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

Saturday, August 16, 2008

First Winter Season Swell

On Monday last (8/11), what I believe was the first Winter storm of the season, developed in the NPAC. This welcome little event blew up 40 mph winds and created 24 foot seas, making landfall yesterday about 11AM or so, as recorded on the nearshore buoy. I'd been following this storm since Monday, and was happy that I saw it from the start, and tracked it all the way in. I only missed it's exact arrival time by a few hours. (Good guess on my part, but I seem to be getting better at it.) I call my email forecasts which I inflict on my friends, Forecasting by the Compleat Idiot. (A tip of the hat to the first "Complete Idiot" book by John Muir, and the British spelling, which just seems to impart more "idiotness" than the American word. Muir passed away in 1977, but his book was as essential as rolling papers for the impoverished hippy era, air cooled VW bug or bus owner.)

I was disappointed at first, that the swell didn't put up some juicier waves with more consistent sets. Waves early Friday were almost non-existent and through the afternoon it didn't get much better. Late PM and into the evening there was some improvement. The swell posted some decent numbers initially (6-7 feet at 14-15 seconds W), but started to fade today. Oddly, it seemed that waves were better as the swell faded today, than when it initially arrived yesterday.

This mornings dawn patrol brought some decent curls and walls, but again, there weren't a lot of waves per set, sets per hour, and energy per wave. The angle of the south swell was too east to have a positive affect, and therefore there was no swell mixing or combo action.

I paddled into the main peak at Sarge's at 0640 with Greg already out on his Angulo 11-9 Nui. He did a real dawn patrol and had snagged a number of good birds by the time I joined him. Surf there was pretty small. Most the early crew was at GDubs where the waves were bigger, faster and more consistent. I headed over and was pleasantly shanghaied before I got there by a peak and wall off La Casa Roja. Surfed a dozen good ones in less than an hour, taking off behind the peak and trimming through the ensuing section on the nose. I finally made it over to the more crowded line-up at GDubs in time to ride a few peelers there. Barry was out, riding his new Freeline longboard that the Station 3 SJFD crew gave him for his recent retirement. Nice! Got some pics of Don and Johana for the blog in horrible lighting conditions. I couldn't get a safe angle to take pics of the biggest waves and sets so I had to settle for mostly small, single waves from too far away.

Saturday mornings bring the crowds so after a while I decided to paddle up to the point and look around...really, I just wanted to take a paddle. Water was flat and glassy. Caught some fun rides at 3B's before taking the point paddle. Must have been at least 60 in the water at the point so I turned around and paddled back to GDubs. Surfed a few with Andy and Sam before calling it a morning.

Shout out to the noseriding longboarder who recognized me from my blog. Many thanks bro' for the kind words. The world is full of good people, it's nice when they make their presence known. Mahalo!
Aug 16, 2008 (Sa)
In: 0640
Out: 0900
AT= 55F
WT= 56.5F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Fog and overcast
Tide: .5 Rising to 2.8
Wind: Variable calm to light southeast all morning
Sea Surface: Glassy to Light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0700: 6.2 feet @ 11.4 WNW
0800: 6.2 feet @ 11.4 WNW
0900: 6.6 feet @ 12.9 WNW
1000: 6.2 feet @ 12.9 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin and FCS Occy sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: (0700 hours) 7.5 feet at 12 seconds from 310 degrees and 2.1 feet at 14 seconds from 175 degrees

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