Sunday, February 14, 2010

High Tide, With Waves

As NOAA promised, the weather cleared up, and there was a 21-foot swell rolling in off the Northeast Pacific, riding on the high tide. It was still raining on the road west. No swans on that swampy bit in Indian Valley, but the posing bald eagle had moved down to a tree between the road and Lake Crescent, and didn't move a feather as I drove by. One other car along the lake, otherwise I had it to myself. There were a few mergansers paddling near the shore. In the parking lot at Rialto Beach, little birds in the trees; a duck flying wildly over the surf, and gulls.

It was grey, then broke up into sunshine.

Gray Glare Towards James Island, Rialto Beach, February 14, 2010. (Click for larger image.)
Glorious Sunshine, Tide Still Rising, February 14, 2010. (Click for larger image.)

More and more people came to watch the waves. We had to stay up at the top of the berm, or behind it. By the time the waves reached the beach they had already broken a time or two, and the whole surf zone was a wilderness of foam out of which you could see the bigger ones form up again, do that plunging-breaker number one last time. Now and again at full tide a wave would wash through the drift and just barely over the berm, chasing the watchers.

Watchers (Click for larger image.)

Twice a wave washed across a lower spot slightly to the north and briefly the surf ran in the woods behind us.

Surf in the Woods (Click for larger image.)

Lake Crescent, on the way home.

1 comment:

Sky said...

i LOVE lake crescent!

i was stunned by the waves around half moon bay on saturday and the injured people watching the surfers. had no idea the area around the bay got waves that high. you may have seen similar when you were in the bay area. would love to see it.