When Bob Dylan wrote famously that "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," he wasn't trying to get an Ocean City beach report from the mainland.
Otherwise, he would know that you need a weatherman and more — preferably a friend on the beach with a cell phone.
But a growing collection of video cameras are now pointed at Ocean City beaches, boardwalks and roads, and they provide the next best thing to eyewitness reports: live images delivered across the Internet in real time to homes anywhere in the world.
The beach cams provide vital information on weather and surf conditions on a barrier island that has a climate of its own. Depending on ocean temperature and the wind, Ocean City's weather conditions can differ dramatically from that of mainland towns only a few miles away. The weather can even change as visitors cross the island from Bay Avenue to the beach.
A "9th Street Beach" cam offers a good view of beach, ocean and sky from at 948 Boardwalk. A cam at provides a similar glimpse that includes the 14th Street Pier (and its wind sock). A camera mounted on the Double Shot thrill ride at shows a view of traffic on the new Ninth Street Bridge. Other cameras are pointed at a variety of sites on the beach and boardwalk:
- 10th & Boardwalk (south)
- 10th & Boardwalk (north)
- Double Shot Cam
- Double Shot Cam II
- 3rd Street Beach
- 3rd Street Boardwalk
- Bobs Grill Hot Dog Stand
- Bobs Grill Counter Cam
- 14th Street Fishing Pier
- 14th Street Boardwalk
- Golden Galleon Golf 19th Hole
- Golden Galleon Golf Gator
- Golden Galleon Golf Cannon Deck
- Pier 9 Golf
- Curlys Food Court
- 9th and Boardwalk
- 9th Street Beach
- Wildwood Boardwalk I
- Wildwood Boardwalk II
- Wildwood Boardwalk III
- Wildwood Boardwalk IV
The equipment represents a significant investment, according to Jim Ginn, who owns and operates AtTheShore.com. The setup includes a dedicated Internet service line, a web server, cameras and installation, a wireless router and maintenance throughout the year.
The cams are offered purely as an added service to people interested in his real-estate website. This is no charge or subscription fee for anybody to view the cams at any time.
The AtTheShore cams join a handful of other Ocean City cameras that have been popular resources over the years:
- sponsors surf cam at Fourth Street that pans the ocean between the Third and Fifth Street jetties: Surf cam
- The Surfers View surf cam at Second Street provides a similar view of the ocean between First and Third streets: Surf cam
Here are some ways to keep tabs on the weather in real time: