With the notion that there is some water contamination near my Half Moon Bay home, this morning I have decided to drive towards Waddell Creek and if I did not find any, I'd come right back.
Oh, well... This is a kind of a day when I really wish I had some expert surfers with me because every state beach looked very attractive on the way down. The swell lines were forming and waves were breaking in gentle-looking A-frames from one state beach to another at slightly overhead level.
Problem number 1: If I went, I would be the only surfer there. In fact, I was kind of hoping that I'd find a beach where there is at least one surfer out, and I would have gone out.
Problem number 2: If I went, I would likely be overwhelmed by the power of the breaks. They looked like they were just above my top limit of what I am willing to take, especially if I went by myself. It would be a different story, if an expert buddy is around and the added mental boost would just help me stay in the lineup. It is definitely a mental and courage thing. If I was forced to go, or if I saw some child stranded out, I will go and get the child back.
So I drive by San Gregorio, Pomponio, and Pescadero... and I was hopeful and at the same time I was becoming worried that I would not be able to go out. Then I arrived at Waddell Creek, my final destination for this morning. Already the mud cleaning people were out dumping lot of gravel by the parking lot, which is actually making the water murky. Then I saw two pickup trucks with white surf boards on their beds and dudes were doing some surf check.
We greeted, and one of the guys asked me if I was going in, and I said, "Yeah, why not, I came all the way here, might as well get wet." The waves were bit smaller here than other places, and I was very comforted to see two people looking like they were getting in. I told them if they were looking for better waves hit north a bit, but one of the guys said he was recently injured in the face, so he'd want to take it easy. He showed me a spot on his face where he was hit. Then I showed him my Montara battle scar, a 5-stitch prize that I will carry for the rest of my life with a story to go with it.
One of the guys said, "Yeah, I will go in with you." and with a lightening speed they were already suited up and started to paddle out. I followed about 5 minutes later fumbling with helmets and all sorts of gear, and also this grandma from New York wanted me to pause for a photo, presumably she would want to show her friend back east, "This is a surf dude in California." There was also a 5-6 year old boy with them, and he was looking at me preparing very carefully. I am sure that when the chance comes, he would try.
Well, I must say that I was happy to pick the 6'6 today because getting out was a hell with a lot of current and jostling inside section, still breaking and that was a channel. Many many duck diving, and finally got outside. Once out though the waves were a bit on a mushy side and so it was difficult to pick the right wave for me. Sometimes, I go for it and it won't break. But occasionally the waves were rolling up some tubes and if you were good, you'd get in them. I love Waddell Creek because waves can look big but usually not that hard breaking, say at Montara.
I must say that surfing has a bit of this masochistic element to it. We catch the waves; we smile and get out being pounded by oncoming breaks and go for more.
And so it was fun!