Surf’s Up and That’s Great

Storm Surge Lures Both Surfers and Beach Walkers

Ray Ford

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Though the huge waves expected yesterday didn’t materialize, surfers were gearing up for a big day. The Weather Underground website reported surf ranging from 7-10 feet at most local beaches with strong rip tide potential. Very strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions were also expected.

Surfers waiting for the right moment to tackle the big waves.
Ray Ford

While surfers were salivating yesterday at the prospect of the year’s first big waves, in Santa Barbara near Red Flag weather conditions provided a warm day, perfect to head out and check the waves, others were heading out for a glimpse of the waves or a bit of exercize.

Arroyo Burro Beach is perfect for checking out the surf conditions, taking a quiet walk on the beach or a loop hike that combines the best of beach of views.

Ray Ford

For those who prefer the easy walking to a bit of adventure, the wide, sandy beach just west of the Brown Pelican provides lots of hard packed sand the kind of exploration that is easy on the mind. With a bit more time it’s just 3 miles to Goleta Beach. Where else can you walk from restaurant to restaurant and have the perfect beach walk in between?

Heading east leads to another fine walk and on a low tide day with minimal surf, it’s a fantastic walk to the Harbor. With a shuttle on the other side and 3 hours to spare, the walk provides one of the best beach experiences in our area. The shorter walk to the steps at Mesa Lane provides both a bit of an adventure and one of our area’s nicest short loops.

Should you opt for the loop hike up to the top of the Mesa over the next few days you should know there are 241 steps (I counted them!) to reach the top but there are spots to rest every twenty steps or so and the view is pretty incredible while you’re catching your breath. Best of all, once you reach the top of the steps it’s all level. From there it’s just a few blocks to the point where you reach the Douglas Preserve and the perfect spot to relax and soak in the views.

Surging high tides cause the high surf to pound local beaches.
Ray Ford
A young lady and her dog enjoy both the sunset and the spectacular views from the Douglas Preserve.
Ray Ford

Sunsets on most nights at the Douglas Preserve seem to act like a magnet, drawing people to the cliff top. Last night’s panorama with the stormy surf, mist hanging high against the cliffs and mutes island views was over the top.

Ray Ford

Tides for the next few days will be on the minus side over the next few days, making a walk along any of your favorite beaches a treat. A caution – with the storm surge – mind the time to make sure you don’t get caught unawares, either by the incoming tide or an unusually large set of waves.

Tides over the next few days:
Thursday -.02 at 2:15pm
Friday -.3 at 2:48pm
Saturday -.49 at 3:21pm
Sunday -.58 at 3:55

Check out the list of other great beach walks on the Indy site.


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