Saturday, October 22, 2016

It All Changed Overnight..

I almost spent a week at the beach without getting wet...almost. I woke up everyday to the one thing that is absolutely no good for a paddleboarder: giant choppy waves. Instead, I jogged, read, and practiced for hiking. But...Friday was predicted to change all that. I was pretty skeptical, as the surf websites were calling the waves all week as "fun". I don't think they fooled too many people because during my travels I saw less than five people out each day.
Friday was different. I woke up at first light to something that looked like a California surf photo from my balcony. Even at 7 in the morning, before sunup, there were people in the water. I watched them and they sat confidently on the outside of the break only to get clobbered by the huge cleanup sets that were coming in.
As we know in Cocoa Beach, the farther north you go, the smaller the waves are. This doesn't always work, but most of the time, it means if you go all the way to Jetty Park, you will find flat water. Jetty Park is not a state or national park and can charge whatever they want to get in. You might think they would be generous and charge a small fee to get in and then gouge you on the hotdogs and cokes, but you'd be wrong. They charge $15 to get in and THEN gouge you on the hot dogs and coke. I'd never actually knew about this, except that's what I had to do on Friday. The free park, Cherie Down Park (a city park) is nearby and was full to the brim, including cars sitting there with the engines running, hoping somebody might decide to leave....road rage IS possible at the beach too.
I figured that I was the only person in the world, outside a cruise ship passenger just let off the ship, that would be dumb enough to pay $15 to get into that park, but again I was wrong. The park was loaded with surfers and I soon found why. The waves were great and manageable. There was plenty of power and size, but the break was close enough to shore that I was able to bust through the shorebreak on my SUP and join that crowd that was just plain thrilled to have one more SUPer join the group.

I surfed until I had nothing left. I rode the big orange board and I then took out the smaller blue board and had a blast on both of them. The smaller board was the most fun I'd had on it to date. My knees were wobbling the whole time from trying to stay up, but Pam said that you couldn't tell from shore. One thing to know about SUP is that you really don't want to be in a crowd of surfers, falling off your board for no good reason.

We finally headed back to the condo and I spent the rest of the day on the balcony, Pam trying to read while I remarked on the abilities of the surfers in the water below. Mostly I noticed how calm and confident they looked until they fell and their boards went flying in the air. That's how you can tell the power of the waves, when the boards go flying.
Man, never thought I'd be surfing at Jetty Park again...and then to be so tired that all I could do was to sit and watch the waves stay good until dark...

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