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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Small Waves in New NW Swell

A short-lived spike of longer period, steep angle NW swell caught my attention so I decided to paddle out for a late afternoon SUP session at Yellow House. Unfortunately, the pulse wasn't strong enough to generate anything exciting at that location, even with the minus tide, and the steep angle made waiting for sets part of the game. Fortunately I brought the GhostBuster with me, so I paddled out for a fun but kelp choked session at GDubs.

The main peak was a fast and steep take-off into an unmakeable bowl section over a really shallow spot in the reef. Testament to that is the cuts across the back of my hand, administered by the rocks during a wipe out. The better waves were breaking wide, but further out into the kelp beds. I tried to hedge my bet, by sitting right on the edge of the kelp forest, or in a clear spot, of which there weren't many. But even those had several difficult or impossible bowl sections that just went square over a foot or two of water. I did get one really nice long ride, filled with challenging bowls. That one ride made the session.

Will was out on his 7-4 hybrid, as usual catching a lot of waves. One older guy on a longboard was getting most of the best waves as he could paddle into the wave early and start dropping in before the lip came over. He also could build up speed in preparation for the bowl sections.

I was wearing my full Winter ensemble: 5/4/3 O'Neill Mutant (O'Neill's fit me the best); (new) 5mil O'Neill Heat, round toe bootie (fits great for a round toe, is very comfortable and round toes are theoretically warmer); O'Neill 2mil neoprene hood; short sleeve fleece Mysterioso rashie; QuikSilver heated vest and Speedo. The new 5mil booties made a huge difference. My feet never got cold. I had the vest turned on most of the session, especially after the sun got low. Overall I was nice and toasty...except for my hands. I didn't really notice how much sensation and dexterity I'd lost until changing out of my ensemble under the street light. Fingers didn't work all that well, more like claws instead of hands. I guess I'm gonna have to look at wearing gloves when it gets colder. (I hate gloves.)

Weather was perfect. Beautiful sunset colors and a full moon casting bright light on the sea surface. I got out at dark and walked back to the stairs in the moonlight, being followed by a moon shadow the whole way.

November 30, 2009
In: 1545
Out: 1725
AT= 63-54F
WT= 53.5F
Wx: Sunny and clear
Tide: -0.68' Rising to 0.5'
Wind: Calm to light offshore
Sea Surface: Glassy
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
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.)
1500: 9.5 feet @ 17.4 WNW - 5.2 feet @ 11.1 WNW (310) (2-3 ft. faces)
1600: 9.8 feet @ 16 NW - 5.2 feet @ 12.5 WNW (305) (2-4 ft. faces)
1700: 9.2 feet @ 16 NW - 5.2 feet @ 13.3 WNW (315) (2-4 ft. faces)
1800: 10.2 feet @ 14.8 NW - 5.2 feet @ 11.8 WNW (310) (2-3 ft. faces)
1900: 10.5 feet @ 14.8 NW - 5.6 feet @ 11.1 WNW (310) (2-3 ft. faces)

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