Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back in the Park

, originally uploaded by sosidesc.
For pictures, I'm cheating today. No pre- or post-session shots, as I wouldn't take the time on arrival before getting in and the onshore had picked up by the time we got out such that it wouldn't do the session justice. Meanwhile, Hugh joined us in the water, so no action shots, either.

I am substituting this shot from Hugh, from the evening, showing what's exposed on the beach in low tide, with our observation "rail" and stairs to the beach in the background.

I arrived at 8:15 to find Mark Ghattas, Hugh Berenger, Neil Frank and Craig at the rail, checking out very clean conditions under a thin grey sky.  A few scattered peaks - straight out, at the main peak, at the rocks and down at LG1 - were breaking chest high with nobody at all in the water.  Not wanting to waste the conditions, we suited up and set out at the main peak in fairly comfortable, 58 degree, water.

Craig was in first and told Mark and I as we swam out that he'd already had two great barrel ride.  I immediately snagged a peeling, shoulder-high left, followed in a couple of minutes by a big, hollow right that pitched into a yawning tube held open by the mild ESE breeze.  One of the two best rides of the day, but what a great welcome back to the Park!

Shortly, Neil swam out and Hugh joined us on his long board.  For a half-hour, we had it to ourselves.  Over the next hour, the sticks filled in, but Hugh offered us some protection and the vibe in the water was good.  The main peak was, by and large, left to the five of us as the sticks set up at some of the other peaks. 

For 90 minutes, we enjoyed some fairly consistent chest to shoulder sets, with only a few lulls interspersed but no more of the head-high sets like that second wave.  But the lulls offered a chance to catch up as the aroma of morning fires on the campground drifted out on the ESE breeze, the rights remained hollow and some very long lefts were snagged. 

Gradually, the breeze picked up, roughing the formerly glassy surface and shifting to SE, then South, then onshore SW.  With the tide approaching peak and the wind starting to mess it up, one by one we made our way in.  Hugh and I were still out when a final, chin-high set appeared.  I caught the first, a short right, and popped out the back, only to find myself a short swim from the perfect bodysurf launch point for the left corner on the second wave.  Hugh was deeper and in position to take off on his board but asked me if I wanted it.  A loud "yes" reverberated in my head but only translated into a silent nod as I focused on conserving my remaining breath and gaining position for take off.  A nice long left, along a fast face, completed the session with the other of my two best waves of the day.

Great to start with a memorable wave and to end with a memorable wave.  Today, it was both!

Good to be back in the Park!

No comments: