Saturday, August 16, 2014

Surf's Up...Leelanau Style

My first check of the weather that morning showed rip tide warnings in effect all day.  That meant there would probably be big waves on Lake Michigan.  And where there are big waves, there are surfers...even on Big Blue.

So mid-afternoon, I headed over to Leland to see if my hunches were true.  Coming out of the parking lot at Van's Beach, I could see waves crashing along the breakwater.

The waves continually churned the sand up from the Lake's bottom.

And I was not surprised to see surfers taking advantage of the waves that afternoon.  Often the biggest waves on Lake Michigan come with the gales of November.  The Lake has cooled considerably from the summer heat by then, making surfing more dangerous.

I hadn't seen this many surfers in the Lake before.  There were at least ten, and they were all waiting and watching for the right wave to come along that would carry them into shore.

Right away, a young woman caught my eye.  She seemed in clear command of her board.

But looking to her right, she became aware of a big wave unfolding behind her.  I wondered if she would be able to outrun it.

Closer and closer the wave came, ready to engulf her with its power.  She opened her mouth and let out a silent scream.

She was soon swallowed by the surf.

Exhilarated from her ride, she was all smiles as she walked past me.  It didn't take long before she was back in the water, paddling out, ready to catch another ride.

I noticed some surfers were especially adept at balancing on their boards with aplomb...

making for a smooth ride all the way to shore.

For others, who were perhaps new to the sport and were still developing their skills, the power of the waves was palpable on their faces.

 At times the danger was almost too difficult to face.

But on this day, the joy of getting up on the board for the first time was clear on this young man's face.

 Even if it ended in wipe-out!


  1. Great action series, Karen! I love the inclusion of closeups of the expressions on the surfer's faces.

    1. Thanks, Jan. I'm glad you like these shots. I was great fun watching these surfers and getting their pictures.

  2. Thanks! I appreciate your visit and comment.

  3. Where is the comment I thought I'd left? Yes, terrific action shots, great picture story, Karen! Congratulations! I put a link to this post on Facebook so others of my friends wouldn't miss it.

    1. Thanks, Pamela. I would not have seen these wonderful pictures if not for your post.

    2. How nice to have a new visitor! Thank you, Trudy, and thank you, Pamela.

  4. Thanks, Pamela. I never thought I'd so enjoy action photography, but this was a blast. Thank you SO much for the added publicity. Karen