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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Early Season WNW Starts To Fill In

Another early Fall season WNW began filling in this morning, accompanied by a general change in conditions, ushered in by warming water, and the beginning of the end of the Summer season fog pattern.

I've been tracking this storm since Monday (8/18), which spun up for real Tuesday and Wednesday before crashing into the Washington/Oregon coast yesterday and today. All the data seemed to indicate good waves coming, and today we started seeing the fruits of the storm.

It felt good to see the pre-dawn glow and rising sun this morning as I paddled out and into noticeably improved swells at Sarges. Made the call to head immediately to GDubs, just because it's usually bigger there. It was a good call. Bluegrass Banjo Paul was already on it (hard to beat him into the line-up) and pulling down some nice long walls and the occasional bankable corner. I too was soon paddling into some of those nice long walls, with quick and makeable folding sections. Waves were comfortably in the waist to shoulder high range, with set waves going head high. Kelp is still a factor, but with waves finally washing ashore in sets of four or five, there was enough water volume to float you over the tops of the kelp during the best sets.

We surfed for about 40 minutes before JohnMark and then Joe and Barry joined us. One more longboarder paddled out who I recognized but haven't met yet. They were mostly on the main peak, but Barry and I were riding the wide ones just pointside of Casa Roja.

I got my best waves in the first hour and a half. Waves after that were softer, and lacked the punch of the early session, but were still fun, and there were a lot of 'em. Eric arrived late on his 10-4 Angulo Olohe SUP and picked off a couple sweet set waves with us, before I called it a morning. I decided I needed to save some for tomorrow, when the main body of the swell makes landfall.

Conditions were near perfect. The day was warm from the start. Water temps are up near 60F degrees. The last three weeks I've been dressed for Winter, today I was out of the 5/4 and into the SoCal 3/2, no booties or head cover.

A perfectly painted dawn segued into dense and impenetrable (from the shore) cotton candy fog. It's amazing how many people won't paddle out when they can hear the waves, but can't see them. Mother nature's crowd control. Works for me.

Paddled down to Sarges for the exit and surfed a while with Patrick, Priscilla, Michael, Dean and John S. on his 10-8 Angulo Beachboy. Lucked into a beautiful head high set wave at Sarges which put up three nice bankable sections and held up like I was Hawaiian royalty, all the way across the pocket beach, . Lot's of roller coastering on that one, and trying to practice John A.'s Pole Plant Snap Pivot move.

A fun warm-up session while looking forward to tomorrow's (hopefully) bigger waves.

It is interesting to note and compare today's waves and wave data, with last Saturday's post. Everything was very similar, but I would have to say that today's waves were better, more consistent, bigger with better shape. Both day's waves were birthed in the same nursery, but today's waves are forerunners of a more powerful swell yet to come.
Aug 21, 2008 (Th)
In: 0617
Out: 0845
AT= 58.4F to 61.6F
WT= 58.6 - 59F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear to heavy fog
Tide: 2.6 Falling to 2.1
Wind: Light offshore to calm to light SE then SW
Sea Surface: Glassy with some periodic backwash from Scimi's
Buoy: NWS
0400: 6.2 feet @ 10.8 WNW
0700: 6.6 feet @ 10 WNW
0800: 6.2 feet @ 10.8 WNW
0900: 6.6 feet @ 10.8 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) 5.9 feet at 11 seconds from 305 degrees and 1.7 feet at 17 seconds from 195 degrees

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