Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Wedge

The Wedge is a surf break in Newport Beach, California. It's normally a pretty calm and benign place to surf, with ankle high waves, soft breezes and plenty of sun. But when hurricanes blow up out of the Gulf of Tehuantepec and head in a northwesterly direction they send powerful waves north to California. Earlier this year, Hurricane Marie did that and the Wedge came to life with surf up to 20' high, bringing out big-wave surfers and fools.

The Wedge was created when the Newport Harbor jetty was built in 1936.

The unique shape of the big waves at the Wedge is the result of waves reflecting off the rock jetty that forms the entrance to Newport Harbor and combining with the next wave in the set, to form massive peaks. My friend Craig Bothwell, a talented amateur photographer was there when the the surf got big and sent me these photos. For more info or to get higher resolution copies of these shots you can contact him directly at

Big wave rider or fool?

Dropping in.

Spin cycle

Looks a bit like the North Shore
Don't try this at home.

Wonder what the gulls thought of this guy. Notice his board on the face of the wave.

Back aboard Finisterra, we left Catalina last Friday and decided to spend a night at anchor in Dana Point on our way to San Diego. We left Dana Point just before dawn the next morning and arrived at Southwestern YC at 1530 Saturday afternoon. We spent the next four days hanging out with friends and doing some last minute provisioning, and buying an inflatable SUP. Early Thursday morning Finisterra departed San Diego, and crossed the line into Mexican waters at 0900. In the early afternoon the wind piped up to about 20 knots as we approached the harbor in Ensenada, where we will stay a few days to check into the country, get phones and enjoy some fish tacos and Pacifico's before heading south toward Puerto Vallarta.

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