Several years ago, there was a surfing magazine article on how to Dawn Patrol. There were many points in there like not fiddle too much with a computer or wait for friends and keep one's self warm and comfortable. Since then I have been trying to refine the art of dawn patrolling.
First, I have figured that in the morning I am not so coherent. So anything that require any figment of logic, I try to do the night before.
One key thing is to basically squeeze 2 hour out of my life before I get to work and make an impression to anybody around me as if nothing else has happened. Because if anything goes wrong, then usually I would be faced with a statement "He is a surfer, he does not know the priority of other stuff." At least that's one of the fears that I have. But aside from that if I am late by 30 minutes I stand to lose 5 to 10 waves, and that's significant given that standing up on a board is actually a very small fraction of a time a surfer would spend in his or her entire surfing career. It IS very precious moment.
About a few days before I start to check the forecasts to make sure that where I can go, then start to coordinate any morning meetings and such. If it is going to rain and storm, I still get up at the same time (5:45 AM) but head straight to work and plan a 8:00 AM meeting with my staff.
And night before,
- Pack the change of clothes in the duffel bag, and a pair of street shoes and load them in the car night before. I have been in a situation where I forgot to pack street shoes in the car and had to go to an executive board meeting with a pair of sandals on. If for some reason the condition is not good, I just leave the duffel bag in the car and use the change of clothes for the next session, and pull other set of street clothes out of the closet (as opposed to pull them out of the bag and wear them for the day.)
- Load the car with appropriate set of boards for tomorrow's condition.
- Make sure that wet suits and such are ready to go.
On the morning,
Try to quickly check the condition, head out, and if the condition is ANY surf-able, I'd get out, and paddle.