29 June 2011

Low Tide South Slide (The Hook)

Although I woke up just before my 4 a.m. alarm, I had to dig for the motivation to leave the house in the dark for the hour-long drive to Santa Cruz. What got me out the door was the thought of the south groundswell fading out today, with nothing to replace it but some junky short-period WNW windswell for the upcoming holiday weekend.
En route this time, the lightening sky was obscured by low grey clouds, remnants of the rare dry season rainstorm that passed through yesterday. I planned to surf at Pleasure Point, but when I arrived before 6, there was already a crowd on it. I checked breaks along the way as I slowly drove east on the cliff road until I reached the Hook, which surprising had only two surfers out on inconsistent but glassy chest- to head-high waves. I was on it as soon as I'd wriggled into my wetsuit. By then another surfer dude and his sponger girl had joined, but it was just the five of us for a sweet half an hour. It was too early in the morning for the aggro boys who usually dominate the peak; instead our little group shared aloha in the water. Nice. The biggest waves were closing out, the smallest were unrideable, and the medium ones were often sectiony or closed, but I got a few fun rides before the peak crowded up.
An inquisitive but wary harbor seal popped her head up to look at us, diving underwater as soon as I raised my camera, but I caught her later on video. A great mornng!
Surfline: Clean, peaks with some workable corners on offer. A bit drained, so look for improving shape as the tide builds in. A fun mix of fading SSW (190-200) groundswell and with minor NW wndswell prevails this morning. Better Southerly exposures see surf in the knee-waist-chest high range, with a larger sets for top exposures in the shoulder-head high zone. The rest of the region stays pretty small scale. Conditions are clean with light/variable WNW-NW winds. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 3.3 ft at 14.8 s S 51 / WIND WAVE: 1.0 ft at 3.7 s W / WVHT: 3.3 ft / APD: 6.9 s / MWD: 170° (Met) WSPD: 6 kts / GST: 8 kts / WVHT: 3.3 ft / DPD: 15.0 s / WDIR: 270° / ATMP: 54.3° F / WTMP: 54.0° F Tide: 0' rising to 1'.

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