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If You Look Closely

If You Look Closely

Here’s a peek into the very manic-depressive swell ‘window’ on the north shore of the contiguous United States. This is the last of a swell that missed most of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, somehow caught on the last possible corner.
If you look closely, you can see several people chatting, parking lot surfing. Some of the crowd that came and went in this particular parking lot had been out, couldn’t go out because of inconveniently-timed illness, or were just waiting to see. Meanwhile, chat about waves caught and waves missed. Others had come and gone, several surfing until the tide got too high, took naps in their cars, checked it again, drove away.
My friend, Archie “Atsushi” Endo took the photo, with me, mostly suited-up, beside him. Tim Nolan had just gotten out of the water, having been in it since the tide dropped enough to allow the waves to clear the rocky beach.
And now, the swell, reported by local surfer Keith Darrock (I’m going to say I called him- knowing he’d know) at half past dawn as “three to four feet. I’d give it an A minus.” “I should come up.”
Others did. What was unusual is that Dave, way-formerly of PB, had come here from PA. That wouldn’t normally be a sound bet. Tugboat Bill had turned right instead of going straight. New kids (there are always new surfers in PT; most move on eventually) had found the spot, hit it or missed it, or, for one reason or another, passed.
Well, no; I hadn’t gone up early. No. I put it off, had to, just had to finish some work. Archie and I had gone west on Friday evening, sure our favorite low tide right would be working. It was, at about one to one and a half; but, yeah, we went out.
And we caught a lot of waves, long, perfect, glassy, fin-draggers; in a pouring rain.
Meanwhile, on that same Friday, the corner was catching the long period, but kind of southish swell. All day.
Supposedly. And everyone I spoke with seemed to have hit it.
I checked this spot on Saturday. There’s something so alluring about an offshore wind holding up a three foot wave. See the last place in the photo, where the point hits the water? Now imagine a long line curling onto it, top blowing back. But the tide was high; too high, and, though I did some parking lot surfing with Jesse Joshua Watson, local artist, soon to have some work featured on this site (Yeah, I’m always pimping realsurfers), I couldn’t wait to see if the swell would hold as the tide dropped. The Seahawks were about to play.
In retrospect… it’s always in retrospect; I could have come here on Friday; I could have surfed first, worked later. I could have…
Well, I got five or six long lefts, had to bail once as a bigass rock unsubmerged in my path as the tide and the swell dropped in unison. Worth it.
Now, I’m totally considering deleting this post in a few days. I don’t want to further antagonize the PT locals; but, let me say this: This is the first swell that really caught here since late September.
Meanwhile, Archie is going to Japan to work for three months or so in the prime season, such as it is, for America’s bi-polar north shore. Good luck Atsushi; hope you do some surfing.

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