HI Surf Advisory


Sponging Dolly -- 8/20/96

Problems. We encountered some problems at work so I was forced to extend my stay in Pensacola for one more day. I missed my wife and daughter--I wanted to go home. Waaahhhh!

To my pleasant surprise, however, I found out that a tropical depression was forming in the Gulf. It organized itself enought to be given a name--Dolly. Don't know if this was the cause, but on Tuesday (8/20/96), there was surf at Pensacola Beach!

Caught a quick session in the morning, right next to what used to be the pier (before Hurricane Erin and Opal last year). It was fairly clean, with sets about chest high. However, the wave period was really short, maybe eight seconds, making for peaky and weak conditions. Really fun, though, especially considering what I've seen the past week.

Made it out again late in the afternoon. The "Dangerous Surf Today" sign was up again, this time for good reason. The size was up a tad from the morning, with a few head-high sets, but the wind picked up substantially out of the southeast. A decent crowd was out too, but it's nowhere near the head count at Bowls during a good south.

There were two signs delimiting a "No Surfboards" zone, probably to designate a swimmers only area and to keep surfers away fom the now nonexistent pier). A few longboarders were straying into the area, and the lifeguards were turning the other cheek. Looked good there, so I made a go.

There were some pretty good locals out there who knew how to milk the waves and find the power pockets. However, most people out had a difficult time with the current and chop.

It was really funny just listening to the locals talk. That southern twang sounded just a bit out of place; I guess I'm just used to "Wassup cuz?" or "Hey dude?" rather than "Hi y'all?" Ahhh, the joys of travel.

I caught some decent walls, did some carves, and even launched a little air and had a splashy coverup (no, it was *not* a tube ride). Finally gave my couch-potato body a decent workout and even got a bit of tan.

I count myself really fortunate to have been able to partake in this swell. Now I can fly back to Hawaii saying that I scored at least some good waves. Hey, little one, Daddy's coming home.

Aloha means goodbye,

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