In religious texts, Isaac is an integral figure, the main heir of Abraham and one of three patriarchs of the Israelites. But Isaac’s biggest legacy comes from his near-death at the hands of his father, who, according to the Book of Genesis, was directed by God to sacrifice his son on mount Moriah. After binding Isaac and drawing his knife, Abraham received a last-minute visit from an angel of the Lord, who instructed him to save his son and sacrifice a ram instead. Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike cite the grisly episode, which many contemporary scholars believe to be historically accurate, as a demonstration of God’s mercy, an example of faith and obedience, and a prophetic moment that spawned generations of monotheistic prosperity.
All of which has nearly nothing to do with surfing… Unless, of course, we view Tropical Storm Isaac’s mid-season arrival as a testament to Right Coasters’ own faith and obedience through a miserable two-month run of relative flatness. Isaac’s Caribbean crossing didn’t please everyone, of course, with the bulk of his ESE/SSE swell felt first in the islands, then in Florida, and then in the Carolinas, leaving only small spurts of activity to filter in to the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. Quick windows of clean conditions on the Gulf Coast were also enjoyed everywhere from Corpus Christi to Pensacola to Venice, before Hurricane Isaac (downgrade as of 3:00 p.m. back to a tropical storm) began pummeling Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama with heavy winds and potentially devastating rainfall. And let’s not forget that 29 people died in the Dominican Republic and Haiti as a result of Isaac. Which means that, as fun as our late-August aquatic salvage mission was, we can’t completely enjoy it with clear eyes and full hearts since others are currently suffering.
So what is Isaac’s lesson? That the wave gods can show mercy on us. That obedience to the always-frustrating and often-maddening Atlantic Ocean can pay dividends. That faith can pay off. That good waves do come, often right at the point of ill-advised sacrifice, to those who wait. Enjoy the gallery below, say a little prayer for those dealing with Isaac’s wrath as we speak, and stay tuned to www.EasternSurf.com for more, with the potential for Tropical Depression Leslie already forming off the African coast.