Sunday, October 21, 2007

Surf Report: First Winter Swell

Sunday morning. Calm, clear and warm, the roar of the ocean rising up and falling through my bedroom window as it had all night. Jupiter high and bright in the eastern sky, I loaded up.(It was Jupiter, right Dan & Elizabeth?) Sun broke over the ridge line at almost the exact moment my boat slid off the beach. Gliding glassy harbor water, loosening stiff shoulders, pulling long to stretch, the roar beyond the break water grew louder as a lone surfer, his yellow 'gun' underarm, paralleled my track across the water, walking the path along the harbor edge to the Point where we would converge. His presence and few early bird spectators with binoculars on the cliff confirmed that Maverick's was breaking. I didn't look, but Ross's Cove was probably going off big time.

Beautiful session, jockeying to paddle into clean 10-12 foot wave faces with occasional triple overheads, the line-up about 50 yards beyond Mushroom Rock. There long, long rides with time for multiple cutbacks and then the wave would reform and offer a second drop and bottom turn. A few times the price was paid with a swim in the impact zone, but adrenaline overcame lack of fitness and practice. Outside clean-up sets loping through occasionally forced all out attempts to claw up the wave before it broke or a frenzied paddle to get out in front to try and hang on as the wall crashed behind me. Quite engaging.

There were 15-20 guys (yes all guys)out at the Mavericks line up, a few towing in, although it wasn't big enough to be necessary. One paddle surfer was catching clean shoulder rides and looked as though he could have been charging the bowl with no problem. Impressive!

I had the inner break all to myself until a crew of rodeo boats showed, but only one of them ventured Mushroom Rock. There would have been plenty of room for you!

Note: The first map shows undersea topography at Pillar Point with my crude attempt to indicate the location of Mushroom and Maverick's added, second and third charts show ocean wave conditions by color from this Sunday morning. Pretty aren't they?