In his three years living on Nantucket, Jonathan Nimerfroh had never seen anything like the semifrozen waves, slowly and quietly rolling toward the shoreline, that he captured on film last Friday.
“It was just bizarre because there was a decent size to them. It wasn’t just a little ripple in the wake,” said Nimerfroh, a photographer.
As he stood in two feet of snow on the beach, with no one else around, Nimerfroh began snapping photos of the slush-like waves in awe.
While he said he wanted to run out and surf the hypnotizing, nearly frozen water, something he does even in the winter, he marveled at them instead.
“They were sort of silent, you couldn’t hear them at all,” said Nimerfroh. “The wind was howling, and it was cold, but the waves were perfect.”
The odd sight captured the attention of the Internet this week, after Nimerfroh sent the images of the rare moment to a nature magazine.
He said the photos were perplexing to many on Nantucket.
“I was asking around — surfers and fisherman, everyone that has grown up on the island — and they had never seen anything like that,” he said.
Nimerfroh said he returned to the same spot just one day after stumbling upon the waves, but the ocean was still and looked frozen.
“It was totally normal ... I felt lucky I got to experience it the first time,” he said.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.