15 September 2014

Small Surf for the Surfriders

Friday I took the train to Ventura to attend a weekend-long Surfrider California/Hawaii Chapter Conference with other leaders from the San Diego chapter. (For the last couple of months, I've been co-chair of the Rise Above Plastics committee.) No one was playing hooky since the surf was small and uninspiring. Instead we stayed inside the conference room, getting energized and inspired, but I did get out for dawn patrols before the meetings began. Amtrak allows a surfboard 6'0" and under to be carried on for free, so of course I'd brought my 5'4" certified Ecoboard to an environmental group's conference.

The first morning, I was supposed to meet up with young Sam from the Santa Cruz chapter, but he was late. Instead I paddled out with Jack from Mississipi, who was there for a neuroscience conference. He'd just bought a 4/3 wetsuit, and brought a newish shortboard that he hadn't ridden much as landlocked living affords little opportunity. Gradually we figured out the unfamiliar break (it took me longer) and I scored one actually nice wave. Sam showed up eventually, and we were a few shortboarders amongst a growing throng of longboarders and SUPs.

On the second day, I woke up well before dawn and paddled out on Christina time, barely able to see the waves in the dim light. It was well worth it: no crowd and better surf on a slightly higher tide than Saturday meant I rode a bunch of fun little waves before falling tide and rising crowd encouraged me to leave for breakfast. But first I watched the sunrise from the water, the glassy sea lighting up a satiny orange path to the glowing orb as it peeked through the pier.

Here's the weekend in pictures:
Del Mar from the train
We passed by Trestles and the Hurley/Swatch Pros (on lay day)
Train perspective on the Oceanside pier
View from the 6th floor room I shared with Haley
First night party was at house with an expansive vista 
I surfed just after dawn with Jack from Mississipi who was there for another conference
Oceanside pier from the 12th floor conference room
Ventura sunset
I never win raffles, but at Saturday's party I won 3 times - including this print - and once for Sam
San Diego crew: James (partly), Randy, Manase, Haley, Roger, Patrick, Jason
Mermen in a shop window in town
Surfer's Point from the pier
So glad I beat the crowd
Shaun Tompson wrapping it up. 
                               I need the sea because it teaches me.
                               I don't know if I learn music or awareness,
                               if it's a single wave or its vast existence,
                               or only its harsh voice or its shining one,
                               a suggestion of fishes and ships.
                               The fact is that until I fall asleep,
                               in some magnetic way I move in
                               the university of the waves.

                               Pablo Neruda


  1. I love that train ride! Your weekend sounds really nice and balanced.

    1. Taking the train was great! So relaxing compared to fighting traffic through LA.