Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nothing to do but Surf

On a wet and rainy Sunday morning, car packed with seven gallons of water for Reef, sleeping bag and pad for me, tent, a box of matches, a duffel bag of assorted clothing, my 9’2’’ yellow board strapped to the camper shell, Carl Safina’s “View From Lazy Point” which I still need to finish, a six pack of Fat Tire winter ale, and of course Reef riding shotgun, I began my trek down the 41, 99, and 5 to Southern California. The plan: find a camp site, make myself comfortable, and surf. According to the Internet the ocean was to be flat, but San Onofre always produces even in the most unattractive swell forecasts, so that was my destination.

During the entire drive south I was traveling at a synchronous pace with a low pressure system overhead. It dumped a nearly continuous curtain of water throughout the six hour drive. At times the weather lightened up, as if the interstate was taking away from the saturated clouds, only to be blanketed once again as the storm realigned its path with mine. The Grapevine, a mountain pass on the 5 which takes travelers from the Great Central Valley of California over the Transverse Mountain Range into the LA basin, was particularly hair rising. The combined visible barrier of gallons of rain falling from above and water spraying from tires of passing semi’s and large American vehicles produced a blinding water world. I could barely make out the tail lights of the ora of water 15 meters in front of me.

I survived the less than ideal driving conditions and arrived to Doheny Campgrounds at Dana Point in lot 99 just in time to set up the camper shell and in preparation for a long night of the sound of dripping droplets. As I was arranging my gear I was approached by a neighbor from lot 95, George. Apparently he noticed my unfortunate situation of halving to sleep in the back of my truck in a monsoon, and invited me over for dinner in their RV. I was going to warm up a can of soup, but George and his wife Diane (and dog Toby, an Australian Sheppard) were offering home cooked lasagna with garlic bread and a side of greens, so naturally I said I’ll be right over. Amazing, just when I was beginning to lose hope in all of society, I get reminded that there still are good people out there, and good people that can cook. So Reef and I went over with my six pack of Fat Tire and we chatted about life, and politics, and family; Reef and Toby exchanged a few words as well, probably about how much they like food, and water, and walks, and Kongs (which by the way Toby was not willing to share with Reef, understandable). George is a retired firefighter and Diane a middle school teacher, both extremely nice people. Upon returning to my camper a discovered several leaks which I had not previously known existed; needless to say a saturated several towels that night.

The wet night was all worth it in the morning, after getting wet in warm 59 degree Southern California waters with knee high peelers at San-O. Surfed for several hours in the morning and evening, with a burger and fries from Biggie’s Burgers in San Clemete in between. Made a short time lapse film of the day which you can see by following the following link:

It was a nice four days of surf and sun, now I’m back home trying to survive not having a job, and the holidays, and dreaming about where to go next. I was in the Indian Ocean off Australia last Thanksgiving, so this year I’m looking forward to the turkey.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not So Away From Home

Well I’m back from Australia, I’ve been back for about a week now, and already I’ve been frantically trying to figure out the next adventure. Luckily it appears I'm not the only one in my cohort of graduating CSUMBers stressing about what direction to take in life. The job market these days is saturated with recent graduates looking for something to do. I had a few rough days dwelling on the prospect of living with my parents again, but I’ve reassured myself that my situation is only temporary; something else is bound to pop up and I’ll be off on my own two feet once again. So I’ve decided to take advantage of my free time and take in some of the hobbies that keep me occupied and happy. I’m planning many surf trips to various breaks across California, a few road trips throughout the US including a visit to the National Parks of Utah and Colorado, and trips up to the snow with Reefer dog. Of course I’m still keeping my eyes and ears open for any potential jobs or research projects that come my way; but I’m spending less time worrying about it. Worry is not a productive emotion.

Recently I’ve applied for a volunteer position with seabirds on the Northwest Hawaiian Island chain, which would use up 6 months of my 2012 summer; a nice chunk of time away from societal pressures. Fingers crossed for that one.