Monday, December 19, 2005

Closed for Christmas

Wow, Huntington does NOT like a big NW swell.

Walls, walls, and more walls. Unless of course you're hugging the pier, can paddle like Michael Phelps, and don't mind wedging race tracks that smack into - and through - the pilings.

I tried today. I really did. I paddled out right in between the extra pilings that stick out further than the other ones, and literally paddled sideways while the outgoing tide sucked me out and the north current tried to sweep me down to Newport.

I got most of the way out, still within spitting distance of the barnacles. That is, until a set came smashing through and swatted me down about 4 blocks in half that many minutes.

Then, once I did make it to the outside, it was just one wedging closeout after another - some of them going so square that I'm convinced the entire 10 mile coastline of HB just had its sandbars completely reconfigured in a single afternoon.

Head high, sand-filled, brown and white, dredging suckouts.


And on top of all that, I made the unfathomably stupid decision to wear booties today.

What??? Where the hell do I live...Bodega Bay???

On each wave, as I got progressively more tired from nonstop current-fighting, I dragged my feet a little more. Which means each time I got to my feet - textured rubber fusing to freshly combed wax like an electromagnet - my front foot got closer and closer to the tail.

Taking off on my last wave, a freakishly perfect shoulder-high wave that had no business in today's sea of jackbooted thugs masquerading as waves, I was already spent. My legs felt like hundred-pound driftwood logs (probably not far off). I got as far as the mid-tail and stuck like glue. Too tired to fight it, I just flopped off the side and bodysurfed it almost the entire way in.

And before you get it in your head that this was some semi-stylish Tom Curren-esque way to end an awkward, exhausting session, let me just add this in:

As I bodysurfed this glassy, peeling right, my board was sort of permanently hung up in the lip, bouncing off the back of my head the entire way.

Not to worry. There's a macking double overhead swell hurtling its way across the Pacific, scheduled to make landfall by Wednesday.

The Colonel says, "Tether ball anyone?"