Written by  Dick “Mez” Meseroll

I would love to know how many miles I have flown, driven, walked, jet-skied, hiked, paddled, climbed, sailed, swam, or ran while chasing hurricane swells in my life, either to surf or photograph them — but especially photograph. While I always tried to find the time to surf on all those adventures that took me up and down the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico, photography was always my main focus when chasing a tropical system. And the lengths I’ve gone to have not always been considered safe nor sane in many quarters — but that’s only because those quarters don’t surf and just don’t understand how driven we are to be there, at the right time in the exact right place with so many variables at play. And don’t even get me started about the pre-Internet days planning and plotting with so little information available and not at your soft, pink little fingertips on the handheld device of your choice.

Sometimes you just get lucky and the right time and place comes to you like meteorological mana dropping right into your lap and honing in with perfect waves, swell direction, and conditions that you can find just by walking down to the beach at the end of your street. Hurricane Joaquin was one of those occurrences here where I live in Melbourne Beach, FL, with several days of beautifully tailored four- to eight-foot waves that lasted all day and all afternoon, and again into the next day — a stunningly rare feat for Florida in general. Some places were bigger and caught the white-hot spotlight better with crowds wanting the size challenge while others, like here in the “South Beaches” as the 10-mile stretch from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet in southernmost Brevard County is known, just had mile after mile of uncrowded perfection starting with the sandbars at the end of my street.


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