February 27, 2015

Frozen Waves in Nantucket Go Viral

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All photos by Jonathan Nimerfroh.

 

With advancements in wetsuit technology surfers all over the Northern Hemisphere have taken to the ice cold waters of the far North. But the latest batch of frozen wave images making the rounds on the internet today have drawn attention from non-surfers and surfers alike in awe of the winter wonderland in Massachusetts.

 

Photog Jonathan Nimerfroh just wrapped up a photo shoot when he decided to check the surf. It gets cold out on that little island off of Cape Cod, but it’s been crazy cold of late. This produced an unusual phenomenon of nearly frozen “slushy” waves!

 

For more frozen surfing, check out Surfing in a Winter Wonderland – Surfing in the Arctic.

 

It’s hard to freeze salty sea water. The more salt in the water, the colder it has to get to freeze. That’s why you get sea water that can be way below the freezing point. In fact, if the water has as much salt as it can have dissolved in it, it wouldn’t freeze until it was -6 degrees Fahrenheit!

 

This resulted in some breathtaking imagery from Jonathan, and a lot of daydreaming by surfers everywhere. The slush allowed the waves to remain in perfect form even though it was windy and choppy further outside. But don’t break out the boardshorts and sticks just yet. Unfortunately, these waves aren’t surfable as the thick tubes contain too much slushy ice. This would make surfing really slow and completely thrash a fragile fiberglass surfboard to pieces. Not too mention a few Ice Cream Headaches.

 

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Ironically, Jonathan went to check the same stretch of beach the next day and the water was completely frozen 10 inches thick! He asked the local fisherman and they said they had never seen such a thing, and it was a first. That’s pretty darn cold.

 

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