If you surfed Pensacola Beach in the 70’s this was a typical winter pattern, especially if you had no responsibilities:
The east – southeast wind picked up. The surf would be knee to thigh, possibly waist high, and choppy with crystal clear water. If the wind blew overnight the surf might be chest to head high – choppy with a lot of drift. No problem. You would simply drive toward Ft. Pickens to surf the Point or maybe the Bay. The waves would be cleaner and longer with offshore/offshore sideshore wind – probably waist – chest high. If the approaching cold front stalled overnight, you might end up surfing chest to head high surf with browner water on the east side of the pier due to the west winds. If the front came through successfully, the temp would have dropped several degrees and you would enjoy a clean one day, but dropping, swell at the pier, one of the Avenues or maybe the Cross. If you still had more time and knew someone who owned a car, you might drive 100 miles east the following morning to check Panama City. It would be pretty cold but St. Andrews might have some clean, offshore leftovers, or possibly Shell Island if you were willing to paddle across the channel.
This is Brian Waters at Panama City, probably St. Andrews, in 1977.
Dave Skelton stood on a cold beach to take this photo.?
From: Facebook post here