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Clean Lines, Dirty Water

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An idyllic view.
All was calm and peaceful in Goleta the days following the Montecito mudslide disaster.
But the community was still in shock.

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The sky was clear and the winds were calm as the details trickled out
and we learned how many friends had been impacted by the powerful forces of nature..

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And the waves continued to roll in.

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But the lineups were not as crowded as usual.
It may have been the freeway closure, or everyone was stunned and hooked to the news feed….

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Or, it could have been this.
The sudden powerful rain on January 9th flushed out all the creeks,
and the caca was still floating around.

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And this didn’t help.
Given that we were in a legit emergency situation, the county needed to get rid of a lot of muck, fast.
They were still digging human beings out and that was the top priority,
so Goleta Beach and Carpinteria Beach were chosen as dump locations for mud.

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The natural reaction for people was to freak out about dumping polluted soil into the ocean, but given the
extreme situation, and an approval from Heal the Ocean, most folks realized it had to be done.
An emergency permit was given to allow up to 300,000 cubic yards of sediment to be dumped.

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But smart folks didn’t swim anywhere near the dump sites…

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A few days later, January 16th,  another nice swell rolled in, and surfers paddled out to greet it.

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Clean lines with some sizable sets.

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Pretty epic and empty at some spots that don’t break too often.

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Lots of surf and a beautiful sunset.

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And plenty of onlookers.

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Over a week after the rain storm, lots of area beaches were still “closed”.

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But guess what, lots of surfers didn’t care.
There were still waves coming in, and the water had cleared up nicely.

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Despite what the experts said, it looked to be just another picture perfect Goleta day.

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Experienced local surfers like Vinny Leonelli know the best things to do
when the water quality is questionable.

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Keep your head out of the water…

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Try not to splash too much…

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Keep your eyes closed….

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And follow the session with a fat burrito.

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Not sure of the science behind that, but it seems to work for Vinny…

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And he seems to know what he’s doing.

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Carlos Castro has his own technique for not getting sick after surfing in questionable water.
He went and got a tetanus shot!

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But that was mostly because he gashed his heel on his fin and was bleeding the whole session.

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He seems to have survived the incident.

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Asked later if it was worth the risk, he stated,”totally”.

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Joseph Yee is another excellent Goleta surfer that rarely misses a swell.

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Yee shapes his own boards and they seem to work really well….

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We wanted to ask his secret to staying healthy, but every time we got close
he threw buckets of polluted water at us….

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So that was about it for surf in January. Since then, it has been pretty flat and zero rain.

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Let’s hope February brings rain, and some surf….

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Viva Goleta.