27 May 2012

So Sweet and So Cold* (Dunes)

Expectations were low this morning. We're in the spring doldrums, no groundswell in sight, only sloppy windswell. The local winds that whipped up what waves there are also brought a cold upwelling from the deep that's dropped the water temperature to sometimes shy of 50°F (10°C). But surf-starved, we take what we can get. My surf posse came together for mid-morning Church of Surf in Half Moon Bay: J-Bird, Jacob, Chris, Luke, Heather, Perrin and me.
Though my injuries are mostly healed now so I'm ready to shortboard again, I brought my 7'0" Emm instead, wanting a bigger spoon to scoop up more of the anticipated crumbs. Happily, instead of crumbs we got ice cream, rampy chest- to near head-high clean and cold waves on the incoming tide. No one else was anywhere near and the peak was ours.

I was beaten back when I tried to follow J-Bird, Chris and Luke to the lineup through the breaking waves, so abandoned that path and went for a dry-hair paddle-out via a rip down the beach. Then I found my way into some sweet rides, mostly rights, turning high on the wave and sliding along the glassy face. My first ride produced a grin, a woo-hoo! and a raised-arms claim. Yeah! Several more like that and the grin became a permanent stoked-smile (that I'm still wearing).
The water was cold and produced fleeting ice-cream headaches whenever I went under. Ah, Spring. On the inside after another fun ride, I saw Luke and Jacob split a peak but couldn't get the camera up fast enough to capture it. Soon after, J-Bird, Jacob, I and Luke caught a wave together. Since Luke was on my left and the wave was sectioning to my left I went right, only to see as I popped up that Jacob was going left toward me with J-Bird behind him. Instinctively I crouched and grabbed my rail to force a faster turn to the left and not collide with Jacob. Though I crashed when I hit the whitewater section, all was well, and we came up smiling.
Toward the end, the cold began to take its toll and my wipeouts became more frequent than my rides. I stuck the nose badly on one drop and immediately curled into a ball with my hands protecting my head as I was flung and spun. My last wave in became two attempts followed by a short whitewater ride and a paddle over the nearshore trench to where half my friends already waited on the sand.

Best session in a long, long while. Thanks, Mother Ocean, I needed that. Stoked!
My posse, chilling on the beach post-surf
After I collected Scott from his ramble down the bay, we all met up again at Flavor for a tasty lunch. Good friends, good surf, good food, good times.
*Title from Never Let Me Go by Florence and the Machine (via MF's blog).
Surfline: Modest-scale NW windswell combines with weak SW Southern Hemi energy and a dose of onshore WNW wind. Sloppy waist-chest high waves show at exposed areas, while top breaks can see larger sets around shoulder-head high at times. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.6 ft at 8.3 s NW 38 / WIND WAVE: 1.6 ft at 3.6 s NW / WVHT: 4.9 ft / APD: 6.1 s / MWD: 321° (Met) WSPD: 10 kn / GST: 12 kn / WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WDIR: 310° / ATMP: 52° F / WTMP: 52° F. Tide: Almost 0' rising to 1'.


  1. Nice one. Can't believe how uncrowded it was. Saw a short video on Santa Cruz the other day. That's near you, right? if so, you guys sure are dedicated! Sharp rocks, cold water and White Pointers - we have them all too, but the water here never really gets that cold because of the Leeuwin Current.

    1. Santa Cruz is where I surf when the conditions are bad or tides are wrong closer to home in San Mateo County.

      This time of year it's not for the undedicated - but that keeps the crowds down!