A Comedy of Errors

I had a really weird surf session today. It was one of those mornings where things just didn’t seem to go right. Even though the forecast looked lousy (and we should have known better) Peter & I decided to meet up at Sunset Blvd for a Dawn Patrol sesh. When we arrived at 5:30 it was a lake.

We decided to take our chances at Venice. Conditions weren’t any better there so we decided to scrap it and just go get some breakfast, but our usual post sesh breakfast place in Venice wasn’t open yet. Pete called it a day and went to work.

I still had 3 hours before I had to be at work and decided to make a final attempt at  El Porto. I arrived at 6:30 and conditions looked pretty sloppy, 1 – 3 ft crumbly waves, but at least there was something to ride, so I got in. Conditions were touch and go for awhile with bumpy, disorganized waves. As the morning progressed things seemed to calm down a bit and the waves were lining up for better rides. There were definitely some corners out there to ride on, but for the most part it was pretty sectiony.

And then I got hit with an unexpected splash in the face and I lost a contact lens! I’ve never lost one surfing before, but I’m not surprised that it happened. I was out there blind in one eye, and it had been so hard to find decent waves this morning, that I decided to stick it out and surf with one good eye. It was like surfing with a monocle, and it took some adjustment but I figured it out and managed to grab a few nice rides. I’m glad I stayed out there.

To top it all off I rode one wave all the way out and jumped into some pretty shallow water, and I landed on some kind of wild life. It freaked out and squirmed out from under my foot, and it was in white water so I couldn’t see what it was, but it sort of felt like stepping on a dog tail with no fur. What ever it was it freaked me out too, but no bites or stings resulted from the encounter, hopefully the animal didn’t get hurt.

Some pics from the day (including some famous monocle wearing surfers)


  1. Shallow Shawn on 14 July 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for the report and pics, glad you nabbed some waves this morning.

    I’m trying to decide where to surf tomorrow morning. Like you, my usual spots are EP, Santa Monica and Sunset. EP has just seemed mushy since last Saturday or so. I surfed AM seshions there the previous Tue and Thur, 7-7 and 7-9, and it was really fun. Not huge but great shape. Then I surfed Sat, 7-11 and all of sudden it was mushburger City.

    Do you know what’s the difference and how can I tell when it’s going to be good or crumbly?

  2. Jeff on 14 July 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Usually those slimy wigglers in the shallows are stingrays. (It could have been some fish too though.) I’ve stepped quite a few stingrays myself (accidently, of course), usually at Bolsa Chica. They always give me the willies. You never want to put your foot down again for the rest of the session.

  3. Aaron on 14 July 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Dude, MUSHBURGER CITY! I love that. As soon as I read that I had to do a google search for “Mayor McCheese” because I thought I had forgotten another important Monocle wearer;however, the Mayor uses spectacles on a chain….

    I didn’t report it, but I surfed El P on sunday and it was soft, but plenty of fun. I’ve been trying to practice noseriding, so I don’t mind a little mush.

    Shawn: El Porto tends to be best at a mid-tide, and the stronger the swell, the less mushy the conditions. But reports are only so accurate and being there is always the best way to know.

    I like to use http://swellwatch.wetsand.com/ because they try to give you a forecast by the hour for El Porto.

  4. Aaron on 14 July 2009 at 1:59 pm

    One other cool thing about Swellwatch, if you make an account there you can keep an online surf log, rate your favorite sessions, etc. And they will keep all of the forecast data for you. That way you can go back and see what conditions you liked the best, and you’ll know what to look for in future forecasts.

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