Cate and Leann decided to go salmon fishing in the Adirondack Guide Boat on the bay, and Jeff and I would brave the Pacific in search of the mighty Dungeness crab. The only problem, Jeff's truck was dead! and Leanns jumper cables were broken! So after a perplexing and extremely frustrating 3 hours, we finally got rolling down to the beach.
... when Jeff yelled "OUTSIDE!" and we saw an actual set loading up on the horizon. Not wasting the time to turn his boat Jeff backpaddled and I paddled forward as we crested three of fifteen foot set waves and then stopped paddling to look back and see the monster set sweep one buoy and then detonate on top of the other.
"We were just sitting right there." Jeff said.
This was not what I was hoping for. I lost my need to be a big water hero a long time ago, and I'd much rather Jeff and I were exploring sea caves and surfing seven foot peelers. Instead we sat well offshore and I started a clock which revealed the sets pulsing at an almost exact five minute interval. "I'll wait out here as long as it takes." I said (even though we'd run out of water and I was dying of thirst) "I'm not taking that on the head." Meanwhile we both marveled at the beauty, the perfect curve and sweep of those terrible set waves.
Six hours, one crab.
We sprinted in on the back of a set and escaped the bombs firing off on the outer sand bars, surfing as much as we could to make ground quickly. Jeff was ahead of me and made it free and clear, I'd missed the wave he surfed in and the reform from the first wave of the next big set was now bearing down on me. With an 'oh shit' feeling in my stomach, I felt myself lifting up the face of a ten-foot curling shorebreak that was about to go nuclear in about a foot and a half of water. Praying for a miracle (while fully expecting to be pasted onto the seafloor) I leaned all the way back, the F1 plunged down the wave, pearled, skipped off the sand, and breached back up to the surface! I shot forward at mach speed just as the whole massive foampile exploded behind me with a boom! Jeff later said, "I looked back and saw you grinning like crazy as you surfed at me in front of this big wall of whitewater." You bet I was.