From this old post:

…in 2000 starting in June, I surfed 68 times.

In 2003*, my best year in the water, I surfed 155 times.

Then, a steady decline:


Adding the years since then:

2008: 59
2009: 67
2010: 64
2011: 73

(*2001 and 2002 surf calendars are missing!)

My default goal is always to surf 183 days out of the year — one more than half. If I can break 100 this year, I’ll know I spent my time more wisely than in years previous. Few things make me happier than surfing. Some aspects of my life — family and work — matter more, but at the end of the year, I hope I can say I spent less time Facebooking and folding laundry and more time immersed in the brisk, salty, beautiful experience of surfing Humboldt County.

If New Year’s Day is any example of things to come, 2012 is filled with promise. The morning dawned clear, black giving way to indigo fading to pale green to yellow to a sky so ridiculously blue you’d think we lived somewhere without near-constant fog and 40 inches of rain. The wind refrained from disturbing the ocean, the bay, the rivers for much of the day, the glassy result all the better to mirror the herons and egrets dotting the waters, the Vs of geese flying overhead. It was the kind of day where nature pours her heart out to you and, unless you’re without one, the happiness in your own heart magnifies in return. If you forgot to look away from your computer screen, you missed out.

The buoys read from 5 at 11 to 6 at 13, numbers than can represent head-high fun or macking sets, depending on location, tide and the usual set of conditions. One usual condition was the crowd at Camel Rock. I looked at it via the cam, thought about it, looked again, thought more, decided I’d rather face more challenging waves with fewer people.

A typical scene at Camel. Pretty. Crowded.

I made the right call. (A look at the buoy numbers later showed the swell dropped while I was out, so I really made the right call!) Sunny, glassy, not too crowded, nice crew, overhead user-friendly waves. I stayed in the water till my feet turned numb. Best wave arrived as a left, one that a very talented superlocal graciously handed off to me. Holiday celebrations have left me feeling thick and clumsy, but nonetheless, I landed on my feet and spent several seconds blissed out as the wave folded behind me, rose in front of me, the world a momentarily perfect place.