Surf In Oregon

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Pete






SW WIND 20 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 5 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
"May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands."

The Wreck of the Peter Iredale.

There is not much I can add to this, perhaps, the most iconic shipwreck of the Oregon Coast.
The ship was a 4 mast steel bark built in England in 1890.
On September 26, 1906, it sailed from Salina Cruz, Mexico, bound for Portland.
Encountering heavy fog, they made for the mouth of the Columbia the morning of October 25.
Captain H. Lawrence recalled,
“A heavy southeast wind blew and a strong current prevailed...
Before the vessel could be veered around...
She was in the breakers and all efforts to keep her off were unavailing.”
The ship ran aground Clatsop Spit, three masts snapping from the impact.
Captain Lawrence ordered to abandon ship and rockets were launched to signal for help.
The Point Adams Lifesaving Station sent a team of men to rescue the crew.
The lifesavers brought all 27 crewmen, including two stowaways, safely to shore.
William K. Inman, helped Captain Lawrence ashore.
He remembered that the red-bearded captain stood stiffly at attention, saluted his ship, and said: “May God bless you and may your bones bleach in these sands.”
The Captain then turned and addressed his men with a bottle of whisky in his hand:
“Boys, have a drink.”
The British Naval Court ruled that the captain and his officers were “in no wise to blame.”
But that the sudden wind shift and the strong current were responsible for the stranding of the ship.

The Shipwreck for me is a mirroring metaphor for the sorry state of my neck.
Formerly sturdy and shipshape, my spine it is now a deteriorating hulk.
But unlike the Peter Iredale; I do have hopes of being dragged from the beach.
And to again float among the waves of the mighty Sea.

Monday, October 14, 2013

There Are No Old Waves


NE WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

Summer came to an abrupt end in Oregon this year.
Sunny days and small waves were replaced with sideways rain and massive storm surf.
Within a week I was bitter, dreading the darkness that creeped in earlier and earlier.
I watched my green tomatoes rot on the vine along with my soul.
I don't mind Winter, and I actually look forward to Fall.
But this year the transition was anything but.
The Indian Summer I'd hoped for seemed to be lost.
Then clouds parted, rain stopped blowing sideways.
The ocean laid down enough to accommodate a sunny day of leashless surf ala Summertime.
I sat outside on a 10 foot plus slab single fin contemplating my good fortune.
I felt some of the daily nagging aches and pains and worries wash away.
The sore neck, wonky shoulder, ruined knee.
All the shit that time and use brings us in varying degrees.
They were all there, of course, lurking.
But bursting through sunlit peaks and tasting the Sea on my lips.
Was far, far in the forefront of what was happening.
And I had a thought.
On the day after my 52nd birthday.
Here I am, a little bit older, hopefully a little bit wiser.
But in the Ocean...
There Are No Old Waves.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quintessential




NW WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. NW SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

Definition of quintessence (n)

Bing Dictionary
quin·tes·sence
 [ kwin téss'nss ]   
 
  1. embodiment: the purest or most perfect example of something
  2. extract: the purest extract or essence of a substance, containing the substance's properties in their most concentrated form
  3. fifth element: in ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth element after earth, air, fire, and water

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Surf Trippin'







W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. NW SWELL 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

Headed out on a 4 day trip last week. Nowhere exotic...100 miles west...the Oregon Coast. Thursday yielded the only really surfable waves of the trip with waist to chest high peaks at a drive up location. Fellow surf trippers trickled in through the day. The forecast was not promising, wave or weather-wise and did not disappoint with rain, sloppy waves and later some 50 mph winds.

The top pic was a waist high peeler that looked doable but was reeling in the face of a strong ebb in a large river mouth which...if you missed the wave...meant your first stop was chaotic large surf on a nearby spit then Japan.

The second shot pretty much surmised the items purchased for sustenance.

Third shot was the camp setup at an undisclosed guerilla-style location.

Fourth shot was a talisman for surf...it did not work.

Fifth shot was the result of beers drunk prompting a trunk session in said river on the flood.

Sixth & final pic shows what happens when you don't take down the surf contest tent before the 50 mph winds get it.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Increments of Fear


W WIND 10 TO 15 KTS. WIND WAVES 1 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS

Some Buzzy Trent Tales via Malcolm Gault-Williams' Legendary Surfers

On September 19, 1947 Bob Simmons and Buzzy Trent rode "up the coast in [Simmons'] old Model A flatbed...Trent needs to relieve himself in a major way, but Simmons as usual is in a hurry.  The ever-innovative Buzzy climbs out on the wooden flatbed, squats over a convenient hole in the platform and begins to answer nature's call.  Other motorists are taken aback at this graphic spectacle.  Bob is outraged... 'Trent, you stupid bastard, quit shitting through that hole.'  Trent's well-measured reply was one that could only come from a person in that state of satisfied quietude and relief, 'OK Simmons, what do you want me to do, shit in your front seat?'  End of discussion."

- Craig Stecyk

"The surf was 'bitchin' and I watched Buzzy ride a fast Malibu wave right into the rusted wire fence that separated the Adamson Estate from the public beach.  Buzzy walked up the dirt path... He spotted my new board, showed interest.  I asked Buzzy if he'd like to surf the balsa.  He nodded in the affirmative, yanked the balsa from the back of the Zephyr and ran for the water.  Buzzy didn't waste words. Buzzy was fantastic.  The board that I had lovingly shaped seemed to come alive under his agile maneuvering.  After a twenty minute display of his muscular, wave riding talent, Buzzy paddled in and returned the board.  This time he spoke.  'Worst board I ever surfed.  Thanks, kid.'"

- Ricky Grigg

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The "SFBSGFBT"


S WIND 5 TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 14 SECONDS.

AKA The "Single Fin Back Side Goofy Foot Bottom Turn"

Love those!
Don't know the surfer...if you do, let us know.
Credit where credit due

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Persevere


N WIND 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. NW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

After a deep, deep Central Willamette Valley mode morning meeting on Tuesday I scrambled for the Central Oregon Coast in hopes of finding some sunshine to go along with the forecast 3 foot swell. I wasn't overly optimistic due to the 25 knot gusts, the 5 foot wind swell and the 3 foot swell that had dropped to 1 foot.

Then my low hopes were dashed upon arrival at Newport as I sighted the whitecaps frothing on the horizon. Cursory checks of north wind protected headlands up the coast yielded sub-miniature dribblers that offered little chance of propulsion despite proper preparation of bringing a 10' 6" single fin log.

Spot after spot checked with windswept bays and beach breaks continued to crush spirits as darkened coastal taverns beckoned and looked increasingly tempting. At Tillamook, I bagged and headed east on Highway 6 resigned to my valley fate. As the dairy farm stench wisped about me I rebelled...hung an illegal u-turn and resumed my northward trek up Highway 1.

At the last ditch spot I pondered just hiking in with survival supplies [beer] and hydrating in the sun. But, being sensible, I lugged the heavy longboard down the trail knowing failure to do so meant surrender on my part and I could not stomach it.

Upon arrival on the sand, I was greeted by an empty lineup...empty of surfers and empty of waves. After a few moments, as I battled the steady wind to trudge forward, I saw a mysto peak break about 20 feet from shore in about 10 inches of water...solid shin to knee high and perfect.

Making it to 3rd creek I deposited my Kings of Beer in the frigid waters and watched the north end. Sure enough, a peak showed and a right reeled off in deeper water that looked small but surfable. I suited up and paddled out. The waves were tiny but perfect little offshore peelers with a fun little noseride section.

After about an hour and a half of fun in the sun and surf by my lonesome, the switch was thrown and the little peaks turned off. I paddled south in hopes that a new wave would materialize but no such luck. Once I entered the wind tunnel unprotected 2nd creek area, I opted to head in and consume my beers on the beach.

All in all, coulda been better but it was almost much, much worse.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Drowned

 
 
S WIND 5 TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.


I dreamt I jumped from a high bridge over a river.
No lead up as to the how or why I was on the bridge.
A bright night, whether moon or streetlight, I don't know.
Not a suicide, but I don't know why I jumped.
Confident in my ability to reach the surface.
Straightened my body and knifed deeply into the water.
Plunging deeper than expected, too deep I worried.
As my momentum slowed, I looked to the surface.
I kicked and stroked upward without effect.
A swift current pulling me deeper and downriver.
As I drifted further and further from the light.
I began to panic as I realized the situation.
And awoke to my drowning.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Selective Hearing


N WIND 5 TO 10 KNOTS. WIND WAVES 2 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 16 SECONDS.

Looks to be a fun day for Surf In Oregon.
Normally I'd burn a sick day for 5 @ 16 in March.
Instead I actually have to use it.
Getting a CESI...cervical epidural steroid injection.
Good times but hopefully back in the water next week.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Surf Rescue

 
SE WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 15 SECONDS.

Surf Rescue has come a long way from the years I worked as a beach lifeguard in the late 70's.
We didn't have helmets.
Nor did the State provide bracing elixirs to combat the frigid waters of North San Diego.
At least not at work.