20 Feet @ 15 Seconds

1/13/20 Monday

after-the-rain.org / Swell forecast

This is a forecast that grabbed my attention. Not optimal by any means but it promised to be a good show. So Saturday I grabbed my board, wetsuit, gloves and booties and threw everything into the back of the truck and headed north, hoping the wind would back off. No such luck. 4o degrees outside and the pouring rain turned to hail, pelting the side of the truck as I approached the coast. There’s a part of the island that looks northwest up the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, wide open to any north Pacific storm that decides to coming barreling down. Half a dozen spots dot this small section of coast where it’s possible to stare straight into the teeth of nature’s fury and hunt waves.

The forecast called for 40 mph winds which I hoped would back off with the incoming tide, instead it was blowing closer to 50 and gusting well higher than that. It was hard to stand still. Sea foam was whipping through the sky and sea water was surging through the parking lot. My front half was soaked and my backside dry. I still wanted to do my due diligence and check my secret spot but there was no trail by the beach, the ocean was pounding the base of the cliffs, grabbing massive logs and old growth stumps, sucking them back out to sea with frightening ease.

I checked another spot that can handle the wind, but the current was pushing 10 knots and the debris was just plain dangerous, no waves for me today. Instead I climbed up a ridge where the wind was funneling up even faster, knelt down and closed my eyes. The hail stopped and the sun came out, the wind blistering my face. It felt like torture, it felt sublime. I was getting my ass kicked and loving every second. My ego was obliterated, there didn’t seem to be any division between what was happening outside my body and inside. The noise was deafening, it was impossible to think. The wind was ripping the pain out, blowing my tears away..

after-the-rain.org / Winter surf