Yes it is sort of a weekend ritual but Sid Wolf suggested surfing at Bolinas again this Saturday. Then I heard nothing from him for a few days and never heard what time we were planning to meet. I looked in the TideLog and was surprised to see that the high tide on Saturday was late in the day, at 3:08 PM. I knew that Sid likes to surf at high tide and wondered what was going on. Before I could call Sid up directly, Roger Lamb called me and said he was going to be there early -- at 10:00 am -- so I just showed up then.
Roger arrived with Bob Stender and both of them had little river boats. I had both my river boat and my Coaster so I joined everyone else in the water with river boats. There was an 11 foot swell and no storm waves to mess them up. We plowed out through big waves at the boat ramp on the end of Brighton Street. The waves here were steep, dumpy, and difficult to surf. I watched Roger accidentally do a "pirouette" in his Pirouette. (We both have boats called a Pirouette model because they are designed to do this easily). You do this maneuver when the nose of the boat buries itself in the water and you slowly fall end over end. Half way through you can swing the paddle around in the water and make the boat spin, or pirouette, on its nose. "Rodeo kayakers" do this on purpose and spin the boat just 180 degrees so it lands right-side up and facing in the opposite direction. Roger did all this but lost his balance at the end and had to do a combat roll after his pirouette.
The water at the boat ramp was too rough for us so we headed towards the "kayak surfing spot". The town of Bolinas was full of cars and board surfers were everywhere, even at "our" kayak surfing spot. But we went over to the other side of the pod of surfers and found plenty of waves to ride on. All three of us caught rides on the waves as fast as we could paddle back out to find another one.
On one wave I came in past Roger on his right. He didn't see me coming and tried to catch the same wave. I broached to the left and lost control of my boat. I shouted "Watch Out!" to Roger over and over again but we were unable to avoid colliding. The nose of my boat went under Roger's right arm and he kind of leaned over my boat and held onto it. He says that something came up and hit him HARD in the cheek, like getting punched with a fist. He doesn't know what hit him, but I think it was the nose of my boat rising up over his boat. No damage was done and Roger didn't even develop a bruise. He held onto my boat and the two boats created a little raft that was stable even on the edge of a breaking wave so neither of us fell over. This was the only accident and we managed to have a generally safe day.
Around lunch time Bob headed back in around the outside of the pod of surfers. Roger and I went close to shore and worked the breakers back to the ramp. I had a joyous time dodging rocks in the shallows, slipping over the smaller breakers, plowing over the medium sized ones, and riding the ones I couldn't climb over. Because we were so close to shore, we didn't see Bob talking to another batch of BASK kayakers that launched just before we landed. Sid Wolf had arranged to meet Penny Wells, Don Fleming and Peter Degoey to launch at noon. Roger and I didn't even know they were all there until they came in for a landing after we had finished lunch.
Unfortunately everyone was quitting for the day and nobody wanted to go back out with me. I almost talked Don into coming with me, but he didn't want to surf the dumpy waves close to the boat ramp and he didn't want to spend the time paddling north to the kayak spot. So I went by myself but stayed close to the ramp. There were a couple board surfers working this area and I went south just ten meters or so to stay out of their way. This put me in a place where I think the waves were dumping quite a bit harder. I managed to get a bunch of wild rides, but got knocked over at least three times and had to roll back up! After only 20 or 30 minutes I was so exhausted that I quit while most of my friends were still packing their gear away.