Friday, November 16, 2007
Fins, Fog, Red Tide & Consistency
Visibility out my bedroom window this morning at 0430 was about 50 feet. So I readjusted my paddle out time by about a half hour. I don't see all that well in the low light and when you add fog and overcast I'm even more blind. (I hate getting wiped off my board by a four-wave set that just didn't look like it was going to break.)
The red tide is still with us even though I keep telling myself it looks like it's clearing up. It isn't. A friend told me that the shape of the bacteria that grows with the algal bloom is what irritates the sinuses. Also heard that the bacteria can be toxic and that causes sinus infections. Whatever it is (all of the above?) I am definitely susceptible to sinus infections. When it gets like this the first thing I do when I'm headed for a dunking is grab my nose and pinch my nostrils shut. Effective, and it also makes for very graceful surfing...
There was a raft of about eight otters in our general area, with two feeding right in the line-up. I saw one eating a sea star...yeech! Greg said he was watching the two surface with crabs, eat the legs off and then throw them back. Fine dining sea otter style.
When I changed out my 9" fin for the 5" RFC I set it up so that the fin would be all the way back in the box. I wasn't sure how the board would surf, or hold in so I gave myself the benefit of the doubt. With the fin all the way back I figured the Ohole wouldn't "slide-ass" as the old timers used to say. It didn't, so today I decided to go all the way the other direction and slide the fin all the way forward in the box. I didn't notice a big difference in take-off and initial turning performance, but the board seemed much looser on the wave face. It didn't take as much effort to climb and drop, and the board was more receptive and responsive to less pressure on the rails when turning, and to place or position the board where I wanted us to be on the wave. I think I'll keep it this way for a while. I've really only had one occasion when the tail popped out and I think I was just too high and steep anyway. Also wasn't trimmed up.
The really nice thing about today's waves was their consistency. At the beginning of the session it was just a merry-go-round with plenty of waves for everyone. When the tide change it slowed a bit, then picked up again about 20 minutes after low tide. Even though buoy numbers are starting to decline the waves were good. Buoy data also indicates west and west northwest swell direction. That could be why it's more sectiony than the other day. Most people were not hooking up the sections so taking off at the peak meant kicking out at the first section. But people were sitting on that second section for a nice take-off and ride too. On good days the sections hook up for long, long rides to the inside. On the best days the waves break from outside Scimitars all the way in to Tweeners. Those days are rare though.
November 16, 2007 (F)
1st Wave: 0708
Wave count: 20+
Wx: Overcast with fog
Tide: 3.69 Falling to 3.6, Rising to 3.61
Wind: Moderately breezy from the east/southeast
Sea Surface: Glassy with some light backwash bump
0600: 7.2 @ 12.1 W
0700: 6.2 @ 12.1 WNW
0800: 7.5 @ 12.1 WNW
0900: 7.9 @ 11.4 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Waves: 5' @ 11 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model