Friday, December 29, 2006

Windows of opportunity........

Part of the joys and frustrations of north west surfing are the quick changes in weather and tides that change the lineup. When it works for you it's a joy and the frustration can come in the form of a lowering tide that will transform that slow, fat peak into a zipper of glass........about an hour after sunset. Winters' hours take all the give out of deciding if there is a possible late evening sesh.

Weeks of storms have us reeling now, little protection from southerlies here, maybe a trip north is in order. To the one place where protection is guaranteed against the assault of my senses if I go out.

Then a break comes a day after 40knot winds (at least!) from the north. The ocean is for the first time in 21 days groomed by an east wind, no warble in the swell, which is half the size it has been. A discernible order out of weeks of chaos..............

A phone call from Ding, he wants to head to the cove he's heard "it's doing it's thing!", no I'm looking at it and that is a misrepresentation I dolefully explain. Another phone call a minute later and the low tide at mid-day points to Suckouts as worthy of a check.

Gear loaded and off we go past a few good peaks on our way to Suckouts, it's a mission and the weather as good as it is, points to another all day trip. Those peaks we pass have no channel to access them and we pass on a futile paddle, we have been there, done that.

Our walk comes to an end, at this corner of the coast. A hard left and the cape juts out into the Pacific, high and sheer the walls take everything the storms throw into them. It seems invincible, but the slides at her base are evidence of a toll that will eventually lead to her demise.

The offshore is cleaner here for some reason and the lefts today peel off into the channel. It's deceptive and while we talk of waist high waves they are more likely head high. Ding is on it and leashless he paddles out to confirm the size. A bit behind him I do the dry hair paddle out, a hundred yards later I am heading west as directly across from me in knee deep water, Ding is slapping water pissed at having to do the long swim in this early in the session.

For some reason the rip is pulling me off the take off spot and leaving me behind the sweet spot. God it's frustrating!! The rights for some reason are not doing a damn thing except closeou,t so it's a paddle battle to stay on the left peak and dodging the ever present outside sets. This spot keeps you honest that way.

What a day though, sunny and bright and every time I paddle back, fast sweet looking lefts. Deceptive because the flawless walls give no hint of their difficulty. Neither the paddle nor the late drops that today are the norm, not the exception to the rule, are displayed across their green and blue faces.

The slack of dead low hits and the waves temporarily go to shit, we take a food break and start a fire to warm up. Andy shows up with his kid and dog, further proof that the cove is not "doing it's thing", even now. Soon enough and the lefts start firing again, and as the tide rises on this portion of it's cycle, they seem to be more forgiving. Late drops now end up with fatter walls and my frustrations evaporate with each section made. A few rights start to peel and the wind backs off till it's pure glass.

Four hours have passed and exhausted muscles along with the sun dipping into the horizon set me next to the fire, there are six of us talking surf as the sky darkens into night sky. The moon has risen and a large ring encircles, tomorrow's weather hinted at. This window is quickly being shuttered...........

1 comment:

pushingtide said...

Paddle. Spin. Drop. Goooooo!

Cool writings Cedar.