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DelMarVa - December 1, 2005
"Into the Cold with TS Epsilon"
Is this my Fall WSD Report??? Isn't this the day when
surfers worldwide unite to celebrate waveriding... in the DMV?

When:
Where:
Weather:
Surf:
Tides:

Who:
Thursday, December 1, 2005
12th Street, Ocean City/MD
Overcast. Air was in the low- to mid-40s (overnight low was 33F); water at about 50F, light winds.
Waist to chest with a very few head highs; sandwiched between nor'easter & Epsilon swells
Dead high going to a minus tide
Neal Carver and myself; one other person episodically

4:30am: Oh, am I ever tired this morning! Quickly showered to shake me awake, brewed some espresso, and hit the road.

5:00am. Left the house on a cruise to the Pirate's Cove near Annapolis for a ride with the one-eyed jester.

5:30am: Hmm... parking could become an issue at our club's usual rendevouz spot as there are signs posted everywhere about towing. The emphasis appears to be overnight parking but who wants to take a chance? I roll the dice and decide to park this day. Cruise the lot and find two sets of G-cars and pickup trucks... that's strange. I pull in alongside a bunch of them hoping to blend in.

7:00am: Sunrise with about an hour to go: big, beautiful and orange. Not much wind seen anywhere. Prospects are good even if the tides are not with a very high tide moving to a minus tide (to the right is the following day's low tide):


2005-12-01  06:56 EST   4.77 feet  High Tide
2005-12-01  10:00 EST   New Moon
2005-12-01  13:25 EST  -0.31 feet  Low Tide
(Note: Click on pics for larger views.)

Photo by SC, courtesy of SurfingOC.com.

8:00am: Rolling into to Ocean City over the inlet we can see the shoals breaking. This is a good sign! Time to scout out the spot for the day. First stop is 9th St., for a surf check and to pay respects to el numero dos. The surf if fair, bumpy, a little disorganized, but it is breaking despite the high tide; nobody is out. Next, we check 48th to find a shortboarder and bodyboarder the lone souls braving the morning chill. A couple nicely formed waves roll in and break nicely. Long intervals between waves/sets with lot's of straight-on closeout junk. Neal is cringing as he feels cursed by this break. We head back to 12th Street and wait for the tide to settle.

9:00am:  Suit up and paddle out time. I string up my new flippers, cross my fingers and hope that I have finally found some suitable cold water charms. We must have picked the biggest and longest set of waves for the paddle out. All of a sudden 3 footers appeared to be like 8 footers... I will chalk that up to the full rubber loading experience. I opted to wear my 6/4 this morning instead of the 4/3 because of the cold morning air, chill water and light wind. Hell, I am not hitting the cold surf for another couple of months--stay warm and spoil myself!
Sampling of Thursday's surf.

Photo by SC, courtesy of SurfingOC.com.

Surf wasn't close to epic, but there is the special consolation prize... I am away from the office after being strapped down hard through at least a few decent swells since my last session in late October. With a Florida trip coming up soon it was an added bonus to hit the cold surf.

Bonus bragging rights: I'll be able to tell the grandchildren that I surfed some swell generated from a tropical storm on the day after the last day of the hurricane season. "Thank youuuuu, TS Epsilon."

Reassurances for oiPaul who had to toil for The Man at his new G-job: Fair waves, lacked consistently good shape, and no honest tube rides. But, two solid thrashings as the tube closed and sucked on me. Neal probably had the best two drops, both on head-plus, beautiful peaks... he blew them both! Aghhhhh, I wished it was me on those peaks!

Graphic courtesy of Wunderground.com. See satellite pic.

Some surfed rolled in early on Friday, Dec. 2nd, but you had to be on it early before it flattened out. The Delaware buoy showed a rapid decline throughout the day: SwP continues in the 12 sec range, but SwH has declined from 4-6' to 1-2'. Sorry to those that missed it on Wed/Thu and early Friday morning.

Photo by SC, courtesy of SurfingOC.com.

New fins for winter worked! I've been running through quite a few different pairs looking for something that works well for me in cold water and 5mm+ of wetsuit socks. Today my prayers were finally answered: Hydro Techs. Many thanks to Justine who highly recommended these surf fins. Justine has become a hard charging "local" since enrolling at Salisbury University this fall. She is also one of the featured riders in eBodyboarding.com's 2006 calendar. Expect her to have a Hydro's sponsorship by 2007!

More on surf fins/flippers here.

Justine at Southside (IRIS).


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