Hurricane Noel was the deadliest
hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season, having caused at least
148 deaths, mostly in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It then
blasted north and made the transition from a tropical storm to
a potent nor'easter that pounded Nova Scotia on Nov 4th with
hurricane force winds, heavy rain and giant waves.
I chased Noel in Nova Scotia
with fellow chasers Mark Robinson and Mike Theiss. We documented
its effects in various parts of the province. The most impressive
part of the storm was the gigantic waves that it produced at
The trip started with a 24 hour
drive from Toronto to Nova Scotia where we then decided to head
for the most exposed area in the southern part of the province.
We scouted numerous locations in Clarkes Harbour and waited for
the storm to arrive. We were then met up with by Mike Theiss
who flew all the way from Florida for this chase. Towards dusk,
we went out and photographed the waves as they started to pick
Following a tip, we waited until
the middle of the night, then repositioned ourselves north to
Peggy's Cove. It was not easy to get there with the high winds,
and water being blown over the road. At one point, I had to walk
ahead of the vehicles and clear rocks and other debris that had
been washed up onto the road. Of course, there was the risk of
being hit by new debris since the waves were still cresting and
blowing overtop the road.
At daybreak, we finally made
it to Peggy's Cove lighthouse and the waves were insane. Some
of the larger ones wee easily 120 feet high, possibly much larger.
There were huge boulders sitting in the middle of the parking
lot where they had been tossed by the violent ocean. I have never
seen such powerful waves before.