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#43 [url]

Jan 26 10 7:55 PM

Sick, looking forward to the next post. I just spent 3 weeks riding the same swells somewhere closer to the equator. Just going off with swell every day, so many epic setups, and I surfed alone most days. Most crowded sesh was 2 locals and myself at the most popular spot in town. Got some days with at least double overhead swell, big enough for a sheltered left rivermouth to start working. Easily 300 meter long lefts, longest waves I've ever ridden. I really hope that neither your nor my area get exposed by some idiot ala P-pass, Crowd 9, southern Sumatra etc.

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#45 [url]

Oct 25 10 9:11 PM

Anybody still here? I scored a nice all-expenses-paid trip back to ****** this summer. Had to work, though, so I didn't get as much surf as I might have. Kept waiting for the typhoon which never came. Hit the Northern beaches; small. Hit the Eastern beaches: small. Finally hit the Southern beaches: Killer! 


Paddled out at a rivermouth right after a big rain. Kinda scary poo water, but just a grand setup with the sandbar throwing up a nice 5-second left-handed barrel again and again and again.


I had just floated out on the river current because I'm lazy. It was maybe CH+. I'm sitting outside and somebody calls "Outside!" In English. So I paddle out, not seeing it. Lucky me, I just happened to be in the perfect position right on the peak! Dropped in, bottom-turned right into the barrel and just stuck there, hooting and hearing it echo in the little tube all the way down the line. Sick first wave!


And it went on like that for about two hours before the tide shut it down. Fun stuff! I'll post a pic someday.


Man, that was months ago. I don't know when I'm ever gonna get to surf again. Is SoCal still there? I miss Ventura. 

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#46 [url]

May 20 11 2:09 PM

Here's a picture of that nice rivermouth. Size is CH+, all those bodies in the water never got close to the break. They're just tourists on rental boards who float out and flop around trying to catch a few leftovers. So, yah, I had that A-frame pretty much to myself. There was one logger who knew what he was doing, but he stuck to the rights and stayed inside a bit catching them waaaay out on the shoulder. Plus with just one guy and nonstop waves, we were never even close to the peak at the same time. The rights were not as much fun as the lefts, which barreled all the way in. I can't imagine what that place must be like on a good swell.


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#47 [url]

May 27 11 7:52 AM

It is 11:00PM. The Delicia is rented and fueled, the boards are stowed, the backup boards are stowed, the camera is charged, the beer is bought, the water tanks are filled, the food is prepped. There's no need for maps, I know the spots by heart.

The next 4-5 days will possibly be the best surf I ever experience. The bouys are rising and are already at 2-3 meters. Everything comes alive at 2+ meters. Once-in a decade spots fire at 6+ meters. The forecast calls for 8. This is the perfect storm, the perfect size, the perfect fetch, pointed with laser-focus on spots that I know can hold the size through this epic surf event.

GET SOME!







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#48 [url]

Jun 5 11 11:23 AM

Hey! I lived! I'll be posting a day-by-day recount of that swell.

Day 1:

Out of T**** by 6AM to beat the workday traffic, and down the 3 for the next 3 hours. The freeway ended and we got our first sight of the coast. Heading south on the 1, we rolled past Armor point, stopped at the 7-11 to get a slushee and U-turn, then we pulled up on the street next to the water. 9AM, clear blue sky, sun beating down, 33C in the shade, and it was FIRING! Standing on top of the concrete jacks, I could see it was breaking pretty nice waaay on the outside. There was a lot of soup to paddle across, but the bend in the coast made it peaky and easy-looking. We’d all slapped on sunscreen about an hour earlier so it was out the door, grab the board, thread the armor down to the boiling whitewater, time the waves, and dive into the green bathwater. It took some paddling to get far enough out to need to duckdive, and quite a bit more paddling to get all the way clear of the impact zone. It had some size but it was soft, with light and
variable winds just ruffling the surface of the shifty humps rolling around. You just kinda had to wait until a peak came to you. Then it was a big steep speedy fun drop. It was probably 3ft OH dropping down to CH after the peak. Sometimes you could get a little barrel, but it was mostly just fun drops, a big bottom turn, and not much else. Because it was so soft, we started taking off real late or backdooring just for the hell of it. It was fun, and a good warmup, but we were back in the Delicia by noon and ready to find something bigger. Armor point is on the wrong side of the island and waaay inside, so the Pacific side was sure to be MUCH bigger.

We had to make a decision; dick around in K****** and try some spots that don’t often catch it good, or head straight over to J******** and go for the glory. We decided to kill the rest of the day in K and check out the harbor reefs. Good decision. Except for when the wake from the fishing trawlers messed it up, the waves were good. To get out, we had to walk about a mile around the stinking harbor and then all the way back up to the breakwater. Then it was a 200 yard paddle out to the reef from the empty white-sand beach, then another 150+ yards up to the peak. Totally worth it. A clear-water kick-ass right-hander mounted up on the outside and just reeled off over the coral  waaay down the line until it fizzled out in deep water off the shoal. Beautiful. You’d get sectioned off three out of four times, but when you didn’t it was a 150-yard right hander where you could get as much barrel as you dared  right off the peak, and again for just a few
seconds when it hollowed out about halfway down the line. You might even make it out, if you were going full-throttle. It was just a hair OH. Very very nice. When we came in, we got yelled at by harbor patrol, or maybe it was just a fisherman. I didn’t understand him, and my buddy told me not to worry about it. Then we stopped in the dirty dockside fishmarket for the scariest (but freshest) sushi plate I’ve ever had.

With sunset coming up, and me still contemplating whether I was gonna get gastro-intesinally murdered by vengeful uncooked fish, we parked the Delicia at our digs for the night (no camping this night). Big Rock—right out front—was firing, so we yelled to the front desk that we’d check in later, grabbed the boards and hot-footed it across the road and down onto the rock shelf. The whitewash was slamming into the shelf 5 feet below where I was standing, and there were lots of jagged boulders all around. It was definitely a dicey entry, and a scary paddle out. Big rock—which I’d never seen break before—is a slab. Yeah, the water’s warm and clear, but a slab is a slab and there was no good way out except straight under the lip. I managed to squeak out between sets. Big rock was 150 feet of square tube that spat out into an itty-bitty bay with an equally itty-bitty channel to paddle out right next to the rock. There were already two locals on it
when we got under the sets and made it outside. They looked battered but happy.

My first ride freaked me out. My buddy called me into a set wave, but the two locals, deeper than I was, shook their heads and passed it up, so I went. I dropped into the tube right off the bat, and just aimed for the exit and prayed. Then I realized there was no exit—the wave was going to slam through the channel, across the tiny bay, and right into the rocks, with me on it. I bailed, arching my back and trying to punch through the back, swimming like a madman so I wouldn’t get sucked over onto the rocks. I felt a tug on my leash, but luckily the board slipped through the wave and didn’t turn into a drogue anchor. After I scratched clear of the impact zone and paddled back up to the top, my buddy was laughing at me. “I can’t believe you went for that!”

Thanks.

Big rock was technically challenging and I was pretty beat. I only caught a few more small waves, opting instead to watch the gorgeous K**t*** sunset and keep my skin intact. After sunset, we paddled around to the lee of Big Rock and took the easy (and smart) way out. We finally checked into our room, bringing in just a little gear and leaving most of it in the truck. We were both beat, but you don’t visit K**t*** without going to the night market and spending at least a little time at the beachside bar near its end. That might have ended up being a story in itself, but we were on a mission, and rest took eventual priority over the diversions of K**t***. Tomorrow the swell would peak down south, and we intended to hit it at its peak.

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#49 [url]

Jun 7 11 9:33 PM

Good story, looking forward to reading the rest of it....

We got some swell from that typhoon, but only for a day or so. Did some exploring on an outlying island, but found nothing rideable.

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#50 [url]

Jun 15 11 7:43 AM

Yah, it fell apart as it went past. I'm glad, because it was FAR too big early on.

Day 2: I woke up sore and salted as if it was day 7 of a Mentawais trip. Still, I managed to haul myself and my stuff down to the truck for the run out to J****s***, grabbing a Family Mart coffee and riceball (salmon and wasabi) to help wake up. Didn’t need it. J-s- would’ve woken me up by itself.

Coming down the cliffs, we knew it was an event. Usually tame beachbreaks were looking impossible to even paddle, let alone ride. Outer reefs we didn't even know existed were blowing up. The sky was gray and raining and the sea the same color with long lines of swell marching in from the horizon. Once we rounded the last corner, we could see JS breaking waaaaay outside. It reminded me of a big day at Ventura Overhead, except it wasn’t quite that far out, and it connected all the way in until it detonated in a mile-long DOH wall. The wind was hard offshore and I have to say we were both pretty intimidated. A bombing closeout looks twice as big when the wind is blowing spray back, and that J_S "beachbreak" looked like the jaws of doom.

The river had broken through the berm and the usual sandbar was in place, breaking up the murderous beach. It was breaking waaaaay out there, but it looked like typical J-S just supersized: A peaky crumble on the right and a big hollow left. Very similar to my biggest day at the overhead. That's what gave me courage to paddle out, I think.

We needed guns, but all I had was a quadlet of sponges, and his biggest board was under 7'. We went with what we had. The river was our best bet, and so that’s where we paddled out, letting the current sweep us closer and closer to those streaming walls of foam. It was hard to tell if I was making any progress. The incoming whitewash was huge. I couldn't really get under it, and each wave seemed to push me back more than I was able to paddle out, but after 15 minutes of constant duckdiving and paddling, I saw I was outside of the “shorepound”. I had angled left hoping it would be easier to break through the softer side. After coming up from another duckdive, I put everything I had into squeaking out across the impact zone before the shoulder came sweeping down. I just made it. Then it was a longer, but easier paddle all the way up to the top of the peak. It was BIG and lonely out there. My buddy was nowhere to be seen and the beach looked like it was a kilometer away.

When the sets swept in, they blotted out the horizon. Something I'm not used to, with these big waves, was that the whole thing looked like an inescapable closeout to my eye, because even way down the line, it was still a hill. The lefts were way scarier than the rights, so I finally nutted up and caught a right from waaaaay out on the shoulder. I've had a 20-foot drop before, once, in Ventura. It's scary. So was this one. Not the least because it felt like 100mph winds streaming up the face were trying to blow me back into the growling shoulder, and I didn't want to be anywhere near that thing. The drop in was bumpy and f--king crazy. I didn't do anything but try to stay as high and as far out on the shoulder as I could, and then get over the back after a few seconds.

I did this a few times, going a little lower and holding on a little longer each time without getting punished. It was getting more fun than scary, but it was still plenty scary.

My friend finally made the paddleout and joined me in the lineup and we caught monster rights for a while. The lefts, however, were protected from the offshore chop because the wind was coming slightly out of the East. It looked pretty nightmarish, but I had gotten confidence from the rights. So I paddled around the peak and set up to catch a left.

I had thought to hang outside and observe how the lefts were breaking, but as I paddled across the peak a set came in. I should have paddled over the back, I would have been fine, but my instincts said go. I was in perfect position. I know it wasn’t really 20-foot air-drop, that’s impossible, but it sure felt like one. This wave taught me that I don’t know how to ride big waves and actually, I don’t want to know.

The last time I caught JS it was CH and gentle. You could stick in the barrel for a while then punch through the thin curtain and turn back out for your next wave. Not so today. The face was so large, I couldn’t decide where to bottom turn. Afraid that I was going to get axed by a three-story lip,  I missed the speed pocket right off the bat, and pulled in far too high.  It was by far the largest barrel I’ve ever been in and it was really really fast. By some miracle, I managed to get enough speed to get out of the giant tube before it sectioned off, but there was still this ridiculously steep wall stretching off into infinity. I tried and failed to get out in front of it and then bail out over the back. I thought I had made it out, until the world started to tilt past vertical. I will never forget the sight of the beach, the palm trees, and the water’s surface—farther below me than if I were jumping off the high-dive at the community pool back in the US. I ditched the board, got one really big breath on the way down, and balled up before I hit. I landed on my side—I could tell later from the huge bruise—under the lip and just got blasted. It was a long, long tumble. I think I hit the bottom, but I can’t be sure. I had stupidly worn a leash, and so my biggest fear was getting tied up ten feet down, so I refused to uncurl until the spinning stopped. It was very dark, but I had a strong sense of which way was up. Lucky it was right, because I broke the surface really desperate for air. I got half air and half foam before taking the next wave on the head. I must have been dragged in pretty far, because I was pretty far inside the impact zone and while I had another big tumble, I was pretty close to the surface after it finished running me over. I finally got up and got a few good breaths before being freight-trained again. Everything I had was gone except my shorts and part of my leash, even my rashguard had been ripped off. It was a long swim in against the river, and I was half-drowned from bodysurfing giant foamballs by the time I touched bottom. I spent the rest of the morning hunting for my fins (found one) and board (found half) and watching to see if my friend had died. I was NOT going to paddle out again (maybe ever). He hadn’t drowned, and we took off around 12:30.

 

It was several hours of back-country driving to get up the coast to T-----, which was just out of control. We picked up bento-style lunch boxes and drove around looking for something ridable inside a jetty or behind a  breakwater without any luck. After J-S neither one of us was feeling like bulling through any more big stuff, so we gave up on T and headed all the way up to C----G----. We arrived almost at sunset to find the left at CG still waaay too big and the swell still had too much south in it. The park there was closed due to high surf, but there weren’t any guards posted, so we just parked the Delicia off to the side and hiked in to check out the north-facing beaches well protected inside.

 

The old lava finger shelves at CG were looking okay. They never break, but with the big disorganized swell having to wrap almost 180 degrees, it was tamed down to around Head-high and really clean. The sky was still stormy and it was raining off-and-on, but the wind was calm. The surf wasn’t great, maybe 100-foot-long rides on sectiony right-handers before they ground up on the cobblestones, but it helped restore some confidence after the beating at JS and got me used to my backup fins. It was too wet for a fire, so we just drove down to town for noodles, then back up to the CG boat ramp and parked under the palm trees. Drank some beer, checked in with family, and sacked out in the back of the truck right on the break, listening to the stereo, then just the rain and the surf hoping that the swell would shrink a bit and turn more northerly by morning.   

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#51 [url]

Jun 21 11 5:10 AM

Day3: Dawned bright and sunny. The Delicia was stifling, but kicking the doors open brought a treat. The wind was calm, and the swell had come around to the north, dropped off, and cleaned up.  I say “dropped off” but it was still DOH+ on the sets and consistent. Pretty sore from the previous day’s humiliation, I walked the shore, ate a mango and some dried bananas, and shot some photos kinda into the sun while my friend paddled out. Eventually I was feeling human enough to head out myself.

The paddle-out at CG is ridiculously easy; either jump off the short jetty or skim in from the tiny beach. Then paddle about a quarter-mile around the break. When it’s small, it breaks close in with great shape. It was not small.

There’s something to be said for an early-morning tropical dry-hair paddleout. Especially when you get to work your way up 150 yards of glassy grinding wayyy OH barrels. By the time I made it to the top of the point—watching my buddy pull in deep and then get obliterated—I had forgotten yesterday’s injury and insult and was ready to get some of my own. CG was in classic form. The sets first encountered the reef way out off the point and jacked up in a big soft A-frame. The right went straight into the rocks (eventually) but the left… oh man. First there was 50 or so yards of big steep shoulder to work, then things sped up and it started chucking sectiony barrels as it ground down past the palm-covered point. By the end a DOH outsider was just slightly OH with an easy out. Beautiful. We stuck on it from 8 until around noon, all by ourselves.
After CG, it was an hour or so drive up the coast to B------D---. BD was also in fine form, but we were burnt out. Instead of paddling out right away, we had lunch on the terrace of a restaurant overlooking the break. There were about five guys on it, two of whom could surf. The rest hung outside and mostly watched. The winds were side-onshore for most of the coast, which meant BD was offshore and clean. Size was well OH with occasional DOH clean-up sets. As usual, the outside peak was mushy and backing off, but it rolled into a slow barreling shoulder on the inside which was really looking sick. Eventually we couldn’t stand watching any longer and paddled out from the tiny beach, all the way up to the top of the peak. Paddling out from the headland would’ve been far too tricky with all the boulders in the large surf. It surfed just like it looked. Nice. We stuck it out from around 3 until 6-ish.

Thoroughly pickled, we pulled into our boat-shaped hotel just a mile up the coast. After unloading a little gear, I grabbed the beer and headed down to the boat-shaped pool. It’s more of a fountain than a pool, being only maybe waist-deep and having no possible way to swim, but it helped leech the salt out of me, and the beers didn’t hurt either. Just sat and soaked, watching the sky turn gold with sunset, listening to the waves on the reefs out front, and thinking about going and eating some of whatever awesome-smelling thing was on BBQ in the open restaurant patio overlooking the water. I did not manage an evening session.

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#53 [url]

Jul 13 11 12:03 AM

It's happening again! I haven't had time to tell you about day 4, and another typhoon is on the radar. Ma-On is positioned to throw some perfect OH+ surf to my favorite breaks, coinciding with when I will be there celebrating Grandma's birthday. So, someday I'll finish telling you about the perfect surf trip, then I'll tell you about the second perfect surf trip, then I'll post photos.


Until then, just imagine me riding classic OH to DOH oriental blue-water waves in nothing but boardshorts while all you suckers are stuck in flat polluted SoCal. Haha!


But don't feel too bad, because it looks like I'm headed to Boston or Sacramento soon, for keeps, so I'll be gnawing my arm off with jealousy of all you west-coasters when I'm stuck with summer flatness or  20-degree snow sessions--or groveling for a chance to drive two hours to catch some mediocre blown-out summer Ocean Beach or get hammered by merciless impossible TOH winter paddleouts.

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#55 [url]

Sep 26 11 6:58 PM

Hey Doods. Yes, that was one killer string of Typhoons. Didn't catch it as good as the big trip, but still got some nice HH action at BD. Here's some pics. The pics of the big days just didn't come out, except for the ones shot from the cliffs for scenic view. Even with a 105mm lens, a surfer is just a dot on a 20' wave a quarter-mile out.

Got lots more at other spots, maybe I'll post it some day. Stuck in Boston now and it is flaaaaaat even though I'm 1 mile from the water and 3 miles from work ( = 2 miles to a liquid lunch). I've got a board but no rubber anyway. Wetsuit ought to arrive by mail in a week or so. Hopefully it'll bring some swell with it. It's back to my secret island in Feb. Can't wait! 





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#57 [url]

Dec 7 11 8:20 PM

Yeah, so it's cold and small here in Beantown. I mindsurf on the offshore, perfectly-peeling, inch-high waves on my ride to work everyday and then home again. NE'ers are the only relief, when it gets maybe head-high but really walled and weak, even when held up by screaming offshore winds. There's some punchier beaches and some points with potential, but it takes a really big storm. 

There might be something rideable tomorrow since it's raining like crazy today. Gonna skip out of work at high tide and see if I can make something of it. See how my cheap-ass wetsuit holds up against the 45 degree water and 38 degree air. At least it's 5 mils and hooded. Got booties too. Need gloves.

Pics to come someday if there's anything worth photographing.

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#59 [url]

Oct 15 12 7:29 AM

Dude, I'm still here.

-sponger42


grin

Right on, meng. One of these days when I have more time I will kick this back up. It's funny how every now & then somebody will drop by. Every once and awhile I check out the pics.

Take care, brother.

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#60 [url]

Oct 24 12 8:24 PM

So Hurricane Sandy is forecast to be like the perfect storm of '91 out here. Screaming NE winds Mon-thru-Wed. That means the little reef near my work will get up to HH or maybe barely OH. I've seen it a respectable CH. 

Low tide at 6AM, and the place works great an hour after low, which will be sunup at 7AM. Should be fun for a few hours before work. Then a hot shower before actually going to work. Finally some surf. 

My setup out here would be pretty good if we ever got waves. I work 7 minutes from a beach which can get kinda fun at high tide, but is really walled and very soft most of the time. 15 minutes away is a nice A-frame reef which usually has about another foot or two on the faces compared to the beach. Lefts back off a bit before getting steep enough on the inside to work the face. Rights have a barrel but I haven't quite got it wired yet. When it's on, there can be as many as 10 surfers on it, but usually it's just me on small days. Maybe 3 other guys when it's fair-to-middling. There's also some sandbars where lots of guys hang out right off the parking lot. It doesn't look like much so I don't know why they surf there. 

There are a few other spots in between but they are fickle. Sometimes sneaker swells come in from summer SE fetches way offshore, but it's usually flat. Sometimes WH. Locals call a CH day "epic". 

Winter NE'ers throw some CH+ surf, but it's usually blowing 30+mph offshore with below freezing temperatures. That's rough, even with 5 mil booties, a hood, and gloves.

People around here usually drive up to Maine or down to RI to catch hurricane swells in the summer. I don't really think it's worth it. I just surf before work or at lunch on the rare occasion when there are waves. Since there are hi and lo tide spots, there's always somewhere to go so long as the winds are anything but south.  At least there are hot showers at work right at the gate, so my boss doesn't see me coming in from a session.

Still, can't wait to get back to SoCal. May end up in SD, Torrance, Gundo, or back in the 805 if I'm really really luck. Hoping to move before Xmas, but spring is more likely. 

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