Monday, January 08, 2007

Surf sesh in the rain

The paddle out was easy this time. I'd watched the waves at three different times in an attempt to grasp the situation out there. I was not out very long before catching a wave. As I dropped down the face, the wave jacked up and the whole thing closed. While on the wave, I watched this happen and was able to get to the top and slip thru the heavy curtain of water. Grab the leash and pull. Get on the board. Paddle like crazy to make it over the tops of the rest of the waves in the set. There is always a danger of getting caught inside when one takes the first wave of a set. Each successive wave tends to be bigger and break a little further out than the next. This time I make it back out. I paddle on the outside around 4 other surfers and over to their right. I check the shore to get my bearings. The reef tends to influence where the wave is going to break and where it closes. Suddenly, thunder breaks the relative silence, big raindrops begin to shower down and a surfer catches a beautiful wave and a couple of us "Woooo!" The glassy conditions have become dimpled and I watch for incoming waves. It looks different and I am not as sure what size the waves are. The lines are still there but different. I spot a mutant: double overhead plus and paddle like crazy to get over it. I keep on paddling and then just sit outside, glad that that one did not get me. I go for another wave, overhead plus, closes on my head and then I am totally washing machined like a stuffed animal on the spin cycle, It is crazy but instead of panicing, I call on my decade plus of tai-chi and relax, grab the leash and pull myself to the surface. Now I am on the inside and more waves are coming so I face the board to shore and situate myself so that I am half on the board and my legs hanging off the back. Do not want to nose and flip with the reef only a few feet below. I ride the wave out of the danger zone, sit on the board and wait for the set to end. The paddle back out takes me 25 minutes but finally I do get back out there. I catch some more close outs, caught on the inside again but this time I decide to paddle down to Sunset. It takes 10 - 15 minutes but I make it ouside again. The waves are more consistent here. Easier to catch but it is more crowded. The take off points are more obvious and the surfers cluster around. I watch a cutie in bikini catch a couple and then I finally am in the right spot, I make an adjustment, paddle towards the wave, spin around and there's the bikini blocking my way. I stop. She goes for it and misses it. Too bad, would have been my first Sunset wave during the winter but it is OK. Every one is safe. Soon after, I find myself caught in the inside once again (recurring theme?) and end up just pointing my board to the shore and letting the white froth take me home.