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

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Road Trip - SSW: Day 2

July 1

Today we took a more leisurely approach to our adventure. The swell was slowly backing down from yesterday so we headed out to explore the coastline.

JC was my tour guide and there is none better. Over 30 years exploring the coast and coastal waters of this CenCal locale, and he's been paying attention. I'd say he has it dialed. It's been years since I've spent any time here, and knocking around brought about some old memories. Even though I didn't recognize most of my old haunts because of the changes, a lot just hasn't changed. Places still have that free roaming, open space feel.

We checked a full array of surf spots before narrowing it down to two. The first place we rejected because it looked just a wee bit too fast. A pitching A-frame was putting up overhead lefts and rights. The lefts were shorter and less frequent, but had better shape...that we could see. The rights were freight train barrels that would have been the main event. But we just couldn't quite see around the corner of the little point that blocked our view of just how long those rights were holding up, before closing out in an explosion of whitewater. So we chewed it over and decided to motor down to one of the first spots we'd checked.

The view is a long one, a quarter mile across an open field that (had there been cattle) would have had a cow trail right down to the shallow arroyos that carved up the low bluffs. Access to this (once again, another A-frame) head high wave was across a narrow pebble strewn beach and through a series of glassy pools, broken with rocks and boulders sculpted by wind and waves. These same rocks and boulders were heavily draped with a large cadre of sea lions and harbor seals. The way some were folded over the rocks reminded me of Dali's melted watches in his famous painting The Persistence of Memory.

They must call it bull kelp because it's got such big balls. Half of the paddle out was through a carpet of kelp that without constant paddling stopped you dead in your tracks. I had the Angulo custom SUP and I choked up on the paddle shaft and knee paddled through the morass into the clear blue water. In these conditions I feel more like a deckhand on a poleboat, laboriously poling his boat upriver to deliver the goods.

Large underwater rocks humping up from the bottom and covered with sea grass, kelp and other vegetation dotted the line-up, especially the take-off. Incoming waves were fewer per set now than yesterday, and smaller. Waves would tend to roam into shallower water on one heading, only to change directions quickly, putting the hapless surfer in the annoying position of being completely out of position. So picking the right spot was a little tricky except for the set waves, which had a broader area from which to launch right or left. Either sliding direction proved fun with the rights putting up a smoother but shorter ride, and the lefts dishing up a steeper, square wall with a section you could easily back door while sliding under the falling lip.

Once again JC was perfecting his patented in the lip take-off, blasting out of the pitching mini almond eye of whitewater and spray before finishing the ride right or left. As the day wore on the persistent morning fog burnt itself out in the presence of the sun. The day and the ocean turned crystal clear and the view and feeling was as selfless and clean as standing on the loneliest fourteener in the Sierras on a calm Fall day. It took two hours of surfing these uber-fun waves all alone before we wanted to leave the stadium. We'd gotten our monies worth for sure.
Pics are file photos.
July 1, 2009 (W)
In: 1100
Out: 1300
AT= n/a
WT= n/a
Wx: Mostly foggy clearing to bright and sunny
Tide: Rising
Wind: Glassy to Light to moderate north westerlies
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
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 (Farshore)
Time NDBC Data CDIP Data
1000: NDBC n/a (2.4 ft. @ 14 secs. 190) (3-4 ft. wave faces)
1100: NDBC n/a (2.6 ft. @ 14 secs. 205) (3-4 ft. wave faces)
1200: NDBC n/a (1.9 ft. @ 12 secs. 200) (2-3 ft. wave faces)
1300: NDBC n/a (2.7 ft. @ 14 secs. 195) (3-4 ft. wave faces)
1400: NDBC n/a (2.7 ft. @ 14 secs. 200) (3-4 ft. wave faces)

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