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Saturday, August 4, 2012

8.3.12 Nocturnal Ambitions: Forrest and I Night-Surf Oceanside Pier; July Wrap-Up

I called Forrest with about four hours to go until sundown to see if he wanted to surf.  He asked if I wanted to go night surfing and I said "DOWN!".

I convinced him to drive up to Lowers, but while waiting for the sun to go down my lack of sleep from the previous night caught up with me.  I started feeling lethargic and was over the undertaking (see what I did there?) that is the Lowers trek.

We decided to surf Oside Pier and suited up about twenty minutes after dusk.  While doing so, we were asked by some patrons of the overpriced 333 restaurant if we were night surfing and they were amped for us.  We saw what appeared to be a five foot closeout set break and I started to get excited.  Forrest said that's the biggest wave he's seen in the last six weeks.

As we descended down the stairs, we saw a beehive of activity.; Lots of campfires (smaller than bonfires) and people buzzing about.

I recommended we walk down the beach a ways because of the current the south swells inevitably bring.

It was funny entering the water while people left.  Perhaps this is how firemen feel when they're rushing to a place where people are fleeing.  My experience was at a much slower tempo, though.

I made it out with dry hair and we realized we'd paddled out too far.  There was a lone sponger sitting inside of us with no one else out.  The angle of the swell made it very hard to read the waves.  I could see a peak spring up by the pier, but then, darkness.  A way to think about is when someone starts a sentence but the last half of it is muffled, and you have to piece the sentence together contextually and based on what you know about the person.

The atmosphere was a lot of fun.  The myriad of pier lights gave the water a stadium-like atmosphere.  The scene was completed by what felt like cheering fans (though they were fishing families with lines out).

My first wave was one that Forrest was in a better spot for.  I thought he'd caught it, so I pulled back.  He yelled me onto it, and a last ditch effort of mine was successful.  Unfortunately, the right closed out, so I straightened out and angled hard on a bottom turn so my momentum would carry me over the wash.

It was a bit of a battle to keep paddling away from the pier.  The monofilament fishing lines are almost translucent in the yellow lights and though I didn't touch one, I was paranoid about getting wrapped up in them.

I was getting a little frustrated.  The light would give us a clue, but then we had to guess as to whether we were in the right spot for the waves.  It was an interesting phenomenon that we grew tired of after about a half-hour.

Eventually, we decided to try the north side of the pier.  The sponger had caught a couple of waves I could have had and we were night surfing to ditch the crowds.  Forrest wanted to go in and walk through but I convinced him to just paddle through, threading the pier pilings.

It's always unnerving to paddle through.  I'd never done it in the dark before.  The darkness gave it another level of excitement, because we were doing it almost blind.  A wave could easily come in and bash us against the barnacled pilings.

We dodged the fishing lines, threaded the pilings then dodged another set of fishing lines.  Things seemed different right away on the north side.  We were being pulled away from the pier and the light hit the waves at a much friendlier angle.

My first north side wave was a left on which I pumped, while imagining where on the wave I might be. I pumped a couple of times and went for what I thought was going to be a floater, but I misread the lip in the dim light and turned it into a banked angle off the top, a move you see longboarders do.  My brain commanded my body weight onto my back foot and I lost it upon descent.

I forgot to put an end edit on this video, so feel free to quit watching after the wipeout:

I heard two women on the pier shouting to us.  One had a distinct, mischevious cackle.  I couldn't hear most of what they were saying, but I did catch, "I'm so scared for them!".

My second and last wave was another left that I caught well when it was nice and steep.  I pumped a couple of times and sailor-dived (dove?) off of it.

I went in and ran up to the pier to cheer Forrest on.  He wasn't able to catch a good one.  I caught up with him at the bottom of the ramp and he said he'd invited those ladies out for a drink. What a PIMP!

Forrest then saw them and was surprised by what he saw.  Let's just say his threesome fantasy took a hard left towards Cougarville.  We walked with them towards Forrest's car and he made an excuse about having to get me back to my wife.

What a month July was!  Well, the first half was incredible.  Here's the breakdown:

La Bocana 6
Tyson or Tyson Adjacent: 3
La Bocanita 3
Punta Roca 2
Las Flores 1
El Zonte Left 1
Sunzal 1
El Recodo 1
Avocados 1
D Street 1

Bail of the month goes to the second session of the month: the pearling wipeout at La Bocanita
Wave of the month: Tough one.  It's a tie between the wave upon which I saw the lightning strike reflected and the SICK turn I did at Medios (right by La Bocanita) on the eighth.

I'm mostly over my desire to move to El Salvador full time.  I now have my sights set on convincing my wife to move to Kauai with me.  If she says no, I will be heartbroken, but I have faith I will find someone else...!

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