Sun 16 Oct 05

Surf Report # 2

Location: Grand Haven, MI – North Pier
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Air Temp: 57 F
Water Temp: 58 F
Wind: From NNW 9-13 mph
Waves: 2-3 feet
Gear: 5/3 wetsuit

So buoyed was I by the previous day’s experience that I decided I needed another dose. The wave forecast looked decent (3-5 feet), so I decided to take another trek out to Grand Haven. Loaded up the 323, squeezed the board in (windshield to trunk), and drove out to the Lake by myself. I realized very quickly that I had probably badly miscalculated the waves when I saw the channel bobbing up and down at about half of yestrday’s height, then confirmed this when I pulled up to the beach and saw nothing but speed bumps on the water. I spent about twenty minutes walking along the shore and the pier trying to decide what to do. Should I jump in anyway, just to float around? Should I try somewhere else? Just head back home?

Finally, I decided to drive up to Hoffmaster just for kicks. Hoffmaster was exactly the same conditions (good beta for future reference), so I decided to try one more spot before calling it a day. Drove back down through Ferrysburg, got lost on a few side streets, and eventually made my way to Grand Haven’s north pier. Definitely bigger than the south side with the wind pushing the water against the pier (instead of the pier sheltering the waves on the other side). Oh , what the heck. I’m not wasting all that gas for nothing.

Spent the next two hours paddling around the sandbars and catching a bunch of short rides. Nothing great. Looked like a lot more fun right by the pier, but I figured that was a sure bet to destroy my board and my pride as I undoubtedly would’ve careened into a wall in front of the dozen or so fishermen milling around. Left the water completely content though. Felt a surge of pride and a little buzz of euphoria as I walked out of the water with my board and wandered back to my car. Windswept, soggy, stretched out skin, waxy hands. Perfect. Changed out of my suit in an outhouse near the fisherman parking lot which was smelly, but still a lovely luxury of privacy as opposed to stripping in the back of my car. Not as good as yesterday, but well worth the trip all in all.

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