Mid-ocean storm’s giant waves draw visitors, warnings

Visitors traveled tens of miles to be there when swells traveling thousands of miles — whipped up by high-energy storms over the ocean — hit the coast over the weekend.

A high surf advisory issued over the weekend, which remains in effect through at least 10 p.m. Sunday, had the National Weather Service cautioning beachgoers not to stray too close to the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard warned that waves as large as 22 feet could come ashore during the advisory period, and nearly every year there are stories of waves sweeping someone who thought they were safe off the rocks.

But despite the violence of the choppy conditions, including gusty winds and two-humans-high waves, many came out to watch wave after wave roll in and slap itself against sand or rock.

People sat in their cars drinking coffee next to the beach while others posted themselves on rocks, away from the action, just to watch.

Most stayed a safe distance back at Rockaway Beach Sunday, although there was one boogie boarder out in the water.

Fremont’s Halden and Renee Meyer came out specifically to check out the waves, although they said they had seen bigger.

“They’re fun to watch — it’s relaxing,” Halden said, echoing a common response among those along the water’s edge.

Jim and Ruth of Concord came for Jim’s 56th birthday and nearly lost a camera as one wave crashed and sent a wall of water at Jim Cameron, soaking the backs of his legs as he turned to escape.

“It’s intriguing,” Ruth Cameron said of the waves. “You’re watching all the shapes and listening to the noise.”

“It’s so peaceful,” she added.

Weekend rains came from a storm front passing through, but the West Coast could have lingering showers through the entire week because of a series of storms headed this way, weather service forecaster Brooke Bingaman said.

Bingaman asked surfers and beachgoers to be aware of where they are and the spontaneity of the ocean.

“Whenever you have these big winter storms out over the ocean, the winds get really strong and the energy starts pushing the swells inland,” Bingaman said.

dsmith@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read