First storm of season brings rain and filth

November 14, 2002


The first really big storm of the season hit last week, pumping up

the surf and bringing us needed rain. We got as much water in two

days as we did the whole season, it seemed like.

That's the good news.

The bad news is, the first big storm usually blows everything out

of all the storm drains and river mouths. All the garbage, pesticides


and urban runoff all lead to the sea, making the water at a lot of

beaches murky, riddled with debris and with heightened bacteria


The county officials or the lifeguards will usually give out

advisory warnings if the beaches are really badly polluted. Most say

it is wise to stay out of the water for 72 hours after a severe

storm, especially the first one.

After a few days, the debris washes up on the beaches, so you can

go in the water without having to worry about getting hit by a log or

something. The bad water flushes out with the swell, diluting the

pollution, and the ocean should hopefully return to its normal color

and quality.

Make sure to rinse off after a surf in these conditions, and put

hydrogen peroxide on sores to lessen chances of getting an infection.

Some gargle with antiseptics and put vinegar in their ears to kill

the germs.

The huge surf had that outer reef by the cliffs breaking at the

big wave spot known as "Boxcars." Surf City big wave riders Jeff

Deffenbaugh and Mike Morgan caught a few bombs out there that were

15-foot plus. It was super consistent and a tough paddle out, Morgan


And just when you thought you were in the right lineup spot --

boom -- a macker would come in and try to clean you up. Also, an

unknown jet skier got caught inside and his ski took some big

doughnuts, as it got beat all the way to the beach.

The Oceanside Pro was held at the Oceanside Pier on the south side

last weekend. They endured a bit of Mother Nature's natural forces

and actually had some good 4- to 6-foot-plus surf, for the event.

Californian veteran Pete Rocky came up with the win, taking the final

and edging out Australian Heath Walker.

Ripping the whole event, but getting a little wave starved in the

final, was East Coaster Ben Bourgeois, who finished third. Hawaiian

Jessie Merle Jones was fourth. Huntington's Jeff Deffenbaugh and

Shaun Ward made the semis, and Brett Simpson made it to the

quarterfinals with some great rides.

Did I hear a full roundhouse air buster blowing the tail out

coming off the top, pulling it, wow, for one of the moves of the


The National Scholastic Surfing Assn. will host its Explorer

Season surf contest at the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier

this weekend. It's definitely worth a check.

And I hear Mammoth Mountain opens this week for you snowboarders,

but still too warm locally for any snow. See ya.

* RICK FIGNETTI is a seven-time West Coast champion, has

announced the U.S. Open of Surfing for the last nine years and has

been the KROQ-FM (106.7) surfologist for the last 17 years. He owns a

surf shop on Main Street. You can reach him at (714) 536-1058.

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