I will do what's necessary to avoid a crowded lineup. I don't care how good (or bad) the swell is. I was forced into dawn patrol this morning. Soul Brother #1 needed me back home by 8:30. If I was going to surf, I was going to have to be quick about it.
I was there at 6:30, watching Lake PCH. I could have stayed in bed. I should have stayed in bed. There is nothing out there!
Well, there was one person bobbing solitarily. I was in no rush to join him and get laughed at by the onlookers who generally gather on the bluff as the day progresses. It was barely light. It was cold. And I sat there wondering what had happened to the waves. When I surfed this break the previous day, I went home happy. I was already envisioning the conversation I'd have with my spouse today about my obvious inability to read the ocean and properly interpret the surf reports. I sat there thinking a lot of things. I did not, as usual, want to go home unsurfed. Just show me something, anything, and I'll get in.
Well, not long after that the one person in the water took a set wave. It wasn't huge. It was, however, followed by several other UNRIDDEN waves. Long lulls? Don't care. Empty waves? I'm all over that. Since it was barely light and somewhat empty at the break, I got suited up in the car. Yep, I sat behind the wheel and somehow shimmied into my damp wetsuit. It didn't take me long to get it together. I am the epitome of efficiency when it's time to surf. Other people stand around talking or getting their gear set up. Being the regimented person that I am, I can get myself out in the water in a matter of minutes after parking the car. Wetsuit, contacts, wax. The end. I was the second one out.
I think I got about six waves within the first 20 minutes of paddling out. I shared them with no one. That's just the way I like my surfing these days. If I want a party, I'll throw on some James Brown and invite my friends over. I'm not feeling the party wave thing at all. It's totally overrated.
By the time I got out at about 7:45, they were coming. The waves were no longer cooperating. I guess the tide was straightening itself out. My last wave was a set wave I rode alone. I'm certain the waves got better as the day progressed. The crowd, I'm also certain, did not.
I like winter.