Ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest at the tail end of the seventies,I’ve had dreams of waves breaking, perfectly, in some secluded cove, protected from the onshore wind; wrapping around a small headland, clean while, offshore, whitecaps bump against each other.
Of course, in my dreams, the waves are rights. Maybe it was a transference from San Diego, some extension of the Mysto spot, Ralphs, at the end of Point Loma, a remembrance of working at the submarine base, imagining some big south swell finding its way into the depths of San Diego Harbor, maybe hitting at the little pier where the Navy divers hung out. Maybe the dream was based on a remembrance, fondly saved, of waves on the island offshore of Lupe’s Left Loopers in Mazatlan; a real south swell with waves wedging themselves between the main island and another one yards away, peeling past the rocks in absolutely clear little waves, wrapping, wrapping, dreamlike.
The Straits of Juan de Fuca act as that island, cleaning up Pacific storm-born swells, taking that ‘lump’ out of them, and, with the right swell, the points and headlands and hooks created by the rivers running off the Olympics groom these swells into… well, they’re mostly lefts. Still.
But, sometimes, the west wind howling from way out in the open ocean, still crazy passing Port Angeles, still out of control approaching Port Townsend…