Photo

Katia’s Coast

The Atlantic brews another tall glass of flawless hurricane swell

| posted on September 12, 2011
  • http://margpul@regent.edu Kate Grenouillou Pullen

    Captions- the summation of an image in a few words- can be, as in this case, EXTREMELY misleading- and readers MUST be adequately informed to the context of this image. While the waves might have been “inviting”, the locals are suffering on Hatteras Island- where this photo was taken. Those whose homes were not destroyed by the hurricane are living in a pressure cooker of tension and stress as the financial infrastructure of the Island in the remaining summer months has been destroyed equalling to ruin for many Island residents. The majority of Island residents have not been able to leave the Island for nearly three weeks due to the storm, since travel to/from the Island is by ferry only. A high percentage of residents in the vicinity of where this photo was taken remain in flooded homes; while the water has receded, the remnants of destruction: mold, debris, lawns littered with a lifetime of family memories, remain. Families were separated during the first two weeks after the storm as the Island was cut off to entry. Now families are separated as parents move off Island to find work, in hopes of recovering from wages lost and businesses in ruin. The waves might be inviting, but at closer inspection (from someone who has been on this beach working to help local tri-village residents salvage what is left of their lives) this is a destroyed trailer, not a boat– SOMEONE’S LIFE, NOT A LEISURE VEHICLE. A reminder that truth, though seemingly objective, is always subjective through the lens. I sat with a woman whose trailer — and a lifetime of belongings- was lost in this exact area. Her car was flooded as well, and she was encouraged not to drive it anymore. She said, with tears in her eyes, “But how can I not drive it. Anything that I have left is in it. My trailer is gone- it was washed away. I only have my car.” Mechanics told her that if she were to drive the car there is a chance it could spark in start a fire. Again, crying she looked at me and said, “My job is lost. The campground where I worked was destroyed. My trailer is destroyed. I have no where else to go. I can’t afford a new car.” Her only solution was to borrow a fire extinguisher and carry it with her. If the car catches on fire, she said she’d have to spray the fire out if she could. She was left with no other choice. — My point: what we are shown is without a doubt a beautiful wave for an onlooker, a subjective view of surf in the midst of human suffering. If viewers could see, experience, setting of the image– it isn’t so inviting– and my hope is that rather than be in the water, readers would, like local resident surfers, join in solidarity with those who make up the Hatteras Island community- a beloved surf spot- assisting in their ascension from depravity back to life.

  • Matt Pruett

    Thanks Kate, for being the first to respond so eloquently. I prefer to be a little more vulgar: These captions suck. Stoked everyone got photos out of the deal, as the industry’s wheels will continue to turn and the Outer Banks is just another rusty old spoke, but not one mention about how devastated the people living in the tri-villages are? In fact, the sunken boat caption kinda trivializes it all. The shit is bad down there, boys and girls. For every wave we’ve ever caught, every salty memory ever cherished, every contest ever run, and every surf photo ever published thanks to this magical stretch of beach, I think we owe those people some assistance, or at the very least, some acknowledgement…

    • Brendon Thomas

      We had a writer down there and he is penning a full-length feature for our December issue (on sale November 1) on the devastation. We are very aware of the difficulties down there and apologize if the captions are insensitive.

  • Matt Pruett

    It’s just that these are the first surf shots published post-Irene, Brendon. The fact that you guys were the first on the scene to get those shots out to the public commands immediate responsibility. I hope when your writer’s story finally comes out three months from now, it will be equally as informative as the Surfer piece I read a few years back about Matt George and crew helping Katrina victims with their skis and such. Speaking of which, where’s SurfAid standing on this matter?

  • Matt Pruett

    On a lighter note, that Mendia cutty is incredible…

  • francisco uriburu

    to Kate Grenouillou Pullen:

    i think people in surfermag ar completely aware of the situation in hatteras, but remember this is a surfing mag, and as subjective as pictures may be, they just show us the beauty nature has on offer, besides the destructive part.
    chill out and enjoy a surfing picture, people who care will get involved one way or the other, with this picture on show or not.

  • Kristina Hooper

    Kate, thank you for expressing the reality of what we have been enduring down here on Hatteras Island. It’s crazy because I had almost every thought that you have stated here. I went to a friend’s wedding over the weekend in Nags Head and ran into some surfer industry involved individuals who I didn’t believe quite grasped the reality of the situation and I actually cried after the conversation but not only was that person rude to me, I was so angry I was shaking. I made the statement that If non-local surfers…meaning you don’t live on Hatteras Island, come to our beaches to catch the wonderful surf that OUR island provides when THEY should not have been, at least they can do is go help those in the TRI-VILLAGE. My grandparents lost everything in their home in Salvo where most of my Father’s side of the family lives…the oldest part of Salvo. My grandparents are 70 and 80 years old and are not capable of doing the hard labor. How can someone come to Hatteras Island catch the waves that break off our beaches and not do anything to help those out in and around the village? Not only did they get to catch the surf that only the locals should have enjoyed but they are using our beaches and our waves to get a paycheck from a magazine and for the surfers their sponsor. Selfish people trying to bank from an island where local people not only lost their homes they also lost their place of work. If you illegally came to the island just to surf and leave without lifting a hand or without giving a donation from the money you just made off our beaches…..then don’t expect a friendly local crowd when you come this fall or any of the following years!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY! I don’t want to hear that they don’t care and it’s been happening like this for years….it’s time to do something about it. If they don’t care and don’t want to help then they don’t DESERVE to be able to surf on Hatteras Island…period!

    I’m ready and with resources….Surfing community could start by donating to my co-workers charity…HELP 4 HATTERAS! Proceeds go directly to those most affected by IRENE in the Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo area.

  • SoDak

    For those complaining about surfers catching waves when it is on. Why not log off completely and actually get your hands dirty full-time. Pointing fingers does no good, negative vibes man ….side note…those waves are to be enjoyed and are not ‘property’ of those lucky enough to live on Hatteras Island. Also, be thankful your ‘tragedy’ is actually recorded and that you DO receive help, though not as much as you would like. Having just lived through a 500 year flood on the Missouri river, countless homes and lives were ruined with barely a snapshot of the scope of disaster….one must remember that each and every person chose to live next to the ocean, just like the rich who build million dollar homes on the banks of the Missouri. We also have our share of low income home/trailers/campers all destroyed as well but as a community we pulled together and did not lash out at neighboring folk who came to catch record amounts of fish, only to load up and leave without lifting a finger.

  • http://www.HELP4HATTERAS.org kurt k

    YEWWWW !!!

  • Alil Pizzed

    Basically people are upset because the locals homes were devastated in the Tri villages..S Turns besides the waves…has locals..has homes…and when the residents of these villages became trapped on/off the island and saw a private boat illegally come in with VA beach pro surfers and photographers to ignore the situation and just score waves…lol…of course they were mad…and it was the local surfers who were putting their hands to the dirt to clean up for a week and maybe just maybe they thought they could enjoy some surf in their back yard to get their mind of things…and not get run over by jet ski tow outs on a head high day…what’s with that anyway..what are pro surfers now too lazy to paddle…just thought that was weird…..but so are many things in life. This argument will die away and honestly I think that more than anything the surfers that flock in from VA, and other areas….if you can support local business’s, surf shops, restaurants, etc..that’s the one way now you can help…so go…enjoy..and give back a little if you dare.

  • yew wisyanew

    Basically people are upset because the locals homes were devastated in the Tri villages..S Turns besides the waves…has locals..has homes…and when the residents of these villages became trapped on/off the island and saw a private boat illegally come in with VA beach pro surfers and photographers to ignore the situation and just score waves…lol…of course they were mad…and it was the local surfers who were putting their hands to the dirt to clean up for a week and maybe just maybe they thought they could enjoy some surf in their back yard to get their mind of things…and not get run over by jet ski tow outs on a head high day…what’s with that anyway..what are pro surfers now too lazy to paddle…just thought that was weird…..but so are many things in life. This argument will die away and honestly I think that more than anything the surfers that flock in from VA, and other areas….if you can support local business’s, surf shops, restaurants, etc..that’s the one way now you can help…so go…enjoy..and give back a little if you dare.

  • Kristina Hooper

    To SoDak…. No the waves are not the property of “what you call” “Locals lucky enough to live there”….. My family has been on this island dated back to the 1800′s….I wouldnt call that lucky….its the only home my family has known generation after generation. I was simply trying to explain the frustration plus state the facts. At some point a line of respect must be drawn for people like my family that still exist here on the island. Whether your a local of 15 years or come from a family with generations…I know the people here if present in the community where the 500 yr flood destroyed….they would most def lend a helping hand….thats just how the Hatteras Community is…
    Maybe its asking to much for others to be as kind and helping as our very own residents of Hatteras Island… I don’t anyone was lashing out at “neighboring folk” just reminding them that they can help…. see the DEFINITION of “neighbor ” below
    1.
    a person who lives near another.

    2.
    a person or thing that is near another.

    3.
    one’s fellow human being: to be generous toward one’s less fortunate neighbors.

    4.
    a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans: to be a neighbor to someone in distress.

    5.
    (used as a term of address, especially as a friendly greeting to a stranger): Tell me, neighbor, which way to town?

    Thanks again Matt for the ESPN article….that was great! A great Neighbor doing great things. ;)

  • Brett Barley

    thanks for changing the caption guys. now it’s right on.

  • Carioca

    Sick, Sick, Sick.

    Picture of Cory Lopez totally insane.

    Last pic is the Bahamas. Notice no location station.

  • Eric Harmon

    What a joke. Thanks ” VB pros”. You’ve showed the world your true colors. Something we’ve known about around here for years. Great timing.

  • http://benjaminpapaleo.tumblr.com/ MIKEYbarrelzELeye

    blowing up our long island spots bro>>go back to montauk. Just playin fellas sssick shots

  • Kassandra

    Ha ! thts my sister name !

  • Will

    Does it matter if you surf in Hatteras ? I mean seriously if surfers don’t wanna surf in Virginia Beach then who cares as long as your a U.S citizen it shoulden’t matter remember this is all OUR land not YOUR land.