Friday, August 24, 2012

Mid-Week Lull in Newport

Gradually working back into it as the swelling reduces in the ankle jammed on Sunday.

Wednesday, 4:00 pm - 6th Street
First outing was just playing around for half an hour in messy shorebreak at 6th Street Wednesday afternoon.  The water has warmed up to an incredible mid-seventies while the weather has deteriorated to what has been the norm for Newport: cool, overcast mornings followed by clear afternoons plagued by onshore winds.

[The only photos I have are from this Wednesday "session".]

 Warm, clear water
 "Wave of the Day"

Thursday, 3:00 pm - 18th Street

Yesterday (Thursday), Joe & I biked down to 18th Street about 3:00, riding West (remember, the peninsula beach faces due South) into a stiff wind.  The waves were much weaker but there were shoulder high sets and the cross-wind created some sections that could be ridden.  Surprisingly, the current had reversed and was pushing from East to West.
Sticks were pretty well spread from 19th to 17th.   At first, we were tangling with some fairly aggro urchins who were launching into anything that they could, irrespective of anyone else.  One wave, I set up perfectly on the corner and started to drop in.  Five feet left of me, a 13-year-old started paddling for it and noticed I was taking off.  Rather than backing off, or even dropping in on me, he shot his board straight out, directly into my path (but narrowly missing me).

Trying to stay entertained in Wednesday's junk

I moved South/East and near 17th St. encountered Sully's son & daughter, and rode with them for a while.  After they exited, Billy Viergever and his son Chad entered.  As Bill and Chad walked East past the 18th St. LG stand, the black ball went up; a bit of a surprise for so late in the afternoon.  Joe exited to move down to 10th where he could still surf.

Between the Sullivans' departure and the  Viergevers' arrival came a memorable moment:  As I was swimming out to a set wave, I saw a dark form shooting across inside the swell.  The water was a bit murky from the cross wind, and I couldn't tell whether it was a dophin or sea lion.  As the wave started to crest and I swam into the middle of it, I kept my eyes open under the water.  Two dolpin shot past - one at most two feet below me and the other directly above me in the crest of the wave - riding the swell across, above and below me, as I swam outward.

As I exited, I stopped to chat with the 18th Street guard.  The topic turned to blackball, and he acknowledged that it was kind of unusual to put it up so late.  He said the commander had driven by and instructed him to do so, since a kid on a board had dropped in on a bodysurfer.  Since I was the only bodysurfer around at the time, it appears that the the punk move narrated above met with justice - paid for, however, by all the surfers out at the time.  Somehow, I suspect the kid remains clueless.

Friday, 9:30 am - 18th Street

Hoping for better conditions, Joe & I biked back down to 18th in a light drizzle from the heavy overcast overhead.  The swell was a bit smaller than yesterday, but cleaner, with a much gentler breeze from the West.  Boards were scattered from 19th to 17th, and a learn-to-surf class was wallowing halfway between 18th & 17th, protected by a lifeguard in a car ashore.  The water remains the warmest its been in years, in the mid-70's.

There were a few lulls, but shoulder high sets, evidencing little of the juice that consistently marked last weekend but with nice little left and right corners, rolled in with regularity.  Not long after we entered, Sully appeared on the shore, doffed his beach hat, and waded out to join us.  For most of an hour, Joe, Sully and I had the West half of the stretch from 17th to 18th to ourselves to enjoy the fun, but unchallenging surf.

After a pleasant, 90-minute session, I swung the bike West a half block along the boardwalk and stopped for a chat with Bill and Chad, as various Viergevers came in and out to enjoy their morning coffee overlooking Newport Point.

It was still drizzling slightly as I rode back to the house and iced down the ankle.

Soakin' it up after Wednesday's swim

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