14 August 2011

Sunshine and Dramamine (Linda Mar)

I discarded three different surf plans for today (Jetty mid-morning with Luke, who bailed; Santa Cruz mid-morning with a pack of strangers; Santa Cruz mid-afternoon with a bigger pack of strangers but also sunshine) before ending up somewhere I didn't expect: Linda Mar in the afternoon. I went with at-least-it's-sunny low expectations, and it was funner than that.
None of the SSW groundswell was making it in, so the waves were all short-period NW windswell. It wasn't too hard to get out, with the help of a weak rip current and a brief lull. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the lineup was naturally crowded. Before paddling out, I decided to try a left that was sometimes showing just north of the pumphouse. At the edge of the pack, I wasn't getting much, except for a few where I thought, what the hell, might as well catch this whitewater, so I moved a little north to a more irregular but less popular peak. I tried to emulate what I've been watching the pros do, using my upper body led by my arms/shoulders to flow into turns, a bigger movement than I've been doing. It felt a bit wobbly, but faster. Paddling back out, I was pummeled by a steady onslaught of broken waves, till the color and opacity of the water suggested to me to see if I could touch the bottom. Sure enough, I'd been pushed that far back toward the beach. Ugh, I hate windswell. When Ward Coffey shapes a shortboard for me for my next birthday, a main criteria will be that I'll be able to duck-dive it.

I returned to the rip current for an assist to the lineup, but unfortunately all the ineffectual turtle-rolling, waves to the face, and sloshing around had brought on a case of the queasies. It's been a while since I've gotten seasick while surfing, so long that I've thought to stop taking Dramamine before every session. In fact, I successfully skipped it in Hawaii and on some calm point-break days at home, but I'm sure to pop one whenever the water might be choppy. Today was no exception, but perhaps it had been too long since lunch and too much seawater had found its way in through my sinuses. In any event, I was getting miserable fast, though I pushed on to the outside. My perseverance was rewarded with a good wave. It started to crumble outside, and I paddled toward the peak to get on it riding left. As the wave slowed and reformed, I turned right to recapture the energy as it peaked again. Woot!

That should have been my last wave, but as always, when I get a good one, I want another. I rested on the beach for a few minutes until my stomach calmed enough to give it another go. Partway out, having drifted from the rip to be smashed relentlessly by whitewater and dry heaving over my board, I thought to give up, but look - a lull! I stroked quickly the rest of the way to the lineup. Soon a nice little left was mine so I called it day.

And it was sunny!

Surfline: Real soft and crumbly now on the full tide. Westerly wind add some bump and texture to the surface, while NW wind/groundswell and small SSW Southern Hemi energy keep things running knee-waist high with some larger sets scattered around. Pretty weak and funky overall. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 3.9 ft at 6.7 s NW 65 / WIND WAVE: 2.6 ft at 4.5 s NW / WVHT: 4.9 ft / APD: 5.4 s / MWD: 312° (Met) WSPD: 10 kts / GST: 14 kts / WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 7.0 s / WDIR: 310° / ATMP: 56.7° F / WTMP: 56.3° F. Tide: 4' dropping to 3'.


  1. Gotta admire such perseverence. I've never heard of people getting seasick surfing......except on your blog of course.

  2. Ah, I have to be special at everything I do!

  3. I got a little seasick on Thursday surfing. A combo of no real breakfast and a decent warble and backwash coming back off the steep beach. Nothing more nauseating than being hit in all directions by little pulses of waves.

  4. Glad to know I'm not the only one! But sorry you felt sick.