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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Lisanti’

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The sands of time continue to pass through the hour glass unrelenting.  As that time passes we grow older and subsequently our lives change.  More for some then others.  Myself I always seem to travel in some kind of cyclic motion never finding a means to an end. Maybe that is just the existence I have been so accustomed that it is the only reality I know.  Many of you might have thought I gave up on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.

The thought did cross my mind for a host of epithelial reasons. First off there is a personal cost to blogging that in some ways changes the writer’s life.  Sometimes in the past I found myself wondering if my life was leading the blog or it was the blog that began to structure the outcome of my life.  This idea finally became so ingrained I needed a break to sort it out.

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As long as my life goes in this direction maybe I don’t really care what’s leading it.  Photo: A Lua

What I found was that after taking nearly a year off from writing, besides the surflog, was that my life still went on in the same status quo it has.  I have been publicly writing about myself on the internet since 2005.  That is over a decade.  I sort of forgot what life was like before documentation.  At this point SurfingRuinedMyLife.net has become a part of me making the thought of letting it go seems impossible,

On the topic of costs, there is and has been an emotional cost to blogging.  Mainly it is more or less pertaining to the emotions of the important people in the main subject’s life.  It is impossible to write a life style blog based on oneself with out including the important people in that life.  They are the supporting characters in my life that alter its course and adventures as much as myself.  In most cases there has been minimal backlash, yet in few cases, as my long term readers know, there have been some retractions.  Truth be told I have lost friends, family, girl friends, connections, jobs, and more likely then not other cool things I will never know about due to my writings.  Our actions have consequences and such I too am not impervious of.

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Here I am about to learn the consequences of high performance surfing. Photo: A Lua

You know what “FUCK ‘EM”.  I didn’t start this blog to make friends (though the unexpected awesome people I have met and befriended because of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net have been amazing, you know who you are) and I never have lived my life in fear of my actions. To be honest I am really tired of making excuses for myself and the path I have chosen to take.  Despite the care free fun life that I portray it hasn’t come with out the omittance of other life experiences.   In the pursuance of surfing, doing and saying what ever I want it has left me in a sort of box that now as bit more of an adult I have found the world has sort of left me behind.  Or let me rephrase that, I have let it leave me behind. The ability and drive to catch up has almost completely alluded me.  Thus I am at the moment stuck in this proverbial box.

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Life moves fast like the cascading lip.  If we don’t keep up then we get left behind.  On another note I don’t mind being stuck in this box. Photo: A Lua

I hope this has shed a little bit of light on some of the reservations I have had about moving forward with SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  This is also a declaration of my intent to write again and restore my inner voice. From this point on I am back to writing whatever it is I feel like cause this blog is not sponsored, supported or endorsed by anyone but myself.  Therefore I am going to be true to myself, my thoughts and beliefs  Take all your death threats, hate mail, bad comments, spitting at me in various surf locales I frequent and shove it up your ass.  Last I checked we lived in a country that values free speech.  In a world of easily accessible surf cams, information and social media my blog is a minor cog in the machine that is crowding and clogging our line ups.

That being said I do want to take a new direction on this blog because as life changes we change and some topics that I may have thought poignant to go on about in verbatim seem futile now.  There are some new thoughts and ideas I have that a few years ago were not even a twinkle in my eye.  I just wanted to announce my return to blogging and I once again would like to thank you for reading and supporting me.  My greatest hope is that I can write an even better, more entertaining and informative surf blog then I had in the past.  If you folks are down to go on this journey with me then please let me know in the comments.  I can use all the motivation I can get.  Welcome back everyone!!! I am glad to give this another stab.

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Here we go again! Photo: A Lua

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Its moments like these that really count. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

It’s still a mystery to me how this life works or even why.  I know the religious cats out there like to leave it up to their god or gods.  The fatalists believe our lives are already predestined according to the rules of fate.  The transcendentalists like to watch how life unfolds in front of them.  As for me I spent most of my time confused and boggled by both my everyday life and the greater scheme there of.  In addition I find myself in a constant state of awe and utter amazement of the world around me.  Most of the time I just plain spend too damn much time attempting to figure out just what is going on instead of just going with the flow, a motto I have very much been carefully learning to adopt.

Maybe If I had been able to “go with the flow” so to speak things would not have gotten as out of hand as they did.  For there has always been a fine line between going with the flow and standing up for what you believe in.  Whats right is right after all.  A friend of mine took note the other day that my blogging seems to revolve around my former relationships to define epochs in my life.  This thought began to marinate in my mind a bit and I thought that maybe my friend was right. My life for at least the last ten years or so has been defined by one woman or another and each one subsequently led to my personal demises.

Once again this little blog saga that I have been dragging out is nothing more then a pathetic epilogue , a sad testament even,  on some level to another failed romance.  If I have learned anything from all of what you have already read and are still to read it’s that women in general are fucking nuts.  Believe me I know crazy.  I’m completely bat shit, certifiably insane. I crossed over that line and never looked back around ten years ago.  Ultimately my thoughts are that I will never understand the female psyche and I suppose I don’t really care to anymore.  I am just going to do my thing and let them do theirs.

Anyhow so last I left off I had been jilted by yet another she devil. I know now she was just a rebound, but at the time it killed me.  I think the hardest thing that anyone has to do is get over a relationship and many of us can’t help but jump right into another one to if even for a brief moment be able to relive the same feeling of love we had with our exes.  This momentary memory becomes pure bliss and we forget our troubles.  What usually happens at least for me and others I have talked to is that I end up putting way too much emphasis and pressure on this new budding relationship causing it to falter before it even got off the ground.  This was exactly the case this time around, though it didn’t help that she had one of the least agreeable dispositions I have ever come across in a relationship.

After the break up that was the pretty much the premise of the “When it rains it” blog I went into my usual downward spiral of drinking, drug abuse and incessant partying.  At the same time I was also losing interest at my job.  I was promised all these so called changes that were going to take place to make my life easier.  Instead they just made my job harder and way more annoying.  Over it and feeling very aggravated with my life in general I began to act out against the management a bit.  I even began to stir up a bit of mutiny among my fellow employees.

The fact that it was an El Nino winter and the WNW swells kept pouring in didn’t help either. In fact I began using my sick and vacation time in pursuit of catching good days out at Naples, El Capitan and other of my favorite waves.  At that point I was over missing decent waves for a job that was going absolutely no where and for a management system that completely didn’t care.  When I think of all the great days of surfing I have missed for that stupid job it makes me sick, including the once in a life time Hurricane Marie swell.  You can click this link for that skinny on that one.

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Saying the winter was solid is almost an understatement.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

I guess it was late January when everything went down.  The hard part about work place politics and one I have never been all that good about is knowing who’s ass to kiss and who to side with.  My problem always is that I don’t kiss anyone’s ass and just about all the time say exactly what is on my mind good or bad.  I finally had enough of all the new changes going on with out any consultation of my own.  I steadily began making complaints and inquiries into everything that was taking place.  I suppose my bosses and a few other employees who were looking to climb the ladder a bit at my own demise got into cohorts against me and began compiling incriminating evidence, most of which was absolute bull shit, against me.  I was the only one with the integrity and gall to challenge what I felt was unfair policy and as a result like any great martyr I took the fall for it.

Ultimately it all led to my termination for a charge of which I was guilty of just that it had been known that I was an offender of such since I initially began working there six years ago, and was never warned or questioned about.  As a matter of fact my own bosses used to joke with me about it.  I am not going to get into here cause it is a tad embarrassing and could hurt my professional reputation.  The evidence against me was severely lacking and mostly hearsay.  I actually consulted a few lawyers about the possibility of a wrongful termination suit and was advised against it, being told although I had a decent case it was not worth the time, money and effort.  In the end I took what little severance I was offered and moved on with my life.
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By February and my birthday I found myself totally and completely at a loss.  I had no job, very little money, no prospects and no girl friend.  Some would say my situation seemed rather bleak and if I was a normal person I would have felt the same.  As I dug deep into my inner self and came to grasp with my situation I actually realized that my current state of things though sounding a bit desperate was the best possible scenario one could ask for and one I have found myself in before.  Life had basically in one fell swoop handed me a do-over.

Basically I was involuntarily handed a clean slate to draw up whatever plans or lack thereof I saw fit.  Slowly I began to climb back up to my former self. As of press time after a tough spell I feel greater then ever.  The world is my oyster and I’m hunting for pearls.  The winter was amazing.  I got to do and experience lots of wonderful things that my career had taken from me the past six years.  I finally remembered what it was like to live.  In the end as angry as I was at Sodexo and everyone involved in my unemployment I feel the need to express a great sense of gratitude for setting me free.  I don’t know what’s next for me at the moment, but I am exploring some different avenues all a bit outside of the box. Time will tell my friends, it always does.

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Hoping for a grand future.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

 

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Photo: Christopher Dunlea

When it rains it pours, shit runs down hill and all that jazz.  The last time I wrote something here I was rather optimistic about life and the world; my life specifically.  OPTIMISM!!! What word, what a dangerous mother fucking word.  It implies that with good thoughts, feelings and hopes good things will be brought about.  Maybe this works for some people. No one I know in particular, but some delusional idiot out there lives by this crap.

Even a pessimistic realist like myself falls into these optimistic ideals on occasion.  It always happens to me when my life starts actually turning around.  Then again had life really turned around for me or was I just starting to believe the lies in order to come to grips with the settlement my life had become?  There were the lies I told myself and the ones that the machine of conformity claimed would bring me happiness.  I am one for total honesty when it comes to oneself, but then again there are times when one needs to believe his own lies in order to accomplish certain goals and ultimately in this mess of an oxymoron a new truth may be achieved.

While I am at it let’s briefly touch on how I feel about the idea of happiness.  I have always subscribed to the thoughts of Aldous Huxley “Happiness is never grand…Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt…Happiness is never grand.”  This quotation is basically how my life has played out since birth.  If you have been reading here a while then you know.  If not, feel free to indulge yourself for I am not going to bore myself or my loyal readers with my own redundancy (that’s a fucking joke).  Shit I have not written anything for months so I suppose I need to make it count.

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Ah the sweetness of adversity Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Now that we got all that philosophical crap out of the way lets get into exactly what has happened in my life over the past four months.  Believe me a lot must have been going on if I was left nearly speechless by it all.  Some one who existed briefly, yet had a major impact on my life recently said that she found it rather odd that I only share the good side of things on my social media.  Clearly she never read this blog for I am the anti-hero of my own story, a modern Sydney Carton waiting to give his life for his beloved Lucie Manette.  Fuck how often am I positive about myself here? To be honest the pain, misery and suffering I had been going through had me so mentally crippled I was for once in my life at a loss of words or at the very least decent words to delineate my situation.  I also have to blame El Nino as well cause if you frequently read the surflog or just surf in California you know how good it has been here in the 805.

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Oh it’s been fun! Photo Christoper Dunlea

I guess the best place to begin my tale is in the middle of October.  At this point of my life everything was looking splendid and grand.  Things at work were going well.  I had recently got a solid raise.  My bosses were pumped on me.  I had the respect and esteem of all of my employees.  The food we were producing was in my opinion the best we ever had done in my six year tenure at the college.  I was working with my best friend Bizarro and watching him develop as a cook, which gave me a real sense of kin.  Life was good.

Yet there was something missing I just couldn’t put my finger on. Although production was at an all time high, quality good and waste low I still knew we could do better.  I live by the code of the samurai striving for complete perfection and mastery of whatever I wish to consummate.  “So many aspire to greatness yet so few succeed.”  Maybe I got too full of myself.  My ego can be a bit ridiculous at times.  I might have pushed the kitchen and management too hard.  I don’t really know how it all fell apart, though looking back now I have an idea.  We are not there yet and I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  I may not have wrote for a bit, but I think upon the conclusion of this piece you be happy I waited.

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I will stand by my food with my life.

“Hindsight is 20/20” and in life I have always had eagle eyes.  Like I said work was good.  Life was good.  I was surfing a bunch and well. Biz and I were shooting tons of photos.  On the party scene I finally climbed to the top of my circle.  It certainly helped having a bit of disposable income around.  In my personal life I wised up to a certain entity that had been bringing me down for years.  It wasn’t her fault or mine we just kept ignoring the writing on the wall and our own good sense.  Certain instances took place that I am not going to mention, but opened my eyes and saw that as a couple we were never going to go anywhere and although we had found a livable groove that could have went on for another five years, I needed more.
party1I’m a romantic, a Shakespearean, an avid reader of Jane Austin.  For these reasons alone I could no longer exist in a relationship of convenience.   Finally after spending the bulk of September agonizing over what to do I took a deep breath and cut the cord.  I emotionally freed myself from the cage I put myself in two and a half years ago.  Man, it was scary.  As most of you know I am not a person who does well alone.  One thing I have always held true to is that I would much rather be alone for the right reasons then with some one for the wrong reasons.  Loneliness, vulnerability and depravity by themselves are not good enough reasons to pursue a life with another if there is no magic.  Thus I walked away standing tall and proud of the decision I made.

Once again I found myself single.  The dating world had changed quite a bit from when I was in the game.  It is very possible that I had changed a bit too, now in my mid thirties and having very different needs and wants then I ever had before.  For the first time in my life the thought a family crossed my mind when meeting a woman.  I wanted someone I didn’t have to save or constantly help get out of trouble.  I didn’t want to regularly have to turn negative vibes into positive ones.  I really wanted to learn from my past.  Luckily I analyze the shit out of my life and especially my romantic escapades.

I wasn’t perfect either.  In the past I had ruined more then one possible great relationship by being a total ass, selfish, immature or all three.  My temper has always been a problem.  I am Italian after all and we are very passionate people in all aspects of our life.  Temper is definitely a flaw  I am most guilty of.  Over the years I have made great efforts to control such.  There is still a long way to go. We are all works in progress till death comes knocking at that door, probably sooner then later for me.

Ultimately I wanted a relationship with more substance, a person with more substance.  I wanted someone in the industry.  People in my field constantly work crazy hours, nights, weekends, holidays.  This makes having a relationship with someone in the 9-5 world nearly impossible.  When you are off they are working.  When they are off you are working.  When you get off at 10 pm you want to drink a glass of wine, maybe go out, eat a meal. The 9-5’er is already in bed.  On the weekends when they want to rage most likely a member of the hospitality industry isn’t getting off till midnight. It becomes a real strain on both parties.

I thought about other cooks or chefs, but we all have egos and mine is heavier then most.  I knew unless I found the most passive chef  we would kill each other.  I put my sights on the front of the house, waitresses, hostesses, bartenders, managers, etc.  Also let it be said I wanted at least six months to pass before I met anyone else.  Even though my former relationship had been technically dead when we broke off our engagement nearly a year prior we still stayed together for another year of emotional dolor.  By all psychological accounts I needed time to heal.

Day in and day out I went upon my everyday.  As much as I hated the world of internet dating I got back on that horse again to no more avail then I had the first go around.  The difference was I had grown a thicker skin and didn’t really take anything too seriously.  If I met someone cool, awesome and if not at least I got out of the house and made a new possible connection.  One should try to make at least six contacts a day according to many very successful people at life in general.  I had a bit of fun with it all this time around.  Why not have fun? We only get one go around.

My life was good.  That almost brings us up to the fated  blog of optimism I published on November 17th 2015: “A Fresh Start“. Not quite entirely, not even a little bit.  During the aforementioned foray with dating through a digital medium I managed to meet someone whom I began to feel rather smitten for.  I believe she did as well.  The chemistry between us was about the best I have ever felt between a member of the opposite sex and myself.  We had enough in common to be compatible, though not so much as for it to get boring.   There were complimentary strengths and weaknesses existing among us as to be advantageous to both.  The two of us looked good together as a couple both having impeccable fashion sense and good taste (yeah mostly her, my tastes are still very much on the Guido side of things.  You know the saying: “take the kid out of Jersey, but never take the Jersey out of the kid”).

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Like I said “Guido”

We genuinely got along.  With all of these aspects of a budding romance in play I decided to legitimately pursue the relationship breaking my six month rule I had set earlier.  There will always exist a spoiler to such rules in this life.  For that spoiler always has been if I think I met someone who could actually be “the one”.  Cupid doesn’t time when he shoots his arrows and I have let plenty of opportunities for love pass me by cause I  ignored his call in order to sort out a different directive.  The impetuous modern day version of Romeo I can be at times threw all caution to the wind and went for it.  By the time I posted “A Fresh Start” I was very much in love and in the midst of a torrid romance.

For weeks I was in a blissful rouse of jovial spirit.  As a matter of fact I couldn’t remember a time when I was more happy.  Its funny how amazing life is when you feel everything is going your way.  I didn’t have a care in the world.   Nothing lasts forever and as fast as love had come to me that was as fast the pitiful wrath of its ending also abounded.  How it all came crashing down at such a hastened pace was beyond me and the downward spiral it would cause was soon to be realized…

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Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Stay tuned for more of this most recent saga of my life soon….

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I checked my mail when I got home tonight after yet another obnoxiously intense day at work courtesy of incompetence of extreme proportions.  Most of which were not of my own causing.  I hate checking the mail and it is a task I seldom get around to accomplishing.  Usually I let if fester in the box till it is so full the mail lady will actually bring it to my door step and leave it there in a rubber banded ball of postal fury.

The reason I made the great effort to walk the extra 41 steps from my couch to my mail box this evening was in the hopes my new debit card would be waiting despite the asinine 7-10 day period the very charming call center operator said it would take. What happened to my old one you might wonder? It was lost in the rapture of a Wild Cat party.  Yep no real surprise there.

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When you live the high life the occasional lost card is a consequence one must accept. 

I had actually managed to hold on to said card for nearly two years.  That’s a long time.  Though it is an even longer degree of time when one is the age of two for it is that person’s entire life time.  As we grow older this seemingly long interval of time to us as a child is now no longer then a snap of a finger.  What is two years, or five, or even ten for that matter when your head is buried down to the grind stone?  Its nothing unless one stops for a moment to reflect on all that passed in that period.

For myself the past two years have been a whirl wind both personally and professionally.  If you read here regularly then I don’t have to elaborate cause you already know.  If not feel free to peruse some of the posts on here from the epoch in question.  I can assure it won’t take long for creatively I was a bit spent as a result of the constant emotional bombardment I took on a regular basis. Thus that brings us to the point of my imbecilic ramblings.

Recently  just up until I lost that card a few major changes in my life have taken place or at the very least seeds for some serious change in the near future.  I don’t know how much of this I really want to get into at the moment or even at all with some of it.  As much as this blog has been a vehicle for relief, reflection and accountability for my life and my own actions at times I wonder if my writings here had about as much control over the outcome of my life as I did.  Certainly some of what I wrote altered the course of the world around me.

I still want to write here and I think my silence for the past two months beside of course the surflog has been the fact that I didn’t really know what direction I wanted this blog to go in.  I am going to try something new here.  I want to tell some of my old surf tales from back in the day.  Write more surf related articles.  Maybe try and write something with a bit more substance then some of the crap I used write.

Things are changing and I think, really believe that the tide is finally turning for me in this life.  That’s all I have for now.  I know this is a bit of a cryptic post.  For now it’s all you’re going to get.  Kind of a dick move on my part considering the lack of posts lately.  I blame WordPress.com for making me feel guilty about not writing anything in two months. Hope this made up for it. Oh and its Rincon season again!
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Crowds everywhere!  What the FUCK!  These days California has been no bargain if your an avid surfer.  I have to say 2013 will likely go down as one of the worst years for surfing on record for the entire state.  Besides a moderate spring season, which would have not even been worth mentioning if winter was not so bad, its been one let down after another.  Summer started with some fun, yet far from epic south swells, followed by an unprecedented six week  flat spell.  Then the lot of us thought that maybe fall would be our redemption.  Fall came and went with no combo action and nothing more then a few weak NW swells.  The last hope, our saving grace up here in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area was winter.

Unfortunately as we watched Hawaii get amazing swell after amazing swell (usually a very good indicator that we are about to score), that same swell got to the California coast and sucked.  Glad the boys at Pipe are scoring. Now already in peak season everyone is super hungry for whatever little bump mother nature decides to grace us with.  What does all this mean to me?  Exuberant crowds at all of the well known surf spots, my beloved Rincon being one of them.  If you follow the surf log you may remember a session I had at Rincon not to long ago where the party was steadily ruined by a crowd of about 250 people.  If your not following the surf log  you should because that is where the meat of this blog is these days.

All of the overflow spots where I will usually trade quality for crowd compliance have also been stupid packed.  Even the bad days where few would even think about paddling have become out of hand.  By this past swell I had it up to my head with people.  Luckily I was off from work till the 4th of January and had the ability to do some searching.  Sunday the 22nd of December saw the beginnings of a new long period WNW swell.  Since it was a weekend and a holiday weekend to-boot I was not at all eager to go surf anywhere.  My boy Pat had called me the night before and put the idea in my head to go up to Jalama.
Jalama122313_3I checked the buoys, and the conditions.  Sure enough it had all the makings of a good Jalama day.  My only concern was that if the swell moved in too fast it would be too big to surf.  My boy Mike ended up crashing at my house after a night at the Wild Cat in Fancytown and was keen for a surf.  As soon as I told him my idea he was up for it.  I called Pat to see if he wanted in considering it was his idea.  He bailed, leaving Mike and I on a mission.  That was fine cause three has always seemed like a crowd to me.

We struck out later then I normally would have liked for a Jalama mission. These days I’m always later then I would like when it comes to surfing anyway. The winds looked good all day and the only alternative was to sit in an obnoxious crowd for very average waves down south. Worse case scenario we had a nice drive, surfed a few waves and hung out. Jalama is always a good idea in my book.
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We got there and it was solid. Tarantella’s was way overhead and crowded. I could tell from the bluff it may have been a bit more then I had a board for. I figured I could try my luck with Cracks or maybe even venture further south into the ranch and try some of the reefs I had scoped out a few years ago with Kooky Kyle while he was living at the Palace. I knew of one reef in particular I was interested to surf.

When we got in front of Tarantella’s it was packed, at least thirty heads. The waves were solid double overhead and bigger on sets. I could have pushed the envelope on my meager 5’10 but it would have been a slaughter. When I looked south toward the reef I had in mind,  I noticed there was a wave coming in. Mike was keen and we set off.  Keep in mind this reef is around 500 yards or so from T’s so I was going on speculation at best.  There is nothing better then to walk that far down the beach only to realize it was a flash in the pan and have to walk back. That is the risk one must take to score.

Tarantella's doing its thing.  Believe me it is a much bigger then it looks.

Tarantella’s doing its thing. Believe me it is a much bigger then it looks.

As we approached the reef I noticed a few guys out. I guess we were not the only ones hoping to score a few waves off the beaten path. The left itself was a nice little slab. It came out of deep water and slammed into this little finger reef about fifty yards or so in front of a rock outcrop. The wave had a barrel off the drop on the double ups opening up to a turn section or two on the inside before closing out on the beach break shore dump.

That inside was heavy.  I thought I was going to break my board or neck more then once. It appeared that the crew that was out there were together and at the end of they’re session. We chilled on the beach and assessed the situation. The last thing I wanted to do was crowd four guys who had also went out of their way to avoid such. Plus I wanted get the lay of the land so to speak.
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To tell you truth I was glad there were guys out. It gave me a chance to learn the wave. With in fifteen minutes of getting there one by one the line up cleared. Mike and I suited up and paddled.  It was solid overhead on sets. I had no idea where to line up or how deep it was. I have this thing when I go to a new spot where I have to pop the cherry. I caught the first wave which jacked up way harder the I had expected. Luckily the reef was rather conform and about four feet deep the entire way.

Mike and I made the most of this fun wave just enjoying the beautiful surroundings and laughing how lucky we were to experience such a thing on one of the most crowded days of the year. We decided to call the wave (although I am sure it already has a name) Pats Remorse since he blew it and stayed home.  It wasn’t the best wave I have ever surfed and certainly far from the perfection of Tarantella’s, but considering the fact we had it all to ourselves it was just what the doctor ordered.

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I woke up feeling rather sore from the previous day’s mission.  The new swell had filled in according to the buoys.  All reports came back that it was too walled for the beaches and too small and inconsistent at most of the points to make it worth a paddle.  I took my time and waited as all my contacts kept me informed on their hunt.  Finally Pat called and said he was coming up my way, the plan being to go try and get some waves in Isla Vista.  All the college kids were home for the Holiday making the place and line ups a ghost town.  There was plenty of west in the swell that at the very least Devereux and Sands would have something.

Devereux was tiny and kooked out with long boards and SUP’s.  Sands had waves, but it was about chest to head and pretty walled with the occasional corner.  Not too frothy we decided to take a minute and watch two goats head butt the shit out of each other.  At the moment we decided that may have been the highlight of our day.  I must say it was rather entertaining.  One goat was twice the size of the other and they just kept smashing skulls.  Every time we thought the little one was throwing in the towel it would back off just enough to get a solid lunge at the other.

At that point we did not know what to do.  It was a good thing we didn’t just suit and boot the Sands.  As we got back to the lot a fucking UCSB campus police officer was ticketing cars.  The dude was chill and let us bail with out a fine.  There were a dozen or so other surfers’ cars that were not so lucky.  Between that and the goat fight I figured we were already ahead of the game.

While driving off the deliberation began.  Then Pat said what we were both thinking, “What do you think about making another trek to Jalama.  At that point I figured we had nothing left to loose and off we went on a very late day excursion retard mission. We got there and Tarantella’s was fucking huge.  I am talking easily triple over head to twenty feet.  Guys were getting tubes you could drive a car through.  With a pair of 5’10’s between us Pat and I wanted nothing to do with that.

Bombing Jalama beach break

Bombing Jalama beach break

Up on the bluff just before the entrance to the park there is a little pull off where you can check the surf to see if it is worth the $10 parking fee.  From there I looked north onto Vandenberg AFB.  Through my binoculars I saw a few reef breaks that showed possible potential and looked like a not so far walk.  A little further, a distance I really could not gauge from that vantage, could  have been fifty yards or a half mile I noticed a really good right or at least what appeared to be.

Necessity it the mother of invention or in this case exploration.  Pat and I loaded up our gear and started the long march to the unknown.   Seriously we had no idea how far we needed to walk or if what we saw was even ride-able.  We went on blind faith in the hope that our commitment would pay off.  About a half mile in we got to the reefs we had seen from the bluff.  They were do-able, but more closed out on the sets and unpredictable then one would have liked.  From there we could see the mysto right hander better.  It still looked pretty good.  Unfortunately its distance still near impossible to tell.

Our right reef in the distance.

Our right reef in the distance.

I had learned from countless missions abroad that the best way to gauge how far a spot is that you are walking to is to consider how much more visible it gets as you keep walking toward it.  If that spot never seems any closer odds are it’s way too far to walk.  When I walked to the Kumara Patch in Taranaki, NZ for example I could barely make out the wave from the parking lot, which was around 2 miles away.  The spot did not look any closer till I got with in 3/4 of a mile from it.  This wave was definitely looking closer every step.

In the distance just before access to the wave was a cliff head land.  From our position we had no idea if there was going to be a trail around it or not.  We did not even know if there was a beach beyond.  As far as I could tell we were either going to have to climb down a cliff into the surf traversing boulders when we hit the water or paddle from the foot of the cliff.  Either option  seemed to suck to me.  We had already come so far.  Also the closer we got we noticed a column of white water that seemed to make the second section possibly impassable.

We kept on with high spirits.  When we got to the cliff area there was a small goat trail around.  Although an awkward grade to walk with a surfboard and gear it was far better then other trails I have had to traverse in my day.  Sure enough the path emptied onto a big open deserted beach.  The whole scene was surreal. Just Pat and I in the middle of nowhere staring into a right we had not known existed until that day.  The only discouragement was that it appeared to look much smaller then we thought from the beach.

See any signs of human life?

See any signs of human life?

We cautiously waded out into the water.  Remember we had no way of telling how deep the reef was, or how sharp or what creatures may dwell beneath.  It was all a mystery.  Upon paddling closer to the wave we could tell right away it was much bigger then it looked from the beach.  Almost to the take off zone, which was about forty yards in front of this rock out crop I decided to swing around on one of the insiders.  Like I said I love to be the first to test the waters.  What I thought was a smaller one ended up sucking up to head high and reeled down the reef.  It had a nice bowly wall the entire way in.

The reef was rather conform, about five to three feet deep all the way to the inside shallows where it eventually went dry.  On the way back out a set came and cleaned us both up.  It was solid ten foot and bigger.  The sets were make-able if you were in the right spot.  I seemed to always get into them a little too late and got owned by the next section.  The real gems were the in between ones that just hugged the reef all the way to the inside.  There was a little wind on it, but we could tell that if it were glassy or offshore the place would barrel if not just at the first slab section, but the inside slab too.  The place had real potential.
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For over two hours Pat and I traded off right for right, pushing the limits of the spot each time.  As the tide got lower a few rocks began to pop up in the take off zone that were a bit problematic.  The wind picked up a bit out of the NW as well adding a debilitating chop to the face.  Considering these new extraneous factors both of us decided to call it a day before any inopportune instances occurred.  Over a mile from the parking lot and over 20 miles from decent medical help and no cell phone reception, an injury would be very inconvenient.

Pat said if he got attacked by a shark to just drag him into the beach, hand him his pack of cigarettes and let him smoke away till he bled out.  There was this big sand drift at the head of the beach so I figured once he died I would just drag him over to the foot of that and push the sand down over him and call it a day.  I could think of a lot worse ways to go and places to be left to rest. Considering the distance for help that seemed to be the most logical plan for any serious injury. I decided to tentatively call this right hand reef, Pat’s Redemption.  T’was another good yet very unexpected day of surfing!

12-26-13
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The day after Christmas Heather and I got a late start.  It was nice to spend the morning together with out any obligations or a care in the world.  Word was things down south were far from good and rather crowded.  Heather had never been up to Jalama and conditions looked right.  Figuring I could find a wave some where up there we set off.  Like I said Jalama is never a bad idea.

We got up there around 2 pm way later then I ever make such a trip.  As soon as I got out of the car I could tell it was bombing just by sound of the waves breaking.  When I came over the dunes it was macking.  I guess the new swell had already begun to fill in.  Thinking things were a bit too big for Cracks and Tarantella’s considering all I had was my 5’10 again (you think by now I would start bringing my bigger board), the call was to go north.  It was still smaller then when Pat and I came a few days prior.  I knew of at least one left hand reef slab I wanted to check out.

We made the walk and sure enough the spot I was thinking of looked really fun.  It was a short little left that offered a quick tube off the drop followed by a hit section, ending with a boostable close out.  Basically it was a goofy foot playground.  There was even a crazy right too, although its pace and steepness made it pretty tough to make.  I did manage one sick one on the right.
Jalama122613-003Heather tried her luck with my DSLR and managed to score some pretty decent photos.  Its been a long time since I got a few shots of me surfing.  She was pumped on the whole experience.  Most people are when they make it up there.  Here we were basically with an entire beach to ourselves.  I must say the only down side was I felt a bit like fish food out there all by myself.  There is some solace to be found in the buddy system.
Jalama122613-198Besides the solitary factor that at times I actually do find most refreshing I have to say it was one of the best surfs I have had in weeks.  As far as the day went I could not ask for a better one.  The weather was great.  I was at one of my favorite places in the whole world and I got to share it with the woman I love.   Who could ask for anything more.  Its the simple things in life that matter the most.

After a year of frustrating surfs, obnoxious crowds and all the other day in and day out bull shit one has to deal with its amazing to know all it takes is an open mind and thirst for adventure to take back your soul.  Some people travel all over the world to find new spots.  I found three in less then a week in my own backyard.

***This blog was suppose to post on 12-23, I wrote it on my cell phone and messed up posting it and somehow lost the whole blog.  Thus it had to be rewritten.  With the holiday it has been sometime since that initial lost posting that was regrettably promoted.  I think this is a way better version any way.  Sorry for the confusion.***

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Nothing like clean fun crossed up peaks at Blacks for a good session.

Nothing like clean fun crossed up peaks at Blacks for a good session.

“What are you on some kind of tour of the California coast?”  Words from my friend West just before paddling out for a fun evening session at Blacks my first day in San Diego.  Over the past two weeks I sort of have been on at the very least a California summertime wave scoring mission.  One thing I would like to claim is that I made the most out of this summer as far as surf time went.  Not having a job to go to day in and day out certainly does give one this luxury.

Chris Lisanti, Blacks Beach

Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Unlike my previous adventure up in surfing’s equivalent of Northern California (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz) and I say that because technically San Francisco should be the end of Central California considering there is another 400 miles of coast line to go before crossing the border in Oregon.  My trip to San Diego had been spawned at the end of drunken night at the Wild Cat on my couch shooting the shit with Bizarro over a month ago.  Apparently I had agreed to go with him to Comic Con in SD from July 18-22.  Of course thanks to my impetuous SF adventure this meant I literally had been away from home for pretty much two weeks.  The last time I was on the road like this I was a professional surfer.  I felt the invigoration of freedom to cut loose, live out of suit case and crash on couches for an extended period of time(Read about my SF journey last week here).

I was a bit reluctant to get back on the road and leave the tranquility of my beautiful Santa Barbara home.  The Lisanti Palace has been refined over the years to fit my needs exquisitely.  Then again as far as consistency and quality of surf goes one really can’t beat San Diego this time of year.  Just like that I found myself on the road late Wednesday night of the 17th cruising south with Blacks Beach on my mind.

San Diego and Me

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

 

Its true I have a special place in my heart for San Diego.  It was my first experience of actual California surf as a kid and the first place I had lived in California for a brief stint ten years ago.  Since then I have just about made a surf pilgrimage there at least once a year.  The place is a surfer’s dream, and more then that a kook and avm (average surfer) paradise.  With relatively warm water most of the year, nice summers and mild winters, over 300 days of sun a year, ease of coastal/surf access, exposure to all swell type/angle, and user friendly waves its no wonder the surf population from Imperial beach to Oceanside has exploded over the last twenty years.  There is a wave for every level and style of surfing just about 365 days a year if a surfer is keen.

The crowds have become rampant just like most popular surf locales these days.  SD is for the most part the first stop the majority East Coast surfers make when they decide to migrate west to greener pastures.  For most, southern California is the perfect surfing compromise.  As for myself I decided long ago that the over crowding was too much to bare and found my way up to the central coast in search of quality over quantity.

This is a light crowd for a San Diego line up.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

This is a light crowd for a San Diego line up. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

San Diego also happens to be where Bizarro Chris grew up for the greater share of his life.  He had not been home since Thanksgiving.  I was offered my gas down covered, basic expenses and a place to stay.  I would have to be crazy to turn down such an offer.  Do I stay in Santa Barbara and drive nearly two hours everyday to surf bad to average Ventura or drive four hours to San Diego and surf fun Blacks for five days and reconnect with some of my surfing roots?

Blacks Beach
Blacks Beach

When I lived in SD I didn’t have a car and was inhabiting a residence near the La Jolla mall.  Blacks was a straight shot by bike.  It was a full on daily triathlon.  Everyday I would wake up at 6 am, get on my bike, ride four miles or so down to Scripps where I stashed my boards, then walk the beach about a mile around the cliffs to the actual break.  After the walk pull on my suit and surf for two to three hours.  On completion of my surf I would repeat the whole scenario in reverse.  Sometimes I did this twice a day.  I was in the shape of my life back then.

As a result I learned Blacks on every swell, tide and wind better then some who have lived in San Diego for twenty years.  Whenever I go back and surf the place I am in tune with her.  Blacks for me since I am constantly comparing surf breaks to women (I have a problem, “its a real disease with pills and doctors”) is like the ghetto princess from the neighborhood.  She has a nice big ass, tits, is always glad to see you and show you a good time.  Sure she isn’t model quality, but will treat you better then most.  She was my go to girl for years, until the queen of the coast, Rincon stole my heart.  Blacks has not held a grudge always fulfilling my expectations.  She still always manages to throw more then my share of set waves at me.  In return I always make her purr.

Me, doing my best to not squander any gifts Blacks decides to give me.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Me, doing my best to not squander any gifts Blacks decides to give me. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

From almost two weeks out I knew I was going to score surf.  There was plenty of long period south swell showing and was to be in the window I was going to be there for.  Initially the swell appeared like it was going to be solid.  As time grew closer the swell’s intensity began to ease.  It does not take much to get Blacks going.  Any little bump will show a head high set or two out there.  A day or so out I decided to leave the step up at home opting to bring an extra 5’10 just in case of breakage.   Unlike the San Francisco excursion all I needed in rubber were my 3/2’s if that.

Sure enough Blacks did not disappoint.  I was graced with five days of solid surf the smallest of which was about chest to head high.  Most days conditions were clean.  Besides some NW wind swell mixing the first few days causing conditions to be solid but challenging, overall I would say I did alright.  Fuck, I surfed my brains out despite a foot injury caused on my SF drunken rampage.  Luckily it hurt more to walk then surf.  Then again the hike down and up from Blacks is none two easy for a healthy person let alone a surfer with an injured foot.  In usual Lisanti fashion I sucked it up and  made lemonade out of lemons.  You can read more on the surf sessions in detail in the July Surflog, 7/18-7/22.

The long arduous trek down to Blacks is not for the lazy.

The long arduous trek down to Blacks is not for the lazy.

It seems in the past few years downhill skaters have been testing their skills on the path.  Thats some crazy shit right there.

It seems in the past few years downhill skaters have been testing their skills on the path. Thats some crazy shit right there.

Catching Up With My Boys

I just so happen to have a handful of close friends currently living in SD.  SurfingRuinedMyLife.net all star, West currently calls Pacific Beach home.  Every time that crazy fucker and I get together you can be assured something gnarly will go down especially when alcohol is involved.  This trip I must admit we kept things rather mellow between us only meeting up for a handful of sick evening surfs at Blacks.  One of which we had the entire line up to ourselves with glassy over head conditions.  I also have to give the guy props for in a matter of two years of surfing he as went from a kook on a fun shape to a performance short board and is semi-competent on it.  As per usual West will most likely join me for Thanksgiving at the Lisanti Palace in Santa Barbara, which has become a tradition at this point.

West and I embarking on the long walk down to Blacks. Photo: Christoper Dunlea

West and I embarking on the long walk down to Blacks. Photo: Christoper Dunlea

My most recent couch guy Daniel cashed out his chips up here in SB and moved down to San Diego this past June.  Who could blame him.  He found himself a decent enough job and free rent living with his brother.  Beats minimum wage and sleeping on my shitty couch any day.   He did mention he missed our nights at the Wild Cat.  If only I could remember them all.

Bizarro and I met up with Daniel at the San Diego Swap meet where literally hundreds of ghetto ass vendors peddle everything from socks, to collectibles, to appliances, to absolute trash and everything in between.  Think of it as one big janky make shift yard sale.  Normally there is nothing I love better then to walk around and haggle with people for useless junk I don’t need.  Given my current monetary situation I had no room for useless acquisitions.  Bizarro on the other hand was in peddlers heaven.  It was chill.  While he haggled Daniel and I were able to catch up.

The three of us ended the afternoon with tacos and beer at South Beach Bar and Grill in Mission Beach.  The tacos were good and beer tasty  all for a decent price in a relaxed beach front setting.  It reminded me of a typical Jersey shore spot.  Across the street there was some random pro-am going on at the pier and we happened to get there just in time for the stand up paddle division.  I could not believe what I was witnessing.  If I had an automatic weapon I probably would have started shooting people.  The competitors were pretty good in their own right, but really, STAND UP PADDLING! In a contest?  What has the world come to?  I think I need to get out of California.

Too bad we didn't buy this little number.  I could have wreaked havoc at the display of kookery.

Too bad we didn’t buy this little number. I could have wreaked havoc at the display of kookery.

The Comic Con Party

Initially Bizarro and I had a slight hope we would have a chance of getting into the actual event considering two of the chicks staying with us were working it and thought they might be able to get us passes.  As the case was they could not even get passes for themselves to see the show when they were not working it.  That was fine cause after the convention center spilled out every night all those patrons found their way into all the local downtown clubs.  There was no way we were going to travel all the way to a city like San Diego and not party.

Fuck, if The Chris’ show up at your town you can count on the fact that we are going to get down as soon as the sun does.  Its true I did blow it on Thursday night.  We were suppose to meet up with Daniel in little Italy or West in PB.  I was exhausted from a double surf session and hardly any sleep the night we came in.  Couple that with my injured foot and I really needed to rest.  I know all I am reading above is pussy shit and I should have manned up, but Bizarro was not bumming on it and did not force me to man up.  You all know if called upon Chris Lisanti will always rally.
TheChrisOut

Friday night I was well rested and ready to fuck shit up.  Bizarro and I scored tuxedo jackets from a local thrift shop for cheap and new shoes.  In our usual fashion we went out all done up.  Still nursing the injury I decided it would be in my best interest to stay out of Fancytown for my own safety.  The plan was to meet up with the girls working the event, but they had other promotional work to do at the near by water front Hilton leaving us to our to own devices.

This is never a problem, Bizzaro and I get along just fine.  We were walking around the gas lamp district among all the comic book themed dressed freaks deciding on where to go.  Bizarro saw this line out in front of a club called The Tipsy Crow and thought it was going to be popping.  We got on line and were immediately ushered in by the woman at the door.  She put wristbands on us, pointed to a small stair case and told us to have a good time.  Next thing we knew we were in a private party for one of the films that was premiered at Comic Con.

Upon getting up there we noticed wait staff passing trays of food and a buffet table of appetizers.  We had no idea at this point what was going on besides the fact that we most likely were not on the guest list.  Bizarro went to the bar to get us a round and came back with this giddy smile on his face.  “Its an open bar!” he exclaimed to me.  From there it was free food and drinks all night long.  We spent the majority of the evening bullshitting about a film whose title we did not know, did not see and knew absolutely nothing about.  Most thought we were higher end producers or the like.  I think it may have been a horror film, but your guess is as good as mine.

Towards the end of the night we found our way to the club’s basement dance floor and got crazy.  After leaving the club we had no idea how we were going to get home, when the girls called and said they could give us a ride if we met them at the Hilton.  Of course we had no idea where that was and being a tad on the intoxicated side didn’t help.  We jumped into a peddi-cab figuring he would know where to go.  He took us to the wrong place and over charged us.  If it was not for Bizarro pulling me away I might have beat that guy to death, stole his wallet and dumped his bike cab into the harbor.  In the spirit of Comic Con lets just say I got Incredible Hulk angry.  Luckily we found our way and got home.

Saturday night we got a later start thanks to me getting back late from a killer session at Blacks.  Sofia one of the promo girls staying with us decided to join the group and the three of us rolled out downtown at midnight.  We expected it to be more crowded then Friday but it was empty considering the massive amount of people in town.  Later we would find out that all the best movies were going down Sunday morning causing many to either have to sleep in line out front or get to bed early.  There was still enough going on for us.

The first club we came to wanted $20 a person to get in.  I scoffed and walked away.  Finally we settled on a spot called Jimmy Loves since the door man said he would let all three of us walk in for ten since we were well dressed.  It was a pretty cool spot and was packed.  There was a decent cover band playing on a grand stage with a dance floor in front and a cool little lounge area behind it.  As a musician I highly approved of the set up of the venue.  Unfortunately the music was not really our cup of tea being mostly rock.

I had to use the restroom downstairs and when I got there I found a whole other level way more ghetto, red lighting and a dude spinning 90’s hip hop and a more diverse crowd.  I quickly ran back up stairs to get Bizarro and Sofia.  Basically the downstairs could have been the Wild Cat.  We danced the night out down there.  The drinks were strong as fuck too.  If your ever in the SD downtown gas lamp district I highly recommend both Jimmy Loves and The Tipsy Crow.

The rest of our trip was spent relaxing at Bizarro’s dad’s house.  It was a very nice place and he was a most accommodating host.  I cooked a few meals.  Got to hang and play with the coolest dog, Stella that I have ever come across.  She was so awesome it made me briefly consider dog ownership.  All and all I must say it was a great trip.

Stella and I kicking it

Stella and I kicking it

I was a little overwhelmed with how crowded San Diego has gotten in the last ten years. There was traffic everywhere we went.  People everywhere.  Construction everywhere.  I was in severe culture shock.  I have been complaining about the over crowding of Santa Barbara lately.  In comparison we are very lucky up here.  Despite coming home to an apartment covered from wall to wall in borax I was relived to get back to the Barb.  Seriously my place looked like Johnny Depp in Blow sneezed all over it.  That is a story for another day.

And the sunsets on yet another adventure in Lisanti Land

And the sunsets on yet another adventure in Lisanti Land. Photo Christopher Dunlea

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December has with absolutely no contest become my favorite month of the year.  As a surfer one would consider such a comment rather absurd.  The days are the shortest of the year, air and water some of the coldest.  Here in Santa Barbara it is one of the more consistent months with usually good conditions, even in this the shittiest of winters ever.  For me it means over half the month not having to work allowing me to remember what it was like back in the old days when there was always time to find the best possible spot with the best possible conditions any day any time.

The smash and grab short sessions I am usually afforded courtesy of the rat race, although nourishing barely fulfill the daily/weekly does of stoke it takes me to get through this drudgery that is life.  It is very refreshing to have that luxury for over 15 days ever December to be able to just kick back and surf.  There were some key days this months.  Rincon dished up over a week of epic conditions mid month that left my legs hurting so bad by the end of it I was walking cowboy style.  The beach breaks decided to remind me just how deep I could ride the tube thanks to hard offshore winds and some really good sand bars. Even town managed to serve up a day or two.  Here are how the numbers panned out.

Surf Sessions: 27
Days Surfed: 25

Total Time Spent in the Water: 48.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 740
Average Waves per Hour: 15

Spots Surfed:
Rincon: 7
New Jetty: 6
Emma Wood: 6
Mesa Lane: 3
Hollywood by the Sea: 2
Hammonds: 2
Silver Strand: 1

Top 3 Sessions (as per the Surflog)

3)12/22/12 PM Session: 3-5+ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 16
Wow I went to fucking fancy town last night.  Too much booze, too much party and a bit too much gnar for one night if you ask me.  Pat and I woke up at around 1pm all fucked up and hung over with little if any recollection of what happened. We got some breaky at Garrett’s since neither of us were in any condition to surf at that moment. Also it was cold, rainy and there appeared to be a SE wind plaguing things anyhow.  After a fine repast we got our act together and cruised to Rincon where it was mother fucking firing.  Things had glassed off.  The lines were perfect and there were barrels everywhere.  I had about six waves through the cove that could have been the waves of other’s lives, as for me it was just another perfect day at Rincon.  I got one in the cove where I was in the barrel for nearly the entire ride.  Had to easily be a ten second plus tube.  Sooooooooooooooooooo Goooooooooooooooooooooooood.   Now its time for Round three at the Wild Cat.

2)12/16/12 PM Session: 2-3+ft, New Jetty
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 54
What a surf…See blog “We Certainly Could Have a Worse Lot in Life

1)12/29/12 PM Session: 5-7+ft, Hollywood by the Sea
Time in Water: 2hrs 15mins
Waves Surfed: 25
I woke up on my couch yet again with a pile of crumpled up tortilla chips all over me around 8am.  Another failed night at the Cat.  Failure?  I think not. All my friends were there, my favorite bar tenders were working.  I had a hell of a time.  I looked out my window and the wind was onshore and the tide super high.  Awesome I could sleep in.  By noon a slew of calls started coming in about how the wind was off shore in Oxnard.  Hollywood had some good sand the previous day so I figured I would just go there.  Trevor and I rolled down there and it was fucking firing although a bit inconsistent.  Just head high plus barrels every where with virtually no crowd.  My boy Ryan was surfing at Orange House and we joined him.  From there it was on.  I got a triple barrel on one wave and had some crazy deep ones.  Then this freak set of like 15 10 foot waves came in and cleaned us all up.  I was pushed all the way back to the beach then the reverse rip was so bad I almost thought I was not going to make it back to the line up.  Besides that it was a pretty unreal session.  I told my boys “now if I can only get laid at the bar tonight this may be one of the best days of my life”.

December was one big speed blur of surfing, kind of like this frame grab from Silver Strand.

December was one big speed blur of surfing, kind of like this frame grab from Silver Strand.

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