I went to bed last night uncertain whether or not to surf today. Most models were showing a steady onshore wind and small waves - I'd most often pass. However, there were inconsistencies in the wind model and the swells showed two, separate, long interval SSW ground swells with a WNW wind swell mixed in ... all a foot or so in height. Sometimes that can work well as the swells double up and then peak with the WNW. I left the decision to whether I happened to awake early.
I awoke early and am glad I did! We were surprised by pretty consistent chest, shoulder and even head high surf. The long interval made for some power, with some pretty hollow. The WNW mixed it up nicely, so that there were shifting peaks all around. Pretty regularly, the swell mix created a long runner to the left off the peak.
For those who can't picture it based on those words, imagine standing on shore. A shoulder-high swell, the SSW, is coming in at a little bit of an angle from the left. A smaller swell approaches from the right at the same time. The bodysurfer takes off at the peak created by the intersection, but is able to slide down into the smaller wave on the right (as you look out) and ride it all the way to deep inside, while the bigger SSW swell trails behind.
The rights were the opposite, but much faster, steeper, hollower ... and shorter.
What made the session exceptional was that we had it all to ourselves. Hugh Berenger and I were joined in the water by water photographer/surfer/bodysurfer Geoff Glenn, shooting stills with his GoPro mounted on a trigger grip. For the first 45 minutes, there was no one else in the water from the rocks all the way back nearly to the steps. We had the extended Main Peak area to ourselves.
I found it a little more consistent coming off the rocky underwater spine we call the Rocks, and between there and Main Peak 25 yards to the North. Eventually, a few sticks paddled out, but all went in at Main Peak or further north, so we had the area we'd chosen all to ourselves for over 90 minutes.
The wind remained slack - ruffling the water surface but not affecting the waves at all. The water was a cool 65 or 66, but the shorty sufficed as there were no long waits or lulls. Geoff was getting some great shots and Hugh and I simply had our pick of waves. I know that on a handful of waves, I was sliding right toward and past Geoff, so I'm hoping for some action shots to share later in the week.
Unplanned, I had my best session in the Park, or anywhere, since March!