Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bertha's big waves are totally gnarly - dude - in Cocoa Beach

Boy walks out with dog.

Wet boy walks in with wet dog.

A woman hundreds of miles away made me want to live on the beach again. The traffic I went through to get to the beach, however, changed my mind.

verticalsea0363Bertha, the female hurricane traveling at a snail's pace near Bermuda, kicked up some gnarly waves. "Gnarly," being the operative word, should be defined. The Urban Dictionary says it's "an adjective used to describe a noun, in which said noun could be alternatively described as 'totally sick', 'radical', or 'wicked'."

Adjectives that describe nouns are the best. So here, I think "gnarly" is a telling descriptor Saturday for the waves, the sand, the air and Cocoa Beach, all of which are nouns.

Bob Freeman, surfing columnist for FLORIDA TODAY, said there would be some fun surfing this weekend, but it turned out to be some of the best of the year. It might not get better than this in 2008.

I don't surf, but I did appreciate the size of the waves that crashed onto the beach. I took my camera to Cocoa Beach yesterday to document it. I snapped away for quite some time, but no one cared. One lady walked up to me because she couldn't find someone and wanted me to use my telephoto lens to look for a surfer in a blue hat. "I'm supposed to make sure he's not dead," she said. I couldn't find him, but she later tracked him down, came back and showed me that he was all right.

My first Florida home was in a bug-infested and leaky apartment in south Cocoa Beach. The shoddy apartment and the effect that salt air had on my car, forced me to move inland.

The biggest drawback Saturday was the half-hour it took to get in and out of the big surfing portions of the beach - near the Cocoa Beach Pier and Ron Jon Surf Shop.

But it didn't matter too much. The beach was relaxing. The breeze was cooling to my skin. And the high waves were soothing and fun. Too bad I forgot my sunscreen. Though it was somewhat cloudy, I left the beach looking like a steamed Maine lobster.

That I am from the North and a virtual caveman because of my night hours at the paper, I'm not used to such sunshine in the Sunshine State. But I could definitely get used to it.

Ready to roll.

Plotting a plan of attack.

Two guys trying.

Two guys and a girl trying. They realized they shouldn't have all tried at the same time, and each one ditched into the surf before standing up.

Getting some good action.

Crashing all around him.

Ahh, the nice aqua-green of the Atlantic.

The youngsters tried their boards in shallower water.

It doesn't look like he'll stay on that board much longer.

Nice balance.

It's going good for him.

Oops, maybe not. Where did he go?

Back flops are worse than the belly variety.

Actually, this guy made an excellent recovery after the wave bounced him upward, and he landed back on his board. Just kidding.

He fell on his face soon after this.

Boarding and smiling for the camera. That's talent.

Looking for sunken treasure.

Not sure why all the kids were boys.

I just liked the water in this one.

She was kind of timid of the waves, as she tried to take photos of them.

Instead of watching the surfers, the lifeguards watch each other.

He gives the day two thumbs up. Me, too.


Wordnerdy said...

How did that dog not drown?

Andrew Knapp said...

It had a life jacket on, too. Of course, it matched the dog's hair, so you can't really see it. But it's there. Trust me.

Andrew Knapp said...

And, as a footnote to this post, my original spelling of "narley" was replaced with "gnarly" after getting an F-book comment and two e-mails about it from fellow sticklers. I had to get them off my back.

However, I'm not so certain they're correct. "Gnarly," as a reference to waves, was meant to indicate bumpy surf conditions, as the root word "gnarl" might suggest: Choppy seas makes for gnarly surf.

The further bastardization of the slang word to mean "cool" in reference to "totally rad" clean waves, therefore, is technically incorrect. That's why other spellings ("narley" or knarley") came into play - to avoid such conflict.

If anyone has any further insight, please fire back.

Anonymous said...

"Ahh, the nice aqua-green of the Atlantic."

The Atlantic doesn't have that nice color everywhere. How about: Ahh, the nice aqua-green of the Central Florida Atlantic.


Andrew Knapp said...

It's just a descriptor of how it looked that day. I've seen it that color in many other places, not just in Florida.

Andrew Knapp said...

The surfers linked to my companion blog: