Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Monster Surf for Labor Day - Thanks Mexico!

The heat has been unseasonably hot for nearly a week, the weather reports blaming the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico for freezing the high pressure over Southern California. Each day the temperature seemed to get a degree or two hotter. But the hurricanes did something else too. They brought some monster surf to a world famous spot on our local beach called "The Wedge" in Newport Beach. The surf there piles up against the jetty and brings waves many times bigger than other spots on the same beach, and when there is a storm out in the ocean the waves are enormous. But unlike huge waves like the pipeline, the waves at the Wedge are usually a mess as the waves bounce off the side of the Jetty and the backwash collides with new incoming waves. Its exciting and completely unpredictable. Take a look at typical storm condition surf, where the waves just destroy anyone in the way.



This one shows perfectly how messy the waves are, most peaking in odd places and closing out on all sides.


Of course I couldn't leave the beach without a little swim so I dove in, intending to stay on the right side of the wedge, just catching the side of the big guys, but the backwash is so enormously powerful that it sucks you directly back into the middle of the wedge. The most terrifiying part of the area is that the current pulls inward from both sides so if you get caught in an early part of the set, you are pulled straight back into the center of the next one. I only found out after breathlessly escaping from 3 pounding waves that you are required to have fins to swim there:) I won't forget for next time... After all your strength is pounded out of you from the first waves pummelling you don't feel you can hold your breath as the rest of the set pounds your chest. I really felt lucky to escape only short of breath. Fins would have been helpful...

Blake said she had contractions the whole time we were there. I found her the highest spot on the beach and dug two walls and trenches of sand to keep larger waves back, but the waves were so big and unpredictable you really didn't feel like you were far enough away. In my 10 years of coming here I've never seen summer waves that topped the berm above the waves. Its always been dry. You can see Emmy standing on what is always the dry shelf, many many feet above the water level:

I have to say though, I was quite proud to have engineered walls that kept her seat (look at the spot below the umbrella) dry when a huge wave snuck up on everyone. The wave came so close to washing our stuff away that Blake just didn't feel comfortable sitting back down hoping that was the biggest one of the day so we moved our stuff back, but you can see the nice dry spot where she had been sitting. Is that a proud husband protecting his 8 month pregnant wife or what!!! :) Blake is rolling her eyes as she reads this right now.... LOL

Beside us a family with a newborn baby ran away, leaving their bags and towels to get soaked. Some boys behind us lucked out becuase our walls diverted the wave and kept an area dry where their stuff was left while they swam.

You can get an idea of the size of the waves from a couple shots Blake took while I swam showing a swell piling up against the jetty and then the size of the mess after it broke, with me underneath somewhere... You can see in both pictures tiny little heads of stupid people floating in the water...what a rush!



The weekend got calmer from there, and thank goodness because Blake was going to go into labor nearly 2 months early:)

The only thing bad about the rest of the weekend was the heat. We shouldn't complain about the heat because it isn't nearly as bad as the East Coast with heat and humidity, but it was getting hard to bear day after day, especially with no A/C in the apartment. We usually don't need it, but the 95-100 degree days made the only pleasant place the local mall. Apparently everyone had that idea because our favorite indoor play area was packed with kids and tired parents. That didn't stop the kids from having fun though:) They seem to love the chaos of kids bouncing off each other as they jump from place to place.


We didn't last long because even the malls had turned down their A/C to save electricity and it was so crowded. We luckily had a party to go to for Labor Day, and thank goodness they had A/C.


We stayed until dark:) Emmy had a great time playing with her friend Meyleh.


Gage found plenty to do as usual.


Gage wasn't sure what to do about the new baby, except stay as FAR away as possible!


But Emmy, in typical big sister fashion knew just what to do and started reading and talking to him, and made sure he didn't roll off.

1 comment:

Lake Love said...

Denver! Ok it might take you a bit to remember me (hopefully only a minute) but I was that gal who lived in Oregon for a bit and then roomed with your sis in Provo. You helped me one morning wth chores on the Llama ranch...Remember? Anyway, I was so glad to have found your site! It seems like you are having quite the life! What a beautiful babe for a wife and absolutely darling children. I hope you continue to enjoy your life's adventures. It was fun to get te update.
Sara (Probert) Lake
lakelove.blogspot.com