Camel Rock.

Checking the conditions and, of course, the Camel Cam, the a.m. surf looked pretty but micro. Not that knee-high surf stopped the crowd from showing up on a Saturday morning. Bobby and I weighed the complicated kid shuffle we’d have to do against the potential of having fun in a crowd in teensy surf and decided to wait till evening.

MD called and said he was heading up to Camel. He’d had a call: “Fun, and only two people out.” The swell had in fact picked up, from 3 at 8 to 5 at 13. I’d hoped for the wind to taper off – that north wind kills – so we could surf Bunkers or Jetty, but it held steady. The girls were at various places for the evening, so we loaded up Nick and Sandy, and made the trek back to Camel. (Note to self: get some damn real racks already! Soft racks suck!)

7:30 p.m. The sun shone down, the waves looked pretty, all was fine. But as we trotted down the steps, a set came in. We both paused. Wow. Sure has picked up. Huh. All right, then… we resumed making our way to the beach. I plunged in and once again reconsidered my “no gloves” policy. Brrrrrrrr. The constant north wind keeps the water chilled beyond its normal coldness. I felt like I’d stuck my hand in an ice bucket.

Was it really that big? Definitely a few feet overhead. That’s not big in Humboldt terms. I’ve caught plenty of waves that size. And despite their illusory thickness, these waves didn’t seem the sort to crunch your bones. But I couldn’t place myself right, couldn’t work the timing out in my head. I ended up caught inside twice. The first time I saw so much whitewater coming at me – and realized maybe I should’ve brought the slightly smaller board instead of the 7’6″ which I cannot duck under very well at all – I just turned around and let the crumbling wave rocket me toward shore. Since I was there, I went ahead and stood up on it (kook!). The wave reshaped and resurged so I was able to manuever a bit under the broken part, sliding down the face all the way beyond wash rock. That was fun. But since I didn’t actually catch the wave, not something I could claim.

The second time I got caught inside, I tried to whip to the left so I could check on Bobby. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn my body, so what happened was, my head went left, but the board kept going right; I fell off flat on my back – smack! – like a belly-flop, only a back-flop. Ouch. I saw Nick doing the two-arm wave, which means, “Come in!” so I hollered to Bobby and made for shore. He was cold. It was late. Could we go?

OK. Both Bobby and I wanted one more go at redeeming ourselves, but rather than argue about who would go up and who would go back out, we both left.

Lesson learned: I need to surf more.

I need to surf more.
I need to surf more.
I need to surf more.

Amazing how that remains the same all these years. Time to start dawn patrolling again.