10 June 2012

Reward and Risk (HMB Jetty)

Baby picture; she's 2 now
Saturday I'd planned to make the long journey north to Bolinas in Marin County for a ladies longboarding day with Perrin, Caro, Heather and some of her surf girl friends. A serious medical crisis with our youngest cat, Zoe, scratched that plan. Before we visited her in the hospital this morning, I was able to surf closer to home and give thanks in the Church of Surf that she is out of danger. And that the wind was calm, letting waist- to chest-high+ waves roll in unmolested at my home break. I'd thought the surf would be smaller and didn't want to work too hard for my wave fix, so I'd brought my 7'0" Emm. After a disappointing last session and the stress of the last few days, I badly needed to ride some waves.

Christian came over in the parking lot to say hi, and I crossed the street with him, Vanessa and her buddy Bob. Early last week there was an alert for elevated levels of indicator bacteria at Surfer's Beach (only called that by non-surfers; it's the Jetty to us). Sure enough, there was a single warning sign, which the others missed because they took a different path down the low bluff. I didn't mention it, nor did I heed it. When the water was tested six days ago, who's to say if it's still contaminated or not?
Christian, Vanessa, and Bob hit the beach
I paddled out nearer the main break than my longboarding acquaintances, but found no joy there. The current pulled me southward to a better peak and I caught a handful of fun rights and lefts on the inconsistent sets. I was stoked to make a tricky drop and ride out a left, and had my longest green ride in a long time on a right that reformed several times. Yeah!
Vanessa sported a white Gath helmet, and when I drifted near, asked why I wasn't wearing mine. I explained that a couple bad hits of wipeout whiplash last year were almost certainly made worse by the helmet, so now I reserve it for special situations where head-whacking seems more likely (longboarding at a crowded spot over shallow reef, for example). She told me she'd left hers off for a while but hit her head on two occasions, on her longboard and on the bottom, so went back to wearing the helmet. It's a balancing of risks, and thus far, my calculation has been correct.
The tide was dropping and the wind was picking up a bit. As I awaited my last wave in, J-Bird paddled out with dry hair, wearing gloves against the chilly water. A lull ensured, and then we caught one together. As I passed laggard Jacob warming up on the beach, I offered the surfers' adage with a smile: "You should've been here earlier." Although I couldn't feel my toes at the end, it was a fun session.

Surfline: NW windswell drops but still offers chest-head high+ waves for exposed areas. SW (205-220) groundswell eventually tops out today with occasional 4'+ sets at select summer standouts. Light wind early, and the tide hits a 0.3' low around 10am. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 9.5 ft at 10.8 s NW 43 / WIND WAVE: 4.9 ft at 6.2 s NW / WVHT: 10.5 ft / APD: 7.6 s / MWD: 313° (Met) WSPD: 16 kn / GST: 17 kn / WVHT: 10.5 ft / DPD: 11.0 s / WDIR: 320° / ATMP: 52° F / WTMP: 50° F. Tide: 2' falling below 1'.


  1. So glad Zoe is OK. It's heartbreaking to see your animal babies sick or in pain.

    1. Thanks. Dr. Doom on the Friday night shift said it could go either way, but the daytime vet said she'd be surprised if Zoe doesn't get through this. We hope she'll be well enough to come home soon.

  2. Cats are actually very tough. I hope it goes well.