Today I went surfing at Long Beach for the second day in a row. The waves were probably between 4-7 feet with a relatively long period I think. That means that it gives you enough time to paddle out during the small sets so that you don’t have to dive under too many of the big ones before you get out past the break. Recently I’ve been surfing with my Australian friend Tom…
He lives in Ucluelet so meeting at Long Beach to surf is basically halfway in between. I actually didn’t see him until after we got out of the water because, as I figured, he chose to go after the left (think stage left)-breaking waves near the rocks on the south end of the beach. I would have wasted most of my energy just paddling across had I gone all the way down there. So instead I just focused on enjoying the challenges and rewards of the waves near where I had paddled out.
I saw a Tofino whale-watching boat for the first time ever at that beach, so I figured there where whales nearby. When I met Tom back at our vehicles he bellowed, “Look at that!” He had seen a flipper just launch itself into the air as if the whale was waving. By the time I looked I just saw spouting. I wish I had my good camera with the telephoto because from our angle when I saw the head of the whale pop up it was proportionally in line with some of the nearer surfers when compared to the distant surfers. I was surprised they came in so close. Being from Oz, Tom said it made him a bit queasy because down there when you see whales you know sharks are not that far behind.
That’s not really a legitimate concern up here, although with global warming one day it will be.