Friday, May 9, 2008

Long, Slow Wave

A long, slow wave rolling in: does it matter if it’s in Newport or Capitola? Actually, yes, it matters a lot. My favorite spot in Newport is the back bay, where the tide rolls in with tiny wavelets, filling the muddy flats with shining blue sheets reflecting the sky, waking up the snails and the crabs, and exciting the prancing snowy egrets and the stalking avocets. In Capitola, it’s a big crest, out beyond the kelp beds, swelling above them and then beginning to break in a nicely shaped curl. Hundreds of seagull scream and circle into a thermal updraft. The wave entices the black-suited surfers to jump aboard and show their acrobatic switches and flips in and out of the breaking edge. Watching water is the only common thread.