I probably had one of my rawest encounters with the ocean on the Santa Cruz trip. On Thursday the group hiked to Smugglers cove (Liam and I ran), this large round bay faces south, unlike Scorpion Ranch which faces northeast where we spend most of the trip. What’s important is not the bay itself but that hundreds of miles south of the bay a hurricane was(still is) active off of Baja. Hurricanes and storms such as this one generate 90% of swells worldwide, and this storm is no exception. For days large lumps of water have traveled hundreds of miles along the coast bringing warm water and very good waves to Mexico and California. The swell and bay direction created a very interesting experience in the water. Large closeout walls slammed into shores in sets of 4 to 5 waves with faces that peaked (to my best guess) at 7 or 8 feet. Liam, Zimo, and I got the opportunity to swim out into these waves ducking and swimming under them and even catching the smaller ones with our bodies, or the boogie board in Liam’s case. This experience is easily one of the coolest I’ve had in the water because of the lack of wind and large swell, the waves were perfectly clean giants and they were absolutely gorgeous. Each set was a new masterpiece of nature and each wave defined the ocean’s beauty. I love waves.