Monday, October 25, 2010

22 Foot Swell: With Thunder, Ghost Trees, and Joyful Watchers

It was like this. From the parking lot you could see the watchers arrayed on the drift along the top of the berm. Climbed into rain gear and hurried up the path; before I got the first sight of the surf, a wave crashed up across the top and foam ran down the backslope. There were pelicans having a grand old time when I first got there (not later). There were thunder squalls, lightning, mini-sleet-storms. There were older-couple watchers with umbrellas. And the waves came in, and in, and in.

According to the High Surf Warnings, the swell is still building this morning. Going to maybe 35 feet. Yesterday it would have been in the 19-23 foot range. And building, yes. It went on delivering those 'highest one third' sets, splashing up and over the berm even a couple of hours past the high tide.

We must have all been pretty careful, nobody was knocked over, or washed away. Ok, had there been a rogue wave, it might have caused a disaster, but that could happen sort of any time you're on the beach. People were careful, choosing their spots, choosing their retreat paths, backing up in good time, avoiding the low spots along the berm where now and then the waves washed right over. And the waves came in, and in, and in.

It was warm. And the waves came in, and in, and in.

Rialto Beach (Click for larger image.)

Preliminary Data, La Push Station, October 24, 2010 (Click for larger image.)
How salt comes to be killing the front row of trees... (Click for larger image.)

Trees and shrubs along the highway, I might mention, were in gorgeous color against the grey sky; now darker, now brighter. I'm at the tribe today. Or I'd be back out there, waiting for the high tide at 1:53 PM with the 35-foot swell on top of it.

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