09 May 2005

My Very First Honest to Goodness Dawn Patrol Session

Now that I've done it, I must say I do prefer being what one of my friends calls "the second shift". Shit! It's dark out there at dawn. And let's not even talk about how cold it is at that hour. Okay, let me back up. Since there is a SW swell in the region, I knew that Sunset would catch it. Since Sunset is a break that works best on a low tide, it was best to get there as early as possible . . . or so I thought. So, I get there. It's dark. Not just dark. It's D-A-R-K dark. I got there way too early. And there I sat—in the dark. (I think I got there around 5:20!) After what seemed like an eternity sitting in the dark, the sky began to turn gray. That's when I got out of the car to take a look. I was cursing at first. I thought it was flat. And that was the lowest tide I've ever seen there, thus the waves appeared to be breaking in a couple of feet of water. I got a little discouraged, especially since it took some work to wrangle a dawn patrol session. Eventually, a few waves rolled through and I got in. I think I was the second or third person in. I can't say that there were a lot of waves to choose from at that point. The swell just wasn't doing enough. Eventually, though, I ran into Whiffleboy. That, for me, was the only good thing about the session. Let's talk about him for a minute. Yes, Whiff, I'm starting in on you. You know, he's so self-deprecating that I actually expected to see him do something about which he could be embarrassed. But, no. Don't believe anything he says about how horrible he is. Whiffleboy is a good surfer. There's no flailing around when he paddles. No hesitating when he pops up. He looks quite comfortable on a surfboard. Now I will speak to him directly: Whiff, it's time to move to a shortboard. Now that I've seen you surf, I (the woman who loves longboarding) see you on a shorter board. I'm not sure which board you were on today. You surf like you're ready to do more. It's the equipment, now, that's holding you back. So, pretend you're me and go board shopping already! Okay, I'm done talking about Whiffleboy. Back to our regularly scheduled blog entry. The waves were mushy and boring for most of the session. Then, as the tide shifted a little, some halfway decent waves began rolling in. I was going to get out. I caught one of them and then told myself I should catch a better one that would take me closer to where my car was parked. I caught a few of those nicer waves before acknowledging I was too cold to stay in any longer. Just as I got out, it began to rain. Now that I've done dawn patrol, I'll stop being jealous of everyone who can be in the water that early. I like being on the second shift. It's usually sunny (when there is sun). It's often less crowded (at least at Sunset) than when people are out for dawn patrol. There's also less traffic on the road. I suppose second shift surfers are less rushed. Now that I've seen how the other half lives, I actually appreciate not being able to surf until about 9 a.m.

5 Comments:

At 5/9/05, 8:25 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

Well, if it's any consequence, I'm envious of all you "mid morning" folks. I rarely get to see the sun when I surf.

Oh...you're being far too generous with your assessment of how I carry myself out there, but thanks for the vote of confidence. :-)

 
At 5/10/05, 7:24 AM, Blogger beachgirl said...

Hi Surfsister! Marlon told me that he saw you. I'm bummed that I missed you yesterday. Maybe next time...

 
At 5/10/05, 11:16 PM, Anonymous bz880 said...

Hey there, I don't remember how I stumbled onto your blog, but it's nice to read about So.Cal surf stories!

I'm basically a flailing beginning in the cold waters of S.F. One day this summer I'll make it down to surf in So. Cal.

Cheers!

 
At 5/11/05, 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my greatest joys is to be out in the water and watch the sun come up, see the color of the water, and watch the sea birds sailing by. Paddle out in the semi-dark, paddle in with sun up. Love it.

 
At 5/12/05, 9:27 PM, Blogger palmerman said...

While often it is cold... or just colder that usual - I recently had a Dawn Session at Malibu - where the sky turned orange, reflecting in the water as cool blue clouds approached from the sea. It was just plain stunning. The water was GLASS... and then the set came in. Sometimes there is nothing like an early AM session. Try it in the summer months... and don't forget about the sunset sessions too. Great blog. Keep it up and see you in the water.

 

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