12 September 2010

The "S" Words (Montara)

"S" is for Sharks. There have been an uncomfortable number of shark sightings in San Mateo County recently. First Linda Mar a couple of weeks ago, then Montara last Monday, and just yesterday John saw a 10-footer in the lineup at Poplar in Half Moon Bay. Most years there are none sighted close to my usual spots, much less at them; I'm not sure why we're seeing so many Men in Gray Suits now, but I don't like it. A crazy dude in Florida actually stopped to take a pic when a shark charged him, but I'm sure my camera would be quite forgotten were I ever (hopefully never!) in that situation. While we were in the water at Montara this morning, Manabu dared to utter the "S" word, and I cut him off. We don't mention the Landlord in the lineup; only happy dolphin talk is allowed.
"S" is also for Short-period, Shortboard, and Skunked, which pretty much sums up my session. With my Magic 8'3" in the shop for repairs (a stupid home accident involving the corner of a door), I was on my 5'8" Rocky. Luke offered me his wife's 8'3" from which Magic is cloned, but I would've had a lot of trouble getting it to the lineup through the short-period whitewater. As it was, it took lots of duck-diving to get Rocky out. Once there, I couldn't find the right spot at the right time. The waves seemed to be either jacking closeouts or - even after Luke called me farther inside (thanks, buddy) - too mushy for me to paddle into, a situation that worsened as the tide rose. I caught two and popped up, only to fail on the closing-out drop, one time quite spectacularly. Luke and Manabu did alright, as befits their better surfing skills, but I am left jonesing for waves worse than before.

As a consolation, "S" is for suit. After the session, Luke and I stopped by his favorite surf shop, Sonlight in Pacifica, where he said they had 4/3 Rip Curl Insulator wetsuit that might fit me with a trim color to match Magic's flower. Luke's been raving about his Insulator, and although Rip Curl only goes down to women's size 4, they run small. This is my first Rip Curl wetsuit, as I've been wearing size 2 Hotlines since we moved to NorCal. Unfortunately, the Hotline 4/3 I bought about six months ago hasn't held up well and is in for warranty repairs for the 2nd time. The Rip Curl Insulator seems to fit pretty well, and I hope to try it out in some better waves reputedly coming at the end of the week (yet another lauded south swell).

Surfline: NW windswell on tap this morning as small S swell slowly starts to creep up. Average areas go knee-waist high, while the better NW exposures see + sets. Light westerly wind early for semi-clean conditions overall. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.6 ft at 10.8 s W / WIND WAVE: 1.0 ft at 3.6 s WNW / WVHT: 4.6 ft / APD: 7.1 s; (Met) WSPD: 6 kts / GST: 8 kts / WDIR: 180.0° / ATMP: 54.5° F / WTMP: 55.9° F.


  1. Beautiful blog! Thanks for following mine; I look forward to exploring yours. Love the format & photo content and arrangement. Can't wait to read it. - J

  2. Thanks! I look forward to reading yours as well. Happy surfing!