29 February 2008

Nowhere, 29 February 2008

My former surfing buddy D pointed out today that it's been 9 days since I've been surfing. I didn't realize it had been that long. And honestly, I intended to go surfing in Santa Cruz yesterday, even took my board into work where I endured the usual inane commentary ("Is that a surfboard?" No, duh. "Going surfing?" No, I just carry this around for fun. Best ever: "Looks like you're ready for a tsunami!") Then for whatever reason - laziness? lethargy? - I bailed on the idea and planned on going today instead. But again, I just didn't feel the motivation to make the hour slog south. I think I need to find another surfing buddy. They're invaluable for providing an extra nudge to get you into the water. Even from 400 miles away.

And I really, truly, will surf this weekend!

20 February 2008

Linda Mar, 20 February 2008

This morning looked like my one window of surfing opportunity until next week. It was supposedly between storms, and the swell was coming up again. So I headed to Lindamar for dawn patrol. I was mad at myself for not surfing somewhere on Monday, especially after learning that M & N were have a fun sesh at Waddell when I drove by without even stopping for a long look.

Unfortunately, they can't predict the weather here any better than in Seattle, and "isolated showers" turned out to be frequent downpours. No matter, I was getting wet anyway. Too bad though for S, who was planning to walk on the beach (sorry!).

Linda Mar was behaving nicely, glassy and up to shoulder high with fewer than the usual number of closeouts. The rain kept the crowd low and a seal was cruising the lineup. I slid off the backside on a couple waves (popped up too soon?) and caught one but fell (I think I forgot the instructor's advice to stay low, dammit). Happily, with the earplugs and wristbands, no sign of seasickness - yay!

I was out for less than an hour when the pumphouse gates opened and torrents of murky brown water started pouring into the surf. After overnight rains it seemed like pushing it to expose myself to that added muck, so I headed for shore. I rinsed off in the shower but nevertheless by the afternoon I had a hot splotchy red rash on my face, which thankfully disappeared by the next morning. Makes one wonder just what is in the water...?

18 February 2008

Davenport, 18 February 2008

Skunked! No surfing today. With Surfline calling conditions for the weekend "good", I decided to wait for President's Day and hopefully smaller crowds. Probably a good call on the latter, since Surfline Sunday said it was "fun but crowded". Unfortunately, by the time I reached the beach, there was too little swell and too little tide. Damn, shoulda been there earlier! It's doubly bad because we're heading to the mountains this weekend, so I won't be able to get wet until next week sometime. Heavy sigh.

I first checked out my new fav spot, Indicators, but there was nothing going on there. A clot of longboarders were hoping for a passing ripple at Cowells, and a dozen folks were crowding the occassional shoulder-high rollers at Steamer Lane. Not that I'd have the balls (ha!) to venture into the Lane, even on a small day.

It was a little breezy even in town but I decided to drive up the coast to some full-frontal beaches that ought to be catching more of the remaining swell. Davenport had a few guys out, but the tide had just gone negative and it didn't look too enticing. Although definitely this was a time that if I had a surfing buddy with me saying let's do it I would've gone out. But on my own, I just couldn't overcome the inertia against getting in 50-degree water on a cool breezy day with so-so conditions. And with it getting more and more drained, soon all the surfers had left, so I felt at bit better about my call. At any rate I would've been uncomfortable in the water all alone. Da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum...

Anyway, S and I took the opportunity to explore the tide pools and try out the macro setting on my new camera.

11 February 2008

Indicators, 11 February 2008

The last few days have been warm and sunny, and though we went to the beach on Saturday, I resigned myself to not surfing on the weekend because a zillion other people would be cluttering up the waves on such nice days in February. So I held off until a Monday afternoon, which may have been slightly less crowded. Looking from the cliff at the ant swarm below, I set my wave-count hopes low. But I did catch one wave, although I popped up with my feet too close together making for a micro-ride. But I did catch one wave! It felt good; it's been a while.

Since I caught that wave just after paddling out, I thought I'd hang in that spot to wait for more. After a few minutes I noticed there was a strong sideshore current pushing me away from the peak at a pretty good clip. If I'd been paying proper attention when I was looking from the cliff, I would've noticed the fish-swimming-upstream behavior of the crowd. So I joined the gang in near-constant paddling, but never found the sweet spot again.

Since the conditions were so fine, there were a lot of really good surfers out, including a pair riding the same board on a head-high wave, and a guy switching between surfing backwards and forwards. It was a fun show to watch.

To stave off the plague of nausea that's wrecked my last 3 sessions, I tried a triple-whammy: eating something, earplugs, and a pair of accupressure wristbands that are supposed to prevent seasickness. It didn't work 100% but it worked well enough, and I stayed out until the sun dropped low and I got too cold. I started paddling toward the stairs and got to ride a broken wave in on my belly, hands on the nose of the Xanadu, like some hotshot shortboarder ending a good session, yah!

03 February 2008

R.I.P. Surfmobile

2004 MINI Cooper "Indi"
March 2004 - February 2008
Thanks for carrying me & my gear to the ocean so many times.

01 February 2008

Cowells, 1 February 2008

Steamer Lane was firing on a big WNW swell.

I started out around the corner at Indicators, but ended up further in at Cowells after tiring of only semi-successful attempted duck-diving. The Xanadu can catch some smallish waves if they have enough power, and they did today. I spent a little while trying to figure out a good place to sit, then got lazy / aware of the oncoming shark-feeding time (a.k.a. dusk). So I figured what the heck, I'll just get the feel of the board again at least, and started catching some whitewater. In retrospect that was not such a good idea given the inherent instability of the shortboard and the bumpiness of whitewater, since my rides were quite short. If I'd been engaged in my new favorite non-surfing past time, playing Rock Band, I'd have been booed offstage. Still always a learning experience, though.

Unfortunately, despite having eaten a banana just before I went out, queasiness again cut my session short. This so totally sucks! Next I'll try M's suggestion of wearing earplugs. I picked up some ProPlugs at Hotline, hope they help. What didn't help was then ordering polenta fries and two pomegranate mimosas at the Davenport Roadhouse, ugh....