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

Monday, June 30, 2008

South Swell Peaks

It looks like the south swell peaked this morning about 10AM. CDIP showed it as 1.4 feet at 10 seconds from 300 degrees and 2.8 @ 17 secs from 295. It appears to be headed down now, easing off into a gentle nothingness with nothing on the horizon from the southern hemisphere in our immediate future. NW winds are supposed to pick up, but right now they are showing only 6 knots WNW gusting to 7 kts. Not enough to make much surf. We may be in for a flat spell.

Jamie pulled up to the gate this morning in the dark, just after I twisted off the headlight switch. We suited up and he paddled to Sarges in the dim morning light while I opted for Yellow House, hoping for a few low tide peelers. I got three (only one of which had any excitement to it) and paddled over to Sarge's to surf a few with Jamie. Conditions and surf was a lot like yesterday. Not much in the way of healthy sets, but a few good ones here and there. After a while we were joined by Barry (recently retired from the SJFD (IAFF L230)...congrats brother!) and Joanna.

Because there weren't a lot of waves I paddled down towards GDubs to see what was up. Like yesterday even the dawn patrol was peopled by three, and that swelled to eleven by 0630. Like yesterday it was sectiony and with that many folks out, people secure their place in the lineup by sitting too deep, only to be snuffed by the unmakeable take-off section. My rule (and I really try to honor it) is NEVER take off on a wave that someone already has...NO MATTER WHAT! Because south swells tend to be sectiony (especially at low tide) there really isn't a down the line off peak that is clearly differentiated from the main peaks and it's sub-peaks or sub-sections. Therefore, until the tide gets high enough to remedy the sectiony dilemma, one often has to take off on a wave that someone has, but probably isn't going to make. Some people are reasonable about this, and know how it works. Others aren't, and taking off on "their wave" is anathema. Add my SUP to that equation and it's a recipe for "bad vibe beef". Therefore, I just avoid those spots in favor of peace and tranquility and surf another peak or part of the reef, unless for some reason only a very few people are surfing. (That doesn't seem to happen much during summer south swells.)

Even though I don't always get the very best waves, I get a lot of good waves and that counts for fun to me. Like today, I rode way down the line at Tres Casas. I was the only one on the peak and even though the waves were generally smaller and less consistent, the rides weren't always shorter, and there were some fun and fast, steep makeable sections in the morning's mix. Life is good...and cold.

Today was what I call a Mark Twain morning, you know, the famous misquote attributed to Twain that the "coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Even though the buoys show the water temps warming, today's thick, gray overcast was accompanied by a light on and off drizzle all morning. To top that off, the wind was up early, taking turns blowing from the southwest and northwest. Even in my 4/3 Psycho, 3mm booties and O'Neill thinskins hood, after two and a half hours, the balls of my feet and a couple fingers went numb.

Near the end of the session I paddled over to talk with Greg about his new SUP. He was surfing at GDubs and Scimi's on his laydown 10'10" Surftech. Greg said he's been stand up paddling his 11'9' Angulo Nui in C-Town and now his wife has caught the bug. She ordered one of the last 2008 Olohe 10'4"s which Andy (over on River Street) is selling for a great price. At $1200 bucks it's a fantastic deal considering the build quality and paddle-ability/surf-ability of the board. It will be a SUP she'll keep for a long, long time. I asked him if she started out on his board, the bigger board, 'cause it would be easier to learn on. Greg said no, his wife is one of those natural athlete types. She hopped right up on the 10'4" Andy brought for her to try and paddled right over to the reef and picked up her first wave! Of course it helps too that she's been surfing for about 30 years.

Camera: I clicked a few shots with the ISO set at 400 this morning and the flash went off. I bumped it up to 1600. The readout is a few very grainy shots, and while not very pretty, they are representative of the surfing this morning. I'll set the speed back to 800 tomorrow and see if that improves the quality.

The hazy, smoky conditions are still with us, and I'm afraid they will be all summer. This afternoon a long, flat, gray cloud lay over the land and out to sea at the south end of the bay. It's genesis grew from tendrils extending back up and over the hills and valleys straight into the fires in the Los Padres National Forest. The cloud was tinged with brown soot. A light coating of drift ash continues to fingerprint every exposed surface with proof that all is not well.
June 30, 2008 (M)
In: 0537
Out: 0807
AT= 54 degrees
WT= 56 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Overcast and gray and drizzly, marine layer at 1500 ft.
Tide: .44 Rising to 2.57
Wind: Light from the SW and NW
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples to some brief moments of pure glass
Buoy: NWS
0500: 3.6 feet @ 16 S
0600: 3.3 feet @ 16 S
0700: 3.6 feet @ 16 S
0800: 3.3 feet @ 17.4 SSW
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: (0600 hours) 1.0 feet at 8 seconds from 320 degrees and 2.6 feet at 17 seconds from 185 degrees

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New South Fills In Over Weekend


June 28, 2008 (Sa)
The new south swell started filling in early Saturday morning. Numbers were still weak (nearshore buoy showing 1.3 feet at 14-15 seconds SW, and farshore buoy reading a sporadic 3-4 feet at 14-15 seconds SSW) but the CDIP is beginning to show that the swell may develop some pop Sunday and Monday. Webcams look surprisingly good and the best south swell breaks are looking hopeful.
June 29, 2008 (Su)
I paddled out Sunday morning and into a combo swell. The south swell influence was putting up the usual short, sectiony rides through all the places. It was so dark, smoky and gloomy, with near identical contrast to the water and sky that it was more difficult to see, way beyond the usual time past sunrise.

Two surfers were floating around at Sarge's, taking small waves in the advancing tide. Nothing great, but better than nothing. I however, opted for some bigger lines that I knew would be coming in up coast, so I headed to GDubs where there were already three guys out. That fattened to eight within a half hour. I sat off peak and bagged the wide ones, scoring a bunch of waist to chest high rides. With church beckoning I called it good after an hour and a half. Rode one in from Sarge's and then out.

It was so dark I couldn't get any good pics with the camera, so will have to settle for blurry, which at least gives something of an idea of what it was like. Even when I moved the ISO to 400, the shots were way soft. Since I've gotten some decent shots in the past in weather like this, I'm thinking a lot of it was operator error. I probably didn't focus correctly.

A look at last years journal postings for June shows how different and how similar things were. While there was no definitive south swell in June 2007 like we just recently experienced, many waves were delivered by some excellent wind swell. Also, the beaches had some very decent sandbars, unlike this year where there doesn't seem like there's much out there. I don't surf up coast, but the reports filtering in have been that the surf this year has been very good.

Normally, we Bay area dwellers are gifted with some of the cleanest air in the county. I've heard it said that the air we breath is washed and cleaned seven times as it makes it's way across the Pacific and into NorCal. Not so these days. Drift smoke from the Indians and Basin Complex fires, which has burned over 80,000 acres of wilderness and wildland alike, has literally blanketed a large area with heavy smoke haze, casting an orange pallor on every sunlit surface. Southwest winds are blowing the fire born pollution right into our neighborhoods. A summer weather pattern is in place and onshore winds are forecast starting next week. This may help to clean the air.
June 29, 2008 (Su)
In: 0537
Out: 0730
AT= 54 degrees
WT= 55.6 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Overcast and gray, marine layer at 1500 ft.
Tide: 1.7 Rising to 2.7
Wind: Calm
Sea Surface: Glassy
Buoy: NWS
0500: 4.3 feet @ 10 WNW
0600: 3.9 feet @ 17.4 SSW
0700: 3.9 feet @ 10 WNW
0800: 3.6 feet @ 14.8 SSW
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: (0600 hours) 1.9 feet at 9 seconds from 315 degrees and 2.3 feet at 17 seconds from 175 degrees

Friday, June 27, 2008

Seasonal Wx; Small Surf; Smoke and Haze



Things today and yesterday are much the same as the last post. With hundreds of fires burning across the state, the smoke smell and haze is ever present. Temps are forecast to hit the 80's today and over the weekend, and then the inversion layer reinstates for next week and the Fourth of July. The NWS sat fog product shows vividly the marine layer and how it is affecting Cali. Here, there is thick fog at the beach. Winds have turned around from NW to SSW this morning and water temps are warming. NWS says we'll get drift smoke from the Indians and Basin fires burning in Ventana near Big Sur.

Since there is little in the way of surf, my primary cardio is walking the dog with M during the low tide mornings. Sometimes the fog even burns off. An interesting thing about the CDIP data display is how accurate the color coding is. It gives even more info than the numbers and the code it displays is usually right on for size, especially in the nooks and crannies.

Data at the buoys has been consistent with the StormSurf models. Farshore readings are 4-5 feet at 8-10 seconds NW and the nearshore the same but at 1 foot, 10 seconds. The nearshore buoy is showing the low energy SW swell (1 foot at 15 seconds) predicted to hit this weekend.

Jamie says south swells usually arrive a day or so sooner than forecast, and drop a day or so sooner than forecast, in other words, south swells are always a bit early. Models show something kicking up for Sunday/Monday now, perhaps into Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Days of Rest



Monday through Wednesday have seen a return to the typical weather pattern of low clouds and fog in the morning giving way to sunny skies with north westerly winds in the afternoon. Any surf of consequence is the result of the north-south gradient blowing up nearshore windswell. There is a very low energy south swell in the water. Surf is small and not very energetic. Local beach breaks are offering rides, but the word is that not many sandbars are available this season.

This pattern is expected to remain at least into and through the weekend with some hope for a more energetic swell to arrive from the south Sat/Sun and into the new week.

The StormSurf chart is my latest find and I've been using it a lot. It very accurately provided data for the last swell, and for the most part was right on in size, period and timing. You can find it under Models on their website.

While our county is currently basking under the cool, moist air of low clouds, fog and a fire suppressing inversion layer, NorCal is still burning. Over 800 fires are being fought by fire crews who are stretched thin, and becoming more exhausted. Smoke from the Mendocino County fires is pervasive in my neighborhood, and it smells like a giant, open air campfire. I cannot help but think that from now on, there will be fires burning somewhere in the state until it starts to rain again (usually within two weeks of the change back from daylight savings time). This is not going to be an easy summer and there may not be one Californio who will be untouched by the fires or their consequences.

Click here for a copy (.pdf) of the wildfires map.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dawn Patrol Sunday in Fading South

Usually I don't surf on Sundays...too much prep for church, going over the music and the readings for the day. But I just couldn't resist getting one more shot of this classic swell in what has been an epic week of south swell in unseasonable conditions that at times reminded me of Paradise and Dantes Inferno...all at once!

Again the key wasn't activating the electronic lock so I headed to my cliff parking spot and the stairway down to the reefs paddleout. Conditions had begun to change back to the normal weather pattern, but it was still great summer weather. The swell has dropped considerably and is on it's way out. The tide at the dawn patrol was high enough today for me to paddle straight away down to Sarges where I surfed for almost an hour by myself in fun and fast sections. People kept paddling out...but they all went over to GDubs which had ten people in the lineup, and was sectioning pretty heavily in lots of kelp. I couldn't believe no one was surfing at Sarges.

As the tide dropped it got too sectiony so I headed back to Yellow House. Greg and Patrick were already on it, but it was very inconsistent, and small. This south was backing off or in a big lull so after a short while I decided to paddle in and get ready for church.

I can only say that this has been an incredible week. In a way I'm glad it's backing off, I need the rest. The swell has been up for eight days and I've surfed six. My hourly average per session is three and a half, with one five hour and one four and a half hour session. I could never have done this on a lay down board. My back wouldn't take it. Only surfing stand up have I been able to stay out this long and surf this hard.

So far this Spring/Summer season is shaping up to be historic because of the fires and the surf. We can only pray for more surf, and less fires. Nevertheless, my SUP is ready for action, and my family and I have decided to keep evacuation suitcases packed until it starts raining again next Fall.

The following is the NWS Weather Summary for this last week. I agree...what a roller coaster ride this has been. (On Thursday and Friday evening it was 90 degrees at 7PM on our outdoor patio, a new record for sure.)

BEFORE GOING INTO THE FORECAST...IT IS INTERESTING TO STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE WILD ROLLER-COASTER OF LAST WEEK. TEMPERATURES WERE THE MAIN STORY AND WERE ACTUALLY WELL BELOW NORMAL INTO TUESDAY. ON THAT DAY HIGHS ON THE COAST WERE STRUGGLING TO GETS OUT OF THE 50S

IN BOTH SAN FRANCISCO AND MONTEREY WHILE MANY INTERIOR SPOTS WERE RUNNING AT LEAST 10 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. BY FRIDAY...AS THE THERMAL TROUGH MIGRATED OFF THE COAST AND OFFSHORE FLOW
WAS FIRMLY IN PLACE TEMPERATURES HAD ROCKETED TO RECORD VALUES IN MANY SPOTS AND IN SOME CASES THE RECORDS BECAME NEW ALL-TIME NUMBERS.

THROWN IN THE MIX WAS A CLUSTER OF THUNDERSTORMS THAT BROUGHT NUMEROUS LIGHTNING STRIKES AROUND THE MONTEREY BAY SATURDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON THAT STARTED NEW FIRES. IF THINGS UNFOLD AS EXPECTED...THIS WEEK WILL HAVE ALMOST NO RESEMBLANCE TO LAST WEEK.

THE FORECAST IS FAIRLY CUT AND DRY AS TEMPERATURES WILL DROP BACK TO NEAR NORMAL VALUES BY MONDAY AND MAY EVEN BE A BIT BELOW NORMAL THANKS TO THE COOLER THAN NORMAL OCEAN WATER.

June 22, 2008 (Su)
In: 0529
Out: 0715
AT= 54 to 52 to 54 degrees
WT= 53.6 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear and sunny with low clouds and smoke on the horizon
Tide: 1.1 Falling to -0.33
Wind: Calm
Sea Surface: Light bump and glassy
Buoy: NWS
0700: 2.6 feet @ 14.8 SSE
0800: 2.6 feet @ 13.8 S
1100: 3.0 feet @ 14.8 S
1400: 3.6 feet @ 11.4 WNW
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: (0600 hours) 2.7 feet at 8 seconds from 310 degrees and 2.5 feet at 14 seconds from 185 degrees

Jay Race- Saturday June 21

Conditions for the 7th Annual Jay Race couldn't have been better. The sea surface was calm and glassy. Winds were practically non-existent. It promised to be a fast race, and it was. To read all about it, click here for Leo's column in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Mash, Lorette and I elected to paddle in the 2-miler. Lorette is new to stand up paddling so we hung together for the race. Mash got all testosteroned up and as soon as the first SUP racer passed him he went into full race mode. And considering that there are no "class" categories Mash did really good. He got 5th Place overall with a time of 30:05...and this on his 10' Stamps Mahi surfing SUP. Technically "race" is probably not the most accurate word for the 2-miler either, as it isn't nearly as competitive as the 12-mile, which is a very well respected qualifying race for the Catalina race as well as the Oahu to Molokai race. But not taking anything away from Mash's achievement, he was in the hunt for first place I'm sure.

Since there was a pretty good shore pound, Lorette and I agreed that it would be safety first all the way. Safety, not speed was our mantra. This was going to be a fun and leisurely paddle in epic conditions on a glassy sea on a classic day. And that's exactly what we did. Lorette did good, working on her sea legs and didn't fall off once. Of course she had a great board in the 11'9" Angulo Nui which was voted best board in the Ke Nalu showcase on Maui a few months ago.

We had a great time participating in a fun event which was a fund raiser for an excellent cause, the Santa Cruz Junior Lifeguard Program. We all are stoked, and looking forward to next years Jay Race. Thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make this happen!













Saturday, June 21, 2008

New South Swell Caps Epic Week

After a week of solid south swell word of a new south was out amongst the knowledgeable. Met up with Joanna, Sean, Todd and John at the locked gate for a dawn patrol session. Our keys didn't work...What! After palaver, an unnamed gymnast hopped the fence and unlocked it from the inside. Relief! We're all paddling out into a lowering tide with the picked up swell delivering booming sets on a regular basis. Sarges was a makeable race track until the tide drained out. Then it was sectiony, which was a hallmark of this swell.

Since Sarge's isn't a "south swell place," I paddled down to Al's Reef right off. Surfed for 45 minutes alone in building swell until Jared joined me. Because I was paddling in the Jay Race and I thought registration was at 0800, I got out early and beat feet over to the race site. Bummer! Registration wasn't until 0900!

Conditions were like surfing in Hawaii. Way off in the distance nascent thunderheads were forming over the ocean. These would later drop many lightning strikes across the county, setting off even more wildland fires. But I didn't know that at 0530 so I was surfing in "Hawaii" in great surf. Sets were coming in groups of six to eight waves. They would loom up out of the horizon and march at us like pods of whales coming to greet us. The best waves were hooking up from Yellow House take-off to past Los Arboles. Those that sectioned would allow a kickout and quick paddle down coast to the next take-off spot. Again, it was possible to string three or four waves together, section to section, for a 450 yard ride.

I reluctantly paddled back to Sarges to get out and caught one last screamer at the Stairway section into the beach and then up to the car for the trip over to the Jay Race.
June 21, 2008 (Sa)
In: 0529
Out: 0715
AT= 67 - 68 degrees
WT= 55 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear and sunny with billowy clouds
Tide: 0.26 Falling to -0.60
Wind: Offshore 1 - 3 mph
Sea Surface: Glassy
Buoy: NWS
0500: 3.6 feet @ 17.4 S
0600: 3.3 feet @ 16 SSW
0700: 3.6 feet @ 16 SSW
0800: 3.3 feet @ 16 SSW
0900: 3.3 feet @ 16 SSW
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: (0600 hours) 0.5 feet at 10 seconds from 315 degrees and 3.4 feet at 17 seconds from 175 degrees

Friday, June 20, 2008

South Backs Off A Little; Fire Weather

Thank God the wind wasn't up today. Record high temps and a series of arson fires along Highway 1 worked together to create a 1,000 acre vegetation fire (Trabing Fire)that so far has taken nine homes and burned them to the ground. We prepared for evac as our house is a scant two miles from the current evacuation area. But by night fall, firefighters had contained the spread of the wildland fire, and were working on taking out the hot spots and stucture fires that were still burning. For now we are standing down and breathing a little easier. Tomorrow will have high temps once again, but ground units are already in place, and both fixed wing and rotary aircraft have been ordered "early up" and will be on scene by 8AM. We'll pray for their continued success and be thankful for yet another courageous and heroic effort, the third major fire fight in four weeks.

Almost as an afterthought (although I must confess that I packed all my surf stuff and my SUP was ready for evac asap should we get the call) surf was a bit smaller today and very sectiony. I got two long rides and that was it in three and a half hours. I started at Yellow House and ended up at Stairways where I got a number of short, steep and fast walls. Again conditions were spectacular and warm. Water temps cold but warming.

MikieB was out on his new 10'7" Surftech Takayama (no pad, therefore the booties and very light wax coat). And for those who don't believe I actually exist, Jamie provides the proof. Also included, photographic evidence that this was yet another beautiful morning in God's creation.

Forecast is for a new south swell this afternoon/evening. That forecast swell appears to be filling in now, and I'm planning a dawn patrol surf before the Jay Race in the morning.
June 20, 2008 (F)
In: 0530
Out: 0815
AT= 58.4 - 72.8 degrees
WT= 54 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear and sunny with high wispy coulds
Tide: -0.27 Falling to -0.70, Rising to -0.21
Wind: Offshore 1 - 4 mph
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0500: 3.3 feet @ 16 SSW
0600: 3.6 feet @ 14.8 S
0700: 3.6 feet @ 14.8 SSW
0800: 3.3 feet @ 16 S
0900: 3.6 feet @ 14.8 SSW
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: (0600 hours) 0.8 feet at 9 seconds from 310 degrees and 2.8 feet at 17 seconds from 180 degrees

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More South in Paradise

Whitty said during today's session that perhaps we've died and gone to heaven and just don't know it. Could be...This extraordinary south swell, combined with the exceptional weather is without doubt responsible for creating this paradisical appreciation.

Paddled out at 0545 for a five hour session in immaculate conditions. The south was still pulsing, the weather was well...paradisical. Surfed the usual down coast reefs with the usual suspects. Greg and Jamie joined me after a bit, Doc Nancy parked on Al's Reef. Mash, John, Whitty and Sam SUPed over later. And when they all left, Dave pulled in for a few.

Waves were pretty much like the immediately previous posts for this swell. The best rides were from Al's Reef to Los Arboles and beyond. Whitty couldn't leave. Every time he tried, he paddled into another wave of the day at Al's. It took him an hour to flee. Early on some mackers came through that put us out in the heavy kelp beds on take-off. Those would have been epic waves had it not been for the seaweed. Mostly waves were waist to chest high, with the best waves going head high or so.

Don't know how long this is going to last, but everyone agrees it is a totally classic swell and weather for this time of year. Data on the farshore buoy shows the wave size trending down. Nevertheless...Life is Good!


June 18, 2008 (W)
In: 0545
Out: 1045
AT= 48 - 75 degrees
WT= 52/53 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear and sunny with some high, thin clouds
Tide: -0.65 Falling to a low of -0.73, then Rising to 2.52
Wind: Calm to light offshores to SW at 4 to 6 mph
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0600: 5.2 feet @ 16 SSW
0700: 4.3 feet @ 16 SW
1000: 3.6 feet @ 16 SSW
1100: 3.3 feet @ 16 SSW
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: (0800 hours)1.3 feet at 8 seconds from 305 degrees and 2.3 feet at 17 seconds from 205 degrees

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mo' Bettah

This small but persistent wind swell has joined up with what appears to be a building south swell (now dominant on the buoys) to create a very fun combo swell that just keeps keepin' on. Only it's mo' bettah because the inversion layer has been blown away by an offshore flow and conditions are perfect!

Paddled out at 0550 for what was to become a 4.5 hour session. Lot's of people out this morning. I was joined at Yellow House by Priscilla and her brother Doug, Patrick, Michael and Nancy. Yeah, a pretty good size group but when you're surfing with friends (especially these folks) there is always sharing and respect....plus, there were plenty of good waves to go around.

After about three hours they all paddled in leaving me by myself in the rising tide, and the getting more inconsistent sets. Sarges was crowded and uncrowded all morning long, with people coming and going. Dave paddled over from there and proceeded to rip down two of the best waves of the morning. (One of 'em is the sequence posted here.)

Waves were a lot like Monday with not as many getting through to the inside reefs, but the set waves were just a little finer with glassy conditions lasting the entirety of the session except for a brief bout with some southwest winds at around 0800.

Every time I started to head in, the combo swell would deliver a multi-wave set that had the wave of the day in it. But finally, after it got really inconsistent, I called it a day.

I chose to sit out yesterday for a couple reasons: I knew today was going to be really good weather; I was sore and achy from the cold water and fog; my back was hurting from fatigue and arthritis related muscle spasms; I was fighting off a cold that's going around. But I still worked out with the Bowflex and took a long walk with M and the dog. I also started with the arthritis meds after a 48-hour layoff to see what would happen. It wasn't good. But by this morning I was back in action and ready to rumble.


June 18, 2008 (W)
In: 0550
Out: 1020
AT= 46 - 70 degrees
WT= 52 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear and sunny
Tide: -0.7 Rising to 2.91
Wind: Calm to SW at 4 mph to Calm
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples to glassy
Buoy: NWS
0500: 2.6 feet @ 17.4 SSW
0600: 3.3 feet @ 17.4 WWW
0700: 4.3 feet @ 9.1 NW
0900: 3.0 feet @ 17.4 SSW
1000: 3.3 feet @ 17.4 SSW
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: 3.3 feet at 9 seconds from 310 degrees and 1.9 feet at 17 seconds from 200 degrees

Monday, June 16, 2008

Surprized By Size


In something of a surprise, the swell jumped back up (starting yesterday) and delivered a morning full of fun waves in the chest to head high range. None of the data producers that I was interpreting were putting up numbers that indicated the surf was going to be this big or this good. Surf height was running 4-6 feet at 8-10 seconds NW, i.e. genuine wind swell. The far shore buoy was recording consistent winds at 19-25 knots, i.e. wind swell. The CDIP at 0900 hours was showing more west in the wind swell, so perhaps it was getting in the bay better than the steeper NW. But the kicker just might have been the background south swell that was showing up sporadically on the nearshore and farshore buoy, as well as being consistently reported on the CDIP. Good waves were coming in ones and threes. But the set waves were mackin' with power and shape at seven to eight per set.

While I was expecting some decent rides in the early low tide morning session, I just didn't know it was going to be decent plus 10! I was amazed to find Sarge's parking lot full and spaces on the street filling up when I arrived at 0610 hours. Obviously someone knew what was going on! Jamie was suiting up and even he was a bit surprised and he is one of the most knowledgeable surf forecaster locals around. Everyone was paddling out to Sarges (already seven peeps in the water) so I headed down coast to my favorite little stretch of reefs.

Al's Reef looked good so I started there and promptly slipped of the tail on my first wave (which came over a lot faster and steeper than I expected). It was cold with water at 52 degrees and air at 50. Things got better from there though and I established a pattern for the juicier sets. I got a couple at Yellow House and then the first eight wave set rolled through. Rides were sectioning on the reef but contiguous in that I'd ride the second or third wave of the set from Yellow House to Apt. House Point. Then pick the fourth or fifth wave of the set up at the Point and ride to Arboles. Then pick the end waves of the set up and ride past Dicks. Sectiony, but you could string together rides like that for a total of three or four rides, totaling three to five hundred yards. Sweet!

It was amazing to see high quality peelers rolling through looking so pretty and perfect and no one out but me! When the tide came up a bit more, Al's Reef started going off, putting up a steep and speedy section across Prow Point and into the Yellow House take off spot. This yielded a long, faster walled up ride, where you could trim in the hook and climb and drop all along the fast moving wall.

After two and a half hours I was getting cold and tired and my feet were numb. The crowd at Sarges had all gotten out and gone to work except for Dave on his stand up, and a couple longboarders. I paddled over to say hi and take one in and stayed for another hour. By this time and with the tide getting even higher, the quality multi-wave sets were 20 to 25 minutes apart, and getting longer. The longboarders headed in and Sam and John joined us on their stand ups. At the three and a half hour mark I called it a day and headed in, leaving the still powerful sets to my stand up bro's.
June 16, 2008 (M)
In: 0620
Out: 0950
AT= 51.6 degrees
WT= 50.5-52.2 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Overcast with inversion layer at 1500 to 2000 feet
Tide: .24 Rising to 2.94
Wind: Calm to SE and SW at 4 mph
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0500: 5.6 feet @ 9.1 NW
0600: 4.9 feet @ 10 WNW
0700: 6.6 feet @ 9.1 NW
1200: 6.6 feet @ 10 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: 3.7 feet at 10 seconds from 290 degrees and 2.4 feet at 17 seconds from 200 degrees