North for South

I just wasn’t feeling it this weekend. That was strange because I’d been watching the swell for a week or more and everything was lining up to be perfect all over the island. Two WNW swells with moderate size and long period and a big south hitting at 2 on 20 then morphing to 4 on 15 or so before dying out. NW winds would be offshore in the south facing coves. Those coves have enough exposure for some of the WNW to wrap in. Perfect. Right?

So I left on Friday by 9 with a 5 hour drive ahead of me and a new no caffeine rule. I random camped 4/5 of the way there and then arrived in the morning to morning sick ocean after a short bout of south winds. But, it looked glassy in places so I paddled out. It was okay. Hard to pick waves and I surfed a spot I never surf, so I didn’t have the knack, but after a couple of hours I got a groove and caught a lot on one of the homeshapes. Then went in for breakfast/lunch. After lunch and some wine I walked around and took some photos. The sets were solid and the NW wind had picked up to blow offshore spume off their crests.

Session two was at another beach and I was a one man kookfest. Came out cold and tired and hungry again. So I ate and slept. The next morning up at beach one the new swell was showing with long lulls between sets but big sets when they came. Easily a bit overhead. Slow and mushy transforming to sandy dredgers on the inside. Again, it took a while to get the hang, but when I did I had some of the best surf I’ve got in a while. A few good turns and cutbacks. Lots of waves and lots of fun. Session two was not so good as I chased disappearing waves and phantom peaks not realizing how fast the tide was changing everything. By the time I got out I was done with it and headed home a day early to plant veggies and focus on non surf for a bit.

This is my first post in a couple of months, since i’ve moved to Victoria. I guess a lot has changed. Some good (surfing more, nice place to live, good climate) and some bad (lots of stress, broke up with the girl, uncertain about the new job, exile from my old science community, still far from home). I’m waiting for things to settle out, but am feeling like it might have been a bad move to come here. Maybe part of a succession of bad moves that began when I moved to Canada 3 years ago with doubt then and vague hope for better things. I dunno, maybe it’s time to strive for something rather than just take the path of least resistance? Maybe arranging my life around surfing, which is what brought me to Victoria was too narrow of a basis to move on? Maybe these are all just the growing pains of a new place that I’ll look back on and be thankful that I stuck it out. I don’t know. As I said, this weekend I just wasn’t feeling it. Surfing comes into ones life when your life has room for it. If you force it in, it wont satisfy as much as when it naturally happens. So, my calling at the moment must be elsewhere. Planting the garden was a start. Building that kayak at long last would be another direction. Maybe sitting down with a load of books and learning about this place and the people that have lived here for 10,000 years. Surfing felt lonely and frivolous this weekend. I want community and meaning. There’s a way to it I’m sure and running off alone all the time ain’t it. I’ll figure.

One thought on “North for South

  1. surfing alone is hard enough. surfing alone, 5 hours from home, in the grey and cold waters of the north pacific is yet another thing. do not despair. the frivolity you speak of will someday, through the haze of time, look more like perspective. you are brave.

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