The calm before the storm?

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters had predicted would be a very active season with six to nine hurricanes, turns out to be one of the calmest on record. Although the number of storms is above average, their intensity hasn’t matched the forecasts. September is generally the most active month of the hurricane season, with the average peak in activity occurring on September 10. The season to date has produced nine named storms of which two have become hurricanes. So far, there has been no major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. Some experts assume this could be due to a lot of dust and dry air blowing off the Sahara, bringing unfavorable conditions for nascent storms to organize.
Late starts are not unusual. Last year, the season was an average one until when Sandy became a Category 3 hurricane that wrecked the U.S. shores around Halloween. So is it sort of the calm before the storm, or an objection to those theories on global warming causing extreme weather?
What is sure is that we’re still far from confident knowledge in climate physics and prediction. Meanwhile there has been a few days of decent swell lately, but that’s a little below September standards of consistency.

Dead fish

Over-inflated people react, they don’t act. They have no firm hold on their emotions. I found this out years ago from a well known elite academy where I properly observed the ability of these places to be a spot for definitely a few bright minds, but also for a number of wealthy short-minded characters who haven’t got it all figured out. Taking oneself too seriously is probably a part of the problem, lack of life humbling experience is probably the other one. These conceited people deserved a post lately, because this viewpoint is proving to be relevant again. Stimulating environments with great minds are also places full of self-righteous over inflated clowns. They can’t separate, it’s like the other side of the coin. The trouble with them, apart from blowing hot hair and whining all the time, is they also tend to offer cheap lessons to blur their lack of perspective. If you are a folk somewhat a little outside the box, you will inevitably pull at their nerves at some point. You would be surprised how far their bad faith and frustration-directed extend. Not that I really care, I haven’t given a damn to outside opinions for some time now. However there should be an international “asshole” day to recall these specimen to relax a little bit and stop fucking around.

I am not devoting my time to my job. I feel sorry for those guys who do and become pretty frustrated with that. Life is short, there’s a lot more to experiment and following roads that do not lead to Rome is a great (though badly viewed) path forward. I love to waste big amounts of time, like for example to find my monthly share of real waves. Everything comes at a price but the payoff is worth it. Last time was a little bigger, the sun was out and it was nice. As I like to surf hollow waves with a 5’6 fish, I ended up eating a good amount of sand. That’s part of the fun. That’s how the game is out there.

Too big or not too big?

A promising frontal system with gusty SSE winds was expected earlier this month. It finally set up a large swell that rather hit Spain and the western breaks of the french mediterranean. Despite all maps showing 8ft+ on our shores days earlier, it ended up small wrecked by the wind. However here you know the best forecasts result in shitty waves all the time so you learn to appreciate what you have. You can’t really judge from the photo, but it’s 3 foot double-ups and closeouts. Good from afar, far from good, but it was the only game in town.

Declaration of dependence

I am by no means considering myself a core surfer. Surfing isn’t really in my blood, it’s hard to catch a big wave in the Mediterranean. However, there is a kind of addiction in it which is difficult to resist and even more to explain. “Only a surfer knows the feeling”, the usual expression, is a rather grotesque slogan over exploited by corporate advertising bulshit in the unique goal to sell clothes. I guess the reasons have better to do with some kind of perfect visions of nature and the connection that comes from playing with them. I have already spent a fair amount of energy in search of this over the years, sometimes until far remote places of the world. I turned 40 the other day and it seems that getting enough is not for tomorrow. Despite the colossal waste of time it is, like Dora used to say, I intend to keep on doing this for a while, probably as long as I can in fact.

Understand kids?

Storm in a teacup

Interesting to see how pumping waves in the Mediterranean Sea are often associated with weird borderline climatic conditions. Storms lashing especially the French Riviera are rare, but not unheard of. There’s usually a few prominent cases every year, of which only a few deliver actual swell up to our southeastern shores. The Mediterranean provides relatively little surface area making it tough for tropical like storms to develop, however it happens and when it does, storm in a tea cup is really what it’s all about.

This one was generated last week by a 992 HPa depression a hundred miles or so west of Corsica island. This configuration is a best-case scenario as it turns on solid south swells, two magic words for hundreds of desperate guys in this part of Europe.


This morning was cold in the south of Landes, but the sky was bright and things would slowly warm up throughout the day. First checks of the local breaks were promising with glass waves on a rising tide that suggested another fun day of surf. But that probably meant also the same crazy crowds and unmanerly players judging from the previous days.

That’s where a bit of experience of the region is helpful when time comes to escape from the mess. Fortunately, this coast stretches over miles of empty beaches, so there’s obviously a few sandbars here or there that are just pumping with no one or almost around. However, to play alone, you’d better know a thing or two: about the hidden accesses to these secrets and when the sandbanks are good, since they are constantly changing from one swell to another.

In these conditions, the ultimate weapon is a bike. The only way to investigate the coast further is exploring dirt tracks winding through a mixed wood forest of pine. Driving there is prohibited, anyway driving, biking, walking or whatever is at the risk of getting lost in a maze of forest paths, with few chances of finding good banks.

But if you had the chance of being initiated, like I was years ago, finding yourself riding a bike loaded with board, wetsuit, water, food and others in tree labyrinths and dunes can be well worth the effort. Not to mention the stoke of being on your own in this sanctuary. As far as I’m concerned, these moments are savoured at fair value, fugit irreparabile tempus.