Sunday, September 20, 2015

Marginal Is Still Better Than...

How do you blog about a day that was marginal?  How to explain that it's worth rising early on a Saturday and driving 72 miles just to catch a handful of waves that wouldn't be overhead to a four-year-old, such as yesterday?  Or even worth it had it been completely flat, which, gratefully, it wasn't?

The concept of a surf park with man-made waves doesn't appeal to me.  Too predictable; too assured.  It misses the point.  On the surface, it's all about riding waves, but really it's about immersion in nature.  Wild, unpredictable, quirky, beautiful nature.  Why is a surf session so spiritually cleansing?  Because it demands total focus and attention, no distractions from life ashore.  It's totally in the moment.  

I didn't set my alarm yesterday, figuring if I was awake early, I'd go surf.  As the early morning was breaking, I did a quick check of the surf cams on my iPhone.  Not much showing.  Go back to sleep.  Still awake 15 minutes later, I rolled out of bed, sipped a coffee and yogurt, then hopped in the car for the hour's drive with few expectations.

I was greeted by sporadic, waist-high waves and a rippled surface, approaching light chop.  But the waves showed some shape and were hollow, rather than crumbling.  Buoyed by water temperature reports of 75 degrees and up, I figured there was little down side to slipping into my trunks and into the water.

I started at the main peak area - pictured above - but the lulls were long and the size pretty meager.  There appeared to be a little more energy down below the Park at LG1, so I swam a couple hundred yards south and found some playful waves, amongst the lulls.

It was peaky enough for some length to the rides and the larger waves, creeping into the chest-high range, were hollow enough for even a little sunlit tube time.

An hour was plenty to feed the Jones that had been creeping in after a couple of dry weeks.  Maybe only five good waves, with another half-dozen marginal rides, interspersed.  But an hour of respite and replenishment.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Smooth... Small... State Park

I'm going to let the photos speak, for the most part, about Saturday's session in the Park.  Mostly because I don't get that many actual shots of bodysurfers.

As I arrived, two heads were in the water straight out from the steps/rail, easily identified as Hugh Berenger and Neil Frank.  Steve Harkins was walking down to the water with his UDeeTs in hand.

There was some size in the glassy morning, chest to chin high, breaking in very shallow water.

Very warm water - mid-70's - offered small, but shapely, lefts & rights for Hugh and Neil as I snapped a few shots from the rail.

I didn't spend alot of time shooting from the rail, but strapped the little, GoPro Hero4 Sessions to my wrist and headed into the water.  Video of the small, but fun, waves at the end, but a few decent stills came out of it...a couple of Hugh slotted in the smallies, and...

 ... one I kind of like, showing my POV: