Surfing the Lost Coast with Grundens and Industrial Revolution's UCO and Intova
We camped near a warm pool that used to be a rivermouth that dumped into the Pacific Ocean. It has all but dried up due to California's drought. To us it was a post-surf spa, warming our bones after a cold surf, cleaning the salt off our faces and wetsuits. When the surf was up, we were in the water until the sky went dark, and on a moonless night, the waves were impossible to judge. We were forced to get on dry land.
Watching the waves and sunset running along the coastline with a shortboard under arm, Sam was always the most thrilled, the most giddy like a child. His optimissum and enthusiasm kept our hopes up even when the surf went to shit. He always saw some potential, some element of surf science that could bring in a heavier wave that would meet our ideals. Here he stands looking at the point, judging which break to paddle into.
Four of us take our leave and head into the backcountry. Reunited along the West Coast, wallets, keys and cellphones stored, an unknown lurks in the shadows. But we feel invited. Sam from Ocean Beach walks past a sign as he steps onto the beach. Sand, pebbles, stones, and a ripping Pacific Ocean will be our constant companions for the next week. The dream of an empty Californian lineup now seems real.
Kris, a retired school teacher and now painter and contractor, recently had heart surgery earlier this year. This wasn't his first time back surfing. He was in the water as soon as his doctors gave him permission. Here he navigates the intertidal zone as we head north where the cliff's edge meets a pumping Pacific Ocean.
Camp became homebase. But for two days a low-hanging fog bank never waivered and started to drive us mad. The surf dropped and our nerves started to twitch. The lack of movement, the decline of adreneline-surging waves, and a low white ceiling caused some heads to spin. But to bide the time, we read, cooked, played rock bocci, big rock little rock, and frisbee.
California's central and northern coastline is a site of raw beauty and power. To walk, move and sleep within these environs brought an awareness back to our conscience, one of gratitude, peace and joy. We were off the grid, on our own, traversing a terrain little disturbed for the eons. And we were having fun doing it, forgetting about our personal and business lives for at least a week. This became our true philosophy of freedom within the outdoors.
The California coast is a sharky coastline. We came upon a dead whale as we neared the exit point. Huge bite marks were torn from the whale's sides. We knew they were shark bites, and secretly we were grateful for this whale, keeping the sharks away from the lineup and glued to this floating feast.