17 September 2012

Saltwater and Seagulls (Linda Mar)

For an interminable time I was plagued with seasickness while surfing, just from the motion of the ocean, but thankfully it's been a while since I've needed to pop a pre-surf Dramamine. Whatever the cause, I'm glad my body has moved past that unpleasant phase. Yet there's one thing that still gives me the queasies, and that's swallowing the sea. Breathing hard this afternoon as I paddled through short-period whitewater on the north end, I hadn't even made it to the lineup when a wave splashed my face and I reflexively swallowed a mouthful of the Pacific. Uh-oh. Sure enough, it wasn't long before my stomach started to do flip-flops. Fortunately I got in a few fun rides on the fish (could've shortboarded today though), including a nice shoulder-high left, before I just couldn't face the churning onslaught for another paddle back out.
The middle of the beach was one long closeout, so I thought I'd try for smaller and easier waves on the south end before I felt too ill to go on. As I walked passed the bathhouse, some sort of seagull cult was hitting the beach for an odd ritual. While a few of their number entered the water fully clothed, others blew on curved horns or threw food to the gulls, who swarmed above them, swooping and diving and squawking. I stepped quickly past, glad I was wearing a hood. Perhaps being crapped upon from above is considered a blessing?*
The south end gave me little joy, as the mega-closeout extended its tendril toward Boatdocks. Now seriously sick to my stomach, I eked out a ride on small right with a shoulder that lasted barely long enough to land the drop, and went home to eat crackers and recover on the couch.
*I am informed by Anonymous (see comment), and also by Stephen on the Colbert Report, that the curved horn is a "shofar" used in celebration of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. And Kaya Lucy from Cornwall tells me that "in the UK it is considered lucky if a seagull poops on you!" though this is probably just "something our mothers tell us to stop us getting upset if you do get pooped upon!"

Surfline: 2-3 ft, poor to fair conditions. Textured, crumbly lines with short sections. Slow easing but still fun size SSW groundswell and NW windswell mix continues today while some minor SSE tropical swell sneaks into exposed spots. Waves are in the knee-waist high range mostly with occasional chest-shoulder high sets at top spots. Winds are onshore from the WSW and surface conditions are textured. Buoy 46026: (Wave) SWELL: 3.6 ft at 8.3 s NW 78 / WIND WAVE: 0.7 ft at 4.0 s W / WVHT: 3.9 ft / APD: 7.3 s / MWD: 305° (Met) WSPD: 4 kn / GST: 6 kn / WVHT: 3.9 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / ATMP: 56° F / WTMP: 58° F. Tide: 3' falling to 1.5'.


  1. Probably the "seagull cult" was a Rosh Hashanah celebration of some sort. The curved horn is a shofar.

    1. Aaah, thanks. I am an ignorant atheist raised a Lutheran and made to attend Mennonite schools. I learned about the shofar watching the Colbert Report last night. Although I'm still not clear about the seagulls...