Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fit for a King...

...of the Smallies!

Ok, let me explain: for many years, the most regular of regulars at San Clemente State Park ("the Park") was Eric Yeisley.  "EY_\", as he is known, would work the inside, getting three times the number of waves that I, for one, would, waiting outside for the sets.  More to the point, EY_\ could milk the most out of any wave, including those inside "smallies," turning spinner after spinner, grinning ashore while styling across the face, and loving every minute.  This earned EY_\ the sobriquet, "King of the Smallies."  

A couple of years ago, EY_\ moved to Colorado.  He stays in touch, occasionally making it out to the coast for a session.  Today was for him.  Not too much text, but I'll let the pictures tell the story of a fantastic winter day at the Park, but with only smallies for surf:

Above is a "set" wave from this morning.  Mostly waist to chest high...not too much more.  Fortunately, there were enough to keep the morning fun.

A local was in front of the steps, taking advantage of the brilliant early morning sunshine to shoot the sand textures in the tube.

Size notwithstanding, Neal, the "Real Deal," Frank arrived with a big smile.  The dean of our extended pod, let's just say he's well established as a septuagenarian.  I hope I've got that smile, and half his water time, in another 20 years!

On a brilliantly sunny morning, with Catalina a backdrop for the seals on the offshore rocks, you wouldn't suspect that the water was the coldest thus far this winter.
But while the sun sparkled over vistas north to Dana Point and south to Cottons Point,
the water was cooled to the lower-mid 50's by a sustained offshore wind flow, leaving "ice cream headaches" and aching hands, and a renewed appreciation for my new 4/3 wetsuit! 
There were lulls, but the swell lasted through the morning - these are taken after I exited, following a full two hours in the water.
Still a little offshore, and still the brilliant sun.
But the Park was offering up those peaky lefts and rights, as it so often does.

As EY_\ is fond of saying,  the Park....DELIVERS!

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