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

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Main Gulf Swell Gives It Up

As I paddled into a gray and "fugly" morning seascape, I was beginning to wonder if this "main body" of the swell was the real deal. The wind was light, and dead onshore. I had my doubts until I saw the first set of head high waves pour through with perfect symmetry until it got to the inside section. As it closed out there, it formed a second, perfect take-off peak for another long ride down the line. Sweet!

Lot's of folks on it, even at 0604 hours. The usual suspects all in the water and riding: Sean, Joanna, Jamie. It really didn't get crowded because the tide was low enough, and the swell westerly enough to bring two peaks into play. About six sat outside on the point peak, and I chose to ride the wall peak most of the time, with Michael and Priscilla. Rides were long and sections were fast.

(My Oly water cam is acting up again and I missed the best waves of the day due to camera malfunction. I guess I'm going to have to send it in again, which means no water shots for at least a month.)

About 0715 the wind shifted north as the last of the low pressure system (and the end of the rain) passed through our area. Five consecutive days of gray is unique (especially this year), and we need the rain, but so much of it has me looking for the Prozac. I need sun, which I got. The cloud cover burned off somewhere around 0745, revealing a sun cast winter-like day. The morning light brought forth a rich, deep royal blue to the surface of the water which was a joy to behold. (Too bad I couldn't get a pic, because it would have shown a delicious contrast to the early dawn gray, which felt like it was suffocating the day.)

As the crowd grew I headed up to Casa's, rode a few; and then over to Gdubs where I sat wide and picked off a couple large ones. But again, with so much west in the swell, the larger waves were sectioning so the drops were tall, but the rides were small.

Rode a few with Andy before calling it a day in the rising tide, which was swamping the waves to the point where most of the sets were about half size over the lower tide sets.

All of us enjoyed talking about how tired we all were from so many days in a row of surfing. Not that it's been epic, it hasn't, but there have been a lot of fun, rideable waves. We'd all like to see this last a while longer as we know the doldrums are coming.

May 6, 2009 (Tu)
In: 0604
Out: 0845
AT= 55F
WT= 59F
Wx: 100% overcast clearing to mostly sunny
Tide: 1.1' Rising to 3.5'
Wind: Light south to northerly
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples turning to rippled glass
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom SUP with Infinity Ottertail carbon fiber paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin (fourth mark up from back) and Future Fiberglass YU (actual fin not shown)
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0600: 7.2 feet @ 11.1 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0630: 7.5 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0700: 6.9 feet @ 14.3 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0730: 7.5 feet @ 11.1 WNW
0800: 7.2 feet @ 12.5 WNW (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0830: 8.2 feet @ 11.8 W
0900: 6.2 feet @ 11.1 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0930: 7.2 feet @ 13.3 W

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