Yes, I knew the waves would be smaller, and surely stories of yesterday's conditions would have spread throughout the coast. My expectations were definitely tempered.
Unfortunately, all of this prepping was not enough to make me ready for what awaited me. At first glance, I didn't see much. The conditions were almost exactly the same, except for the obvious tidal differences a day later. The offshore wind was still there, but without yesterday's intensity.
I gave the ocean the benefit of the doubt considering how it provided for me yesterday.
The crowd was thicker than yesterday's session-opening count, but still manageable. I got out there with almost a dry hair paddle-out but was foiled by the last wave standing in my way of daylight. As the wave hit me, I sensed a decrease in energy from yesterday's session. As I waited for my first wave, I noticed there was no current. This meant the NW swell that had top billing yesterday had faded into obscurity.
Yesterday's consistency had faded. Today looked like yesterday, but the inconsistency eliminated my chances for deja vu.
My first wave was super steep. I stopped paddling to give myself a shot at making it, then lunged forward once the initial push. I was late. Extremely late. I stomped down and immediately pearled.
The waiting continued long after I'd perched. I kept seeing waves reel off to my south, so I sporadically paddled down that way.
Towards the end of my tenure in the Pacific, I caught a wave on which I was able to stand and go down the line. It was a bit iffy, so instead of pumping I decided to keep my weight over my front foot. Eventually, I had my shot and I went pretty close to vertical on it, which all but cements my chances of making the turn. Let's just say I held my breath during the turn and about five seconds after it...
I went in shortly thereafter.