Craig Wisner

Chasing the Swell.

Phone calls are made, numbers discussed , plans are hatched.

This is serious.

A friend who knows a guy who supposedly knows the spot gets called, though the accuracy of the information divulged is immediately deemed suspect.

Checking tides, checking buoy readings, checking wind.  Commence the pseudo-scientific mix of meteorology, decades in the water, crystal balls, and personal theories bordering on the superstitious and possibly insane.  Hypotheses are formed and exchanged, backed by observation and weather numbers stolen from NOAA websites, only to be debunked on the spot by other hypotheses, conflicting data, and the inevitable experience trump card.

So then where do you think everyone’s going tomorrow?”

“Everyone else will likely be thinking ___________ is going off.  So we’ll surf _________ instead.  You can’t see it from any parking lots, roads, or cliffs.  You have to commit to the hike before you know if it’s working. But based on these numbers, we should have solid gold, all to ourselves…”

More predictions, omens, speculation, and concerns about kelp and rocks and a negative low tide.

Then it is decided.

What time are you coming then?”

“What’s good for you?”

“You tell me.”


“Then be here at 4:30 and we should be paddling out at grey light.”

“Ok.  4:30.”

The car is loaded, the coffee timer is on, and dry oatmeal sits in the pot, an empty bowl and spoon on the counter beside it.

All this on a workday.

No matter.

Worldly obligations quickly fade as I restlessly replay waves and wipeouts while lying in bed and waiting for sleep.


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