G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Big Wind; Big Fire

The predicted gale force winds descended like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse about two hours after I paddled out this morning at 0620. At about 0530 a forest fire ignited at the Summit in the mountains and by the time I reached the line-up it was already going pretty good. Even though the winds in the mountains were relatively light, a heavy and dry fuel load contributed to making the Asbestos Forest (as we used to call it in the CDF (now CalFIRE) burn like the California foothills in October. Not a good sign for this years western fire season.

Thirty-seven miles due east at the farshore buoy, the wind was sustaining at 30 knots and gusting to 40. I was hoping for some bigger waves than were actually blown up by the powerful northerly winds. Size was in the waist to shoulder high range. It was pretty consistent though, and the high tide made for the usual racy sections.

Jamie was all alone at Sarges on his new Junod quad when I paddled out. Tide was low, just starting to rise. I caught a few there before paddling over to GDubs where I got my best waves of the day right off the bat surfing by myself. Soon Greg paddled over, then we were joined by a couple stand up guys (John and MikieB) and then Sam a little later. There were plenty of waves for all though, as the wind was putting up a whole bunch of fast peelers.

I surfed for three hours until the winds began to really blow offshore (sustained 10 mph with gusts of 15) which made just standing on your board almost as much of a chore as dropping in. My toughest paddle of day was paddling in to the beach against the wind.
May 22, 2008 (Th)
In: 0620
Out: 0920
AT= 44 to 64 degrees
WT= 49.8 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear with a large column of smoke
Tide: -0.41 Falling to -0.59 Rising to 0.12
Wind: Calm to 9mph, gusting to 16 from NNE
Sea Surface: Calm to wind rippled in the kelp
Buoy: NWS
0600: 9.8 feet @ 11.4 NW
0700: 9.8 feet @ 11.4 NW
0800: 8.5 feet @ 11.4 NW
0900: 12.8 feet @ 11.4 NW
1000: 9.5 feet @ 11.4 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with Bluecoil 5.5" center fin and FCS Occy sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: 13.3 feet at 11 seconds from 325 degrees and 1.3 feet at 14 seconds from 175 degrees

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