Birch Bay. Update
It's rocking up here, but with 3+ shorebreak every three seconds I can't get in the water. I went over once and after about five minutes on shore my fingers were so cold I could barely hold the key to open up the car.
This is something I just never learned to deal with. It would be nicer to learn surf zone when it's warmer. But it's very much a learned thing.
I got dumped a couple of times at Westport years ago and I remember being exhausted and cold for the rest of the paddle. Then at U.S. Champs at Rodeo Beach I kept hurling myself into the brine getting slapped cold until John Dye held me on the beach until he saw a good launch window. I still don't know what to look for. On the way down for that Champs I knew we had a surf beach. So I stopped on the way down for a practice session on a beach with mild looking break. It was ok, but with no one around for miles I felt like … weird. Like I was going to hear Rod Serling's voice, something about stuck in the twilight zone - or surf zone.
One of these years we need to follow Peter M.'s advice and rent a few of those cabins out at Hoebuck's.
lori & beau whitehead
Hey Larry, thanks for the gloves sir. Not sure they helped, but at least mentally I felt warmer entering the shore break. Alan and I paddled for an hour, did 3 out and back laps out of/into Birch Bay. Good rides were to be had, but with a bit of effort required to get on them. Cheers!
For what it's worth, a few years ago I was getting my you-know-what kicked trying to get out through a shore break. Leeann H. was watching and kindly said “put your —- feet out”. Duh? So when the bow began to rise on the incoming wave I put both feet out as the crest blew through and back in just after it passed, paddling hard toward the next wave, repeating until I was free of the break. Mike.
Joost was saying that's a neat trick for when you come back in through shore break. Feet out quiets the boat when it wants to go hinkie. I assume when you come back in, the idea is to stay on the back of the wave and avoid for all you are worth getting caught by the break.
There's some great discussion about being in the break. Aerated water will not support floatation. So if you get stuck in the foamy part, your boat will settle down into the water and become very unstable. No primary, no secondary, no nothing. This topic actually became a theory for the Bermuda triangle. They explored the possibility that fixed methane on the ocean bottom became gassified. This mass of bubbles rose to the surface and any ships sank. There was a pretty cool video of the tank tests.
Or maybe it was hydrogen and the captains voice got squeaky and everybody died laughing. You guys have seen the video of the hydrogen brewed beer right? Wonder if it makes your farts high pitched. Bucket list item.
Andrew Losli wrote a nice peace on dealing with the surf zone in a ski. In conversations with him, he really stresses the importance of picking your surf days and location very carefully to build up your skill set.
Just like downwind or paddling confused rebound water, it's a skill that takes commitment to learn. It's humbling to get seawater blasted up your nose at Ocean Shores or getting thumped by rebounding jelly waves at LaPush (I've done both more than I care to admit), but with enough time you can start to learn the do's and dont's of getting out and back in again.