Two riders split a thigh-high mushburger...typical east coast windswell
So..back to my original story. A 3-day trip sent me back home (well, close) with a full plate of work tasks, but a flexible schedule. Arrived at Nutty's house (not linking him until he updates his page!) around 8pm on thursday and settled in. A very shifty wind forecast had me leave my saltwater fishing gear at home, and instead bring a surfboard, wetsuits, and my ultralight freshwater gear with me. Checked the forecast for friday morning: SW 10 at 6am, switching to NE 10-20 by 10am. Possibilities? I went to bed and set my alarm for about an hour before sunrise. Woke up, checked the wind forecast....SSW 6kt! Jumped in the truck and hit the oceanfront.
Buoy had showed 4.9' SE @ 7 seconds but the surf was clean and consistent 2-3' with 4' sets about every 20 minutes. Buoy also showed 67 degree water, so I suited up in a long-sleeve / short bottom 2mm suit. Hit the water and wished I had thought about that a little longer - water on the outside was clearly in the mid-60s, but the shallows were much colder, between 53 and 56, I'd guess. Had a dry paddle out, and a nice first wave, so only got wet (and flushed) on the return paddle to the lineup. As anyone could have predicted, there were consistently 15-20 guys in the water from 1st street to 6th street, but everyone was in good spirits.
Had a good mix of waves, despite my rusty style (hadn't been to the gym in a month, or surfed "real waves" in 2 years). Take-offs were steep by southeastern US standards, but "playful" by Northeast or west coast standards. Lots of guys were wiping out on takeoff but, after 12 years of surfing Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, I'm proud to say I didn't miss a single take-off. Had it been a little warmer, or had I been surfing with friends, I probably would have thought a little more about my style, making sweeping turns off the lip and other moves that were definitely possible with these little lines, but I was rusty, cold....and just having fun. Around 730am, the wind switched hard, sending the lineup into a tailspin - what had been a consistent south longshore current turned into a series of gyres that were sending some surfers north, and other surfers south. After battling the current for about 15 minutes, I called it quits. Best surf in 2 years and it wasn't even 8am! I cleaned myself off and headed out for my day's work.