27 October 2010

Salty Rain (HMB Jetty)

Working late last night gave me a pass to get into work late this morning, so I took the opportunity for one more dawn patrol before they again muck with the clocks and turn off Daylight Savings Time in a couple weeks. The sky doesn't brighten until after 7 am right now, too late to surf and still make work by a respectable hour. Happily today I didn't need to rush.

J-Bird was going to meet me at the Jetty, but she and Jacob, stuck in traffic, decided Rockaway would be better. I had more time this morning, but not that much more, so I stayed put, although the Jetty waves looked small and lackluster. If Highway 1 southbound wasn't stop-and-go, I'd have checked out Roosevelt or Kelly.
I wouldn't have minded a solo session, but a few others though it was worth a go.
It turned out that the waves were bigger than they looked empty from shore, about chest- to head-high, but mixed up, and sometimes making sudden changes of direction. The mid-high tide wasn't mushing out the waves, and the drops were steep. I got a few short rides with fun drops, but then someone turned on the wind machine, and it started blowing hard offshore. When a large closeout crashed down at my back, the spray fell all around me like a heavy downpour of salty rain. With the stiff breeze blowing in my face, I had trouble making it over the lip and even getting enough speed to catch waves. Once, as I scooted back on my board, swinging the nose up to turn around, the wind pushed it so hard I tumbled off into the water. And I wasn't the only surfer in the lineup who did that. (It does look quite funny!)

I stayed out longer than I should've, trying for one more good ride, but it was not forthcoming. On the way home, two deer were grazing next to the busy road in a residential area, adding to my wildlife count for the cold, clear morning, which included two harbor seals (or the same one twice).

Surfline: W-WNW (270-310) swell eases further as some small S-SE (170-190) swell continues to mix in. Most breaks are seeing surf in the chest-shoulder-head high+ zone, as top W-WNW exposures are seeing head high to well overhead+ surf, with some occasional sets still pushing double overhead. The tide will slowly build through the morning. Winds are light/variable offshore early for mostly clean conditions across the region. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 7.9 ft at 11.4 s WNW / WIND WAVE: 1.6 ft at 4.8 s WNW / WVHT: 8.2 ft / APD: 8.7 s / MWD: 300°

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