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

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Farewell Anchovies (I hope)

 Finally it appears that the anchovies have moved out. The fairly large swell over the Thanksgiving holiday moved a lot of water through the Pleasure Point/Capitola area and seems to have washed the long lived fish away from the previously calm waters of the bight. I say "good riddance". Along with the invasion of fish the birds have thinned considerably. The seagull population floating in the Soquel Creek Lagoon is a fraction of what it has been. The noxious rotting fish stench that has permeated Capitola for weeks has greatly diminished and almost seems back to normal. During our paddle Ron and I spotted only one flock of pelicans and they weren't feeding, just sitting.

The warm daytime weather is over for a while as cold temps settle in from the north. The seas are expected to return to their La Nina-like placid state but hopefully this introduction to Winter will be the trumpeting of the end of the historic anchovy invasion of Fall 2013.

Now that the water is free of fish stench and oil, and great flocks of feeding seabirds I can get back to paddling and surfing (locally) for fun and exercise. Typical to Fall there was a consistent SE wind blowing up wind chop on our paddle from New Brighton to Privates (for Ron) and First Peak (for me). Ron was on his 10' Takayama SUP and stopped at Privates to surf a few small, crumbly and chopped up waves. I wanted a more vigorous workout and paddle so I stroked up to 1st Peak. Also typically the waves got bigger as I paddled up towards the top and it was easily chest/shoulder high at 1P with overhead drops at Sewers. Conditions weren't any better though and with the now "normal" anchovy-like crowds which are ever present, surfing didn't look like much of a fun option. Thank God I've got paddling. We were out for a couple hours and the round trip NB to 1P paddles is about five miles.

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