Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hiatus, Interrupted

The calendar says last weekend in Florida, this weekend off to London, next weekend in DC, and the following in Hawaii; five weeks away from the Pacific and six from Cali surf. Swam in the Atlantic in Florida, just to get salt water wet, and have been hoping for a little spring swell on the Big Island in a couple of weeks.

But for present, the expectation was that I'd be on a trans-Atlantic flight today. Courtesy of mother nature in the guise of an Icelandic volcano, London is off for this week, and cancellation of my London trip was compensated by better than expected surf at the Park today.

My excuse the negative low tide at 6:45, but reality being the Eagles concert at the Hollywood Bowl last night, I got a late start south about 7:45.

Arriving at the Park at 9:00, a combination of South & NorthWest swells made for peaky, head-high surf in warming waters under sunny skies. Clean conditions combined with the rising tide to impel me into the water without pause.

A few sticks were spread around the main peak but only one down at LG1, which appeared to be just as consistent, so Hugh & I walked down there to swim out. For 90 minutes - as Mark and then Ciaccio came and joined us - we pretty much had free reign.

At one point, within just a few minutes of each other, I got two rights that started outside and held up all the way to close out on the sand. Looong rides on nice, open faces, the entire way in. Figured the tide was hitting stride and I'd found just the spot, but then no more followed....

Late in the session, I realized that the sticks had filled in around Mark, Rick and I, but, looking North, Hugh was virtually alone at the main peak. So the three of us swam back up and enjoyed sharing Main Peak with just a couple of surfers and a drifting boog.

Two-plus hours into the session, lulls were growing longer and thoughts drifted to food, when a well formed set, a couple of feet overhead, rolled in, bearing promise of more. Just Rick and I were left, but we extended another 45 minutes and were rewarded with several more of those sets.

Weary and satiated, I staggered out after about 2-3/4 hours.

After a rinse in the beach shower, I went back to the steps to take a few shots of the swell, and found that the Main Peak, which not long before we'd had quite to ourselves had fully filled in with sticks:
An incoming set now looked like rush hour:
Meanwhile, just a bit closer to the rocks separating main peak from LG1, a nice peak goes unridden:
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And the best part of yet another, as well:
The photos give a little impression of what was coming in this morning, but early, it was so much cleaner...and we had it all to ourselves.

Wonder what the weather's like in London?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

An Excellent Sendoff

This week, ultra-core Golden Triangle member Eric ( EY_\ ) Yeisley trades the ocean for the mountains and heads off to a new life in Colorado. Got me thinking back to my first session in the Park. That day, I wrote:

"Just entering the water, a blue-hatted dude drops into a nice little, but long spinner...two spinners...three spinners...close out. Pops up and sez, "you Hank?" Great intro, EY! Way to show the first timer how SCSB is to be ridden!" the king of the smallies! Yeah, we all know that EY_\ rips, large and small. But he earned the sobriquet, at least from my view, not only because of the length and spinners he milks out of the little ones but also because of his tendency to hang inside, catching at least triple as many waves as I and, most likely, the better, if not bigger, ones.

Crawdaddy's send off video - link here - is a great exhibition of EY_\ at his finest, mid-week last week.

Today was no exception. Yeah, he got his share of set waves, but most of the time, there he was, inside, milking the Park for all it had to offer today. And it had a lot to offer, today, especially early!

EY_\ and Mark (Sailfish) Ghattas had arrived early and were by 7:15. Hugh preceded me, briefly, at 8:00. Park was at its best, at the main peak: lefts & rights peeling off a pitching peak, hollow and fast - but not too fast - with solid juice. Sets were consistent and regular, combed by a steady but mild offshore. A small crew of local sticks - good vibe - were camped on the main peak, but the pod of the body claimed the stretch between the main peak and the rocks, and had it to ourselves until after 9:30.

Sailfish exited to drive EY_\ home about 9:30 while Hugh and I tried to maintain our exclusive peak. By the time Sailfish rejoined us, we were staving off an increasing horde of not-so-local, not-so-aloha surfers, now picking over surf that had lost some size and power and was getting a little crumbly. Hugh exited not long after, and Sailfish and I swam down to LG1 where we had a little more space and snared a few, last good rides before exiting about 10:45. A very satisfying, 2-1/2 hour session, especially when I really didn't expect much today.

Drove home, thinking back over the number of times over the last five years that EY_\'s put out the call for the Park. Over the years, the most consistent company in the water. Always up for it & always psyched. His in the water enthusiasm earned the Golden Triangle the appellation of "talking heads" from the local stick population. No doubt, he made his contributions to our earning the "chatty cathies" title from #9 as well.

EY_\ - look forward to the next time we see you in the Park! Meanwhile, good luck in Colorado!

[Crawdaddy's sendoff video is also linked to the title, above.]