27 November 2011

Offshore (Tongs)

Following an afternoon storm, the wind howled strong all last night. From our penthouse condo (it seems they didn't want to call it the 13th floor), I could see a surf break called Tongs (or Tonggs). There was no one out, but at least it was blowing offshore.
Later a few surfers had appeared and it seemed like it was it was only getting windier, so I succumbed to the pull of the ocean. Blocked by the high-rises for most of the long paddle out, the wind hit full force as I reached the lineup. Without wetsuit padding, I've often gotten bruised ribs surfing in warm water, but they felt OK. I think that's because I'm on a smaller board - a big longboard gets knocked into me harder than a shorter board - and because I now arch my back more when I paddle, like a real shortboarder. My bare knobby knees, however, continue to attract bruises.
Shallow water
Some kayakers were catching waves in the inside shallows and for a while I was the only surfer. Then a dude paddled out teaching a lesson, pointing out that my shortboard had more rocker than the beginner longboard his charge was trying to stay atop. The yellow board felt less tippy than yesterday; I'm getting more used to its narrowness.
I rode four or five gutless waves, fighting blinding spray and the offshore wind to get down the face for a brief ride before they petered out. I triangulated with a rock and a pink condo and paddled constantly to maintain position on the shifty peak as I was blown about, but got pushed to close too the rock and found my feet touching the reef while I sat on my board. Tongs breaks shallow, and Denis told me later than this gets especially hairy when it's big. That wasn't a concern today. It was good to get wet, and after a while every else went in, leaving me alone under the sun in the warm shallow sea.

Surfline: Small SSW swell continues. Look for mainly knee-waist high sets through the day, with occasional plus peaks at best breaks. Strong ENE wind 15-20kts. Buoy 51101: (Wave) SWELL: 7.9 ft at 12.9 s NNW 96 / WIND WAVE: 5.2 ft at 5.3 s E / WVHT: 9.5 ft / APD: 7.0 s / MWD: 344° (Met) WSPD: 19 kts / GST: 25 kts / WVHT: 9.5 ft / DPD: 13.0 s / WDIR: 90° / ATMP: 75.0° F / WTMP: 76.3° F. Tide: Falling from 0.5'.

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