Monday, February 13, 2006

Mild at Heart

Friday was a crapshoot. Looking at the surf report on Thursday night, it looked like the swell was completely gone (careful what you wish for, right?). Slim, who is currently unemployed, even crapped out on me, saying he wanted to wait until the surf picked up again on Saturday.

So there I was Friday morning, having taken the day off work, sitting there with my mouse in my hand, checking the bouys and webcams every couple minutes and listening to the east wind rattling my windows. The Columbia rivermouth bouy was reading about 5 feet with a 14-second interval with winds due East at 25 kts. But reports on Magic Seaweed and the One Stop Surf Check contradicted eachother. It looked like there was a 4 second interval with 3-foot swells on one, the other one reported swells at .7 feet.

Thinking "Gotta go to know," I was about to jump in my car and see for myself, but decided to call Gee to check the odds of his being able to "Spiccoli" his way out of work. Two hours later we were in the parking lot of Short Sands. The drive down the coast was a stoke-lifter, showing that there was actually swell in them thar waters. Plumes of spray flew off the backs of the waves all along HWY 101. Picture perfect peelers greeted our surf starved eyes. And the sun was shining.

Knowing that it would be small, I brought my 6'2" McCoy. It turned out to be the right decision. Only one peak was working at Shorties, near the south side of the cove. Though it was a work day, at one point there were 20 guys jockeying for set waves. Good thing only five of them knew what they were doing. That's not to say that I know what I'm doing, but at least I didn't drop in on anyone (I was dropped in on twice, though).

After sitting on the shoulder for a while, I finally paddled to the peak and went for a few set waves. It paid off. My new board was incredible. It went really fast and was much more maneuverable than the 6'6" Hammer I was accustomed to. I distinctively remember a late takeoff where my board squirted from the pocket like a skateboard down a ramp. Incredible. I did a bunch of small bottom turns where I would drag my left hand in the water, enjoying my newfound mobility.

As the sun began to set, I forced myself to go in, having counted somewhere between 15 and 20 rides on the day. My arms were wet noodles. I popped a beer before even changing out of my wetsuit and watched the golden colors paint the sky metallic blue. I little boxer scampered around our gear. What a feeling!

I contemplated the fact that there is something special about these small days when survival isn't the first goal of a go-out. Maybe I am a longboarder at heart--or maybe I have watched the film "Sprout" one too many times. Summer seemed to be teasing us from five months away and I knew that the surf report was predicting more storms this week. The Robert Frost quote from The Outsiders, "Nothing gold stays," ran through my head as the sun dropped below the horizon. But then the Gerry Lopez line from Brokedown Melody came to mind and saved my spirit: "There will always be another wave, so keep paddling."

Fire Theft "Summertime"


Patch said...

Who's getting shacked with a little head dip in the last pic?

Chum said...

Some lucky dude. I wish it were me, but I was taking the pics post session!

Patch said...

Not a bad session topped of with a Pabst in one hand and camera in the other.

Music — Jamie Lidell — Multiply

OS said...

Good to see you can always count on the Gee.