It started with a dream.
I woke up with vivid memories of a dream I'd had this morning. I was walking along a beach I'd never traversed, in my fullsuit and with board. My inner monologue as I walked and the unsettled feeling encroaching me subconsciously led me to believe it was a trip with the in-laws.
I saw small but good waves breaking and guys tearing them apart. I put my board to water and realized the bottom was rocky, so I'd have to watch my path. Twenty yards directly outside of me, I spotted the head of what appeared to be a large cat. I don't know if it popped up or had been there the whole time, but I do know it was staring right through me. It had the look of a cat when it's hissing, but I couldn't hear anything coming from it. Come to think of it, I don't remember experiencing any audio the whole dream.
I awkwardly felt for bottom, and found some craggy rocks to aid me in my quest towards deeper water. I noted how I seemed to be in a valley of deeper water, but in between two shallow lanes of rock. Bizarre.
Less than ten seconds after breaking the big cat's stare, I looked up again. The large cat's head was now within six feet of my head. I looked into its eyes and watched it go into a roar of sorts, its giant saber teeth striking terror into me.
I flashed back onto what I was told to do as a child when a stray dog came up to me. I picked up some small stones and threw them at the cat, hoping to just make it go away. I floated a couple of stones its way, not wanting to hurt it. It barely registered, closing its eyes ever so slightly as each projectile met its target.
I looked down towards my feet for something more convincing and looked up as the cat was right in front of me. It started to let out another inaudible roar and that woke me up.
I didn't know if there would be enough juice to make the trek worthwhile, but I decided to chance it. I had to alter my route so I'd be walking along the 101 due to the City of Oceanside closing down an intersection. This led to a new route.
My goal on my route is to pick up at least one piece of litter each way. There is a recycling bin/trash can station right by the Wisconsin ramp, but the one I used on the way back, in an alley, has been pulled in by the homeowner. This means I am forced to hang on to the trash for longer, until I get to the gas station/convenience store.
A new route means more trash and figuring out where to dump it. Luckily, Oceanside does provide trash cans along the 101. I know it's probably too late, but before you call me a hero, my motivation is not an altruistic one. I am simply trying to please the surf gods and hope they will bless me with good timing/positioning/luck while I'm paddling around.
Today I picked up quite a score, thanks to my not having "used up" all the trash karma on previous walks to the beach. I giddily dumped it along the 101 and almost skipped down to the beach to the cornucopia of waves that likely awaited me.
I envisioned spinning lefts on one side, spinning rights on the other. I'd catch a wave, get pitted (casually of course), get spat out, and fawn over the upcoming rank off the closeout section. I'd compress my body and pre-wind my arms, then unload upon the approaching section, landing cleanly after an air reverse, hang out while sliding fakie, get sick of that and have the fins engage as I yawned.
The ocean would then go flat as an oh-so-temporary rip would zip me right out to take a look at the rights. Given such an opportunity, I would hug the face of the wave, trailing my front arm behind me as a thick slab folded over me. I resisted the urge to grab the rail and felt the wave out with my feet as the lip's cracking thunder resonated in an audiophile's acoustics wet dream. I eventually caught up to the beginning of the lip line and breathed a mini-sigh of relief as the darkness of the barrel went away and light permeated my vision.
The spit hit me hard and jostled me a bit, as my hair slapped me in the face, whiplashed after experiencing such a quantum leap in pressure differentials. I had all of this speed as I exited the tube and half-blindly slammed my heels into my board and pivoted my hips while rotating my shoulders, intent on eviscerating the lip which had given me so much pleasure just seconds ago. My hair was moved back by the air resistance as I laid into a backside carving 360, then airdropped into the near-vert section. I knew a sick section was coming up, but opted to float it. While doing so, I put most of my weight on my front foot while kicking out my back foot over my holdless fins. My tail rotated down and I smoothly stomped my first-ever tail-drop 360 floater.
I got woken up out of my daydream by the sight of the ocean. It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible.
I walked north, as it looked a little lazy considering we'd passed the depth of the low tide. A guy stopped me on the sand and we talked about my board for a good five minutes. I told him my experience and gave him a sizing tip and extricated myself when I saw a juicy set come.
I half-jogged fifty or so paces north and paddled out.
Just like yesterday, my first wave arrived within minutes of my perching. The drops were way steeper as I'd gotten out earlier and the low tide was later, meaning I was closer to the steepest waves of the morning.
I took off on a left and leaned slightly on my back foot hoping not to launch myself over the nose by pearling. The wave let me in and I felt ñañara ("trepidation"?) only slightly. I swooped into a mini bottom turn but the wave sectioned off into a barrel, which I had the pleasure of shadowing for more than three seconds. I made a note to pull in on my next wave.
And pull in I did. I compressed myself as tightly as I could and suffered the consequences of the lip taking my head off and bitch slapping me head first into the trough. I came up surprised at the turn of events I'd just endured. Guess I'll have to wait to get barreled when I'm on a bigger wave.
I got into another left, this one tighter and racier than the last. I had no option at this point but to ride it out straight as I would a closeout or tuck into a switch crab grab. I opted for glory and got barreled for a second-and-a-half before I saw it close out.
I took another left on. There was a section immediately in front of me about to break. I broke character of kook Eddies past and rose up and slammed my weight down, netting a boatload of speed. This aided me in getting around the section. As soon as I did, I rose up and SNAPPED hard, but somehow lost my footing and splayed out. Damn that would have been sweet!
A good twenty minutes passed and the heads started coming out. My wave count suffered. A female surfer set up to my inside. A set came and I chivalrously (?) let her have the first, but hoping there was a bigger second one behind it like the last few sets'd had.
She caught her wave and I was on the next one. This one was nice and steep, so much so that I quit paddling so I wouldn't overshoot. The girl was back, likely wise to my plan by now as she watched me heave myself over the ledge and tuck into the barrel. I weaved through it as best I could for two seconds, even pulling up slightly so as not to intersect the crashing lip. I got bounced off my board somehow, but was amped on the spilling cylinder I'd watched unfold for those beautiful couple of ticks.
Nothing much came, which was surprising as the tide was rising, so I bailed.