Better late than never. That seemed to be the attitude for most of the East Coast as Hurricane Alex picked up steam this past week, giving summer-stricken surfers a much belated taste of tropical swell. (Last year, Tropical {{{Storm}}} Anna put out in April. )

But if you’re looking for sympathy, you can forget the folks on Hatteras Island. Still stinging from their brush with Isabel last September, a Cat 2 that leveled hotels and cancelled contests, Alex decided to pay its own visit to Buxton, blowing gusts up to 140 mph before skipping north. As photographer and shaper Mickey “2M” McCarthy put it “You could’ve thrown a stone off Rodanthe pier and hit the eyewall.

While the Southern NC got a taste as early as last Saturday, surfers up the coast didn’t sa ee thing until Tuesday when he came around Cape Hatteras, at which point the seas spiked rapidly — Duck Research Pier showed sizes over 15 feet — as he headed up the coast.

The good news is he was tracking fast– over 20 mph — so Hatteras came through fine. The even better news is he still produced some swell, allowing Outer Bankers to enjoy overhead, offshore surf for all of Wednesday.

Here’s just a sample of Alex’s sweet aftertaste.