Saturday, March 20, 2010

Summer Came Early

Other than 60 degree water, it seemed much more like a summer day in the Park: a moderate swell out of the Southwest, glassy through the morning and clear water on a warm and sunny morning.

I had figured to surf from 8 to 10, but ended up staying in a third hour. South at LG 1 seemed most consistent, so EY, Neil, Mark and I spread out there for a couple of hours while various of the tribe joined Crawdaddy as he filmed from shore: Ciaccio, Steve Short and Kahuna all showed for a bit. Sticks drifted through from time to time, but we had it largely to ourselves.

After a couple of hours, the others (in & out of the water) filtered off to breakfast at Cafe de Sole, but Mark and I stayed in another hour. As we gradually drifted the 1/4 mile back to the stairs, we were rewarded by one of the best sets of the day as we passed by the rock area.

Three memorable rides today:

EY was straight down the line as I took off on a shoulder-high left, offering a hi five. I rose on the face for a solid connection, then spun as I reached the lip and rolled down the face into the close out.

Second was a perfectly formed, big left. Taking off, I pushed to beat the foamball and took a high line onto a sloping, open face that gradually steepened. As it morphed, I dropped down into the mid-face slot and was rewarded with a little tube time before the close out.

Last, as we drifted back North, a nice, clean set off the rock offered another clean left, approaching head high...with no sticks!

I know Crawdaddy shot a lot today; will look forward to seeing if he got anything. Will post the line in my next post.

Meanwhile, here's the link to his memorial of EY's birthday, our frustration and the passing pod from last weekend.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Visitors at High Tide

I feared that the high tide would swamp the modest swell, but that there might be a small window if I gotthe Park a couple of hours before the peak. Besides, it's EY's birthday - gotta show - and a spectacularly beautiful winter morning.

Unfortunately, the fear was well founded, and even at 7:40 it was already swamped. A nice, well-defined 3-4 foot swell, coming in too fat and crumbly for decent bodysurfing - all save the set waves were surging up to the rocks. Really best suited for a long board, but Sailfish (Mark Ghattas) & I suited up and swam right out from the steps while Crawdaddy, still confined to the shore, post-surgery, for a few more weeks, watched and shot a little video. EY_\ (Eric Yeisley) showed up shortly to swim out in the chilly (56) water and collect birthday greetings, while Too Tall (Steve Short) joined Crawdaddy, watching from shore.

Sailfish, assisted by a handboard, managed to snag a few long ones, but for me, it was mostly frustration and alot of kicking for a couple of hours. A few local surfers in the water, hanging around the main peak with us. Sunny and glassy, if the tide had been decent, would have been a classic winter morning.

A large pod of dolphin had been hanging around, and after we exited, lolled in the break straight out from the steps while Hugh, a late arrival, and I shot a few pictures:

Click on either photo to see large.

I also stitched several together into a short video that also gives a glimpse of the beauty of the Park on a sunny winter morning. You can view by clicking here or on the title above. View the video in 1080p HD.

Even if the surf left alot to be desired, you still have to love a morning like this in early March!
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Last water time - February 14.

As recounted in the last entry, the 20th/21st was windblown chop. The next weekend, Sunday (28th), the Park was firing big - up to 12 foot faces - but unmanageable due to strong currents and tides, and full of debris. Reports from Neil and Mark in Newport was that it was not surfable. This past weekend, it stormed Saturday (3/6) through the early morning hours of Sunday, leaving Sunday small, windblown and dirty.

Late December through mid-February brought a great run of swells and decent conditions. This weekend will make it a month since last water time. Unfortunately, current forecasts are for a small weekend and perhaps questionable conditions.

If there's no surf this weekend, the last time I would have gone this long without surf was late 2008, a year & a quarter ago.

What's one to do, but relive through photo & video? On Jan 9, Hugh shot a series of still sequences that he gave me. I'd put some of the stills up on Picasa, but while reliving a sparkling, sunny, winter morning, experimenting with FlipShare, I knitted together a video of the sequences and put it up on YouTube. Turned out ok.

Gotta deal with the jones somehow.