. Particularly nice in the way they go about doing things, they represent just about everyone who want to ride the surf—all ages all styles.

As a consequence, the ESAs are a wonderful family affair with parents cheering on their kids, the families traveling from Maine to Florida to meet at Jennette’s Pier.

Ages of the competitors range from 8 to 80 and the age range may even be a bit wider than that.

There are certainly some storms out in the Atlantic stirring things up. As it looks right now, they’re going to stay offshore and send in some great conditions. 

Fall is a fantastic time to visit the Outer Banks. Book your stay in a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home and see for yourself why the people who live here love this time of year.

ESA Championships Overcome Tough Conditions

Almost catching air at the 2017 ESA Championships.
Almost catching air at the 2017 ESA Championships.

Tough Conditions for ESA Championships

Somehow the organizers of the Eastern Surf Association (ESA) Championships managed to get two days of competition into one on Sunday. And a good thing they did because surf conditions today are horrible—a classic example of being blown out. Onshore winds from the northeast 25-30 with stronger gusts; waves 7-10’, although that’s tough to tell because the surf is so churned up it’s hard to know where the waves are.

It’s all thanks to Hurricane Jose as it passes the Outer Banks well out to sea. As hurricanes go, Jose is not a particularly powerful one, but it has been spreading out as it loses focus so the effects are fairly widespread.

The ESAs—which is the shorthand way to describe the championships—are held every year at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. In years past there have been some challenging conditions, but this year seems to be taking that to extremes.

Even Sunday, when two days of surfing was mashed into one day of competition, finding any wave to ride was a challenge. The ESA competitors got their rides in, but it was an exhausting day for many of them.

Because conditions were so difficult, in many cases, surfers rode their wave to shore, ran down the beach and paddled back out.

Even though this is an amateur competition, there were some really good surfers on the water, but many of the classic surfing moves were not happening in those conditions. With waves breaking left, right and in the middle—sometimes simultaneously—there wasn’t much opportunity to catch air. And there wasn’t a barrel wave all day.

Hope for Tomorrow

They’re hoping to restart the competition tomorrow, although whether that happens is till up in the air. The winds will be dying down and shifting to northwest and west, which is a good wind direction for Outer Banks surf.

However, some of the biggest surf we’ve seen yet is forecast for tomorrow with wave topping out at 10’ and maybe a bit more.

After Tuesday, the rest of the week looks to have excellent conditions.

A Great Day to Fly a Kite on the Beach

Gavin Carey showing his kite flying skills on the beach in Kitty Hawk.
Gavin Carey showing his kite flying skills on the beach in Kitty Hawk.

Near Perfect Conditions for Kite Flying

It was a great day to fly a kite on an Outer Banks beach. The wind was from the northeast at a steady 15mph, which is the perfect direction for a great time in a beautiful setting.

Someone had a small dragon kite in the sky, it’s red tail trailing the head as it danced in the wind.

But the fascinating story was the stunt kite dancing across the sky. There is something magical about watching a father and son fly a kite. The father, Craig Carey, was good, but kudos go to Gavin, his son.

The force of a 15mph wind on a 72” kite is amazing. And yes, Gavin—who is 11—did get dragged around a bit, but he had the kite under control the whole time.

A Cool, Windy Day

The sun was out, with a few clouds here and there, but the daytime temperatures remained cool, at least cool for early September. The wind and those cooler temperatures are part of the system that is steering Hurricane Irma and keeping the storm well to the south and west of the Outer Banks.

The red flags were flying and no sane person was going to go in the water today. Courtesy of Hurricane Irma, the surf was a churning mess with seas running 5-6’.

Although the hurricane is tracking up the west side of the Florida Peninsula, it is so large that it’s sending waves far to the north. Frequently those hurricane generated waves are a surfer’s delight but with the wind from the northeast instead of offshore, the break never had a chance to form.

Things should calm down later in the week—just in time for the ESAs, the Eastern Surf Association Championship at Jennette’s Pier September 17-23.

The ESA one of the largest amateur surfing organizations in the world, and the championship tournament bring out some outstanding surfers. Don’t let that “amateur” label mislead. A number of the older surfers are former pros and the better younger surfers use the ESAs as a training ground for professional competition.

Surf Weekend on OBX

Outdoor viewing of Psychic Migrations at the Brewing Station, Friday, September 16.
Outdoor viewing of Psychic Migrations at the Brewing Station, Friday, September 16.

It is wonderful to sit outside and watch a surfing movie, and that is what we got to do tonight as the Dare County Arts Council’s Surfalorus Film Festival opened tonight at the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills.

It was a bit windy, but the screen was anchored and things went really well.

Really good movies. Photography as always the case in surf movies was excellent, but some of the shorts, especially, raised some fascinating questions about  how we view ourselves and what we consider important. The Malloy Brothers in particular stood out in that regard.

This is pretty much a surf themed weekend on the Outer Banks. Surfalorus runs through Saturday and Sunday sees the ESAs—the Eastern Surf Association championships kick off at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

The ESA is the largest amateur surfing organization in the world, and their championships, that last the entire week, feature competition from 10 to 75 or 80.

Last year there were some pretty rough conditions, but the early signs point to much better surf this year.

The competition includes, surfers, SUP, skim board and body boarding so there is something for everyone.

Surfing Takes Center Stage in September


There’s a lot of surf action coming up in September and it’s looking as though mid month for anyone who’s in to all things surfing, the Outer Banks is the place to be.

Maybe it’s not really “action” but the Surfalorous Film Festival sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council is coming back for its second year September 15-17.

The movies span the gamut of independent film making—there are some two minute shorts, a few that are a little longer and a couple of feature length films.

A couple of local businesses are screening the movies as well as the DCAC Gallery in Manteo. We’re posting a schedule below.

Surfalorous wraps up on Saturday and Sunday September 18-24 the ESA Eastern Surf Championships will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

It’s an amateur competition, but the level of surfing, especially from the masters, longboards particularly, and juniors on shortboards is astonishing.

The Easterns is the East Coast Championship competition for the Eastern Surf Association, an amateur surf association that bills itself as the largest amateur surfing association in the world. The organization has been around for 40 years, and it probably does have more members and does more for them than any other organization.

Surfalorus Film Festival Schedule
Thursday, September 15- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7pm Screening: 7:30pm


The Man & The Sea


Austin Keen Wakesurf

Creators: Leah Dawson

Salt Boys

Yeti Presents: The Malloy Brothers

The Wild

Surf N Turf

Feature Film: Psychic Migrations- 9pm

Friday, September 16- Dare County Arts Council

Screening: 7:00pm



Dark Waves

Taking Shape

Southeastern NC Surfing

Feature Film: It Ain’t Pretty- 8:30pm

Saturday, September 17- Front Porch Cafe in Nags Head

Screening: 4:00pm


The Adventures of Nasasa

Forbidden Trim

Saturday, September 17- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7:30pm Screening: 8:00pm



Bruhwiler Country



Junk in Public – H2O Patrol

Light Therapy

Beauty and Chaos


Seal Sessions

The Joy of Surfing

Cold Outside: Surfing Winter


Pipe Dreams

The More Things Change

Feature Film: The Zone- 10pm