“When a movie cuts to a beach shot with waves breaking in the background, it matters not how dramatic the cinematic moment, how drastic and ingenious the plot turn — my mind is immediately absent from the narrative proceedings. I’m off on an imaginary surf check, assessing the size and health of the swell up there on the silver screen, noting the wind direction and state of the tide, maybe muttering for the actors to please step aside a moment so I can see if that boomer behind them holds its shape through the inside section.
“For a surfer, this Sea of Cortez beside which I am camped is an altogether different sort of piece of water from the Pacific Ocean, the illusoriness of the boundary distinction notwithstanding. (Big Blue is a contiguous presence, worldwide.) This is despite the fact that the two may appear identical to an observer standing on the beach — both are wet and stretch to the visible horizon.
“There is a corollary to the assertion that the sea is at any given moment capable of being something other than what it is: bodies of water, like human beings, are not created equal, in terms of what they may be. The Sea of Cortez, for example, is largely incapable of producing good surf, due to its limited breadth. This narrowness results in what surfers and oceanographers refer to as a short fetch; “fetch” is the reach of unbroken water across which wind can blow in order to raise a groundswell.
“By contrast, the Pacific Ocean has a fetch of many thousands of miles. Looking south from my last west coat campsite, for example, there is nothing of any significance to impede the production of a groundswell until we come upon the pack ice of Antarctica, some 8,000 miles distant. So even when the sea is flat, you may still find yourself gazing horizonward with an alertness in your surfing soul, for — however many miles out there, however many days’ journey away — there likely is a slew of waves in transit in your direction at that very moment.”
–from In Search of Captain Zero by Allan Weisbecker
Last week voters chose to ride the magic carpet, as Steppenwolf took 40 percent of the vote.Â It was a close match, as the Beatles followed them with 35 percent and the Who pulled in a respectable 25 percent. Join us again next week for our first ever VIDEO Song-Off as we count down a set of videos that feature high school cheerleaders. You know you don’t want to miss this!