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

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mediocre Southwest Swell in Fall-like Weather

Sunday August 8, 2010

I got fooled into thinking that today was going to be the strongest day of this almost 3-day southwest swell. It wasn't, yesterday was. There was barely enough light to see when I arrived at Sarge's. John was already checking it from the topside landing. We were less than enthusiastic, disappointed even in the small, inconsistent, too low tide lines closing out everywhere we could (almost) see. Gradually one little speck over at YH came into focus. Turns out it was Greg on his Stretch SUP, hoping for better than he was getting.

We chit-chatted for a while, John was glad to be back to work after almost 13 months off. He landed a good job as a tech/sales rep for some company making some kind of technical instrument that I didn't understand. Kirk came by with his 8-10 bat-tail SUP, heading to Gdubs, and it was a good thing he did because if he hadn't I wouldn't have gone out. I was well on my way to heading back to the sheets. But I figured since he was going out, I'd at least have somebody to talk with and get a little exercise.

I geared up with the 8-0 SIMSUP, loosened up and stretched out the protesting back and hip flexors, and was paddling into the broken overcast that looked like rain at 0630. Two waves in the kelpy low tide closeouts at GDubs was enough for me though, so I headed up reef to Ates. The tide was rising and I'd had some good luck there last week. But it wasn't the weekend so crowds today were sure to be uh...enhanced.

Surprisingly, I paddled into a relatively empty line-up with only nine surfers in the water. A few quick succession sets came through, hyphenated by some smaller insiders and I quickly bagged half a dozen waves in less than a half hour. Just before Kirk paddled over from GDubs to join me the crowd tripled. I guess everyone's alarm clock went off at the same time. In the space of five minutes it went from nine to 30 people spread over a couple take-off spots. Amazing! Even more amazing was the fact that I was able to weave my way around from peak to peak and still catch quite a few more waves. Finally, after me and about five others rode the same wave, I decided to call it a day. I was more than satisfied with my good fortune and a decent surf in weekend crowds.

On a "hide the razor blades" this has been a pretty horrible Summer note...longterm seasonal average high temperature for July is 74.6F. Average temp for this July was 66.8. For August, average seasonal high temp is 75.3; to date this August average high is 65.8F. (And I thought it couldn't get any worse!) This year's average high temperatures are more comparable to Fall than Summer, which leads me to the conclusion that we have literally not had the season of Summer this year. On the other hand, we are averaging one degree higher than seasonal low temps this year. Bonus! Sun screen goes on a lot easier at night.

The NWS is trying to forecast a warm-up for the coming weekend. Hey, if the temps just get to seasonally adjusted averages it would be a heat wave compared to what we're experiencing. Maybe the answer is to rent a boat and park it right in the middle of the Northeast Pacific ocean. High pressure and nice weather has been the norm all Summer up there.

My brother and family are coming here for a vacation on the 23rd. I hope they don't turn around and go home after a couple days. Probably not, it's usually hotter than Hades in Kelowna this time of year.

I stopped by the tourist town downcoast on my way home to take a few shots and came across Joel giving his little guy a surfing lesson. That's just where surf school ought to be, a Dad and his son. As for the crowds on the weekends, when I'm not out there bumping into them, I quite enjoy the human family enjoying a Sunday respite in our true and real natural entitlement.

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