04 September 2011

Current (Bolinas)

I want to like Bolinas. It offers a left, goofy-foot nirvana in the NorCal land of rights. And the scenery is pretty, I'm sure beautiful if the clouds would lift.
Bolinas Lagoon
But I can't. As far as satisfying surf session go, Bolinas is 0-3 for me. It must be good sometimes, but I've never caught it on one of those days. And if I'm going to spend 3+ hours roundtrip driving to a spot that I'll share with shark food (there were two seals in the lineup this morning), it has to be worth it.
Current rushing seaward
Although Emily's a regular foot, she's from the East Coast and used to surfing backside, and Bolinas is one of her favorite spots. She enticed me north with the promise of long lefts and we met up at Coast Cafe before parking at the end of the road, noting that the current was rushing fast out of Bolinas Lagoon. We paddled out at the groin, and kept paddling. All. The. Time. After the current reached the ocean it turned sideshore, pushing away from the peak. If we stopped paddling, we quickly drifted too far onto the shoulder to have a prayer of catching anything, although Emily stood a better chance on her longboard. So we had to keep paddling. And I don't mean sit on the board and hand-paddle, I mean prone paddling at a slow and steady pace so as not to lose ground. If I wanted to get anywhere, say to the peak where I needed to be to catch the mushy waist- to chest-high waves, I had to paddle faster.
Finally I made it close enough to an inside peak to get a nice ride, pumping it through a flat section, after some roll-and-tumble while I was figuring out the wave. As Emily commented post-session and I'd already worked out through error and observation, it was necessary to take off pretty straight instead of angled, and then turn. The wave bent back on itself as it broke, kind of like a small and mushy Rachel's Point (which J-Bird said was awesome yesterday).
When Emily went in with noodle-arms, I was getting tired and frustrated, looking for my last wave. I made one last push toward the main peak and drew on reserves I didn't know I had to catch another decent left in. It sectioned and dumped me near shore yet not shallow enough to fight the current, which immediately started to push me out and down the beach, but I managed to jump onto whitewater from the next wave for an assist father in.

Colorful seawall graffiti
Clearly I need to work more on my conditioning and stamina, although I have asked a lot of myself this weekend. After yesterday's surf, Scott and I went on a long bike ride, and I'm not used to surfing two days in a row. At least I have over 4 months to get ready for Holly Beck's Suave Dulce surf retreat in Nicaragua. (Who knew just a week after writing this that Scott and I would have booked a week in January? So stoked!)

Surfline: A holding/slowly easing SSW groundswell continued to provide nice size southern hemi sets in the chest high to slightly overhead range at top south facing breaks on Sunday. Some small NW swell mix was in the background with 2-3'+ waves at exposures. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 5.2 ft at 16.0 s SSW 71 / WIND WAVE: 0.7 ft at 4.0 s WNW / WVHT: 5.2 ft / APD: 9.3 s / MWD: 208° (Met) WSPD: 4 kts / GST: 6 kts / WVHT: 5.2 ft / DPD: 16.0 s / WDIR: 190° / ATMP: 55.6° F / WTMP: 56.8° F. Tide: 2.5' falling to 2' (not the right tide, obviously).
View from the Coast trail: Accessing this surf spot north of Bolinas requires a steep descent down a high cliff

1 comment:

  1. He he, I had to laugh. I used to surf Bolinas a lot, and I loved it, but I so felt your pain when you described having to incessantly paddle against the current to stay in anything like decent position. But, your friend is right, it does get good once in a while... on rare occasions it gets amazing. But, yeah, mostly it's a battle. Thanks for your post.