Why? How? When?

Do you ever float in the Ocean wondering…

Why do waves come in sets? Why do sets come in sets? Why do some sets have 4 or 5 waves while others only have 1? How does a storm’s pressure gradient effect the consistency of a swell? When will swell come again? Why do some waves double-up and focus more energy onto the sandbar? How does the tide swing impact a shoaling wave? Why does wave energy refract toward shallower water? How does sand move bank to bank? Why do some evenings glassoff and others don’t? When will swell come again? How does turbulence from previous waves affect the shoaling of the next wave? Where is the best wave on Earth breaking right now? How do islands and offshore features affect swell approaching a coastline? Am I missing a better wave breaking nearby? How does wind and upwelling impact water temperature? How does water temperature affect swell production? Why do seasonal changes change the areas of Ocean that generate swell? How does coastal geology impact bathymetry? How does coastal ecology impact bathymetry? When will swell come again? Will climate disruption equal more swell? What’s more important for swell: size of the storm, duration of the storm or direction? Does a storm in the Indian Ocean eventually create swell in the South Pacific? What happens when different swell trains cross in the middle of the Ocean? Does a storm in the North Pacific become a winter storm in Cleveland, then a Nor’easter on the US east coast and then eventually a swell for Europe? Do Pacific hurricanes originate in Sahara dust off the coast of Africa? Are all low pressure systems connected? When will swell come again? Are the cobbles always on the beach but covered with sand or do they move beach to beach? Are the swell generating systems in our Oceans connected on a macro scale? How important are the micro-connections of capillary waves to the formation of a swell? As the sun goes through 8 year cycles of activity, does swell production increase and decrease accordingly? What did the waves look like breaking on beaches during the time of supercontinent Pangea? What will waves look like 100 million years from now? Where have the biggest and best waves broken in the history of Earth? How do the properties of individual water molecules impact the formation of swell? Does salinity affect swell production? When will swell come again?

With My Son

I still dream.

Empty, aching bends of coastline

Emerald water pulsing

and every set as perfect as the last.

But in my waking hours

a different vision has revealed.

I trim his nails

and sing him to sleep.

All of 30 inches

And full of dancing,

My new dream will grow

With sand tween his toes

And salty air filling his small lungs.



Yonder Wave

Yonder wave will bend and break,

Til winter dies and summer wakes,

The tourist hoard left with the sun

their pillagin’ day is done,

We seize the moment to sit in haze,

Aching shoulders, the feeling fades.


Yonder wave will bend and break

Til North Pacific turns to lake,

We drive the coast in sweet relief

As longer days retreat to brief,

Rejoice anew in each day’s sight

and lenses basque in morning light.




In days of old we toiled asunder

while machines were dreams oft in slumber.

Each tribe alike yet spread about,

the wide word alive like bursts of thunder.

There stood kings and queens many,

on hilltops they wondered at a land so free.

But it was the kin of you and me

who were so bound by the rolling sea.

Along the shore we found our peace,

to live at the whim of the building gale.

We wade with our family who don the scale,

so bound are we to the rolling sea.

At night cross cliffs some of us may stray,

But the glistening stars will guide the way,

Back to the sound of wave crashing glee,

For we are bound to the rolling sea.


Ode to the Night

The Night Womp
Bright Moonlight.
Bring some friends,
Hoot and holler!
Three cheers for the Ocean.

Night Crew.
Night Crew.

Calm wind. Sheet glass conditions.
High tide pulls clean waves along the shore.
Sure, you can think about the creatures.
But its ok, nothing is out to get you.

Run and dive in.
Let senses explode!
Waves feels faster,
Even a few feet bigger.
Slight chill.
Nowhere is darker than under a wave at night.
The stark quiet of water and sand.

Moonlit tubes.
Psychedelic wonder.
Out of the darkness; glistening, moving water.
The inside of the barrel,
Glowing in LunaLight.


Rider: @nolanomura Photo: bautista_jeff
Rider: @nolanomura Photo: @bautista_jeff











Marine Layer

May Gray and June Gloom
Hopefully not No-Sky July or Fogust

Spring in Southern California
Marine layer,Weak swell, Small waves
All-day onshore wind,Blown out dawn to dusk.
Surf can’t get much worse,
Swell Affective Disorder.

Gloom from Space. Image: NASA
Gloom from Space. Image: NASA

But we’re lucky.
Abundant Ocean diversions:
Flowers are blooming
Hiking trails are open
Winter rain brings a…

Rich, green landscape.
Wilderness beckons.

But waves are on the brain
Everything else is just that…
Everything else.
Waves come first.

And when they don’t break,
A type of melancholy
Not deep
But palpable.

When waves come back,
It is extra, extra special!
Water feels better,
Speed is faster,
Tubes are brighter…
and more exhilarating.

Waves will come again.
And when they do,
We’ll be there.
At dawn.
With big smiles,
Swimming hard
And enjoying it to the fullest.