Exit June gloom, enter big swells


Fourteen hours and 26 minutes.

That's how long the sun took to travel across our sky on Sunday,

and that bright light up there actually made a cameo appearance late

in the afternoon to the delight of many.

When the Catalina Eddy gets to a certain thickness, clearing

actually takes place right at the coast instead of inland. A total

reversal from the usual pattern.

Monday, it was even better -- total clearing as of 3 p.m., first

time that's happened since Memorial Day. Desert communities only made

it to 85 degrees Sunday so it cleared here on the coast. That's a new

record cool maximum temperature for the date in Palm Springs and

that's 24 degrees below the date's norm.

Practically the entire continental US registered their coolest May

and Junes on record. Until Monday, New York City had not seen the

80-degree mark reached yet. It made 87 degrees this week.

Frequent and heavy rains have really put a serious dent in the

four-year drought that has plagued the northeast down to the

southeast. Last weekend marked the beginning of the waiting period

for the annual Brooks Street Surfing Classic, having been an event

since 1954. Last year we didn't even pull it off, because conditions

just didn't gel on weekends. All the surf we got last summer was

always during the weekday span, with the only exception having been

the last Sunday of August when Category 5 hurricane Fausto came up

real quick late that Sunday morning.

Then, two weeks later, hurricane Hernan delivered one of the most

consistent big Baja swells ever. I mean from sun up to sun down there

was never a lull. Just a relentless procession of 8 to 12-foot second

reefers at Brooks Street with not a breath of wind the entire day.

It's hard to run all events in just one whole day, but it would

have been really fun trying. Trouble is, it was a Wednesday. By

Saturday, his waves had come and gone.

Some years we've actually run the whole event the first or second

weekend of the waiting period, like in 1972 -- the best Baja swell

summer ever seen.

Hurricane Beatris' waves gave that year's winner Mike Armstrong

good training for Pipeline which really got him on the map, along

with schoolmate Brian Bulkley.

Then in '85, hurricane Delores cranked out a double overhead,

95-degree heat wave, Brooks Street Classic. Brooks Street prefers a

165 to 180 degree, 10 to 11-second interval Baja swell to really

shine. Then you can ride all the way from second reef to the Oak

Street public access stairs. John Parlette and a young hottie grom

named Mark Watkins were ruling out there. Let's keep our fingers,

toes and eyes crossed and pray to the surf gods to get this thing on

the road soon. Stay tuned!

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