EASTHAM – As the angry spit from Tropical Storm Hermine touched Nauset Light Beach on Monday afternoon, a small crowd of brave wet souls gathered to watch the show that the ocean put on.
There was a cover charge.
Despite National Seashore Beach fees (yes, being charged during the storm), many who gathered said, like Conrad Bailey of Norwell and Eastham, “I had to see it. It’s amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s unbelievable.”
Of course, this was being covered on TV. Justin Barr of Milford, who was in Orleans on vacation, didn’t care about TV. “You watch the Super Bowl, right? You want to play in the game,” he said. “You don’t want to be watching on TV.”
Barr and his friend, Brandon Crawford, also of Milford and staying in Orleans, played in the game. Or rather, in the ocean.
Just before the stairs at the beach were closed due to water hitting the dunes, Barr and Crawford, as well as some girls, were playing (See VIDEO) in the surf. Barr and Crawford went almost Darwin-Awards deep, and then returned.
“That was some serious pull,” said Crawford. “If I was a little kid, I’d have been pulled out of there.”
They were kicked off the sand, and then the stairs were closed.
Keith McFarland, supervisor and lifeguard, said, “It’s pretty strong for a summer storm.” He said just after the stairs were closed that it was a precaution and mentioned that the stairs were lost last winter during a storm. McFarland estimated the waves to be 12 to 14 feet.
David Walton of Bethany, New York, was staying in Orleans and heading home this day, but he said he had to stop and see the storm at the beach. “I’ve been coming here for many years. I’ve never seen a storm like this.
It’s beautiful. I’ve never seen the waves so big,” he said.
But Lucy Ott, who lives in New Jersey but grew up in Eastham (where she also owns a home), said, “I lived through the 1938 storm. That was a pretty bad one.”
Still, she said she had to come to the beach for this. “I love to see a storm,” she said.
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