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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Multi-Wind Swells and Winter

And like that, it was Winter...well, almost. I know we've got a long way to go until the official start of Winter (December 21), but in 48 hours things changed drastically. A low pressure trough moved through our area dropping temps in the inland locations as much as 30 degrees overnight. On the coast, because of the ever present marine layer and overcast, temps were more even. But as the tail of the low pressure systems moved West, it whipped us with strong northwesterly winds that blew the sea surface into a wind chopped mess all day yesterday.

This morning it was bright and clear and cold. Temp at the KOA across from the beach was 38 degrees. Because of yesterday's high winds, water temp was 55.2F at 6AM. That's more than a two and a half degree drop in 24 hours! The sea surface still had not settled from the big blow yesterday, and in addition to that, a far northwest coast wind swell was making landfall. Waves were 2-4 ft. with periodic six foot sets. It was almost impossible to find a corner. No sand bars, no corners. Even the small waves didn't have much shape, the bigger waves were impossible. The crowd was light, maybe everyone was in town, but that didn't look very good on the wave cams.

I couldn't find a channel or a lull to paddle out through so I just took waves on the head until I made it out the back. A large algae bloom blossomed overnight, and most of the time I surfed in root beer colored water. Hello sinus infection. I caught a couple olas that were fast, steep and furious on the drop, but with no where to go. Kicking out was the only option unless you really enjoy getting pounded during the paddle out. I could only take about 40 minutes of paddling for and backing out of a number of waves. I finally got one good ride into the beach after 40 minutes, and was tempted to paddle back out. But after walking up the beach to check out another peak or two, could find nothing better so I called it a morning.

I'll tell you what though, if this is Winter bring it on! At least the sun is shining and it's a beautiful color filled day. If I wanted Seattle, I'd move there.

September 30, 2009 (W)
In: 0807
Out: 0850
AT= 51-54F
WT= 55.2F
Wx: Sunny with blue skies
Tide: 4.2' Rising to 4.4'
Wind: Calm to very light easterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy with lot's of wind swell bump
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
0700: 9 feet @ 14 NNW - 3.6 feet @ 10.5 WNW (300) (2-4 ft. faces with 6 ft. set waves)
0800: 10 feet @ 13 NW - 4 feet @ 13.3 WNW (310) (2-4 ft. faces with 6 ft. set waves )
0900: 9 feet @ 13 NW - 4.6 feet @ 13.3 WNW (305) (2-4 ft. faces with 6 ft. set waves)
1000: 10 feet @ 13 NW - 3.9 feet @ 13.3 WNW (305) (2-4 ft. faces with 6 ft. set waves)

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