Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pickin' Up the Pieces in the Park (with photos by Hugh)

Two sessions in one the dead of winter!  While the swell yesterday may have been a bit smaller, and somewhat inconsistent with some long lulls, there were some pretty fun rides, nonetheless.  
Photo: Hugh Berenger

On arrival,  I was surprised to see nearly 20 surfers clumped at the Main Peak to the south of the steps.  A few more were scattered around in the LG1 area further south.  The forecast was for a new swell to show on Sunday and, forecasts for a 3-4 foot remnant of the mid-week swell notwithstanding, it was looking pretty weak.  Not the kind of surf that would normally draw so many into water finally turning cold (58-59) with much better to follow in a day.  

Hugh was up on the bench at the base of the cliff, with fellow surfer/photographer, Kurt Eyraud, checking it out...and not much inspired to get in. 

It certainly wasn't worth swimming out in that crowd for meager pickings.  But the tide was about to bottom out, and there was a regular right peeling off the sandbar in the empty waters just north of the bench.  With expectations that it would pick up a bit with the tidal push, and anticipating having whatever came entirely to myself, I swam out there and immediately caught a fun little right.

Photo: Hugh Berenger
Shortly, Hugh moved down to the rail above the steps, camera in hand.  In due course, Mark Ghattas arrived and joined me.  Shortly after, surf photographer Geoff Glenn paddled out with a friend, prone on a standup paddleboard, intending to paddle out to the rocks several hundred yards offshore, but found the surf just playful enough to hang around and surf it, just north of us, on the ungainly boards.

Just to be ornery, I pulled in high on a little right on which Mark had position, and rode it, looking back to see how he'd react.  Hugh caught me in the act.

Photo: Hugh Berenger
But it's not like Mark didn't get his share of the mix of lefts and rights peeling off the sandbar.

Surfer: Mark Ghattas.  Photo: Hugh Berenger
The beauty of bodysurfing is that it doesn't take much for a wave to be "overhead," and there were quite a few nice little tubes to lock into.

Surfer: me.  Photo: Hugh Berenger
So, for nearly 90 minutes in the chill water, under a sky that went from slate gray, to blue then to stormy overcast, we messed in the shoulder-high lefts & rights.  The RipCurl SearchGPS didn't register any of the rides as rides per se - not sure if it's length, duration or speed that's missing, but will figure it out.  The squiggles below, though, can be translated into an interesting session with quite a few rides going both ways.

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