I read this yesterday in the SLO Tribune

“The ingredients are now in place to produce a huge wave event,” said John Lindsey, Diablo Canyon weather forecaster.

…Wednesday’s waves are generated by a storm 1,100 miles to the west and will hit the coast more directly.

After attending the Christmas pajama parade at Ian’s nursery school with Claire this morning, I celebrated the winter solstice by driving to Morro Bay to look at the waves.

During a stop in town I took in a deep breath of sea-smell–much further ashore than usual. Driving down the hill, I saw a crowd of cars at the foot of the Rock. I wondered if people were there for the Salinen Indian Winter Solstice ceremony announced in this morning’s paper or like me, to welcome the waves at the end of their long journey. Then I saw the blasts of spray above the breakwater.

The heavy camera and tripod made me self-conscious among the dozens of people there with palm-sized digitals, but they added to my sense of purpose. As I rounded the corner toward the open ocean, I heard the crashes echoing from the hollow stone bowl overhead and felt the ground shake. I was reminded of those disaster movies, when the thunk of a landslide or a mortar round makes your pelvic bones rather than your ear drums vibrate. The atmosphere was a mixture of church and amusement park, reverence and sensation-seeking. It may be like this for the solstice ceremony too, as it might have been during the parting of the Red Sea.

I couldnt tell how much of the water’s angry turbulence was natural surf and how much was due to meeting the artificial impediment of piled boulders.

The slight offshore breeze lifted scarves of spray from the tops of the breakers, and the wild air they pushed before them made a playground for the gulls.

I could feel it blow as the explosions of water on rock grew more intense.

After one of them brought a shower down over the camera, I packed up and left.

Leave a Reply