28 May 2015

An Off Day

This morning I was nearly always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had more wipeouts than rides.
At least I caught a fun one at the end.

27 May 2015

Despite an Unfortunate Wind

The surf was really fun this morning, solid head high plus. I'd lowered my expectations when I got out of my car at Calumet Park and felt the north breeze, and dropped them further when I paddled out through the choppy channel. But the surface was smother in the lineup at Hens, populated by five other friendly surfers, including Teresa and two others from yesterday.
I got five good long lefts to the inside that put a gin on my face. It's so nice to have a big face to play on.
Again I overstayed, lingering with a sixth latecomer after the others had gone. It's so hard to know when to leave – a great wave makes me want another, while a bad ride just can't be the last one. On the inside, I caught a wave that was good enough, and left smiling. Yeah!

26 May 2015

Getting My Reef On

Too long away from my favorite reef, I had to surf there this morning. I'm still fighting jet lag - ready to sleep at 7pm and awake in the wee hours of the night - so I didn't make it out as close to dawn as I wanted, but there was still enough tide for a little while.
Only three others were out at Hennemans, all smiling and friendly to put a nice vibe on the water. There was even another girl I'd seen before, named Teresa, and at least two seals, including a solitary baby. I've been testing whether it's time to swap my 4/3 wetsuit for a 3/2, and the answer from my last two shivering sessions is not yet.
I rode a bunch of fun and delightfully long shoulder-high waves, mostly caught late because they were fat. Then I overstayed my welcome – the tide dropped too low – and it took forever until I was able to link three rides together to come in to the cobblestone beach. Stoked!

23 May 2015

Low Expectations Rewarded

Per my surf buddy Steve, I didn't miss much surfwise while we were in Greece. Windy, rainy and meh. Sadly, it hasn't improved much since I got home. Yesterday looked so poor on the cams that I spent half an hour swimming laps at the YMCA pool instead of surfing. This morning was marginally better but I had no high hopes when I rode my bike to the pier in Pacific Beach.
The waves were a bit bigger and had more push than Thursday, and the crowd was initially light. I lost count of my rides, although most were fairly short.

A friendly black dude with dreadlocks started up an ongoing chat. He lives nearby and his name is Andrew. He said he'd seen me before although I didn't remember him; odd, since black surfers are rarer than female ones on this part of the coast. He's on break from studying oceanography up in cold and sharky Humboldt County, working for the summer at the local Rip Curl surf shop and as a surf instructor. I must confess to being a bit envious. If I had it all to do over again, knowing what I know now ... maybe I would've followed a similar path to an marine career instead of becoming an aerospace engineer. And surely I would've found my passion before I was in my late thirties. I would rip so hard by now!

The crowd rather suddenly increased to an unpleasant level, although most weren't as close to the pier as I. It took a while to find my ride in, but it ended up being my best of the day, a right that took me near shore where a couple of smiling kooks were foundering on Wavestorms. Then a fast belly ride propelled me to shin-deep water.

As I crossed the walk path at the top of the bluff, a cute brown-haired little girl gave me a thumbs-up and asked, "How was the surfing?" I returned her gesture with a smile. "Fun!"

21 May 2015

There's No Place Like Home

After more than two weeks away from surf, it felt so go to walk into the ocean north of Crystal Pier this morning with my trusty 6'2" under my arm. The water was chilly on my feet as I shuffled over the sand. Small crumbly whitewater splashed me as the onshore breeze blew back my hair, still greasy after more than 24 hours of traveling and a short sleep. My desperado session ultimately paid off with a long left. I had to work the turns to keep my board where the wave had enough energy to push it all the way to the beach. Sweet!

The biggest waves I saw in Greece were these.
Perissa Beach, Santorini
Boat wake in the caldera, Santorini 
Natural rock sculpture on the trail from Fira to Oia, Santorini
 The rest of the time, the ocean was flat. But certainly not the land.
Firostefani, Santorini
Compared to San Diego, there was little wildlife in or out of the ocean. But having your feet nibbled by tiny fish was all the rage.
Kissingfish, Oia, Santorini
There were sharks though.
Oia, Santorini
 And I saw many ancient sirens but only one mermaid.
Folklore Museum, Mykonos
There was even a surf shop that sold nothing for surfing.
2 pm closing time, Paros
It's good to be home and surfing again. And so nice to be able to flush toilet paper.

05 May 2015

What a Feelin'!

 Thank you, Mother Ocean, for the wave that made me go "Woo hoo!"
And for the bonus dolphins. Stoked!