/*23 Breaths: August 2014*/

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Late Summer Early Fall

As I sit here taking in the morning on my front porch
I am earnestly trying to decide the season

The weather, such as it is in Southern California
has been warm especially at night
when a good walk around is perhaps a better call
then an attempt at bedding down for 40 winks

Definitely late Summer,

but then, out for a Sunday drive
I noticed the the usual conditions
sort of like making a right turn on to a busy
Nascar track during a race
were truly sparse.
"Sparse" and any reference to traffic being in the same sentence
when referring to the Southern California driving experience
being unusual indeed
and NEVER occurring during the summer season
Have the tourists gone home, gone back to school
or just disappeared like the colors of the night?

Definitely early Fall,

The giant surf gifted to us by our dear friend Maria
with sand and rock moved to new locations to mark the occasion
has subsided on these shores
with only the rides of a lifetime
and miles of film
to show for it...

Hurricane season, definately Summer,

then there is the light...
I'm sure painters have a word for it
the light that drove the local plein air movement is gone
those properties of light
that make each color come alive
each hue it's own public celebration of it's portion of the spectrum
are somehow absent
even midday landscapes have a feeling of late afternoon...

Yes definitely Fall

Welcome back

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today is the day

Global warming or perhaps some unique planetary alignment has given us a wealth of tropical hurricanes this year

The current storm (there are at least three active storms at the moment) Maria

has gifted us with a sizeable south swell which should peak today

The coastal temperatures are up as well.

A few days later would create the "perfect storm" of hot temps, large surf and a three day weekend.


Suddenly I'm thankful that it's only a Wednesday...

So charge it but be safe and keep an eye out for people in trouble

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Who are YOU gonna call?

** My kids (back when they were still kids) watched Ghostbusters non-stop for 10 years.  I can (and do) quote dialog for any occasion.  They are re-releasing the picture in theaters and I can't wait ...

It's time for a repost!


It's time for another round of "What's the best surf car!"

Some of you may think that in these times, a 1959 Cadillac may not be the best option.

Given the current state of the environment and that petroleum based transportation may soon be on the decline.

That's precisely why this thing is going to makes a perfect base of operations!

Show up at the beach with siren and lights flashing,
and just park it for the summer.

You and a ton of your close personal friends can live in the back,
with plenty of room for long boards, short board, SUP's, kayaks, body boards and anything else you might require.

Mats would get lost in the cavernous interior of ECTO1 so take special care where you stash them.

Also remember to bring your bike for any short trips you may want to take as this beauty in not on the Sierra Clubs list of cars getting a decent MPG rating.

While this is not the most off road worthy car you can still take over any of the more urban surf centers the coast has to offer.
The Ghostbuster proton packs are sure to mellow out the most wild locals.

I would suggest using one to torch the lifeguard tower soon after arriving at the beach.

That will resolve any issues with the county about that silly law against riding mats at Malibu!

Make up a story about the ghosts haunting the tower and you will be sure to get an invitation to some of the more interesting New Age parties at the Colony that season.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I was in a bit of a funk...

My cat was sick so Morgan and I missed the Greenough movie on Friday night...

so we went down to the shore and noticed that there was some sort of strange gathering going on...
as I understand it, it was some sort of challenge to get lots of people to stand in a perfectly straight line
along the shoreline... 

There were some participants doing the same thing out in the water,
with less success though, they were sort of clumped together in spots...

I read and reread the instructions on the lifeguard tower
it seemed that ever thing was in order...
a few people even brought their dogs and bikes they were still in a line along the shore but I don't know if that counts in the grand total ...

I decided to shoot a few from a somewhat "pulled back" point of view

I'm sure there will be other, no doubt better photographs of this event there were easily 20 photographers there with a million dollars of cameras and lens recording the event...

There were at last count three different drones also recording the event

On occasion even the waves would break in a straight line near the shore...

Around 10 o'clock suddenly everything changed...

The standup board riders and body boards immediately paddled directly to shore,
just as the life guards had suggested...

leaving only the body surfers to ride the waves...
In the picture above, I know it's hard to see but this body surfer is tucked back under the falling lip of the wave...
I'm not sure if the "people standing in a straight line standing at the shore line"
 judges are going to be able to score his performance adequately ...
after that things started to get blurry

and really with the absence of the stand up surfers and bodyboarders the event lost focus and became more of a free for all ...

We decided to leave...

Just as I was leaving a man came up to me and gave me 10,000 dollars for this photo.
It's going to be the cover of the next "People standing in a straight line at the beach"  magazine.

Monday, August 18, 2014

blood relatives stop by for a bit and a drink...

Warm days
some would say hot
I don't really know as I sleep away the warmest part of the day

followed by cooler moist even foggy evenings and early mornings
watching the constant march of tropical depressions
You all know Karina, I would like to introduce depression twelve-E...

I have been enjoying sunsets
or a least that time of day
the earth begins to cool
and all my (at this point at least) blood relatives, the mosquitoes
stop by for a bit and a drink...

 Late summer early fall
Mid hurricane season
and the North Pacific could spin out some magic
at a moments notice

AM update
the swell has backed off
there is a bit of south wind
and the temps have dropped to a chilly
65 degrees...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

points to the Fall

The early morning birds

That began practicing every known car alarm

between 3 and 6 am

are strangely silent.

The surf contests are come and gone

(how was the riot? Who won?)

There is something about the quality of the light these days

mostly in the afternoons

that points to the Fall.

It's still hot

muggy even being in the midst of monsoon season

I think I heard the North Pacific

beginning to awaken

from it's summer time slumber.

Looking forward to a wet El Nino winter

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not great but not bad...

Opted for a Sunday surf over the weekend

Burn off a little of that "too south" swell

Let the NW and the tide fill in

Not great but not bad

The water was warm and clear enough to see schools of fish swimming along the bottom

Things like that can make a session for me

The surf is what the surf is

Sometimes good sometimes not

The benefit of surfing for decades is not that you progress along some rocket to the moon skill increase curve

but the slow gradual understanding of

the pleasures of the sun, the wind and the  water

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bali 74

Racking Focus: Spyder Wills films Gerry Lopez and Rory Russell at Uluwatu from The Surfer's Journal on Vimeo.

Forty years ago I had the good fortune to spend a month on Bali, just after these guys left the island. An American expat had a board Gerry and Rory had left behind.

At Uluwatu, when you lost your board it goes straight in to the cliff face.  I had brought tape, resin and catalyst on the trip as leashes were relatively new and not all that reliable. It was a nice board but it took all the resin I had to make it water tight.

I charged the guy 100 bucks and in 74 that was a lot of dings!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PG Tips

While we all eagerly await PG's latest in the series

"30 Years of Tinkering and Testing"

There was another in the PG Tips installments over at Surfmatters

Always great stuff ... Check it out

Monday, August 4, 2014

nice new tattoo, what's it say? hmmm I don't think it's spelled that way...

While the circus was in town just up the beach

two weeks running, must be come kind of a record

I decided that a brief dip in the brine was in order

My favorite wildly polluted river mouth / beach break

had ample parking

which on a Sunday morning in mid summer

was very odd

but the lack of surf

"The Curse of the Contest"

as it's known locally

had mellowed the local crowd.

Or maybe, after a hot and rowdy Saturday night partying

(the contest is in town)

They decided that the best option

was to make bail

skip the beach and go get some eggs

But with the sun rising over Saddleback I grabbed my mat and fins

and waded out...

right in the middle of a surf school

(two surf schools really, complete with videographer and photographer on the beach)

I know a lot of people dislike the schools

and we certainly have enough people surfing at this point

but depending on the waves that day

I love surfing in the middle of the school!

First I only get cut off the usual amount

which averages out  to every other wave

the difference being these people really "didn't see ya coming down bro"

And these people are STOKED!

None of that 10 to 20 years surfing stoke

"it would be good if ... (choose one or more) the waves were bigger, smaller, there was more north in the swell, the tide was higher or lower, it was offshore, I had my 6'2" instead of the 6'3"

No this is my first time standing up on a board stoke

100 percent pure, fresh and from the source!

I even managed to connect a few sections of a too south swell ...

good times