Presented by our Friends Of The Porpoise at WRV

All photos and caption by Dick “Mez” Meseroll @mezapixels

Seek and ye shall find. Or maybe not… This lone soul out the back did the Frisco Mysto and scored!

When you pack up the car and head off to the Outer Banks / Cape Hatteras National Seashore region from the end of of September through a good chunk of October the thing to expect is… everything and anything so act accordingly. Most importantly pack clothing for 3 seasons, those being summer, fall and early winter and keep your expectations low and your stoke high. Just being on the Outer Banks this time of year is a treat so you can just dig on that and be fulfilled. It’s especially true if photography is your game as there are plenty of opportunities of all kinds to make photos of besides surfing tho’ it is the reason why I’ve been traveling here for over 50 years now. And this 51’st year of my visiting here did not disappoint and even threw a curveball ( this would be the expect everything and anything part ) at the very end in the appearance of “Invest 95”. What exactly is an “Invest” ? Here’s the NHC’s description right from their very own glossary: “Invest: A weather system for which a tropical cyclone forecast center (NHC, CPHC, or JTWC) is interested in collecting specialized data sets (e.g., microwave imagery) and/or running model guidance. Once a system has been designated as an invest, data collection and processing is initiated on a number of government and academic web sites, including the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (UW-CIMSS). The designation of a system as an invest does not correspond to any particular likelihood of development of the system into a tropical cyclone; operational products such as the Tropical Weather Outlook or the JTWC/TCFA should be consulted for this purpose”. In addition to the NHC’s breakdown our research also found out that Invests are numbered from 90 to 99, followed by a suffix letter “L” in the North Atlantic basin, “E” and “C” in the Eastern and Central Pacific basins (respectively), or “W” in the Western Pacific basin. So, now you know all the boilerplate nuts and bolts. And Invest 95, or L-95 as it was also known, was everything and anything I could have hope for as my autumnal sojourn trip came to it’s end. – Mez –

Invest 95 left it’s indelible mark on a lucky, small group of minds, hearts and bodies. While it was blown out from First Jetty to Jersey, this zone was doing it’s thing for two days.

Where : Somewhere on the southside of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore

When : October 10th and 11th

Why : Invest 95

Air & Water : Both mid-70’s.

Swell : 3-5 + foot faces from out of the north / northeast generated by L-95’s gale force winds and wrapping around Cape Hatteras and on down to a random, non-descript stretch of beach.

Winds : Safe to say the winds were consistently battering in the gale force range at times or between 39-54 mph with gusts easily topping 50 mph at times when L-95 was at it’s closest proximity to the Cape.

Photographers Rating : I’ve pretty much seen it all on the OBNC since my first trip in March of 1970 and I would say besides being highly entertaining as a story, being very photogenic it was the most unique swell I’ve gotten to document along this stretch of barrier islands from Duck to Hatteras Village. And with so many epic swell events I’ve been witness to over 5 decades all of L-95’s unique characteristics when totaled together was more than good enough for me to give it 5 out of 5 stars. – Mez –

The Mikes Weather Page spagehtti model of L95 on October 10, 2021 as it sits almost stationary just offshore on the south side of  Cape Hatteras. Hammering the area with northeast winds with occasional gusts up to 50 mph and monsoon like rain bands for 48 hours, it created one hell of a meteorological mess in the Buxton to Hatteras Village area in particular but created some crazy cool conditions along a desolate stretch of beach that was demanding to access.

An Invest 95 barrel as viewed from the air somewhere south of the Cape with only one taker out at this remote stretch of playing field which covered a solid half mile or more of beach. And check out that next rain band heading in from the Shoals about to unload yet more torrential, wind driven precip.

A ground level view of the same scene.

Doing the Frisco Mysto. We hope you enjoy a really ( really ) long hike.

Will Forrest certainly didn’t mind and neither did the photog hauling 30 pounds of gear on his back, not when this is awaiting you at the end of the marathon walk out.

Safe to say Brett Barley didn’t mind at all either. For GIF sequence of the ride click play below.

Brett Barley’s Invest 95 Barrel By Mez from on Vimeo.

Avon’s Cash Souter and Kai Connor ( perhaps you’ve purchased supplies from his iconic Buxton based store family grocery store of the same name? ) walk back to the top of the break taking notes on Ryan Leoplods textbook backside barrel riding technique. There is a whole new Gen Next of local Hatteras Island kids that will be fun to watch develop like these two up and comers.

Kai Conner, obviously a quick study.

Five star car camping accomadations at the Frisco Campground next to Billy Mitchell airport. Not quite feral, not too frou-frou team gold card either and a perfect, 5 day home base perch for to bring you all the action from this unique swell event. If you didn’t mind the Noahs Ark rainy conditions that is. Clip below, unidentified grom get’s a shore pound beat down.

Will Forrest and the damage done. When you get barreled off your ass all morning with a small handful of friends something like this just can’t bring you down.

The Invest swell was tailor made for this unidentified bodyboarder and nobody was getting deeper for longer than this cat.

The Lighthouse campground rests on wetlands and resembles a drive in movie set-up. When you cop 6-8 inches of rain overnight from a high moisture content bearing tropical system – named or not – this is what happens. Wonder if they got a refund?

L-95’s tropical, torrential rainbands were no joke leaving the Buxton to Hatteras Village area with 6-8 inches overnight on the eve of October 10th-11th.

Longtime OBNC local ripper Dallas Tolson plugs in deep while Real Watersports filmer / content guy, Jeffrey O’niel cheers on from the shoulder while taking a break from the camera to nab a few on a borrowed bodyboard.

O’neil didn’t hike in with his own stand-up so he borrowed a lid from the Barley’s and went out and got pitted off his scone between taking clips.

Everything taste better while camping and scoring great waves, especially beer and a fresh, rotisserie chicken sandwich.

This was from the first of three sessions over two days during the Invest swell. Always a good idea bring a back up with you to this relatively remote shore.

Ryan Leopold slotted on another gem again while up the beach and around the Cape to the north the winds were howling onshore with total shithouse conditions all the way up to Jersey. It’s all about the corners sometimes. If you know where to find them that is … 

Uh, Brett- you might want to get back out there buddy. Or maybe he just didn’t want to see this one slipping by un-ridden.

Frisco Mysto grinder from the air.

Sign me up for one of these baby’s!

Unidentified way back and gunning it flat out.

Barley getting his backdoor on.

Brett, Cody Hammer and Jeffrey O’niel chimping Barley’s last wave.

Grommie scoring a sand sucking frothy one.

“Dilly Dally” Tolson scoring another shorey cylinder.

Dallas beaming after riding that one and surviving getting blown up and rolled around in just inches of water without any major damage except maybe a pound of sand and clam shells all up in his wettie.

VB’s Ryan Leopold certainly had one of the better wave counts during the swell and some of the better rides as well.

The walk of the surfed out but somehow finding the energy to get back out there for just one ( or two or three ) more.

Then same dude a few hours later taking the long hike back to the beach access no doubt on endorph overload and Zen’ing out on how cool these two days were. Certainly not the biggest or the baddest waves but a truly unique and fun couple of sessions by anybody’s standards.

Brett Barley and son Masen do an equipment check before heading back out.

Masen Barley getting after it during the Frisco Mysto sessions.

Papi Barley giving Mase’s board a spin while grom switched over to dad’s fiber glass and foam blade.

Casey and Brett Barley ( standing ), along with top East Coast video-man, Jeffrey O’neil and Buoy, the Barley’s Chocolate Lab, watch their 11 year old son, Masen take on the mysto, crunching southside shore pound. Grom didn’t flinch for a second, took his beatings like everybody else and ended up staying out close to two hours longer than his pop’s. Think the kid is going to be a charger? He already is one in our opinion.

Local grom ripper Kai Westcoat gets pitted, Cody Hammer pulls the trigger.

Unidentified piped for an audience of one.

Shelter from the storms. What a way to end a three and a half week walkabout on the Outer Banks, all smiles. Give a follow at @mezapixels on IG and please support as well as our Facebook page and IG at @easternsurfmag.