A Full Wednesday in SD -- 1/16/02

Evening cool at Scripps

Went to San Diego on business, with the hope of hooking up with the alt.surfing crew for a session or two. For three weeks prior to my arrival, they were blessed with epic, sizable surf. Of course, the swell shrank to nothing when I got there. Such is life.

Was planning to jump in at the Scripps Pier before work on Wednesday. While waiting at the 7-11 near Windansea at 5:20 AM, I got a call on my cell. It was none other than the comical Bill Andrews. He was bringing down a funboard that Joanne had generously loaned me. However, on the way down the radiator in Bill's truck decided to spring a leak, and he was stuck in Encinitas. Bill suggested that I run up to grab the board, saying that it was a 15 minute drive from La Jolla. So I went for it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find my way to I-5 north. When I finally did, I found that the 15 minute drive was only if you averaged 80 mph! Eventually, I found my way to Bill and his disabled truck near a Denny's restaurant.

Damn, it was nice seeing him again. He's just a pure character--all stoke and warmth (unless you get in his way at W/S--nah!). Bill decided to hang out until a nearby garage opened up. We had a hell of a time fitting the surfboard into my little Neon, but with some ingenuity and the FCS key, we made it fit. Since there was nothing more I could do for him, I just handed off some mac nuts and headed back south to see if I could salvage a surf.

When I reached the pier I knew that my time was virtually gone, but I parked anyway to check out the action. Good thing, because a gentleman approached me, someone that I've been looking forward to meeting for many moons. It was none other than alt.surfer Terry (sdbchguy).

Talk about fascinating. I was just entranced listening to him. Terry is like a mad scientist applying his vast knowledge of physics into surf science, designing and engineering various surf vehicles and tools. The only person like him that comes to mind is George Greenough. Must be a belly/kneeboard thing. :-)

We talked for nearly an hour about his latest watercraft designs, his recent trips to Baja, even a little bit about the alt.surfing scene. After a while I absolutely didn't care about getting in a pre-work surf (it was only about shoulder-high anyway).

Finally, duty called, as I had to get to work. I reluctantly said goodbye to Terry, put on a tie, and headed off.

I got off late from work, but still decided to get some needed water time. Hit the Pier just after 5 and joined the after school/after work crowd. There were some fairly glassy, shoulder high walls that closed out quickly. Not much fun on my bodyboard, but still way better than just sitting on the beach. It was nightfall (after 6 PM) before I finally made it back to shore--I was the last one out of the water.

That evening, I was invited to a get-together by the elusive Carson (also of alt.surfing fame). So I quickly changed in the dark (no streetlights in the Torrey Pines area) and made my way to his home.

Carson is not an idiot. That's my opinion anyway. He's just a wily guy who wants to stir up the pot in alt.surfing, calling out people who he thinks are blowing smoke about their surfing prowess or knowledge. I'm really looking forward to surfing with him at his secret LJ reefs sometime in the future.

Also in attendance were (wild) Bill Andrews, (feisty) Joanne VanMeter, (stately) George Barnes and his lovely wife, and Mrs. Carson and Carson Jr. Everyone (including Carson and myself) is a techno-weenie of one kind or another. What a bunch of nerds!

The get-together was loud, raucous, and fun. We quickly jumped from topic to topic, mostly about surfing, and continuously brought up the topics and characters of the alt.surfing newsgroup. I was in stitches at times, just laughing at our silliness.

Eventually, we all had to leave (it was a school night). But before going, we needed photographic proof that we tried to dispense of that Carson dude. It took a while, but we finally got the shot we wanted.

As for me, I never got a chance to surf again. My work crew decided to cut our trip off a day short, so I left without even using Joanne's hubbie's board. I also didn't get the opportunity to see Keener, Tweed and King--sorry guys.

I thought I was coming over in March, but that trip has been nixed. Maybe in the summer or fall. One day, I'll get a chance to surf with Terry and Carson and with the rest of the motley crew (again). I'm already looking forward to it.

Killing Carson

Buenos Dias from San Diego