The First (Highly Forecast, Hyped, Anticipated) Swell of Fall, and…


…and all that entails. This is a photo sent to me by my friend, wandering Hydrosexual (explained in an earlier post), Stephen Davis. It’s a point in Northern California, and the image may belay the size (and hide many of the rocks in the lineup).

My most recent conversation with Stephen, the day after I shared the road to and from the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and the parking area, over the weekend, with pretty much every surfer in Washington State who has a computer with the capability of picking up Surfline, Magic Seaweed, or any other surf forecasting site, or, maybe, heard about a ‘high surf warning’ on the TV weather, or maybe a friend who used to surf a lot gave people a call, and/or…

Okay, I’m not going to whine (any more than I already have) about surfers trying to surf. When I found out Saturday, with waves out of control on the coast, the swell didn’t really move far enough north to penetrate and wash the points and coves with four-to-six foot peelers, I thought, if I got up early enough, I could get a few of Sunday’s bigger, cleaner… second ‘Okay,’ I did get waves to myself while many of the surfers camping in their vehicles were still sleeping or making breakfast on grills that, magically, were pulled out of the back of SUVs, and others were watching the four longboarders floating around on the ‘I’d-be-exaggerating-if-I-said-kneehigh’ lefts. I got a lot of waves, actually, little rights, with at least one ride to add to my memory bank, one of those where the chances of making the first, then the second, then the third section were less than assured; swoop and lean harder into the wall… and make it.

So, I did fine. I’m not sure everyone did. I hung out on the beach a while, chatting with surfing power couples, a guy who remembered me from an earlier session, who said he was trying to contain himself, with visions of overhead waves, on the way to… okay (number 3) some of the waves were a bit over knee-high, and there was always the hope the swell, 16 second intervals, would move just a hair farther north, the incoming tide would bring that fabled ‘push,’ or, maybe, at some other cove or point, maybe not with the easy access, there were those (again) fabled Straits peelers.

I checked one of those spots on my way back home, still, if I didn’t doddle, in time to watch some of the much-anticipated Seahawks/Cowboys football game. There were as many surfers making the trek out to the lineup as there were in the glassy waves, and as many tired surfers making the return trip to their vehicles. And then there were the surfers, as I was, dressed in their on-land clothes, hiking out to check out a spot a friend of mine asked me not to mention, as if it is a secret.

I will return there; the waves were definitely worth it; on one of those non-weekend days when the forecast is a little bit ‘iffy,’ the hype a bit… probably no hype at all. Hopefully everyone driving up and down Surf Route 101, out on Highway 112, on the sideroads heading north from their, on the paths and beaches, hopefully everyone caught at least one memorable wave; drop, lean, rise, swoop, blown out the end, clean.

And I have to go, but I’ll get back to the Stephen Davis story… always more, always something coming. As for the Seahawks, next weekend, man.

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