23 June 2011

On the Other Side of Solstice (Hook/Sharks)

Summer solstice has just passed; it all gets darker from here. But for a while, we can enjoy early dawn patrols and late sunset sessions. This morning, a half-moon hung in the pale pre-dawn sky as I sped south on an empty freeway to meet the south swell in Santa Cruz. As I crested the summit on Highway 17, more distant peaks appeared as islands in the ground-hugging clouds which shrouded the coast.
The waves were emptier than on Sunday and still looking fun at the Hook. But by the time I'd changed, the main peak had a pack of surfers on it, so I took up residence on the next one, near where we'd surfed Sunday. I had it to myself for a while and rode some fun rights, but then a shortboarder paddled over from the crowd. The break was inconsistent and there weren't enough waves for the both of us. So I headed east a bit to Sharks, joining two surfers and a pair of janitors, and found a bunch more nice rides there, getting in a couple of turns on a few shoulders. On one very late takeoff, I made a chest-high drop on my belly, riding completely blind in a frothing foam ball before I popped to my feet and rode out the fast whitewater. Not the most elegant ride but I was stoked to pull it off!
It was so nice, as always, to surf the clean, kelp-groomed, single-swell waves of Santa Cruz.
Surfline: More SW (205-220) groundswell moves in through the day as some trace NW windswell wrap mixes in. The better breaks are in the knee-waist-chest high range, with some larger sets for top exposures. Less exposed breaks stay down under knee high for the most part. Light/variable winds and clean conditions are on offer through town. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 7.9 ft at 10.0 s NW 49 / WIND WAVE: 5.6 ft at 6.2 s NW / WVHT: 9.5 ft / APD: 7.1 s / MWD: 309° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 19 kts / WVHT: 10.2 ft / DPD: 9.0 s / WDIR: 310° / ATMP: 53.2° F / WTMP: 52.9° F. Tide: 3' dropping to 2.5'.

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