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Down Under

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There’s always surf Thanksgiving day. Right? That’s the old wives tale anyways.
So we decided to go somewhere exotic for this Thanksgiving. We chose a land far to the south,
down under the belly of the beast, between two counties called San Diego and Orange.

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Prepared to sit in a crowded line up with thousands of hip So Cal surf rats scratching for waves,
we cracked the dawn early to beat the lazy folk.

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At a spot so famous we need not name it, we paddled out alone…..and waited.
For the masses, and some surf….
We were a few days early for the Thanksgiving swell.

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Before long, a crowd began to show up. First just a few, then more and more.
Zipping around in obvious rush to get somewhere.
These were true locals, not exactly the So Cal hipsters we were expecting.

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A feeding frenzy was on, and we sat there alone, no other humans around, birds of all sizes whizzing by.
We watched as the bait ball slowly crept closer and closer.
And the thought comes; something big is causing those little fish to swim to the surface.
Something big, heading towards us….

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As soon as we got right close to the epicenter of the action, it all died down.
Just simmered out.
Then two humans paddled out.

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And the crowd dispersed.

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Interesting side note: They got some cool graffiti down there…

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Thanksgiving morning did not disappoint. There was surf.
We planned to meet some friends at a more remote spot, but first we had to pay our respects
to one of the most hallowed grounds of California surfing.
San O.

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Such a classic spot.
And having read so many stories about this place just gave it a mystical, almost holy feel.
This crappy photo tries to capture a shrine of sorts. Leaning behind the tiki is a Yater.
Santa Barbara has made it’s presence felt.

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Just the early birds were out, but a steady flow of  surfers were constantly rolling in.

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And some funky looking  surf vehicles….
Especially the one on the left.

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Just a few minutes from the hustle and bustle, are a series of trails.
We like trails. And we like empty waves. So we surfed here a couple of days.

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Nothing better than surfing with just a couple of friends….. and no one else.
Never  dreamed this would be possible down south.

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And for that, we were thankful……among other things.

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Dropping in on friends is called “Party Wave”.

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One of my buddies got out for a breather and picked my camera up.
Just screwing around, he a took a few shots and captured dolphins surfing!
These shots would have been awesome, if not for that darn focus factor…

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Even still, pretty cool.

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So in conclusion let this be said:
No matter where you live, and how crowded it is, if you put in a little extra effort,
you can still get a peaceful and relaxing surf session in.

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Even in the O.C.

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Additional photos by
Doug Partie and
Chris Wittak