It's about life - not "lifestyle"
|SITTING HERE IN LIMBO
A PRE-EL NINO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUMMER?
|Oh Mon, another foggy day in paradise. The shot above was taken at High Noon last week (early July). The bits of white on the right are surf, or at least broken waves. June Gloom is making a 2002 run through the summer in Ventura County, while far to the south, in the financial capitols of surfing, other masses are enjoying total fantasy weather: warm ocean temps, sunshine, minor wind annoyance...|
|The fog is parked here because of hot temperatures inland. There is a burnoff almost every day which rolls the fog back to within a half mile of the ocean. It makes an inland 75 degrees seem warm when compared to a cold beach morning. Most people are wearing full wetsuits still. It wears on the head.
But a couple of days ago I had to drive down to the San Fernando Valley, in a car without air conditioning, and then wound up having to drive part way across the valley on surface streets. It was sunny and in the mid-90's in the morning. I was cooking but still felt strangely like I was on vacation. I was stopped at a signal in front of Pierce College, watching students walking to and from their cars. I saw a couple carrying water, but not the little screw-top bottles - they were carrying those plastic gallon jugs of water you get at grocery stores. That's hot...
Endless fog makes me crazy. I'm told I'm not alone. So much of surfing takes place in our minds, in our perceptions and pre-conceived notions, and in our fantasy "memory banks". For me it should be part Waikiki in the 30's, and part California Point surf during a late afternoon glass off. Wetsuits aren't part of the equation. So it makes my heart heavy when I realize that on non-tropical travel years I hardly ever get more than one day in the ocean in trunks only, and I usually have to push that.
Whining? Yeah, probably a bit of Whine there. Some places are so hot you don't even go outside for about 6 hours a day, and stay hot at night. Others never get remotely warm. Others turn so humid even the bugs take showers - sometimes in human blood.
My local Friends Of The Library bookstore recently sold me a pristine copy of SURFING CALIFORNIA, by Bank Wright. Remember that book? It lists every surf break in California, along with maps and photos. For the Ventura Fairgrounds point breaks the book also had a photo of two young women in bikinis walking on the beach. I have no idea when the picture was taken ; from the looks of the bikinis I'd say early 70's, which puts the two girls in their mid-40's now I suppose. The other day I looked at that picture and looked out the car window in the grey morning light and realized that some years I don't even see girls wearing bikinis on the beach. If they surf, they wear wetsuits. I surf, so I'm where others are not in numbers, or early in the day, or late in the day. In the fog...
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