Friday, August 22, 2014

A Lowell Start to Vacation

Hurricane Lowell is sending us in SoCal some hefty, steep south swellage.  

Today was my first day of vacation, and the forecasts have been gradually stepping up the expected size for today, but, even yesterday evening, it was clear that they were short of the mark.  I checked 15th Street on the Newport peninsula in a heavy western wind at about 5:30, and the Point was breaking well overhead, sometimes maybe double overhead.  17th to 15th was fairly walled, a couple of feet overhead, very think.  The cross wind was creating some rideable sections, giving hope for the morning.

I met Paul Tordella and Joel Gittelson at 15th shortly after 7:00.  The wind was already up, blowing one minute from the southeast, the next from the west.  15th and 17th were walled up, heavy close outs.  The Point was creating a peak, but it was peeling too fast for bodysurfing and there were at least 30 sticks clumped at the takeoff zone.

After a few minutes of debate, we reluctantly decided to drive south to San Clemente, where the early cams showed much cleaner conditions and long, sweeping lefts, but a bit smaller size.  Right call!

With apologies for photo quality - I only had the little point & shoot - the photo above shows a couple of feet overhead, with clean conditions at the end of a 2 hour session.   In fact, it was smoothly glassy from 8:30 to 10:00 and a light breeze in the final half-hour.  

The corners seemed more consistent down at LG1, so we headed there, and the three of us staked out the area south of the station - which we call "Kings Corner" for the bowling action often present there - entirely for ourselves for the entire, two hour session.  In fact, the whole Calafia/Park area was only sparsely surfed, despite some of the most consistent waves that we've had, of late, at the Park.

It was an outstanding session.  Tons of waves.  Most very hollow, but not too fast for frequent slides into the deep inside.  Regularly running shoulder high to a couple of feet overhead.  And only three of us to share.

Don't know what I'll do tomorrow.  Likely to be a lot like today, perhaps a tad larger.  It seems a shame not to surf locally, while I'm here in Newport, but, honestly, I'd rather the long rides and minimal competition for waves than the rather certain thrashing of Newport.

Nonetheless, I couldn't ask for a better dilemma to start vacation!


Grammatical Man said...
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Grammatical Man said...

Thanks for the detailed word picture accounts, Hank. Very enjoyable to read. Some day I'll make it down to San Clemente from Ocean Park (up from Venice)where it was chest to head high today, and largely walled with a few fun sections.