For weeks I’ve been pep-talking myself into dawn patrolling. “Remember how you used to get up at 5 a.m all the time and surf? Remember how hard getting out of be would be, but then you would and then you’d be in the water as the sun slipped into the sky and the whole world held still and the beauty of those moments would stay with you all day? Remember that?”

I finally did it. Woke up at 4:45 a.m., climbed out of bed at 5:10 a.m., drove off to the Jetty at 5:25 a.m.
For nothing.
Seriously – nothing.
I would’ve surfed junky waves.
But the swell rolled from the west as the sea sucked out toward a minus tide leaving the sets breaking at Bunkers and leaving the Jetty ripped out and flat.
Why not just surf Bunkers then? First, adding up the amount of time to walk over and back, or walk back to the Jetty parking lot to drive and repark at Bunkers and walk some more equaled up to a solid Not Worth It. If I had a 4WD, the story might’ve been different. I say “might’ve” because judging what I saw of Bunkers this morning, I wouldn’t have paddled out there either.

Call me superstitious, but I have a hard time surfing that place, that far out. Especially if the waves are less than stellar. Shark attacks, shattered legs, drownings… bad things happen there. The waves have to be damn good (which sometimes they are) to lure me out to that distant peak.

On the plus side of things, I saw a whale spout in the harbor entrance. That was something. The sky looked like watercolors, all pastel blues mixed with gentle pinks and golds. Later, as I drove over the bay bridges, the dark rimmed clouds and glimmering silver bay announced, once again, how beautiful the world can be. That was something, too.


One thought on “Skunked!”

  1. ahh…I did the same many years ago in SoCal…don’t give up. I lived on the beach, so it was minimal effort, but still, getting up at that time as a teenager was brutal. It was a great way to beat the crowds, and catch the occasional 4-5 footers that were tubular, held up by a small offshore breeze.The best was a so-so morning where my friend and I decided we’d go out anyway because we couldn’t go back to sleep and the local restaurant wasn’t open yet…and it turned out that this swell started coming in that got bigger and bigger…by 7 am some others started paddling out and it was getting a bit crowded…then it really picked up and people started bailing. I paddled by one guy who was nearly crying because he couldn’t get in, it was so big.You are wise to listen to your doubts about places with bad vibes, but those early mornings can be rewarding, if only through your accomplishment of commiting to the time of day…you have the opportunity to feel the solitude, the beginning of the day from a different perspective than most people, and just being alive in that environment…learning to know the ocean in another of her moods…

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