Tuesday, February 21, 2012

President's Day Dispatch

Between an 8:00 high tide, uncertain winds and conflicting swell forecasts, it was difficult to know what to expect for President's Day.  No call went out, but Ghattas and I agreed to meet at 9:00.  

However, even as I was crossing the tracks from the lot, there was definite promise.  A breeze from the SE was combing a shoulder-high set.
Textured outside, the surface was glassy, glossy in the hazy sunlight, inside.  A couple of sticks shared the Main Peak with Casey, who is floating on the right below.

The tide was keeping it a bit fat, but there was a bit of size and the sandbar at the Peak was creating corners to ride.

Check the picture below - best in high-rez by clicking on it.  The bowling effect of the sand bar at the main peak is clear, as the ridge of the swell snakes out in the middle, then back in further south, with another bar jutting out just beyond.  Part of what makes SCSP so consistent.

Mark had arrived and we quickly suited and entered, north of the Peak, with the intent of drifting south as we caught the rights coming in off the NW swell.  It was surprisingly chilly at first, sharpened by the chill wind.  But sets were coming in pretty regularly, chest to head high, and for a while there was little competition in the water.  

Gradually, though, the sticks filled in .  This day, there was a fairly narrow take off zone, so for those of us who are less mobile, sans floatation devices, the pickings were growing slim.  So, after an hour or so, we moved south of the rocks and Mark worked the area in front of LG stand 1, while I roamed between the rocks and Mark.  Perhaps a tad less ideal shape than back at the Peak, that was compensated by the opportunity to pick & chose any wave.

The sun never really broke through the thin cloud cover, and the breeze gradually shifted to the south, but conditions, and swell, held up pretty well through 1-3/4 hours of another more than decent day at the Park.  Afterwards, surf scouts still lingered atop the bluffs above the parking lot as more & more fiberglass joined the growing crowd in the water.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday Summery Session

A chilly 40 degrees as Sunday dawned in Pasadena, there wasn't a cloud to be seen, following a series of summer-like days in the dead of winter.  Often, I'll commence the 72-mile drive in very different conditions than I find in San Clemente, but today I was hoping for sun and a rapidly warming day.  I was not disappointed as I navigated the access to SCSP Califia parking:
Not a single surfer was out - stick, sponge or body - which made the first few waves I saw a surprise. Shoulder-high, glassy peaks were combed by an offshore breeze, with a fun-looking bowl at Main Peak.  None of the crew had arrived, but within a minute or two, Brent "Crawdaddy" Crawford appeared, to validate my conclusion that we should waste no time getting out to enjoy fun-looking wave in solitude. 

Before we were suited, Hugh Berenger had appeared with a ken to actually swim out & bodysurf with us, rather than lugging the camera.  Shortly, we were in the chilling water, still in the mid-50's.  While the peak shown above would show occasionally, and there was a left here and there, mostly it was sweeping rights from the Northwest, like these two:

A little closed out, an occasional set, aspiring to head-high, would pop up, but chest to shoulder high crests regularly arrived over the next two hours.  Over time, a smattering of sticks came out, succeeded by a handful of sponges, but the Park was basically left to the five of us - Mark "Sailfish" Ghattas joined Hugh, Brent, a local, Casey, and me, about a half hour into the session. 

By the time we exited, a full, summery day had blossomed in Southern Orange County.

Sets were still lining up, cleanly.

And the fast right in front of the steps still peeling.

Brent, Mark and Hugh joined me at the steps, for post-session documentation, before dispersing.

A little better than last week, an altogether decent way to prepare for the Superbowl.  Wonder what it's like in Indianapolis?
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Published in Water Sport Magazine

Check it - two of my photos from 2007 World Bodysurfing Championships - one of Krista Johnson and the other, I think, of Pat Castinelli, the women's & men's champions - published in Spain's Water Sport Magazine!  Click this link: WSM or open below & go to page 60: