The Last Time I Surfed Swamis…

…yeah, it’s been years. If I hadn’t surfed some amazing spots in the years since, Swamis would still be my favorite surf break. Because it played such an important part in my surf life, from kook (1965 – now) blindly paddling for a wave that, no doubt, had someone on it; to getting a ride with Phillip Harper’s mom, parking in one of the limited spaces adjacent to the outhouse, next to a vehicle with a WindanSea decal, and Phil’s mom saying, “Oh, those Wind-an-E’-Sa guys are so nice;” to riding in the far back (facing backward, sometimes with Phillip along) of the family station wagon with my six brothers and sisters, our Mom, and later, older sister Suellen driving, five or six boards of various ages on the Aloha racks; to powering over with various friends (among them, Ray, Mark, Phillip, Bill, Billy, Bill Birt, and later, Scott and/or Jeff) after Fallbrook High School let out, hoping to snag a few waves before dark; to sleeping on the beach up against the cliffs, hoping to catch a few before it got crowded (and not get rousted by the lifeguards or cops as Phillip and I had been when we tried to sleep in the back of his VW truck on the bluff where the lone house is now); to going with my girlfriend, Trish, she riding a mat in what we called Swamis Beachbreak (the go-to spot when Swamis just wasn’t quite big enough); to going alone while working in Oceanside and going to Palomar Junior (now community) College; surfing every day of the famous swell of December 1969; actually being an Encinitas Local for a couple of years in the mid 1970s (albeit on the east side of I-5); to hitting some uncrowded dawn conditions on January 1st on two consecutive years in the early 1990s (down in San Diego working for my Brother-in-law, Jim Scott when my painting business was struggling with northwest winter conditions); and, the last time, a very small afternoon, not too crowded, and, I can remember, paddling, sort of blindly, on the inside peak, lined-up on the palm tree, hoping I had enough speed and the wave enough power to lift me, carry me to that little inside inside section.

Yeah, one big run-on; one spot remembered fondly.

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