Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Poor Timing; Good Company

Except for the company, my inaugural session for 2016 would have to be measured a disappointment.  That said, I will never complain any time that I can get some waves mid-week, and share a session with four of my favorite surf companions from the San Diego area.  I met Bret Belyea, Chris Lafferty, Bruce Robbins and Jody Hubbard at the 17th Street Del Mar LG Tower at 8:00 on a chill, winter morning (48 degrees!) with a mild offshore wind and partial cloud cover.  With the chill air and water temperature dipping into the 50's, I picked my heavy, 4:3 wetsuit..for the first time since sometime in early 2014! 

Today was my first outing with the RipCurl SearchGPS watch that Allan gave me for Christmas.  Though only one of my rides registered as such (the red line), the chart does, nonetheless, tell the tale of the session.  The satellite map looks cool:

But my tracks from the session are much more visible on a streets map background:

Deciphering what it shows, when we first got in the water, the sets were breaking way outside.  They were infrequent, and only a couple of waves per set, but they were breaking a couple of hundred yards offshore.  (Because the tide was high, the water was actually lapping up on the wall on the far right side of the pictures above.  The red line is 30 yards long.)  

So, you can see how we swam out to the far left, and worked that for a while.  Unfortunately, with the high tide, it was fat and pretty mushy out there and I didn't catch anything.  So, not long into the session, we moved inside...where all the squiggles are, and had some fun in what was often jumbled, semi-organized waves.  Occasionally, a well-formed left corner would appear, or a fast, tight right.  Surprisingly, I had one left that was a several second cover-up, and one right that featured a steep, wide open, barrel.  

Each of us had a few good rides interspersed through a 90 minute session.  The SearchGPS tells me that we were in the water exactly 90 minutes, and that I covered 2.1 miles in all those squiggles, above.

I was worried that the watch wouldn't pick up my rides at all.  I think the one that it did measure was one of my last rides.  Initially, I thought it was the wave I rode afterwards, to shore, but that was straight in and would have gone much further in, rather than the right which the watch picked up.  I am going to have to experiment to see what triggers the watch to register a ride as a wave ridden.  I am confident that longer, faster rides will show up.  

So, why a disappointment?  Well, there's been a lot of good swells coming in the past few weeks, including some pretty big stuff yesterday.  It looked like there might be some pretty good leftovers this morning, but I fear our timing was off.  Earlier, the larger swells were catching the sandbars way outside, but the rising tide swamped those right about when we got it.  After we'd exited, as we hung in the Poseidon parking lot, talking, those same waves really started working on the inside sand ledge.  We just kind of missed it.

Nonetheless, a session with Bret, Chris, Bruce and Jody, in chest to maybe head high surf, where we all get at least a few good ones?  Good times.

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