Once In a Lifetime… The Frozen Surf of Nantucket


The lens of a camera can capture life instances and make them always available.  Capturing amazing images can either be down to pure luck and being in the right place at the right moment.  But it isn’t easy and we really appreciate those photographers who persevere and deliver awesome images for everyone to enjoy the experience.   One lucky photographer did exactly that when the island of Nantucket experienced a natural phenomenon which the locals had never experienced previously. Photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh, a keen surfer, had been doing a photo shoot in Nantucket.  At the end of the shoot, he felt the call of the ocean and took a walk along the beach to see if he could capture any surfers surfing in the freezing temperatures.  What he captured has produced some of the most fantastic and unusual images you will ever see – the waves were frozen in motion.  Most of us will never manage to see this, but thanks to Jonathan’s quick action we can have a close look at this phenomenon.

Massachusetts has a beautiful shoreline and is one of the most amazing places in the United States, but frequently it experiences very harsh and extreme winters.  When these extreme cold spells hit, only the very toughest residents and surfers venture out.  Last year, one of the worst cold spells to ever hit the east coast landed on Massachusetts.  Nimerfroh had to brave that weather on Nantucket for his photo shoot.  Little did he know that his quick walk along the beach would produce awe-inspiring photos of frozen waves (now know as the Slurpee waves)!

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When discussing the photos and circumstances with GrindTV, Nimerfroh shared that he had noticed from a distance, that the horizon appeared to be strange.  When venturing closer, he quickly realized what caused the strange image – the shoreline was frozen approximately 300 yards away.  Within minutes of watching, waves began to freeze and turn to giant slush…. So Nimerfroh started to do what he does best – take some awesome photos.  As a result, the world has been able to share in seeing this amazing scenery.

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This amazing phenomenon was caused by freak climatic conditions – the temperature had dropped to 19 degrees, with strong winds sweeping in from the South West.  The conditions generally would not favour surfing, but somehow these conditions did not impact the shapes of the frozen waves!

Nimerfroh admitted that the weather did not lend itself to a gentle stroll along the beach and he was crazy to brave out into the extreme conditions, however he does not regret having wrapped up and ventured out.  As he stood there doing a virtual surf of the ocean, he found himself wondering which board manufacturer would be able to design and produce a board which could withstand surfing the amazing waves.

The sight he experienced lured him back to the shore the following day to find out if the phenomenon was still there.  He discovered the picture had changed into another unreal vision.  The same stretch of shore and water now had frozen waves which were 10 inches thick and completely frozen on the surface.  Once again the camera got to work and documented another set of far-fetched scenery to complete the photo shoot and story.

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