Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks in the Park

Excellent session in the Park this morning, with some great tube rides for the patient.
A pretty good pod drifted in between 8 & 8:30: initially Rick Ciaccio (#9), Erick Yeisley (EY_\), Brent Crawford (Crawdaddy) and me, shortly to be joined by Hugh Berenger, Mark Ghattas (Sailfish) and Chuck Herpick (Kahuna).  

About a dozen sticks were clumped at the Main Peak, but there was a nice right sweeping from just south of the Rock, and only one surfer in the water down there.  As Rick & I walked up the beach, that surfer dropped in a tight, fast one, about 2 feet overhead.  We smiled.
Although there were some long lulls, when the sets came in - shoulder-high, head-high, even some plusses - there were some big, wide, long barrels.  The waves were really pitching: the lips were throwing farther than the waves were tall.  At one point, EY_\ kept talking about driving a VW through one!
I sat outside, just south of the Rock, picking off one or two waves out of each flurry, then enjoying basking in the winter sun on a glassy morning with a slight offshore.  During one interlude, a couple dolphin split off a passing pod and swam inside of us, one right between Rick & Crawdaddy, just a few feet away.  Tough not to be thankful!
However, a tough day for Sailfish: first a speeding ticket on the way down and then, about an hour into the session, he messed up his right shoulder...hope it's nothing too serious!
We spread out from immediately south of the Rock - where I was picking off those sweeping rights - down to LG1, and pretty much had the entire area to ourselves for 90 minutes.  Then, the entire remaining stick population - maybe six or eight - floated our way, apparently deciding that  we were having way too much fun.  No problem - the main peak was left open so we just migrated North and took care of that for another hour.  

Glass lasted until well after 10:00, then the wind gradually turned onshore and it started to get sloppy...just as the sticks decided to repopulate the main peak.
Some great rides had by all!  For me, the first taste of a good winter swell: dredging, pitching and hollow.  

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Arrives in the Park

First good fall surf today; the best surf I've been in since late August.

Arrived at the Calafia lot at 7:45, met EY there and scoped it out. Shoulder to Head-High peaks were scattered from Riviera to LG1, with surfers spread throughout but not too densely. Main Peak had best size and consistency but also the greatest density of fiberglass. Straight out from Calafia and a bit North had some decent size but more closed out and less consistent. There were a few surfers out, down at LG1 but it seemed pretty consistent. We headed down past Main Peak & the Rock, to the North side of LG1.

It was generally glassy, with a mild off-shore ocassionally putting a slight texture on the water. The water temperature at about 63 made it nice and refreshing, never chilly, with full rubber. At first overcast, with the sun occasionally peeking through, it cleared into a beautiful morning around 9:30.

As we swam out, there were three kneeboards and one standup, spread between the Rock and LG1, which left plenty of opportunities for EY & me to snag clean, fast rights with very hollow barrels. The sets were coming it at shoulder to head high, even a few pluses and with no long lulls. Most offered nice open faces and few closeouts. Sand bars were creating nice bowls at several spots.

Snagged a tight, fast right peak on a set wave, which curled over and hollowed around me into a deep turquoise tunnel that glowed in the filtered sunlight. Came up with the song title on my lips and said to EY as I saw back out, "Crystal Blue Persuasion."

Nothing but fun.

After an hour at LG1, the sticks at the Main Peak had thinned out. EY snagged a long right that took him to shore well to the south, so he beached and walked up. I swam back up, catching an ocassional ride along the way.

Just North of the Rock, a nice left was regularly forming on set waves, so I worked that alone for while. After a bit, a young Hawaiian surfer paddled over and worked the peak for a while with me.

Shortly after EY exited around 9:30, I spotted Hugh, working the North side of the Main Peak. For the next hour, Hugh and I shared the peaks between the Rock & Main Peak, with maybe five or six stand ups. I only got cut off once, and was even given a couple of waves. Good vibe all morning...plenty to go around.

Finally gave in to tired legs and complaining stomache about 10:20.

It wasn't real big, but it was good sized, clean and peaky. It wasn't real powerful, but plenty fast and hollow. Only thing that would have made it better would have been a few more of the pod out!