Friday, December 23, 2016

Solstice Surf

A long period swell rolled into the Mendocino Coast for the Winter Solstice.  I could hear it rumble and roar as I plugged away on the computer working on website revisions for Liquid Fusion Kayaking (and occasionally glancing at the buoy readings).  The day was warm and sunny and after a morning of office work, I was ready to get wet.  Jeff and I went on the search.  We checked a couple of spots, but the tide wasn't right or the swell was too big.  We settled on a spot that we thought might get better as the tide filled in.  It didn't look promising but there were waves.
Little me in the Big SEA! Photo by Jeff Laxier
Being out on the ocean in a "little" kayak on a "big" day is exhilarating.  The energy is intense as mountains of water collide with the off shore rocks and headlands.  The explosions are spectacular and mesmerizing.  On the Mendocino Coast, we are fortunate to have protected coves that dissipate the swell so it is possible to paddle out on a big day.
Mountains of water. Photo by Jeff Laxier
I have been primarily surfing in my surf kayak but didn't see any surfable faces so I opted for my Jackson 2 Fun (whitewater kayak).  The 2 Fun is a blast in bouncy surf.  It likes to slide down the face and then squirt out in front of the foam pile.  My freestyle repetoroire is limited but I have fun bouncing, spinning, and back surfing it.  
2 Fun in the surf. Photo by Jeff Laxier
I did find a fun wave to play on.
Trying to make it down the line. Photo by Jeff Laxier
My little boat wasn't fast enough to make it down the line.  If my timing and positioning were precise, I could drop in, climb back to the lip, turn to float down on the cascading foam, and then surf along in front of the foam pile.  However, it didn't always work that way.  Sometimes the lip crashed on my head and other times, I bounced out in front of it.  
Bouncing out in front of the foam pile. Photo by Jeff Laxier
It was always fun and had me going back for another and another and another . . . . until the sun started dipping behind the headlands and it was time to surf in.
Surf until the sun goes down.  Photo by Jeff Laxier

1 comment:

  1. Clicking on the second shot to enlarge looks like you settled on a spot that was pretty big anyway. Can't imagine how big other places you passed on were.