Jonatahn Nimerfroh expected nothing out of the ordinary when he pulled up to the beach one morning, but ended up capturing some incredible shots of a cold snap so bitter it was freezing the sea.
‘When I pulled up to the beach I could see the horizon just look strange. When I got to the top off the dunes I saw that beginning about 300 yards away from the shoreline the ocean was starting to freeze.’
He uploaded the images to his website, and they quickly started causing a storm on social media:
— CBS D.C. (@CBSDC) February 27, 2015
— Digg (@digg) February 27, 2015
— NYT Science (@NYTScience) February 27, 2015
The images were nicknamed ‘Slurpee waves’ – UK readers, think Slush Puppie.
‘The high temp that day was around 19 degrees,’ Jonathan recalls. ‘The wind was howling from the southwest which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing, but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not change the shape. What resulted was perfect, dreamy, slush waves.’
Jonathan said most waves were around two feet high, with some larger ones reaching three,
‘The next day I drove up to see if they melted, but beginning that same 300 yards away from shore the water had frozen solid and there were no waves at all.’
‘I’ve been asking all the fishermen and surfers I know if they have ever seen such a thing and they have all reported that this is a first, a result of it being the coldest winter we’ve had in 81 years.
‘I guess the people I asked weren’t old enough to remember a colder winter than this!’
About the photographer:
Jonathan Nimerfroh lives on Nantucket, an island 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. Jonathan describes himself as “obsessed” with the ocean and when not taking photographs of the swells he can be found riding them in all seasons. When his tiny island gets too small, Jonathan loves to partake in some adventure travel to exotic places- the only requirement being an opportunity to surf.
Jonathan is the creator of three photography businesses; JDN PHOTOGRAPHY, Nantucket Salt, and Runaway Bride Nantucket.Jonathan’s award winning photography has been featured in such publications as Rolling Stone, Stay Wild and Eastern Surf Magazine, as well as appearing on such websites as ESPN, Surfline and Passion Passport.