18 August 2011

First In (The Hook/Sharks)

This morning was one of those times when I made the long drive to the beach in the dark, hoping that dawn would reveal some rideable waves. It was too dark to see anything when I arrived but I could hear waves, so hope continued as I suited up and paddled out in still-dim light. There was no one else in the water for at least 10 minutes - oh, delicious solitude! - and the sea blessed me with a pair of nice waves, the second one just as another surfer reached the lineup. Then we waited. And waited. After 15 minutes I asked if he'd forgotten to put another quarter in the wave machine before he came out. A couple other guys joined us, including a Softtop-riding greybeard I see almost every time at the Hook. (He actually surfs well, despite the equipment.) Finally a set came, and the most recent entrant caught it. Then flatness returned. Looking to the horizon, Greybeard declaimed, "What?! Only one? But we need four!"

I could see waves breaking at Sharks, so I moved over there after half an hour at the Hook. Before I could sort out where to be when the rare sets came through, I was caught inside and pulled off one ride but not a second from the whitewater. After more waiting, this time out far enough, I was paddling for a nice set wave and just about to pop up when the kelp reached out and grabbed my board. Darn seaweed. Sad when the wave passed by, for they were few and far between. Many more minutes later another came; I was ready and got a good little ride.
Shivering now after an hour of little activity in 50-something water and drizzly air, I thought that might be my last wave, but I'd head back to the Hook via the ocean instead of the beach to see if anything else might come my way before I got out at the Hook stairs. As I stroked over, a harbor seal and I surprised each other, only four feet apart. The crowd on the peak had grown to about 10, scrabbling for scarce scraps. It was nice to see Darren, who shaka'd and smiled from his longboard as he reached the lineup. Finally I caught a tiny wave to the beach, thankful that I'm a morning person. So worth it for those first two waves, all by myself in the glassy sea.

Surfline: Weak, dribbly little lines working through. Long lulls. Small, steep angled South (170-180) swell holds this morning, mixing with minimal NW windswell wrap. Most of the region remains either flat or close to it, as top exposures pull in a few 2-3' occ. plus Southern Hemi sets. Conditions are mostly clean, there just isn't much of any swell to go along. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 3.0 ft at 14.8 s S 66 / WIND WAVE: 3.3 ft at 6.7 s NW / WVHT: 4.3 ft / APD: 5.3 s / MWD: 184° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 19 kts / WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 15.0 s / WDIR: 320° / ATMP: 56.1° F / WTMP: 56.5° F. Tide: 2' dropping slightly.


  1. Girl you crazy - getting up at 4am to hit the beach! Good to see you out there too. The lulls between sets were terribly. Classic summer south swell.

  2. If only the air felt like summer! Maybe next month.