Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Grey Whale Cove’

North County always reminds me that one can find empty perfection anywhere. Even in crowded ass California.

North County always reminds me that one can find empty perfection anywhere. Even in crowded ass California. Btw, its a bit bigger then it looks…

What a spectacle!?! Who what have thought such a thing would go down?  Certainly not I.  There I found myself with compatriot John on the beach at Davenport in the mist of an innocent surf check.  To be honest the surf was pretty bad at that point, the tide was a bit too high and getting fatter by the moment.  The wind had picked up out of the north west causing a bump and crumble from hell and the swell had appeared to have backed off, or was just not showing so great on the reef.  We ambled around the shingle for a bit in the hopes of seeing something magical.  What we ended up getting a look at was more like starring into the sun as she bent down to pick up a shell.  “You take a quick look and then you look away, it’s too risky otherwise”. I will just leave the rest of that up in the air for imagination and a laugh between John and I that pretty much set the pace of the entire trip.

Ahhha ha ha ha ha, pardon my brief sinister laugh.  I just was unable to contain myself.  This story all began just like many other summertime tales that involve surfing on the West Coast of the America, down off the coast of Anartica in the shape of some storm that sent crazy huge surf to South America, while gracing California with a nice groomed long period south swell.  My initial plan was to just stay home and take my chances with both Ventura and Malibu.  The period of the swell was a little long for River Mouth, but one can always find something to surf if he is keen.

Then on Tuesday July 9th the day after another less then stellar Trestles mission I found myself bitching to my boy John up in San Francisco just how much I hate the fact that I suck at surfing Lowers and dealing with the crowd there.  He mentioned the possibility of renting a car for the weekend and cruising down to either Santa Cruz or San Mateo in search of some empty reef surf.    It didn’t take much convincing to get me to make the drive north to join him in his endeavor.  Just like that I found myself on the 1o1 north heading to San Francisco.

You always see something interesting on the interstate.

You always see something interesting on the interstate.

I got up there in record time actually cracking city limits in just over four and a half hours.  Thanks to not properly following John’s directions I quickly became lost on the complete opposite side of the city.  Luckily with a little help from John I was back in the right direction and at his place only  with a thirty minute detour.  It was good to see my old friend and former surf shop minion.  I seem to find my way up there to see him once a year these days during either the spring or summer.  Santa Barbara pretty much sucks in the summer time anyway being that there is no surf to speak of and the majority of the town’s population, primarily made up of students bails for the summer.  Plus I don’t work and have nothing better to do either.

Early to Bed, Early to Surf

Just another empty cove off PCH. This one offered a very tricky to access right wedge.

Just another empty cove off PCH. This one offered a very tricky to access right wedge.

There are some places in the world where the surf actually stays clean all day or is better in the afternoon.  California on the whole with certain exceptions is not one of them.  This means if one wants to catch the best surf of the day he usually has to get up with the sunrise.  At one time in my life I was quite the early bird.  I used get up at 5:30 every morning when I was in my late teens early twenties, then it became 6:30, then between 7 and 8.  These days if I find that if I am out of bed and brushing my teeth by 8:30 I call it a “damn patrol”.  Hooray for laziness or maybe I just like surfing shitty blown out waves so that I can blame the conditions for the fact that I suck at surfing.  Whatever the case I can’t tell you the last time I have been up before 8 am for a surf.

As it turned out John was short a roommate in his place at the moment thus I actually had my own room instead of a spot on the couch.  I don’t really know if you could call it a room for that matter.  It was more like a walk in closet with a nasty stained full sized mattress on the floor that may or may not have wished to give me a social disease or two.  All of that was renting at the “bargain price” of $950 a month and I thought Santa Barbara was insane.  I have slept on a lot worse in my past.  Around 7:30 am there was a knock at my door and it was John looking to shred.

It was fucking freezing out.  I know Mark Twain once penned “The coldest winter I ever spent was in San Francisco” but this was ridiculous.  I am lucky I didn’t freeze to death in my sleep.  My poor dick had just about crawled up into my body like a scared little turtle.  What better way to warm up then to pull on a 4/3 and boots and jump into equally freezing water.  Oh and I guess one can completely forget about seeing the sun up there.  The entire time I was in the city it was foggy and grey.

Lefts galore. Just another empty beach break.

Lefts galore. Just another empty beach break.

We loaded up and headed down the PCH to find something to surf since Ocean Beach was not doing it one bit.  That was fine by me.  I love that stretch of coast  between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.  The Pacific Coast Highway just weaves in and out of all these cool pristine beaches, coves, points, reefs and river mouths.  On the whole most are unscathed by the stain of man.  Its food for the soul in my book.  The thing about this coast is that there are actually so many options to choose from it can drive a surfer mad.  My rule of thumb is never drive away from something fun.

From the get go we had Waddel Creek in north Santa Cruz County in mind because of its variety.  The place has an array of reef peaks, a river mouth peak and a beach break all with in walking distance of one another.  There is something there to suit any surfer of any level.  For the entire trip the place did not disappoint.  From fun rip-able reefy lefts to left beach break keggers, to kill-able walls to boost-able stupid close outs.  It was a party that allowed us two very keen sessions.

A kegger about to scream  down the line unridden at Waddel Creek.

A kegger about to scream down the line unridden at Waddel Creek.

Thanks to hard afternoon on shores we had to settle for a small protected cove in San Mateo County called Grey Whale Cove.  This wave was average at best and reminded me lots of Mesa Lane here in Santa Barbara.  It was consistent and had some really good corners.  I had two good sessions there, where poor John on the other hand had a hate session.  All and all I would say surfing wise I could not complain.  For details on these sessions consult the July ’11 Surflog dates 7/11-7/15.

Grey Whale Cove, this place looked like Point Dume except it broke more like Mesa Lane.

Grey Whale Cove, this place looked like Point Dume except it broke more like Mesa Lane.

Fancytown is a State of Consciousness (or lack there of), Not a Specific Location

Now how could I ever visit a major city or anyplace with booze for that matter and not party?  Friday night after an amazing day of surfing, charged up, John and I bought a bottle of Bacardi from the corner bodega and decided to cut loose on the town.  Unfortunately time and bus schedules were not on our side.  We had to make due with the legendary (according to Kooky Kyle, whom I found out had never actually been there) Buck Shots, John’s old college hang out.  College season is over at the moment thus leaving us in a dive bar with a barely palatable DJ, dingy picnic tables across the bar, dead animals on the wall and two forms of skee ball.  Shit, I might as well have been in a shit hole in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Speaking of dead animals here is a picture of a sea otter skeleton that we decided to put sandals on.

Speaking of dead animals here is a picture of a sea otter skeleton that we decided to put sandals on.

I got wasted so who really fucking cared in the end anyhow.  I went to the bar to order a drink.  They had $6 double shots of Bacardi.  As the bar tender was pouring the top fell off the bottle and I ended up with a brimmed glass.  He was going to pour it out and start a fresh one.  Luckily I caught him and got way more then I bargained for.  From then on I was on the out skirts of Fancytown the rest of the night.  Besides a game of skee ball against John, which I got my ass whooped in I would say it was a most uneventful night.

Saturday night one of John’s friends was throwing a birthday party in the Mission.  We assumed it was going to just be an apartment event on the small side and in my opinion lame.  When we got there the party was in an auto body shop with cars and everything.  Apparently they rented out the whole space for the night.  It was packed and there was an open bar.  Things were looking up.

The bar was packed so we ran across the street and bought a large flask of Captain  Morgan to satiate.  It was not long before I was in full on Fancytown and not long after that when I became the president.  At one point towards the end of the night I found myself behind the bar downing whatever was alcoholic, just fiending.  That was about the last thing I remember before winding up in a puddle of my own vomit on the sidewalk in front of John’s apartment.  I totally ruined my suit.  From what I heard I was pretty much a full fledged shit show and John was barely able to get me home.

Next morning I woke up around 1 pm still drunk and an absolute mess.  John had this look mortification in his eyes, still a bit taken aback never having seen me in full on Fancytown before.  As the day wore on and I sobered up I found that I must have hurt my foot in one of my falls on the way home.  There was no surfing that day for I could barely walk let alone surf.  I  probably would have drowned. John’s friend Marc said he got “white girl drunk” that night.  I suppose then I must have been crack whore drunk. You have to pay hard to play hard sometimes.

Styling in my suit before Fancytown took over.  Lets just say the majority of that outfit found it's way into the trash.

Styling in my suit before Fancytown took over. Lets just say the majority of that outfit found it’s way into the trash.

The Impromptu Jam

Sitting at John’s kitchen table hating my life Sunday afternoon I noticed he had picked up his roommate’s base and began noodling around.  His roommate, Jesse got behind the drum kit and shit got real.  Jesse had a saxophone and although a beat to shit student alto with a crap mouth piece and tattered reed I decided to pick it up and give it a whirl.  It had been two years since I have jammed with anyone and John and I have never played together in all the years we have been friends.

Sure we played nothing earth shattering and most of the time it was out of sync, out of tune and out of tune.  I was still drunk for most of it and was just thriving in the moment.  I think if we laid tape there would have been a riff or two worth something.  We jammed out on “I want you back” by the Jackson 5 for like ten minutes that sounded pretty tight.  After years of lots of serious play it was great to just kick back and make some noise.  Almost made me stoked I drank to much to surf that day.

All and all despite some adversity and a port-a-potty or two from hell it was a “most excellent adventure”.  Life can get pretty stagnant if you stay in one place all the time.  Every so often even if its only a few hundred miles away I must change things up a bit.  One thing is for sure when I ever I leave Santa Barbara it feels that much better to get back.  When I got home I cooked an amazing Shrimp Scampi (click here for my Scampi recipe) for both Heather and Bizarro and all was well, business as usual.  I am actually headed to San Diego with Bizarro for the next four days for some surf, party and Comic Con fun.  Look for a fun filled adventure blog on that trip soon or follow along with the surf log while I am there.
July_SF-095

Read Full Post »