Sunday, July 6, 2014

Impressive Pod Presides over the Park

Stimulated by forecasts of head-high waves, warm water and benign winds, the call went out:

Expression Session in the Park!

The hope was to be able to take over a peak or two from the anticipated swarm of board surfers, similarly drawn by the alluring forecasts on a holiday weekend. The call was answered!

[Disclaimer: I took little time to shoot photos, preferring to maximize water time.  I hope to share video from Brent Crawford and in-water photos from Hugh Berenger soon.]

On arrival, a large, but lumpy and somewhat walled up, swell was obvious in evidence:

Surprisingly, there were but a few surfers of any sort in the water - no doubt drawn to the point breaks and beaches with other angles in search of better peaks.  I arrived on the tail of most of the pod, which had concluded that the southern area, beyond LG 1, held best hope for corners and peaks.  The South Bay contingent, Paul Tordella, John Rogers, Scott McPherson, Paul's son Brian and nephew Kevin Barnett, and frequent Park visitor, Neil Frank were just heading down the beach (below), as Craig Thomson and his daughter descended the steps.

After rapidly snapping these few shots, I rapidly returned to the lot, slipped into a pair of trunks, grabbed my fins and followed.  (What a luxury it is not to have to squeeze into rubber!)  Others were visible in the water - Brent "Crawdaddy" Crawford's bald pate was unmistakable, as was the trademark slide of Jeff "JPL" Lashbrook.  Steve Harkins was out as well, and it wasn't long before Mark Ghattas arrived, as well as a contingent from Team O'Gorman: patriarch Shawn, Cheyne and their friend JP, and Hugh Berenger, dean of the SCSP bodysurfing pod, backed in, camera in hand.  As a couple more joined us, we had as many as 20 bodysurfers out, stretched from north of the LG 1 guard stand over several hundred yards south, through and beyond "King's Corner."  Though there weren't many boards out, anyway, few ventured into our stretch over the next two hours.

As for the surf, the South swell was there, the water was warm, the breeze was mild and the tide was amidst an imperceptible drop from a predawn 3 foot high to a 10:00 2 foot low.  All the right ingredients, seemingly.  But, today, the Park failed to put its best foot forward.  The swell wrap was such that it was often walled up and the lumpiness evident in the first shot remained.  Even more irksome was a persistent backwash that seemed intent on appearing whenever a good peeler presented itself.  In the picture above, the inside wave is actually backwash, moving out ... often even breaking in a mush of whitewater.

Lack of perfection notwithstanding, there were still plenty of good rides to be had, and lots of stoke at finally seeing a punchy swell.  Half of us enjoyed a traditional breakfast at Adele's, regaled by stories of the recent Nicaragua trip from which Paul, John & Scott just returned.  Had the surf been a little better, I would have missed the breakfast...two hours wouldn't have been enough.


Crawdaddy said...

Fun Morning, got bombed a couple of times. Get the video tomorrow

Hank H H said...

Will watch for the video, Cddy!