five * stormy, acid drop, finger reef, marine layer


Storm Surge by Scott Christensen

stormy * five of winds

Madcap whitecaps make for “victory at sea,” and spell an end to the calm and quiet of last. Out of control surf ensues, testing abilities and the far reaches of our surety and perseverance. The hard paddle out pays off as the “stormrider” comes alive out upon the “creative chaos.” The “symbolic taking to task” brings out our raw character and resolve. Failings are to be expected, and weaknesses uncovered. The storm front undercuts what’s left of our stationary high, while Poseidon spins counterclockwise riding the low. Neptune looms on the horizon, fast at work, at the “front region of transition.” These “storm cats” can come at you from any direction and carry you in unforeseen, and “equal and opposite,” directions. Localized low pressures, less than a thousand miles offshore, are in turn, prelude to rapid fire, windswell peaks, that are steeper, and make for an equally engaging and “powerful experience.” No matter what, and whether resigned to making the best of “junky slop,” or battling “sumatra” and ensuing monsoon on tour, “a bad day of surfing is mo’ bettah than a good day at work.”

La Jolla Big Surf by Russ Harris

A “stormy” relationship is flirting with danger, as her “tempest” is not without consequence. You could get hurt. The angry sea makes for dangerous conditions, not to mention that muddy cliff trails affect your access to begin with. To make matters worse, you decided not to surf her evening glass the night before, and woke to her onshore bumps and “morning sickness.” Your misdirected ambition was unthinking, and of an unsuitable attitude, and failed to serve anyone. Running the risk of waiting ‘til tomorrow was to face her wrath and of imminent defeat. Storm drain runoff is on high and you can’t surf. Agitated and beyond despair, you’re feeling disheveled at the prospect of annihilation, and whether by land or by sea. Overwhelmed by the intimacy of it all, your frustration is a disturbance unto itself.

What have you done to warrant this? Are things best viewed from a distance? Do you need to take time out to educate yourself? It’s up to you. Ask for input and advice. Do you accept or reject the challenge? If you decide to “test your mettle,” avoid going it alone. “Eddie” or Sir Galahad might have paddled it out alone, but for you, the “buddy” system best ensures your safety. Paddle out with the rip and “slipstream” outside. Wait her out. Eventual success looms. All it takes is one. See your anger for what it is. Ride out the wave, and the storm. Dance with things and let her fuel your passion. Come into your own power. Do your best to resist your ego and the pull of that “karmic attraction.” Vanity and pride are pointless. Listen to your intuition instead. Use your experience as a “master” surfrider. You have the knowledge. You know where that secret hidden right peels directly into the south wind. Outside currents might froth under teeming whitecaps, but you know of that protected cove, SE wind spot. Kona winds are cleansing and purging. Stay positive and make the best of things. Head out to the other side of the island. Rainwater gets everything moving towards growth. Storm surf is “positive destruction” and necessary breakdown. Build your strength back up by learning to live in positivity.

Deuces Wild by Ron Croci

acid drop * five of waves

Reason takes a back seat when deep water waves abruptly hit the shelf, spilling out over a chasm like, elevator drop. Over the liquid cornice ledge, we free fall sideslip down the face, weightless past the precipice point of no return. With heart in our throat and mouths wide open, we know the gaping maw is just over our shoulder. Arms raise above our head and eyes pop, buggin’ out as we negotiate the vertical descent. With nothing but instinct and reflex to rely on, it’s all about the drop, and the timing of the bottom turn. With one fin in the water and boils all around, we land acrobatic takeoffs and gain assurance against the possibility of pulling off the impossible. The visceral thrill is an “aye carumba!” and “bonsai!” and dependent upon a “she’s gotta have it” mentality, as there is no waiting for the next wave. It’s a severe acid test and a free karmic credit check. We run the gamut of fear and exultation and leave either happy or ruined. It’s high intensity and high vigilance, and not for the faint hearted. We learn a new respect for self and others who have fallen before us, not to mention our mother ocean.

After the initial adrenaline rush, most hope to regain control of their emotions. For others of us, we are chronic surf fanatics, only too willing to face disappointment, and relive the “gut wrenching” intensity, breached more times than not, by an “unhappy ending.” There is a “caution” against broken heart and spirit, “so as to be able to surf another day,” but we feel obligated as a “real” surfer, to be willing to pay the price for our extremist “surf addiction.” The compulsion towards adrenalin rush is nothing but an attempt to escape our indelibly deep set feelings. But we’re “the man” at “the spot,” and feel guilty, if not ashamed, if we don’t go. Everybody’s at the peak with divided intentions. “Indecion’s buggin’ me,” as “he who hesitates, is lost.” Things are tense as most are tired of waiting for a makeable wave, or woman, and are hard up and ready to turn a blind eye to consequence. It’s inbetween waves and we’re not “getting’ any.” It’s too late to file a protest, and our complaints go unheard. The time for lament is over. Broken boards and relationships seem so long ago, with no solutions at hand anyways. We can’t concentrate and sit hoping she’ll take pity on us. It’s a fat chance, as a fat splat is the only sound heard, as face plant and painful spill befalls us once again. We failed to pull back and things didn’t go as planned. We lost our footing and the bottom fell out from under us. We were saved from drowning, but we still hit rock bottom.

Get off to a good start. “Pull it off,” and give thanks for making the wave. Know when to go and when to be careful. You know there’ll be another day and wave. Are you being honest with yourself? Look at that. Do you need an emotional outlet? Are you dealing with your truest and deepest of feelings, and emotions? Are you a coward, or are you “projecting” out your aggression on others? Is “no worries, no regrets…. mate,” come from the depths of your heart and soul? Fear galvanizes your encounter. Learn from your loss and pick up the pieces. Start over again. Are you ashamed of yourself? Or do you feel misunderstood? Be a “braveheart.” Refine your lines and regain your confidence. Think twice about holding out for the super set wave, and perhaps instead, consider settling for the one “heaven sent.”

finger reef * five of rocks

Submerged lava fingers make for hazardous aquatic terrain. The treacherous and oft forbidden fingers can be slimy, and are often covered with spongy moss and slippery sea grass. Cratered and pointed rock protrusions, join urchins afoot, to intercept our “capricious rock dance,” and make getting in and out quite “dicey.” Once past the “rocky masquerade” we enter the “demolition zone.” The reef lets herself be well known, as the odds are stacked like waves, against us, and which makes for the unexpected. Adjustments and discretion are advised up against her “hidden injunctions.” It’s a true testing ground, as waves explode and blow up in your face. Waves are like “bulls in a china shop,” and require “snap, crackle and pop,” precision surfing. Surging boils emerge from nowhere, with ledgy and shallow water waves demanding a high degree of vigilance. Not many people surf the usually “sketch” or “jerkwater” waves, but every so often “clandestine classics” arrive to match wits with the savvy of our high performance “dragon slayer.” The “manly” surf is not crowded and hence, feigns to match your most masterful and finely tuned of skills, only to leave lasting impression as waves literally “deforms” across the “fingered mutations.”

illustration Nathan Paul Gibbs

The intervening reef is of poor aesthetics and makes for chronically flawed imperfection. Submerged resistance makes for a disruptive shoreline, from which you will be discouraged from taking part. Trouble is apparent as evident danger and dread is not always below the surface. A boondoggle of a break, the fickle reef attracts its emotional equal. There is tension in the lineup as the localized lot can be threatening and intimidating. It boggles the mind, but insurgents have staked their claim. The temptation is to match their “viciousness” and aggression, with an “eye for an eye” and to “fight fire with fire,” but we know it’s impossible to profit from “forces of destruction,” and sense a “reversal of fortune” cannot be counted on. Suddenly lacking faith to handle any new challenge, we escape the situation by “the hair of our chinny chin chin,” and abandon all false hope and aspirations. Once thought to have “nerves of steel,” we are now shown the limits of our mortality, as broken board, body and spirit was all too likely. Sudden misfortune and misfire is unpredictable and worrisome, and simply drives you batty.

Take nothing for granted. Be accurate in your estimation of peril or danger. Nothing is as it seems. Be willing to face the “jagged” truth. Retreat and make up for lost ground. Setbacks are a temporary, but memorable interruption. Stay in the flow despite the intervention. See the perfection of imperfection. You will be granted a reprieve. Have courage and take up the challenge. Adapt, adjust and persevere. Be determined to vanquish your ego, as “honesty without sensitivity, is brutality.” Find the balance between “macho” and “spiritual,” and have “faith” in your ability. Accept the inevitable. Be a “trouble shooter.” Stay sharp and on track. Take care of things and yourself, and pay attention to your safety.

green spot by Remi Bertoche

Perpetua by Michael Lorenzini

marine layer * five of rays

When cold ocean water arrests hot inland air we are left with a “most peculiar morning mist.” The hazy interlude is nothing more than our mother ocean cooling off the inherent heat of father sky. There is a lingering dampness as dense sea fog or passing fog banks leave us with matted hair and reduced, to our “ethereal feelings.” Our senses are thrown off, as we sit near invisible, shrouded in fog and lost within a “feminine mist,” imagining unseen goddess fast about. The “surfer of stealth” is of silent entreaty and on “secret mission.” The objective is to get waves, but with limited sensory perception, we find things hard to gauge or judge, if not “disorienting.” Going into the “unknown, and on our own,” we are left to make “inspired guesses.” The dividend is that we luck out and get an uncrowded, if not empty session all to ourselves. Another’s loss is our gain as we score yet another memorable moment and session. The no crowd is a surprise inheritance, as local knowledge and experience pays off for the true waterman.

The heat spell is over, and with fog accompanied by a light onshore, we fear an opportunity lost? We were waiting for perfection, and missed it. The morning grey left us unsure and uncertain, and we couldn’t size things up. With measurements off, it was hard to trust the reports. While we were stuck in neutral, the hard cores were hard up and hence, already on it. Truth be told, the fair weather surfer finds the “feminine” a little “overbearing,” and a bit “raw.” Things can “feel” spooky. With no “safety in numbers,” we get easily spooked, worrying of sea life below, or a penance to pay about. The inversion layer can be oppressive. Overcome and engulfed, we feel exposed when the fog breaks and we are left alone and out in the open. We return to damp clothes and soaked packs, as we come in out of the fog.

Stay cool. There is new opportunity forthcoming. Rely on your experience. There is hope for a better future. Morning mist is renewing and refreshing. Be fearless. A challenge for one is an opportunity for another. Remain dedicated. There is change in the air. If you are committed, a dividend is likely. Be ready. Find clarity despite the haze. Refuse to be fazed by any superfluous outer layer. Don’t judge a swell by its cloud cover. You get what waves you want out of life, just not always how and when you want ‘em. Know of the ocean well, and know that there is a time for giving things a go “sight unseen.” We don’t always have the luxury of waiting until conditions lift. You are not dependent upon full sun for perfection. Escape notice. Keep things cloaked in secrecy. Be careful and work without recognition.

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