Monday, July 11, 2005

Dramamine Drama Queens

It's Murphy's Law. Two weeks without surf sends you into a complete funk, bitching, twitching, and itching to get back out there. As if on cue, your complaints about needing to get wet are answered by an ominous rainstorm. But you endure it all because on Sunday you will go surfing come hell or high water.

Well, high water came.

I drove out Sunday at 11:30 with Slim; we got to Cannon Beach around 1:30 (my new old car labors over the coastal range). Our first glimpse of the swell wasn't promising, but anyone who knows me knows that I'm a blind optimist. Putting images of "The Perfect Storm" out of my head, I floored it south until we reached Arch Cape, halfway to Short Sands. The way this little beach was facing, the Southeast wind actually threatened to whip the American flags off peoples decks and out to sea. We were greeted by the following sight:



Okay, we thought, looks like there might be a peak out there that breaks both directions, even if there only seems to be a two second interval between swells. We tug on our wetsuits and charge! Sort of. This is the first time we've paddled out here, and we soon face the realization that there's an insane longshore rip that pulls north, lickety split. We can't even make it to the outside because it's suddenly pretty far south of where we find ourselves pointed. I catch a couple rights that fizzle right from the drop. On our way back to the shore I notice that Slim has picked off a reform with a little juice so I wait to catch one of my own. Unfortunately, I wait too long and I'm a hundred yards north of the inside peak. I belly one in and run back up the beach. We paddle out again, trying to find the elusive inside wave, but it becomes apparent that if you don't time the sets right - bye-bye birdie - you're Alaska bound.

So five minutes later we're sitting on our board bags heading down the 101 and I'm doing my best Dale Earnheardt Jr. impersonation with my dripping bootie on the gas pedal. There's always Short Sands!

But Shorty's is even worse. Four-foot wind chop hiding three-foot set waves. Slim threatening mutiny and abandoning ship after 20 minutes. You get the picture. Squinting to find a silver lining in on the horizon, I hang in there in true Sissy Fish style and catch a few waves (if you can call them that). The best thing I can say is that I tested out my water camera kit--a disposable camera in a second-hand fanny pack. It withstood a decent pounding in the shorebreak and I snapped a few portraits of my sea sick buddies.

On a brighter note, it stopped raining and I did book a trip to Baja today. But more about that in my next entry.


Music: Lynton Kwesi Johnson - "It Noh Funny"

9 comments:

Whiffleboy said...

Our big Baja trip kinda fizzled out. We're still going, mind you, but all our buddies backed out so we're left with a 5bdr ocean-view home all to our lonesomes. 2 adults, 2 kids, 5 bedrooms. Go figure.

Slim said...

Not that anyone reads this besides us and a couple socal'ers.....

Less spot names. Shorty's is Shorty's, but let's try a keep a few things to ourselves, no? There's a code.

Surfsister said...

LKJ? Finally, you've mentioned music that's close to my heart.

RuggerJay said...

The tales of Oregon are totally cool - I'm sure we have very different versions of what constitutes a crowded lineup! And who's LKJ? Type of music?

Surfsister said...

LKJ. Dub poetry god!!! Dub is essentially reggae music without the singing. It's simply the music. LKJ recites his poems over music. He doesn't quite sing and he's got a big voice. He's a militant British brother with whom I've been infatuated since the 80's.

Chum said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the "code"...

From now on I'll refer to Arch Cape as "Supeman's Yoga Cloak" or "SYK."

C'mon Slim, you know better than anyone after being flamed on the Oregon Surf Pages for revealing a spot that nobody surfs how tired THAT point of contention is. It's not like we discovered Lance's Left or something.

I'm sure you were just being sarcastic with that comment and I couldn't detect it, right?

Surfsis, I'm right there with you on LKJ. Loved him in the '80s and rediscovered him on Limewire!

Slim said...

Maybe getting burned before made me think a little more about why spots are protected and valued by those who surf them. Call me old fashioned or just plane ridiculous if you like, I think it's sort of fun keeping some things to myself.

Chum said...

OLD FASHIONED!

Hey, just know that if we do stumble upon something worth keeping a secret I'll be a little more discreet. I'm well aware of the need to protect certain places. When it comes to surfing I think almost everything's fun.

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