Surf from Above

I recently came across some stunning photo slideshows at Surfline – aerial shots of the Southern California coast. (They require you to watch a short ad before viewing the slideshow – sorry about that.)

Riptide near La Jolla

The photos are geared towards surfers, but there’s great stuff for swimmers as well. Or for anyone – I can’t imagine who wouldn’t be awed by the power and beauty of the ocean and this magnificent stretch of coast.

My Dad surfed some of those same breaks (in Ventura County) on his longboard in the ’60s. I, on the other hand, never spent much time in the ocean as a kid – despite growing up in Santa Barbara. And I never learned to surf properly. Guess I was too busy in the pool?

In several of these photos Catalina Island is clearly visible on the horizon. Shortly after midnight this August 25th I’ll set off from that distant shore – and attempt to make up for lost time.

2 thoughts on “Surf from Above”

  1. Wanted to ask. Why are you leaving at midnight? Is it all about the tides. Also, as a nonhistorian, is it more common to swim to or from the island?

    1. I think it’s mostly about the wind. It usually picks up in the afternoon and makes for rough seas.

      I think the default nowadays is Catalina-to-mainland, but obviously people have done it both ways historically. Both men’s & women’s records are actually faster from M to C. I also think pilots can change the swim direction at the last minute depending on conditions & tides. I believe Barra thought he was going M-C until a last minute reversal.

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