Posts Tagged ‘Surf Beach’

Jalama when its not pathetic

I thought I would take a brief break from the Pacific Northwest saga and write about the ten hour retard mission I went on today in search of ride-able surf.  In case you were teetering on the edge of your seat for the very exciting conclusion don’t fall off, you will just have to wait.  Part four may just be the best of the whole darn thing.  That whole trip was sort of the cause of today’s events.

Before leaving for Portland there had been in a serious drought of surf  here in the 805.  The summer was atrocious as it was and then the last few weeks of August just gave up on us all together.  At the time I was working like crazy at Westmont helping our very short staffed kitchen keep running.  Every time I leave town one can bet his life on the fact that there will be waves.  Holding true to this theorem before leaving all the forecasts were calling for a solid little south swell to hit California.

A lot of fucking good that did me in Portland.  At least my friends were going to score.  Its one thing to miss a week of surf if there has been swell, but its quite another when you cant even remember the last time you paddled.  I took it like a good sport, a very rare feat for me.  I figured when I got back it would be September all the weather folk are predicting a return of El Nino.  No worries there will be plenty of surf.

Well I watched the swell materialize from my computer in Portland, peak and die.  Then I looked at a forecast as far as the 14 day out look and it showed no better then 1-2ft.  At that point I may have screamed a few profanities while smacking the wall with the sole of my shoe.  Things were looking grim.  I need to surf.  It’s  not a hobby for me but a necessity of life similar to that of breathing air.  For me there are only two modes of action, surf mode and non-surf mode.

Surf mode is chill.  I wake up every morning and find some waves to shred before work and my days are spent for the most part mellow and stoked.  I mean sure there are some frustrating sessions and still a bit of drinking and partying but overall I feel really good and that I have a reason for living.  Then there is non-surf mode.  This kicks in after I have not surfed for a period of more then 5 days.

Non-surf mode for me is the complete absence of enjoyment out of life.  I become a zombie just going through the motions of my everyday not caring.  I feel out of shape and very lackadaisical.  My mood becomes somber.  I drink more and the partying gets out of hand.  By 8-10 days I barely remember what surfing is all about.  I sleep till the absolute last moment I can before work then come home and pass out after work.  I become a total ball of dog shit.

That was exactly where I found myself when I woke up Monday morning, dog shit.  A solution needed to be formulated to this downward spiral I was falling into.  I checked all the forecasts for all of California.  It looked as though Jalama might be the call with favorable looking wind conditions and some NW wind swell.  Monday night I called a few of my surfing cohorts to see who would be the lucky passenger on my excursion up north.

First one to respond gets the seat in my car since whenever I got up north I strictly follow the rule of two.  My boy Kevin Angers jumped at the chance with in minutes.  Then towards evening he unexpectantly dropped out leaving me in a scramble to find a number two.  North county is shark country and if you bring a buddy at least you cut your chances of being munched on in half or have someone around to witness your death.   I always tell my friends if I get eaten feel free to loot my life, just make an anonymous call to my parents to let them know I have perished.

“Hi Mr and Mrs Lisanti you don’t know me but your son Chris has been eaten by a great white.  Too bad, so sad.  But remember he is not really gone if we find a way to remember him.  I am doing that by taking all his stuff, keeping what I like then selling the rest on craigslist.  Bye now.””

I hit up this dude Pat who used to go to college with both Nick the Kook and Alex No Friends back in Melbourne Florida. Turns out he recently moved to Port Hueneme in Oxnard County.  He hit me up a few weeks ago for the skinny on the surf scene and as usual I was happy to oblige.  Anyone who wants to come move up here and suffer through terrible surfing 90% of the time is more then welcome to my advice, which is always “Have you considered moving some place else”.  Never being up that far north he was stoked to go.

We convened at the Lisanti Palace  at 6am and cruised northward with high spirits and lots of stoke. I love the drive up there it is very peaceful going through Gaviota and then onto route 1 through the ranch.   Then you turn off onto the Jalama road which is this twisting snake of fun banked turns with cliffs and rolling hills.  It is very scenic.  When we got in sight of the ocean it was offshore and from up on the bluff looked around chest to head high.  Stoked we drove into the camp ground and got ready for the walk to cracks.

It was not until we started walking that we realized that a vantage up high usually will tell you a lie.  All we kept seeing was knee to waist high G.I. Joe waves with a crowd of twelve on one peak with poor shape.  We sat down on a piece of drift wood to contemplate our current situation.  I had to surf.  Besides the long over due need for a score it was 9/11 and I have always surfed on 9/11 including the day it all went down.  It has been a standard for me.  If the entire world is falling apart and all is going to end I want to be out in the water when it all goes down.

I decided the best course of action courtesy of more miss information from Surfline.com was to run up to Surf Beach.  I think they should send a check for $2 to anyone who writes them that they got screwed by a poorly produced forecast.  Surf beach is more exposed to open ocean swell, but also to wind as well.  I was desperate and Pat was game so we cruised.

When we arrived at Surf Beach it looked really fun actually, by Surf Beach standards of course.  There was no one out for scale but having spent a number of surfs out there now I assumed it was over head.  Why was there no one out you ask?  Surf Beach is fucking closed till September 30th as a result of too many violations of the beach rules set by the Air Force since the spot is technically on their property.  As it turns out 50 infractions is the magic number to close the place down.

At this point I had just about lost it and was ready to have a freak out Lisanti style.  Then I remembered that Pat is new to Lisanti Land and may not be able to handle such a scene.  I took a few deep breaths while pacing in circles around the parking lot.  I was up the creek with out a paddle.  I opened the trunk of my car and pulled out my leash as I scanned the parking lot for a spot high and strong enough to hang myself from.  The light at the far end of the train station looked more then adequate.

As I was constructing a noose it hit me, what about further north?  There was Pismo but a surf there was about as bad if not worse then not surfing at all.  Then I thought back to the protests against the county charging for parking at select beach parks and there was a place just outside of Guadalupe that was on that list.  I though heck if there was a beach there why wouldn’t there be waves.  Killing myself would have to wait about 30 minutes till we got there.  Guadalupe is know for its giant dunes so I figured at the very worst I could try and bury myself alive.

We traversed this sketchy little road through the dunes before coming out to the ocean where to our pleasant surprise there were waves.  It was not perfect.  There was a slight texture on it and it looked a bit shifty and hard to read.  There were two guys leaving as we were pulling up.  After all that effort you can bet your ass we were suited up and were in the water in no time flat. I just got a new Excel 4/3 for a steal off the internet and was warm as hell.  Pat on the other hand had this very old O’Neill that looked like Swiss cheese.

We got out there and right off that bat I had a nice right.  I felt very rusty and out of shape the entire session.  For three hours we traded waves in the very tricky conditions stoked.  It was far from good by any means but when you have been wave starved as long as I have or come from Florida like Pat it was good enough.   There were some really fun sections.  We had an entire line up to ourselves, a pod of dolphins decided to join us for a bit.  The seals even seemed to be chilling. It was not the score I had intended, but I definitely made lemonade out of lemons.

Fuck surfing I’m over it.  I think this is the new course my life is going take.  I am going Gangnam Style, whooot!:

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October is usually a crazy month for surf around here.  This one was rather average, although there were some choice days.  I had a few keepers at Rincon and plenty of beach break action.  I think this may the be winter of the beach breaks unfortunately.  October marked the return of Kooky Kyle to Lisanti Land, this time joining the court at the Palace for an extended stay.  You can check out Kooky’s Korner for his take on things from time to time.  Kooky and I went on a 24 hour idiot mission up to San Francisco to surprise our boy and UCB all star John Mauriello, surfing a few spots on the way up.  Besides that I kicked a second heroine addict roommate out of my house.  Third time is a charm I guess.   Business as usual here in the Land of Lisanti.  Here are the stats and yes I know I am posting October’s stats in December.  I am month behind.  Always a day late and a dollar short.

Number of Surf Sessions: 21
Days surfed: 20
Time In Water: 34hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 497
Average Waves Surfed Per Hour: 15

Spots Surfed:
New Jetty : 8
Rincon: 7
Waddel Creek, Santa Cruz: 1
Moss Landing Montery:  1
Surf Beach: 1
Santa Clara River Mouth: 1
Emma Wood: 1
La Conchita: 1

Top 3 Sessions in October:

3. 10/27/11 AM Session: 2-3+, New Jetty
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 25
You know those sessions when you feel like  God? I had one today.  It was only about chest to head high and a bit crumbly with the wind on it, not to mention a larger then optimal crowd.  I was on and that was all that mattered.  Every good wave seemingly came right to me.  All my turns were crisp. I stuck a bunch of airs.  It was just one of those days.

2.  10/18/11 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Surf Beach
Time in Water: 1hr 50mins
Waves Surfed: 27
Ahhh, Surf Beach and just about the one year anniversary of the fatal shark attack that happened there. With minimal swell and a need for adventure Kooky and I threw caution to the wind and went up to the wild north.   Upon pulling into the lot we were greeted by fun looking glassy chest high plus bowls with out a person in sight.  As we got changed this crazy old man who had to be over eighty and was born in Lompoc in 1924, lived there his whole life, began telling us all these gnarly stories of way back in the day.  He lost his wife of like thirty years last year and found himself a bit lonely these days.  I always find it really sad when old people lose their spouse after all that time.  I could not imagine the heart break.  Turns out he should not drive cause he has dementia but does anyway cause he does not give a fuck.  First thing he said to us was “I’m 86 years old and lost in life, maybe I always had been”.  Those words always win me over.  Then as we were about to paddle out this lady whom I have surfed both there and Jalama with claimed some guys saw a 12 foot great white there yesterday. I told her “well that was not today now was it” and paddled out.  Turns out the session was super fun and both Kooky and I scored some sick waves.  I got a few barrels.  We stopped at the Jalama Cafe for Lunch,  my favorite eatery in the area and ran into that same old guy.  What an awesome day.

1.  10/13/11 AM Session: 4-6ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs 45mins
Waves surfed: 27
Oh man, Rincon.  Today was the first day I have to say Rincon really cooked for me this season.  Kooky and I got there and the lot was packed.  I was going to drive away, but my rule of thumb is that if I can get a space in the front lot then I will surf the place regardless.  I ended up snagging a spot and was stoked I did.  The place was on.  I started up at River Mouth and surfed from there down three times.  I had some sick ones.  Out of the 27 waves at least twenty had no less then 9 turns.  I got two from high River Mouth to Low Cove and called boxed one from high cove.  Killian was out and had some guy filming him with a 35mm.  I had so many sick ones it was incredible. I love Rincon.

Well there you have it the month of October in surf sessions.  As always if you enjoy reading these little session reviews check out the surflog where I post some type of insanity about both my life and surfing every single day.

Alright this was not taken in the month of October. My boy Dave's girl Roo shot it at Santa Clara River Mouth back in March. Its still a sicky though.

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Fuck the 4th of July, what a terrible day.  As far as Im concerned it could be whipped off the calender altogether.  I mean whoopty fucking doo for America and all, but I think I will sit this one out thank you.  That being said the initial plan for the day was to sleep for majority then move on to heavy drinking, moving on to straight up black out drunk.  Even the best plans of mice and men go astray in life.  I awoke at 6:30 am with a shitty head ache from drinking till I passed out the night before (aint alcoholism grand folks?).

The sound was excruciating in my ears, likened to a blaring knife piercing my ear drums deep into my brain.  Then I realized it was just the sound of my cell phone ringing.  Lindsay being the persistent little one she is kept calling till I got reluctantly got out of bed to take her surfing.  I checked the report and buoys and things looked less then appetizing.  On a hail Mary mission I decided to strike out for Jalama.  I had yet to make it up there this season and what better time then on a Holiday when it was bound to be crowded, small and windy.  Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Also I have been dying to test my car’s handling capabilities on the Jalama road.  Since Im still alive we can safely agree that it passed (Death wish foiled #1).

Upon arriving to the bluff over looking Cracks it became obvious that the tide was way too low and the SW wind already taking a toll on it.  On the plus side there was almost no one out.  Against my better judgement (who am I kidding I knew exactly what I was about to get myself into.  One phrase: Death Wish Baby!) and Lindsay’s mortification I made the call to run up to Surf Beach.  For those of you who don’t know about surf beach it is this sketchy, sharky, cold, unruly beach break just north of Jalama on Vandenburg AFB.

Surf Beach was featured in many of the old myspace.com blogs and just recently here on surfingruinedmylife.net in the blog: When We Become Food, about a fatal shark attack that happened there in October of 2010.  Since that incident I had not surfed up at Surf Beach.  The place has always been known to be sharky and the entire time out there one is constantly looking over his shoulder in wonderment of what may be lurking beneath.  Its a deep water spot out in the middle of no where and more times then not it is super foggy and there is no one surfing.  I have soloed it there too many times to count and let me tell you all those times I was pretty much shaking in my booties the entire time.

I pretty much avoided the place like the plague for the past nine months.  This morning I found myself standing on the dunes above the lineup staring out into an empty ocean with a solid marine layer making the outside bar unrecognizable.  I saw four guys paddle out but never saw them again once they entered the fog bank.  Lindsay was dead set on not surfing and I was hardly motivated.  The only redeeming factor for me was that I wasted the time and gas to get up there, when I could have already had polished off my first bottle of wine for the day.  Bye bye liver, hello dialysis (Death wish plan #2 foiled).   Nah, if my liver goes I’m just going to sharpen up the Samurai sword I found in the trash outside my apartment and commit seppuku.

Ultimately we saw a set of rights run down this sand bar that got us frothing and we decided to forgo our original hesitations, shark or no shark we were on it.  The water was surprisingly warmer then I had expected and was fairly tolerable.   Lindsay and I got out there and the fog immediately got thicker and the four other guys whom we had seen paddle out were no where to be found.  After nearly twenty minutes of strenuous paddling I made it to the outside bar.  I looked back for Lindsay but she was no where to be found.  I managed to get a few choice rides out there before realizing I had fallen victim to the intense current and needed to get out and walk back up the beach.

Im not going to lie I was a bit scared to be out a few hundred yards from the beach with forty feet of water under me and a fog bank too thick to see more then five feet in either direction.  The first thought that went through my head was that if I got taken no one would even find out till Lindsay gave up on me.  Then my death wish instincts kicked in and I was well at ease.  Of course with my luck being the way it is I survived unscathed by the mouth of the sea’s most vicious predator (Death wish #3 foiled!!).  We surfed two drifts before calling it a day.  After the second drift we had not realized the current had shifted polarity thus walking the complete opposite direction in the fog for an easy 500 yards.   Surf Beach is like the mother fucking Bermuda Triangle.

Lindsay was a bit freaked out by the whole experience, meanwhile I was rather proud of myself to finally get over the fear I have harbored for Surf Beach through the last nine months.  It always feels good to conquer any type of  adversity.  I also realized that I guess I’m just not going to die.  For whatever reason no matter how hard I push the envelope God just wont let me leave this earth.  Everyone says its because he has a higher calling for me.  I just think he wants me to rove across the planet for all of eternity perpetually pathetic and alone.  Whatever the case as long as there is internet you will be able to be entertained by my daily torment, the torment of living.

On the way home I pushed my luck even further by giving a ride to a sketchy character who had just gotten off the train from LA and needed a ride into Lompoc.  I guess he had been shot down by everyone else in the lot.  I looked at it as a prime opportunity to get that stabbing I have been hoping for out of the way (read the opening paragraph of A Guilty Pleasure to get the lowdown on that).  Turns out John was a really nice guy who had just moved to Lompoc and is studying business at SBCC.  He used to work as a cook back in LA.  He was a totally chill guy whom I was able to stoke out without doing anything more then giving him a ride to a destination I was passing through anyhow (death wish #4 foiled).  Lindsay was super against it and all I had to say to her was that there may come a time when she is in need and would be so lucky to be graced with a similar kindness.

After that I treated us to a victory lunch at a spot John recommended called the Jalama Beach Cafe.  All I can say is that the food was superb and the service top notch.  If you ever find yourself in Lompoc be sure to stop in to the Jalama beach cafe for a bite.  I know it will be my new spot for every Lisanti Adventure Tour that makes its way up there.  That folks is how I turned what was to be one of the emotionally hardest days of my life into a bit of positive.  As Biggie Smalls says in Juicy “I love my life because I went from negative to positive”.

Fun surf, but what lurks beneath?

Spared this time...

Just about as gnarly as a shark attack, seppuku.

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Adrienne and I finally decided to take a break apart from each other.  I know it’s for the best right now, but still it’s hard for me to not wish things could not have turned out better.  I tried to keep us together for as long as I could as hard as I could.  She was not ready to try and may never be able to.  I think now the only chance we have of ever reuniting is some time apart.

“If you love something set it free and if it comes back to you it was meant to be” is how the saying goes I trust.  If you’re lost revisit Bowing Out and Once Upon A Mattress for more details.  It looks like from here on forward you will be reading about independent single Lisanti.  Don’t get your hopes up for drunken tales and sexual escapades.  I don’t find pride in those stories anymore.  Before I close the Adrienne chapter of my life I would like to tell one last story about us, our last fun day.

This past weekend I took Ades up to Santa Barbara Wine Country.  Springtime is beautiful up there.  Everything is still green and luscious before browning out during the summer heat and drought.  I had been up there many times thanks to countless Jalama and Surf Beach missions that had went awry leaving me extra time to go poking around.  Adrienne had never been.  I knew my days with her were very limited and that if I did not act now I may not have ever had the opportunity to share one of my favorite places in California with her.  There are so many other places all over the world I wish I could have had the privilege to show her.

As an extra incentive to go I knew many of the 2010 vintages were beginning to be introduced to the tasting rooms.  I planned the whole trip out to go to two vineyards and do some valley adventuring.  Our first stop was Beckmen Vineyards in Los Olivios my current favorite estate wine producer in Santa Barbara County.  They grow mostly Rhone varietals (grapes that are grown in the Rhone Valley of France, Syrah, Grenache, etc), which are currently some of my favorites.  Syrah is considered one of the grapes that grow best in Santa Barbara.

Ades is the one who actually turned me on to Beckmen, buying one their earlier vintage Red Rhone blends earlier in the year.  It was one of the better wines I have had the privilege to drink.  Out of all the vineyards up there they were the must stop.  We get up there and it is just a beautiful vineyard with all the different varieties neatly trellised.  The grounds were nicely gardened with a little lake and rose garden.  There is nothing more aesthetically pleasing to me then a well kept vineyard.  Staring out at acres of pristine rows of vines is surreal.

We go into the tasting room and luckily just missed one of those large wine tasting buses thus had the sommelier all to ourselves.  They had a six bottle tasting for ten bucks and the guy threw in a tasting of the new 2010 Rose for free.  Adrienne is more of a red fan then a white, and I don’t really have a preference.  The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was quite exquisite.  I ended up buying a bottle.  They did a Rhone white blend (Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc) called Le Bec Blanc that just blew me away.  I bought a bottle of that too.

Then we tasted the Rose, which I found to be quite refreshing, Adrienne was not a fan.  Too sweet for her I think.  We tasted their red Rhone blend Cuvee Le Bec, but it was the same vintage Ades had bought that one time so it was not really special to me.  Finally we tasted their Syrah.  Usually when you buy a bottle they comp the tasting.  I bought two and the dude still charged me for the tasting.

Ades said it was because I was not nice enough to the guy, but the dude kept talking about how he was sick and was coughing all over the wine the entire time.  How nice could I possibly be?  Also I did not really care much for him.  Some people just rub me the wrong way.  I think it was something about his face.

After the tasting we cruised around the vineyard a bit.  I love to walk amongst the grapes, feel the dirt between my fingers.  Just imagine how it will look when I come back for another visit for harvest season in the fall.  If I ever strike it rich someday maybe I will get myself a vineyard and grow my own Rhone varietals.  I can be a Rhone Ranger.

Whenever tasting its good to take a break to give the body a chance to absorb the alcohol.  After all if you get too sloshed then you really do not taste objectively.  My absolute favorite spot in the Santa Ynez Valley is this little park called Nojoqui Falls.  Its this 60 foot limestone water fall that is more like a water slide then a fall thanks to years of limestone being deposited at the base of the falls.  It almost does the opposite of most waterfalls.

Instead of eroding the base, all the rich sediment builds it up.  It makes for a very breath taking sight.  There is all this great moss growing on the limestone and the water bubbles down like chandeliers of foam to a shallow crystal clear pool below.  Brennan and I came a across this gem two summers ago when we were doing our 101 Santa Barbara activities. I love it there and make a trip to it whenever I have some spare time.  I had wanted to take Ades there for months but never made the time.  It’s funny how I always wait till things are over to do something amazing.

After the falls I wanted to get over to Ostrich Land, this crazy ostrich and emu farm in between Solvang and Lompoc.  For $5 you get a pail of food and are let lose in the bird pen to feed these monstrous prehistoric angry birds at your own risk of course.  I have been here many times.  It’s a must stop whenever I go up north with someone new.  The place is like a petting zoo gone sadistic.  It’s a shit show that you have to experience to fully understand.  We both managed to survive the endeavor with all our extremities in tact.

They even had a handful of baby Emus that you could hand feed.  I was super pumped on them.  I wanted to buy some ostrich meat to cook up since I just recently found out in one of my classes that it is good eating. Unfortunately it turns out the meat has become super popular and is near impossible to get at the moment and they don’t slaughter the birds at Ostrich Land, a fact I always thought the opposite. Turns out the place is just for fun and not for food.

From Ostrich Land it was on to our next tasting.  Apparently most tasting rooms close at four and there were a few that closed at five.  We managed to luck upon a vineyard a few miles from Ostrich Land that was still tasting called Dierberrg, Star Lane and Three Saints.  Those were the three wine labels that are produced there and it was an estate vineyard as well (estate vineyard means all steps in the wine making process happens right at that vineyard).  We made the last pouring of the day and the sommelier was super chill and actually poured us a very generous tasting of each bottle.  Their pinot noir was very splendid and so was the syrah. I was rather happy with all of the wines poured.

Unfortunately I kicked my budget at Beckmen and the bottles here were a bit too pricey for me to buy one.  I offered to pay for the tasting and sommelier said it was free.  Well then I had to buy a bottle.  I was going to get the Sauvignon Blanc cause it was only $18, but then she pulled out these other wines called Three Saints that are their “table Wines”.  I bought a bottle of Syrah for $12.

Their vineyard unlike Beckmen was huge, too large to walk around.  As a last stop with the slowly waning sun I took Adrienne to surf beach over on Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Surf Beach is one of the eeriest places I have ever surfed and with the recent shark attack I have not made if back since last summer.  We got there and it was actually a beautiful afternoon.  The beach was closed by the military being that it was passed 6pm (surf beach is only open from 8am-6pm daily), but we could still mill around the parking lot.  Between the missile silos, strange non descript huge government buildings and the vast emptiness of the churned up sea it was a breathtaking site.

Ades did not think it was all that eerie, but of course she wouldn’t.  She likes creepy places.  We muddled around the area for about an hour or so.  I tried to do flips off this concrete pillar to no avail, although I did not break my neck so one may consider that a success.  I think it was some of the most fun we had together in a while and deep down thought we had a glimmer of hope.

I wanted to get dinner at this famous restaurant called the Hitching Post, but being it was Saturday and around sevenish there was like a two hour wait.  Im not about to wait two hours for any food.  I don’t care how good it is. We cruised into Solvang this tourist trap built to look like a traditional Danish village.  There were less choices then I would have expected considering the nature of the town.

We ended up settling for some Danish themed diner call the Little Mermaid Restaurant.  The food was plentiful, cheap and from what I could tell from a quick glimpse in the kitchen mostly heated up out of a can.  The dinning experience was great with a bus girl who for whatever reason kept her purse on her at all times thus accidentally clocking me in the head with it every time she took my plate.  It was a classic dingy Jersey diner with a Danish theme .  We ordered beer to go with the meal, after all that type of food is made to pair with beer.  Then Billy Jean came on the radio and I decided to get up a bust out a move or two.

It was a most splendid day.  Our last day together, maybe forever?  Only time will tell.  The situation is out of my hands now.  I have done and endured all any human heart could for another person.  I can’t force her to love me; she has to figure that out on her own.  Sometimes distance makes the heart grow fonder and I can only hope that after a period of time she will realize that she does still love me but has just hardened her heart towards me for the moment.

As for me I need to hang up my hat and walk off into the sunset gracefully alone.  She moves out June 1st and it’s going to be difficult but I cannot be the one to initiate contact between us.  If she wants to try again she knows how to find me.  For now I have to put my feelings for her aside and move on with my life.

A lot of good has come out of this.  I learned tons about myself and have went through a complete transformation as a person.  I think I have finally learned what it means to be human.  I wish Adrienne the very best in life and hope she finds the happiness I was unable to provide for her.

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By now I think the word has gotten out in surf communities up and down California and around the US as well.  This past Friday 10/22/10 a surfer (well body boarder to be exact, not that it makes a difference) was attacked here in Santa Barbara County up at Surf Beach, a meager surfing out post up in the northern portion of the County, 30 miles or so north of point conception.  Im not going to talk of the particulars of the incident because I was not there and only know what I read similar to you.  If your interested in the particulars click here: http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/shark-attack-at-vandenberg–ucsb-surfer-loses-leg-and-dies-from-blood-loss_49145/.


For me and many of my surfing brethren up here in Santa Barbara this attack came as quite a shock and rude awakening.  Sure I have heard plenty of shark attack stories on the news, heard the second and third party exaggerated horror stories even gave my sympathies to Bethany Hamilton.  But overall it was all second hand smoke.  This one was very different.  Some one was taken in my own backyard at a surf spot that I on occasion surf.


Shit I almost went up north to surf that very day but at the last minute found out I had to go do ding work at J7 so I decided not to bother.  Never before in my life has an attack happened in the near vicinity to my personal surfing scope.  All I can say is it’s a heavy realization.  The men in gray suits are out there and you never know when they are going to strike.  I could become food just as much as the next schmoo.


Then I started thinking man Im never going to surf up at Surf Beach again.  Yet it is a key summer spot exposed to swell from all angles.  On further introspection I decided that yeah I probably will go back.  I have never lived my life in fear and I don’t intend to as of late.  As this crazy body boarder I met in Oz once said “I reckon mate if you get taken and live to tell about it you wont ever have to buy a beer again, and if you don’t well no worries then”.

Ahh good old surf beach, apparently there are angry locals both outside and inside the water.

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