17 November 2011

November Spring (Kelly Ave)

It's November, but you can't tell it from the surf. Santa Cruz has been flat, and while a steep-angled NW swell is bringing under head-high waves to exposed beaches, wind has been junking up those exposures. The fall swell train hasn't left the station yet. And I'm just jonesing to use my new shortboard!
I took a chance this morning that Half Moon Bay would have some waves yet be protected from the north wind. Manabu's report on yesterday's conditions led me to drive directly to Kelly, which had the best chance in the Bay for something more than anklebiters.
The wind was calm, and from the bluff the waves looked about waist-high with a few slightly bigger. Darren turned up a couple minutes after me, but dithered about going out. Manabu showed no hesitation, arriving with his wetsuit half on. I paddled out alone into an empty sea, but they both soon joined me, followed a little while later by J-Bird, Denise and finally Jacob.
Manabu, Denise and Darren
The surf wasn't as small as it seemed from the bluff. I'd forgotten to add on for the elevated perspective, but no matter. At our level, no one would complain about an undercall, although my buddies would've been a bit disappointed if I'd exaggerated. Most waves were closing out but tempting shoulders popped up from time to time on short sections. I blew the drop on my first one, then got caught inside with Manabu as whitewater kept exploding on the sandbar in front of us. I tried to duck-dive with limited success, until my arms got too tired to sink the board, then paddled sideways to get out of the impact zone and into the rip current for an easier path to the outside. I rode a few small waves that petered out, then found myself in the path of whitewater once again. I decided not to fight the white, and caught a couple fast ones from there, working one to an inside reform.

My best ride was a shoulder-high left, making a fast drop into a swooping turn on the shoulder. Woot! Then I caught a slightly smaller right, pumping it through a flat section until it reformed as a left on the inside. Stoked!
Surfline: NW swell-mix continues this morning, easing through the day. Size for better exposures is generally running in the waist-chest-shoulder high zone, with a few larger sets for top NW exposures. Light onshore flow continues, though, so expect some bump/texture across the region, keeping conditions less than ideal, but still rideable in most areas. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.9 ft at 12.1 s NW 94 / WIND WAVE: 1.3 ft at 3.7 s NW / WVHT: 4.9 ft / APD: 6.5 s / MWD: 305° (Met) WSPD: 6 kts / GST: 8 kts / WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 12.0 s / WDIR: 300° / ATMP: 53.2° F / WTMP: 52.7° F. Tide: Around 3.5' falling slightly.

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