The first big north swell since the doldrums of summer arrived Thursday afternoon. I opted to wait until Sunday when the swell was smaller, but more importantly the wind was lighter. My plan was to recon around and surf maybe twice. Coordination with JB was for dawn at the creek.
I arrived before dawn and went to the overlook. The tide was the highest since I found this overlook, but the reef was still out of the water. There were more waves than I've seen there, but nothing too organized. I headed back to the creek to meet JB. There were cars arriving and people suiting up and heading to Scotts. I wanted to watch, but JB wanted to find somewhere to surf. We watched a little bit and weren't excited at what was coming into Scotts. We decided to go to another overlook to see what was happening down at the left.
It looked good and empty, so we suited up and did the walk. I brought the Fred Rubble and the TH with the intention of getting a feel for both. JB did something unusual, he asked what the plan is if one of us gets bit by a shark. A fair question because these spots are out of the way, out of sight, and a good effort to get to. The plan is to stop the bleeding and then run to go get help. Seems like the best plan.
I started with the FR and struggled a bit. I couldn't get my feet set right on the takoff, and the wave was pretty short so there wasn't time to make adjustments. I rode some waves but never felt right, so I headed to the beach and traded for the TH. On the way back out I got rejected because I didn't have the strength to properly duckdive the TH under the set that caught me. I went back to the sand and walked around to the other side of the reef. When I got there, the group of three were all coming in saying one had seen a fin come to the surface too close for comfort. I asked him if it was a dolphin fin and what the shape was. He said it was just too big for a dolphin. I was skeptical, but because JB had brought it up, something he'd never done before, the situation got to me. My approach to sharks has always been to listen to my gut and follow my instincts. I've gone surfing after being told there is a shark in the water, and I've stopped surfing just because things felt off. This time I was 50/50, but decided to not go back out. All four of us tried to signal JB and we waited for him to come in. He finally came in (he said it was weird he was suddenly alone out there and came in to ask why) and by that time more guys were heading out. We told one guy the situation and he said, "Yeah, it happens." and paddled out anyway.
This would have been a good time to go look around and recon other spots, but for some reason I wasn't in the mood. It's a shame because this is what I've been waiting for, an opportunity to see these spots with a little bit of swell. Instead I headed to my parents place to reset the router for my dad and to steal some of his fishing gear. I should have checked the rocks and the point, but instead I just drove home. I don't know what got into me, but I just didn't take full advantage of this trip to the beach.
The good news is the family will be heading to my parents beach house next weekend, and there is a bit of swell forecast too. I'll get a bunch of chances to go surf.