Record temperatures coupled with a Gale from Alaska equals the above.
It all began on Thursday with temps hovering near 90 degrees in the city. Yes, the same city where Mark Twain once exclaimed the coldest winter he ever had was a summer in SF. The rare hot weather and surf forecast got me excited for what was to come, which was 72 hours of bliss.
Thursday night I was able to squeeze in an hour or so as the sun was setting in the sky. It was really warm still at 7pm at night and I was happy as can be as I ran down to the water to get my first sesh in over a week. The tide was a bit high, but there was a decent little bump in the water. The sets were about head high and made for some fun rides trying to connect the tide challenged peaks. Knowing that the swell was building and that the morning would have a lower tide I decided on the dawn patrol at 6am.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I had some wild dreams about walking up to the beach and seeing the waves were coming all the way up to the top of the dunes. As I walked up to see the beach it was just a soup of whitewater. I had to step back abruptly to dodge a little wave that was peeling right off the tops of the dunes…it was a dream remember, and some lady was standing right behind me…very weird. Then later on that night I dreamt about peeling machine like indo style waves. So in between dreaming and waking up…I got a bit of rest.
I was in the water by 6:10 and had one of the most majestic sessions I’ve had in a long time. I arrived just as the sun was rising over the dunes. There was a thin layer of fog hovering about two feet above the sand and dunes which as the sun rose caused the light to diffuse and completely swallow the beach from sight. Once in the water, looking back towards the beach, was just a big orange ball of mist. You literally couldn’t see the beach because of the blinding warm light. The cold ocean water was a perfect contrast. As I duck dove to get outside, I paused on a few peeling rights that were just perfect in every way. Almost machine like as in my dreams. As they came dashing over my head, the dark green water turned to a crystal greenish blue and then clear white as I sunk underneath. I surfed for about an hour and caught about a dozen waves from well overhead to about shoulder high.
I went to work a very happy man as the day heated up to 100 degrees in some parts of the bay area. I actually didn’t leave the office once that day in hopes that if I just hunkered down and got through all my work I would be free to surf all weekend long.
By Friday night I was pretty tired, but knew that the swell was going to stick around for a bit. I awoke Saturday morning and suited up straight away and headed off to get some more.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the waves had actually gotten bigger overnight. Although not quite as glassy, I was content to trade size for texture. I paddled straight out in between two closely positioned peaks and got stuck on the sandbar for about 5 minutes paddling to no avail. Finally making it outside I was needless to say pleased with the pulse on tap.
I believe that what goes around comes around and so having Rammasun recently graze Taiwan and Japan as it headed north toward Alaska was just what the North Pacific needed to cause that Gale in Alaska that pushed down enough energy for me. I thought to myself that I was surfing the leftovers from Asian bred early season Typhoon action. You can see the cyclical weather patterns as they make their way around the Pacific’s rim. I don’t know if a true weather guru would agree with my theory, but that kept me amused as I drove through one crumbling whitewater ball after another.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day and by Saturday night I was totally surfed out.
As the sun was setting, I felt the tension in my back and shoulders and reflected on all the lips I pulled under, the closeouts I never made it out of, the floater I landed, the fun drops. As my friend Dante would say, it was ‘good to feel gravity again’.
Sunday was back to normal Summer in SF weather. It was about 50 degrees, totally foggy, still some decent waves to be had in the morning, but I was so content. My son and I took a stroll along the boardwalk near our house and watched all the colorful costumes from the drunken masses just finishing the Bay to Breakers. It was quite a scene. Everyone from Superman to g-string clad sailor girls to passed out dudes in running of the bulls outfits. As I watched a few nutty ones strip down and jump in the ocean sans wetsuit, I had a special appreciation for OB and the weather out here. The fact that it can turn on and provide something as epic as the last 72 hours and then go back to normal when the masses arrived just to keep its rep up made me chuckle to myself and enjoy the calm cold misty fog.
Until next time.