A message indicator of my cell phone on my desk was blinking in the pre-down darkness of the room. At this time of the day, that usually means a friend has sent me a text message telling me they are going to be out. I gathered up the gear, and put on the wet suit and started to head to the ocean. It was unusually warm and sunny morning with a local weather reading indicating light offshore wind and not only that the swells are winding down for a more fun level surfs that I like to surf in. As I passed by the Devil's Slide, I stared to check the swell line directions and the size to gauge today's surf. The full moon has not set yet, instead I saw it was shining on calm ocean, its long line of light casted in the middle of the ocean with purple dawn color background. Surfing really is not just all about getting in the water, but the anticipation of getting in the water, and checking out the ocean but things like experiencing ever changing seasonal climate is actually a part of the whole experience!
No matter how early I try to head out, though there already are people who are out already. You hear the familiar sound of a long boarder waxing her board, and some cheerful voice of surfers getting ready in the parking lot. There really are dedicated few that are willing to do this, and I still like to tell people that I get up at 5:30 in the morning, and get in the ocean year around. Needless to say, you get various reactions, but in most cases, there is always an element of surprise and also a relief on their part that they are not forced to do what I do.
But it I really learned to love the dawn patrol. Sure enough, it is really cold when I first dip in the water and then getting over or through the first wave, but once that part is done, then I feel that I am more of a part of the water world!
Something I have noticed recently is that how much warmer I get once I start to paddle a lot, and from that standpoint, so long as I paddle and ride a lot, I can stay warm.
In terms of surfing, it was a bit crowded this morning, but it was just an excellent chance for me to learn a lot more about efficient turning and extracting more power from the waves. Smaller waves and days are really fun that way because I can often ride longer distance as waves tend not close out into just white water mess.