30 October 2011

Into the Fog (Linda Mar)

All photos/video taken with my new Panasonic Lumix TS3, except as noted.

Before I left this morning, I checked the Linda Mar cam on Surfline and saw nothing but fog. Steamer Lane, which is slightly predictive of the cam-less Jetty, was tiny to flat. I had little hope that the Jetty would have waves for me, but I did have a little hope. Alas, the indicators were right; double-overhead to a mouse on the sunny edge of the low cloud bank. Not wanting to surf alone, I drove north into the fog. I didn't stop at Montara, where a great white shark was seen last week, but it looked unruly in glimpses from the road.
Tiny waves on the edge of fog at the Jetty (Google Nexus One)
At Linda Mar, the fog was pushed back from the beach so I could see the lineup. The south end was packed, and the parking lot was filling up.
Busy on the south end at Linda Mar
I spied with my little eye a left popping up near the pumphouse with just a few guys on it.
With some underlying short-period windswell in the water, it was a bit of effort to paddle out, but I drew on my swim-sprint strength to get to the outside, breathing hard when I reached it.
Wave selection was key since so many of the waves were closing out, and I do think I'm getting better at making those judgments. I caught an almost head-high left that was surprisingly fast, turning on the shoulder, going with the flow. Woot! The shoulder held up for a bit but I dropped off when the wave broke to avoid repeating the paddle out through an excess of whitewater. I rode a few more fun lefts, shoulder-high or better. It's so much easier to see what the wave's doing and respond when the face is in front of me instead of behind my back. I love lefts!
After a brief appearance the sun retreated into the fog, which then grew even heavier. There was a strong southward current which many in the water seemed not to notice. Maybe that's why there were so many people at the south end; they were getting pushed down there and piling up. I was keeping an eye on the pumphouse, my shore reference point, and constantly paddling back against the current to my spot, which was staying pretty empty despite the growing crowd. But I've been fighting a virus since last week, and too soon my energy faded and I started to make mistakes. I caught one last fun left, this time riding it all the way to the shallows. A short but oh-so-sweet session!
Surfline: NW (300-320) wind/groundswell mix blends with small-scale S-SW Southern Hemi energy this morning. Waist-chest-shoulder high surf continues at the decent exposures, while top breaks hit head high on the best sets. Fairly light wind now under foggy skies. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.9 ft at 11.4 s NW 90 / WIND WAVE: 3.3 ft at 5.6 s NW / WVHT: 5.9 ft / APD: 6.1 s / MWD: 309° (Met) WSPD: 12 kts / GST: 16 kts / WVHT: 5.9 ft / DPD: 11.0 s / WDIR: 330° / ATMP: 54.9° F / WTMP: 58.8° F. Tide: Rising through 3.5'.


  1. I love your write up Cynthia. It makes me feel like I'm there every time which is so lush especially when trying to get my head into work on a dull monday morning.

    Hope you're feeling better soon. You've gotta listen to your body when it runs out of energy, something I learnt the hard way. Still at least you had a pretty good uncrowded session before the fatigue kicked in.

    Cheers and have a great week

  2. Thanks, Josh! Glad I could brighten your Monday morning at work.