Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Smallies on a Summery San Clam Morn

This morning was just as expected.  Small waves, but not too small to ride, on a beautiful, warm winter morning.

To give a little perspective on "the Park" that dominates these blog entries, the picture below shows the Calafia parking lot, a few feet from the tracks and the water.  Our observation "rail" is on the beach side of the tracks, just to the right of the RR lights and left of the closest palm.  "Main Peak" would line up, in this shot, beyond the two palms furthest left, and "LG1," named for the first Lifeguard stand, would be  further left, just hidden by the bluff.  "The Rocks" are halfway between. (As always, a click on the photo will bring up a full size view.)
Bret Belyea came up from San Diego, on his way to something in Orange County.  He  & Mark were suiting up as I pulled in a few minutes after 8:00.  A good sign...when it's lousy, guys just hang around watching.  Neil had already headed up to his parking spot atop the bluff.  We were in the water by quarter after, electing to go out at LG1, where it appeared more consistent and hollower.

It was small - mostly waist & chest high waves - but clean and hollow.  Lots of little tubes.  For the first hour, though, I got a score of right tubes.  Each would hold open a couple of seconds, brightly illuminated by the 
winter sun in the south; sparkling crystal, feathering lip.  A phenomenon only to witnessed in clean surf on a clear, winter morning such as this.  

Through a session that neared two hours, a mild south would texture the surface - perhaps also holding those little right tubes open as a gift? - then ease and it would glass over.  The water was chillier that expected - ice cream headaches from any extended dunk in the earlier hour - but the air was warming and beachgoers in summer attire filtered onto the beach.  For an hour, there was no one to be seen in the water from Cottons to T Street.  Later, three surfers from the campground floundered at the main peak for a while, but it was really just the four of us and the expansive ocean.

Outside, a gaggle of boats were working the kelp beds - see the photo above.  To the northwest, Catalina Island was visible through the summery haze - see below.
So, the surf was doesn't have to have size, especially when it's hollow, with a little punch, and decent corners.  The beautiful morning didn't hurt!
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