Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Park Delivers ... Usually

EY_\ is fond of saying that "the Park delivers!"

Well, mostly. With a decent swell coming in, even with a flat tide, conditions were generally forecast to be pretty good this morning. Did my haul South with expectations for a decent, summer-ending session before heading overseas for three weeks. 'twas not to be.

As I drove down the rise above Calafia, I saw a textured surface and when I arrived in lot at 7:45, I was surprised to find it relatively empty and totally void of any wheels that I recognized. A steady, moderate to stiff wind was blowing out of the West creating chop along the shore. As I watched from "the rail," a couple of nice lines approached, but any promise was dashed as they faded into ugly, mushy crumble. A few sticks from the campground were out at LG1, a few more up at Riveria, all vainly trying to make something of it.

Back at the car, I checked my messages and found that I'd just missed Russell, who'd checked it out and left already. Sailfish pulled in, determined to get something. As he & I watched, Hugh pulled up and Neil walked down his parking spot atop the cliff. 25 minutes and still hadn't seen anything to tempt me into the water. Low 70's, it may be warm, but the heavy overcast and steady wind offset any temptation to get wet. Nonetheless, Sailfish pulled on a top and jumped in. He caught a couple of smaller waves, but anything of any size was just slop. He kept trying as the current quickly pulled him south to the rock area. By the time we were dispersing at 8:30, now 45 minutes without seeing a single decent wave, Sailfish was rinsing off in the showers.

Some days it's not meant to be.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend: Del Mar!

Arrived in Del Mar late afternoon, for the 3 day weekend. Immediately hit the water...not reallly to surf but just to christen the weekend. Mushy, knee to waist high waves but water temp well over 75.

Morning (Saturday) brought a pleasant surprise. I wandered down to the water at 8am. High overcast put a gloss over the glassy surface. I found some space between sticks at a peak in front of the Del Mar Motel and waded into the warm water.

The first hour was glassy with waist to chest high waves that were hollowed out by the tidal push. Some walled, but there were some corners as well. The hollowing tidal push offered a number of tubes, some sustained for several seconds. The clear, glassy water and soft lighting created an iridescent, ultramarine toned glow in the tube that kept calling me back for more. Maybe a dozen visits in that first hour.

At 9, with the sun breaking through, the blackball went up and the first entrants from the 17th Street Bodysurfing Club, Tom & Terry, waded out. Unfortunately, the tidal push was peaking and the second hour flattened out then gradually progressed to the crumbly side. Nice to have company in the water, though!

Approaching 10, hunger drove me from the water and I encountered Monica & Chris Lafferty and their two kids, just getting wet.

After a break for breakfast, drawn by water temperature over 75, Heather decided it was time for a RARE entry into the California ocean. She worked her way out through the shallow break and eventually made it out to lull beyond where the waves were breaking.

Chris Lafferty was swimming, alternately, his son and Monica out to the break on a boogie board and coached them, and their body-surfing daughter, into the waves while Heather floated nearby.

I DO wish I'd brought the camera down to memorialize a rare sighting of Heather in the Cali side of the Pacific Ocean.