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Monday, August 29, 2011

8.29.2011 Lowers (then Uppers) Sunrise Sesh, Bioluminescence!

Another week, another Lowers sunrise session.  Had I had my druthers, I wouldn't have gone to Lowers as the swell was fresh in and everyone would be frothing... I told my buddy Eric about surfing Lowers before the sun was up while on the way to a Friday poker game and he wanted in and PRONTO!

The night before, Eric asked me what would happen if he was attacked by a shark (there was a great white sighting off Mission Beach over the weekend).  I told him that I would marry his wife and raise his two girls as my own.

I told him I'd meet him at his house in Carlsbad at 3:45 and was making great time when I pulled off the freeway and realized I'd forgotten my leash.  This is probably only the second time this has happened to me.  I called him and circled back, got it and arrived at his place at 4:05.  His fifteen-year-old stepbrother was joining us and we were up there.

We were the second car there and on the way down the dark path I spotted what appeared to be the kneeboarder from last week speeding by on his bike (bastard!).  We made it to the railroad tracks and I counted my steps back from last time so I could more easily find the path through the brush, as it was pitch black with very minimal artificial lighting helping us.  The kneeboarder was out already and the two guys I was with were lagging putting their stuff on so I paddled out into the great dark abyss without them.

I was definitely weirded out as it was SO dark out there.  The shark crossed my mind a couple of times, but I didn't have any panicky what-is-that-touching-my-leg moments.  This is where the best part of the morning comes in...

While looking out at the waves at night, all you will typically see is the whitewash where a wave has already broken.  There was a glow to these waves that I noticed, but I wrote it off as its whiteness being the only thing for any ambient light to bounce off.

As I made it to a safe paddling depth, I jumped on my board and started scratching.  It was SCARY how dark it was.  I kept paddling and I noticed that my hands were lit up!  The bottom of my white board was also lit up and it made me feel a little like this guy:

Another cool aspect is when I took my hand out of the water and looked at it, it looked like tiny lightning bugs appearing and disappearing sporadically in a scattershot manner.
It doesn't sound nearly as cool as it looks, but hopefully you get the idea a little bit.

I got out there and it wasn't difficult to see unbroken waves but it was damn near impossible to judge them.  I managed to catch a garbage left and kicked out.  I paddled back out and got a nice left on which I did my patented slide/slash and it looked pretty sick with the glow!  I recovered and rode it a little longer.  It was difficult to see where on the wave I was, but the intermittent beacon atop Cottons Point helped a bit.

More and more guys paddled out and before I knew it there were seven of us and still no light.  I then caught a short right and did a couple of turns, nothing too special, but solid.  Within two minutes, I caught what was the best wave of the morning and did a great snap followed by a decent backside roundhouse cutty to kick out.

It got more and more crowded and we bailed to Uppers.  I hadn't surfed Uppers in about ten years and was looking forward to reacquainting myself with it.  The waves there weren't as juicy, but I caught a right and did a good snap on it with another backside roundy.  I also caught a sick one that I raced but got caught up in the white wash.  I can't remember the last time I pumped and was going so fast on a right and it was a great feeling!

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