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Posts Tagged ‘Ocean’

Rincon51117

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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If you missed Part 1: Gearing Up click here. 

As we motored out of the Santa Barbara Harbor my apprehension quickly turned into excitement and awe.  I had never been on a boat out of the harbor before and I have never been on a real sailboat. There I was first mate on a two man excursion to hopefully score some worth while surf.

Cit immediately began teaching me the names of all the different parts of the boat most of which I forgot leading to his frustration later when asked to do something.  I did actually learn a lot.  I had three main duties: Cooking in the Galley, Operation of the Hook (anchor) and keeping our coarse with the till (long stick used for steering).   Occasionally I had to help raise and lower the sails as well and propeller kelp detail.

The wind was nonexistent for the first 20 miles and it is around a 35 mile shot to the surf spot.  We got a late start no shoving off till after one.  Due to the calm conditions we had nice smooth seas but no wind thus having to use the small out board motor and only making a progress of 5.5 knots an hour.  Slow and steady wins the race.

On the way out we passed buoys laden with seals barking at each other.  The funny thing is I can hear those same seals at night from the patio of my apartment.  It was nice to finally see them up close.  There were all these tourists on kayaks sitting around the buoy staring at them as if they had never seen a seal before.

After about twenty minutes Cit handed me the till and said keep our course on a certain compass reading that I am not going to give out.  It was a warm summer day making visibility only about 15 miles or so thus you could not see the islands allowing navigating by sight to be impossible.  I grabbed the till and at first it was very hard to keep the boat on course with out constantly meandering in a serpentine motion, pissing off Cit.  After about 30 minutes I got into a groove.

We passed the rigs and let me say they are not nearly as nice when you get up close to them.  Most are just weathered boxes on stilts with cranes hanging off them.  I don’t know why I thought there would be more to it then that.  I think I have over glamorized the oilrig life style.  After being near them up close it seems a very solemn life for only the most salty or hardened of souls.  Apparently the majority of them all line up perfectly when you are next to them and it is because they pump along an under water mountain range that runs the channel.  All I know is that I will have a greater appreciation of the rigs next time I stare off at them from the shore.

About 20 miles out Cit yelled “there are dolphins coming up the bow”.  He took the till and let me go up to the front.  I hung off the mast’s suspension cables over the bow and watched and listened to the purposes as they playfully showed us how more capable they are then us at sea travel.  The sun was shinning and the water was the clearest dark blue I have ever seen.  I could not see land on either side of us and I was enjoying the spray on my face as it splashed up over the bow and then trickled down my bare chest sending exhilarating chills through out my body.

I began laughing out loud.  Two months ago I wanted to kill myself over a woman.  A WOMAN! What a waste that would have been.  If it were not for her I would not have even been standing there with the realization of just how wonderful life really is.  The world is an amazing place and I think we get bogged down by life too often and forget all the awe-inspiring things it has to offer.  Two months ago if someone told me I would be hanging off the bow of a sailing vessel playing with dolphins I would have said he were crazy.

There are just so many moments in my life where I just keep expecting to wake from this dream I am living, but I never do.  While everyone else was at Emma Wood getting all grumpy and annul this is what I was doing.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Sorry I had to just chuckle to myself a little more.

 The King of Beers

At our slow pace, even when we were able to get the sails up we still only were averaging 6 knots, making the journey about a 4-5 hour peregrination.  For this duration Captain Intoxication (why he was garnished with this name) kept cracking and handing me beers.  “When in Rome”, plus it made the trip go by much faster.  By the time we got near the Island both of us were ten beers in each and thrashed.  As Cit put it “I may be a drunk captain, but I am a good captain”.  Honestly the guy really did know his stuff.  I was impressed.  Heck we did not die.

Unlike the rigs the Islands are a magnificent sight up close.  Most consist of sheer hundred plus foot cliffs made of black, white, pink, yellow, brown and red rocks, depending on the mineral type.  Some of the cliffs fall right down into the ocean, while others guard black cobblestone or black sand beaches with no other disturbance then the birds. Atop the cliffs are miles of tall yellow grass, cypress trees and just open space.  The whole area is a protected National Park allowing for no development.

There is wild life everywhere.   Seals swim in large packs, twenty or greater and jump out of the water in unison similar to dolphins.  Purposes swim around, sea otters, jelly fish and birds, tons and tons of sea birds of every variety.  It makes you think that is probably what most of the California coast looked like 200 years ago before man ruined it.  It was breath taking.

 Smugglers Cove

We pulled up at a “safe” anchorage, by the Islands standards.  All of them stick out in the middle of the ocean, where the weather is super fickle and all are uninhabited meaning no man made ports.  As Cit put it “we are pirates out here”.  Smugglers was a small cove semi protected by high cliffs on each side of it.  In the middle was this impressive rock/sand mix beach.  Up the hill from the beach was an old Olive Orchard that sill looked rather tame for not being manned in fifty years.  Cit said there was a ranch house up above the orchid as well.  Initially we were going to row into the beach and check it out, but it was already pretty late when we got there.  Then I cooked up some Rose Mary Chicken and mixed vegetables in tomato sauce.  After eating that and washing it down with the bottle of Merlot we were exhausted from the journey, good and drunk and with waning light decided it was better to chill on deck.

I passed out shortly after.  I awoke sometime in the night freezing cold after getting thrown off the seat I feel asleep in onto the deck.  Still drunk I crawled below deck climbed into my bunk and wrapped myself in my comforter.  In that position I stayed till morning.  Getting drunk off beer is a big mistake, probably my worst handover next to tequila.  Cit and I were definitely hurting from the previous night’s festivities.  The surf was on as we could see 3-4 foot south swells rolling past us and crashing onto the rock covered beach.

We hoisted the anchor, which by the way is a pain in the ass to do manually.  It takes so much strength to get the chain off the bottom and it is heavy as hell.  Not to mention it burns the fuck out of your hands.   We let out 75 feet of chain.  Hook detail fucking sucks and now I know why it is the first mate’s job.  Dropping anchor is a bit easier.  All you have to do is steady the line with your hand as it falls into the water to make sure the chain does not pile up on itself.  Finally it was off to the surf spot.

Stay tuned for Part III: The surfing, Island Adventuring and the Trip Home.

The rigs falling in line

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