Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two Fers.

The beginning of the week threw a few bones our way. Mondays sesh kicked off in the afternoon, a bit unusual as the winds cleaned up the cove later rather than earlier.

Shoulder high rights, the peak stood up against the relentless rip, two hours of non-stop paddling. Small group of locals, sun out, fairly consistent and a brisk wind to help the lips fan out.

Tuesday morning and I'm in the toilet bowl working my way between peaks breaking in waist deep water, good ass kicking conditions. It's just two of us trading off, a few others paddle through but it's easy enough with the drift to get to the next closest A-frame. Back and forth jellyfish drifting.

Winds still offshore, counted 20 people spread out up and down the beach lot of people for a weekday kind of an indicator of the scarcity of decent surf this winter. Yesterday's wave has a dozen of those 20 stuck to her, after a couple of hours I take lunch.

Daylight savings kicked in Sunday, 3 weeks early this year. What a great turnaround! Now that evening go out will last 3 hours not 1.

Back down to the cove and the boys have a fire going and the barbeque fired up, burgers and beers! Nobody out but fun glassy waist high rights are racing down the bar, time to get it...... After a few minutes Ding and Alex join me and it's just the 3 of us, the dinner crowd just watching drinking and eating in the driftwood.

It's a goofball 2 hours of glass and havoc. I paddle up to Ding and park the longboard 18" off his rightside, then as he looks at me I look past him, trying to gauge the incoming peak as if he isn't even there. Standard issue comedy fare we throw around either in the water or the parking lot. In the often taciturn lineup where a nod suffices for conversation we are a bit of an anomaly. We're cracking up and steal waves from each other while we denigrate each other's last rides. Then they're gone and Andy paddles out I ask the time and Christ it's 6p.m. already! I've gotta get back and get dinner started.

Last wave is a shoulder high double dipper cover up and I claim it for the boys around the fire. Wetsuit drive and a hot shower..........

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What you're missing.....

Just for contrast................

Pinballs in rotation.

The cycle of storms continues, this is a wet winter. Nothing subtle at all, like a free game of pinball we've won 3 more storms on the head. Weeks of onshores, followed by a short period of surfable weather. That in a nutshell has been our lot. Some years we could hope for a high pressure to settle in and give us good winds and the long period swells would clean up. This is not one of those years. But here is a shot from last spring............bring on spring, please.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pearls amongst swine......

Pictures will tell a few hiding a bit of the reality. There's no way of seeing the ten little Indians sitting on the peak, or the ebb and flow of their motions as they attempt to gauge the wall that reeled relentlessly off the take off zone. The constant shuffling of position in that lineup. Or the one in fifteen rides that was completed succesfully. The earlier thirty plus head count that coagulated in the water like a thick clot of custard and didn't help anybody's stoke.

But every now and then a pearl would drop out of the oyster and everything would look stellar...........

Friday, February 9, 2007

Ten Days To Remember

I was spoiled there's no other way to put it. I gave the local break a check every day for seven days before staying home to surf it. I drove with two boards those days till I was tired of driving.....longer and better waves beckoned from the south, so I followed like a happy puppy.

"The best this bank has been in ten years!"

"Haven't surfed this many good days in a row since I don't know when mate!"

"Where is everybody?"

The same size crowd never too many often just enough peppered the water. For a week straight it was double overhead on the sets and never less than shoulder high. By the end of the week it was a relief to get the 1/2 cord of wood delivered and move it to the shelter...........after finishing that I pulled into the lot to see A-frames splitting the local peaks.

No driving any further today.........................

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Ten Days To Remember

This has been a winter of extremes it seems, two coastal snow falls before the end of January is not normal around here. The last one left snow around buildings for over a week. Three week stretches of wind and rain. Now a forecast of great winds and waves that are stretching out ahead of us for over a week. No consistency except for the inconsistencies, perfect!

Word is out and the lot has filled up, we enter from the rocks and after a short paddle we are between the inside and the outside peaks. Even with the thirty or so out there is plenty of room and waves to be had. The wind is light enough that unlike the last go out I take out the quad and not the bonzer, that wide nose isn't an issue today.

The quad is great in these overhead waves, backside it's a sweet board. The extra fins really hold well and the speed is phenomenal. But when the inside section gets wobbly the fish's wide tail seems to be a bit detrimental to control. The bonzer would have cut through the warble without a hitch as it had yesterday, chop is not the fishes friend!

After a couple of hours I paddle back to the rocks, getting out by timing the surge and reaching out and holding onto short stalks of kelp. It's not super difficult, but it requires trusting your feet and a avoiding the little pockets of urchins. I pull it off and make my way back to the car where N is waiting already dry and changed.

I ask her how she got out as it was her first time doing the rock dance and she points over at the cliff, Jesus! Turns out she had seen a few take a path into a cove, lost their track and found herself at the base of a cliff with a rudimentary path. Armed with a longboard she had climbed to the top at one point balancing the board over the edge........not knowing it was a drop off of 30' on the other side. I shake my head a bit awed by this dangerous climb and thankful she's come out of it unscathed.

Next time I think we'll need to plan the exit a little better..................

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Ten Days To Remember.

The ocean threw bombs, that's all there is to say about it. Crap conditions persisted for a few days, nothing local was even remotely interesting, east winds were promised but delivered through the side door. Squirrely(yeah go ahead and's not a real word, I know) side shore winds messed with a solid swell floating in roughly at 280 degrees. But the cleanest morning of the week was bumpy and a little sick looking. A phone call to the south had us moving out and driving for a break with a more promising report. Little did I know it was going to be the start to the best week and a half of waves in months.

We pulled into the lot and sure as shit, clean lines filtered in as a small knot of surfers worked into position. Steve's truck was empty and he was already amongst the pack, in fact the cars and faces all looked strangely familiar. A testament to the small cadre of week day surfers this far north of the Fiberglass Wall it seems. It's a suprise to me somehow, given the number of surf shops in the state these days. What may be more of a reason and unfortunate is that there really are just fewer breaks per square mile...........

This day is flawless as overhead waves sweep from the north-west over a beautiful left that peels into the rip that runs like a river alongside the headland. From this far away it's a tough break to read, the outside wave especially so as it throws slowly and the shoulders seem to give little hint of the speed needed to negotiate their slope. The inside is a lot more hollow than it appears from here.

Three different peaks are firing with a few waves connecting up and doubling the length of the ride. Ding and I find a couple of slots along the inside section amongst a handful of surfers. The crowd is spread out rather well throughout the water. We see sets approaching and the requisite scramble for positioning ensues, and yet there is plenty of room to move.

For the first time in weeks we have open faces to play with and walls to race. This is more point than beach break with a peak that lines up consistently and throws with a precision only the best sandbars ever deliver. Some run as far as the rip leaving a short choppy paddle to the edge of the rocks and the long paddle back to either the outside peak or the inside, whichever one you choose.

The outside is not unlike sitting in the middle of nowhere and waiting, just waiting..........then the horizon begins to lift and bump with indications of what's coming. And it's not hard to get caught inside here as swells cross from west and north and a board that paddles well is worth it's weight this far from shore. Suprisingly steep drops, I see both Steve and Mark take late drops on longboards and pull off critical bottom turns. Lurking on a fish I pull back on a few as I see a nose sneak out of the foam and gain speed to the shoulder, but there is no shortage of waves. This swell has good power and the 6'6" finds plenty of juice to tap into even this far out.

The length of the ride is deceptive, not so much on the lefts but definitely on the rights. On one ride a smoothly lined double overhead peak, it's a race for the shoulder full speed into three bottom turns and three slaps off the descending lips before a fourth bottom turn and a drift off the shoulder. Lakota sits at the take off spot, now a small speck. Bloody waves are long! I attempt a paddle back out but a set rolls in halfway back and I get to do the beach walk and rip ride out again.