Thursday, February 17, 2005

Session 5033: Offshore Struggles in A-Fram Condition!

The weather has not been that great lately, but we have been managing to escape huge downpours, in fact, it has been sort of dry other than the thick heavy cloud covering over us like we are the inhabitants of the Jupiter. Days like this, the NWS Doppler radar is really helpful since I can see the local rain pattern since while it is still pitch dark outside when I get up. As soon as I did not see any green over our area, I was very happy. Then the next thing I would check is the Scripps map that just gives me a very quick overview of the swell energy and wind in one quick look. With a tide chart on my watch, basically that's all I need to determine where I should check for the day's surfing. As soon as I saw all the parameters, I called for the A-frame condition at the Jetty.

Turns out I was basically right, and I called my local friend and we were heading out there. But there was one thing I miscalculated. When I got there there was this rather strong offshore wind that was blowing. Offshore wind is a bit difficult to know from the buoy wind reading because the wind tend to dissipate far from the shore, so it can be blowing like 20 knots right at the beach, and it can be a total calm 4-5 miles out in the ocean where they put these buoys. So next time, if it looks like offshore, I should check the sensors at Chunha Middle School.

It is said in many surfing instructions that offshore condition is supposed to be good, so most people say, but I had more troubles surfing on offshore days than on onshore days. Waves tend to jack up even faster and with oncoming wind, paddling into it is a bit tricky. Sometimes, the board get lifted up if a gust hits and when the wave is about to crest there is quite a bit of more upward air that blows. The waves make even different kind of sound, something more like someone hosing down a car or something. Then waves is about to crush, there is just a lot of splashy water just blows back. If you are seeing this from far away, it is really beautiful with some halo forming over the breaking waves. I think that's called spindrifts. But when I am in it, and when I get through a duck dive, it is often the case that I get sprayed all over my head and the back, almost making me feel like I did not make a duck dive. Feels like someone hosing me down.

Also if you are not watching out for your position, you could be swept out before you know it. These days, I am taking short boards out, so I prefer not to paddle back too far and too long, so I was frantically adjusting my position.

So while my friend called me afterwards that he had a really good time, it was a bit of struggle to catch good waves. It was fun, the waves were breaking in A-frame fashion not in just one place but at several posts, and I did have my own spot too.

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