Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Major Snow Storm (February 12-13, 2017)

February 13, 2017

I was intrigued by the "coastal flood warning" posted for parts of eastern Massachusetts at the end of the latest major snow storm. It hinted at the possibility of strong wave action at the jetties. I arrived for high tide the best tide for dramatic waves. I wasn't disappointed. Immediately along the beach the winds were blowing fiercely, the snow at moments was making everything white, and the waves were crashing over the jetty. I was careful to keep a safe and respectable distance. This is where a long zoom lens comes in handy.

These two photos were taken only about a minute apart from each other. It shows how quickly conditions can change. The second photo has a white hue to it due to wind blown snow. When photographing in these conditions it critical to have your camera on a tripod to buffet against the winds.

With a bit of luck you can catch a wave crashing and shooting spray high into the air.

Here is video of the waves crashing over the North Jetty. 

The best part about visiting in the winter is there are plenty of empty seats to view the show.

The wind blown snow reduced visibility at moments.

While the storm raging on the ocean side, things were remarkable calm on the opposite side of the dunes. Along the road horned larks and snow buntings searched for seeds among the exposed stalks of grass.

Horned Lark

Snow Bunting

February 14, 2017 (Day After)

At the end of storm on February 13 we had a northwest breeze which was keeping the waves from getting as high as they could. The day after the storm, the winds shifted to the northeast and improved the wave action. Some of the waves were as much as ten feet higher than the jetty itself.

And a few fun photos ...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Nor'Easter Hits the Jetties

January 22 to 24 2017 saw a nor'easter storm hit the New England bring rain, sleet, snow, and high winds. The Merrimack River Coast Guard station moved its cutters to the Cape Ann station for the duration of the storm and issued warnings advising boats to avoid the mouth of the Merrimack River during the storm and advising storm watchers to stay off the jetties and beaches. I heeded the warnings. I managed to get "day before" and "day after" photos and video footage. It is not as dramatic as during the storm itself but gives you a sense for the power of the ocean.

The storm hit at astronomical low tide cycle which minimize coastal damage. Even at that the waves were breaking over the jetty at high tide on the day after. The winds had shifted on the day after and spray from the waves was being blown in the opposite direction of the waves. It creates a neat effect and great photo opportunity.

I was cautious and filmed the action on the day after from the parking lot at Salisbury Beach State Reservation and boardwalk observation platform at the top of the dunes.


The storm system was pushing and dark gray clouds made for foreboding feeling. These photos were taken at low tide. The waves were not particularly high but they were coming in very closely spaced creating a lot of white caps at they crested.



Waves crashing over the north jetty. The gulls  were feasting on the fish being brought to the surface by the rough surf. You can see gulls feeding in the video on both side of the north jetty.

Waves crashing near the south jetty on Plum Island. The white mist is from the wind blowing the spray backwards out to sea.

Wave action in the Merrimack River.

Three photos from the top of the observation platform at the end of boardwalk.

"Double Wave" Two waves very close to each other cresting at the same time.

4 Minute Video

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017 from the North Jetty

I thought I would start the New Year off with a visit to the North Jetty. A number of other people had the same idea. A group of dedicated bird watchers had their scopes setup on the beach pointed towards the cove formed by the jetty. One group of brave individuals had a photo opt of themselves on the beach in their summer swimwear. They put some heavier clothing back on real quick. The dog walkers were strolling and their furry friends looking for a pat on the head or treat.

Wishing you a Happy and Safe New Year

Bird Watchers on the Beach

Sand build up along the jetty

Some wave action between the spur jetty and the beach. The land breeze was blowing the waves back.

Wind blowing the spray in the opposite direction of the wave.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Four Days After King Tide

The king tide occurred with super moon  on November 14 & 15. The tides continued to be high all week. I was not able to see the jetty during the actually king tide but I did make it out on the 18th. The waves were surging and crashing over the jetty.


I took a short video clip of the wave action because still photos didn't do it justice.

I traveled up the coast along Route 1A. I found the waves crashing up against the seawall in North Hampton, NH.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Stormy Surf

The stormy surf at the north jetty provides ample opportunity to photograph the ocean all stirred up by fall storms. This is a small sampling of the different ways you can compose the photo.

 The fisherman on the Salisbury beach side of the jetty seems dwarfed by the immensity and power of the sea. (Fishing from the jetty is not the safest thing to do because of the small but very real risk of larger rogue waves sweep you off the rocks.)

It takes patience and many shots to get dramatic wave action.

Close-up photos provide an opportunity for more creative compositions.

Boats traversing  the mouth of the Merrimack River always make for interesting subjects.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Harvest Moon over the Merrimack River 2016

Up river form the mouth of the Merrimack River is Deer Island which is in the middle of the river. Deer Island connects to the Amesbury side by the modern Hines Bridge and to the Newburyport side by the older Chain Bridge. The eastern half of the island is public land and has a parking lot. It is great place to watch sunrises or in this case the moon rise. It is also a good location for bird watch. Eagles can be seen during the winter months.

View from chain bridge

Harvest Moon Cruise boat

Friday, June 3, 2016

Privateer Lynx

The 122 foot long schooner Lynx, a replica of a War of 1812 privateer, sailed through the jetties on Thursday June 2 2016 enroute to Newburyport Harbor. The ship has a crew of 8 people. It is armed with 4 six-pound canons along with deck swivel guns. The ship will be open for tours this weekend.

A two minute video documenting the Lynx's arrival.