Surfline Man is going to Jalama and he’s going to be so stung.
Last time we saw him, Surfline Man was driving west on Highway 1, looking for Gaviota Pier.
He had big plans! Surfline Man was going to the Ranch and he was going to score the best waves ever.
It turns out that Surfline Man is very bad at reading a map.
Surfline Man is so confident that he will arrive at Gaviota Pier on time. But somehow, when he looks around, Surfline Man finds he is far from Gaviota.
Instead, he’s in Lompoc. It is very confusing.
How he ended up in Lompoc, Surfline Man is not at all certain. But it is certain that he is not at all in Gaviota. He should have been there an hour ago. Surfline Man missed the boat.
Surfline Man isn’t going to the Ranch today, that’s for sure. Surfline Man is very disappointed. He couldn’t wait to score such perfect waves with his brothers. But now there are no brothers and no perfect waves. What the hell is he going to do?
He can surely find a beach and go surfing. It’s California. There are beaches everywhere.
Surfline Man is sure he can find one. There must be waves somewhere around here. Determined, Surfline Man pulls out his Google Maps. Better late than never.
Jalama. Surfline Man swallows hard. Of course, he has heard of it. Cold water. Big fish. Big waves. He never actually went. Gathering his courage, Surfline Man decides that now is his chance!
Surfline Man goes to Jalama. Forget the ranch. Surfline Man’s day is going to be so much better!
No stupid boat ride. No angry locals. No exclusion at a random location which probably isn’t that great anyway. Surfline Man is going to Jalama and he’s going to be so stung.
All he has to do is follow Jalama Road to the end. While he has to admit he hasn’t run over it in all directions lately, Surfline Man is pretty sure he can even figure this one out.
Follow the road. Get stung. So simple.
Meanwhile, in Gaviota, things weren’t going exactly as planned.
The winch turned out to be more difficult to maneuver than expected, and the boys nearly knocked the Zodiac down. When loaded with bros and boards and the super essential beer cooler, the rubber dinghy sat low in the water. Like, super low.
And then the onshores started. Surfline Man loves his maps, charts and forecasts, but no one has ever had time to check the weather report. Sinking deep into the windswept seas, the dinghy moved very slowly.
Suddenly the beach appeared, and it was really, really close. Blown by the wind, bros and boards and beers washed up. Castaway!
The brothers had not prepared for this eventuality. Bumping and crushing on the rocks of the Razor, the boat quickly became well and truly stuck. Worse yet, he seemed to be deflating! Air began to escape from their boat. The brothers, so stranded!
They had arrived at the Ranch, of course. But now they had no boat, no surfing and no way to get home.
Resigned, the brothers hoist their sad and flabby Zodiac to the beach. They certainly don’t go further by boat.
Abandoned ship! They leave the boat on the beach. Nothing else to do.
Slipping their planks under their arms, the brothers walk painfully towards Gaviota. They don’t know how far they have to travel, or how long it will take them. At least the tide is low. For the moment.
Perfectly unaware of the desperate fate of his friends, Surfline Man sprints towards Jalama. Singing along with California Girls, Surfline Man can’t wait to see the waves! He’s heard so much about awesome barrels and stuff. Surfline Man is north of Point Conception, and he feels so at heart now.
At the end of Jalama Road, Surfline Man turns into a parking lot in Jalama.
To his surprise, it is almost empty. Surfline Man looks around in amazement. No crowds! He’s totally going to make so many waves. Solo time with the ocean is exactly what he needs.
Surfline Man gets out of the Sprinter and hurries to check the surf. He even can’t wait to see all the barrels out there, just waiting for him. His friends are going to be so jealous! They’re gonna wish they’d come here instead of this stupid ranch so badly.
Standing on the beach, Surfline Man notices the wind for the first time. The sand is flowing on the beach. Looking out to sea, Surfline Man sees an angry soup of swirling whitewater. Surfline Man is certainly not getting beaten today.
Surfing is so frustrating sometimes. You try so hard, and it doesn’t even work. Surfline Man has driven this far. He slept in his Sprinter between the highway and freight trains. And it doesn’t even get waves. Surfline Man is so sad now.
As he returns to Jalama Road, even the Beach Boys can’t console him. That’s not how it should work at all. Surfline Man reads charts and graphs. He always knows before he leaves. He always knows where to find waves. Skunk! Now he doesn’t even know what to do.
What he needs is a burrito. Surfline Man needs to find a taqueria ASAP. The burritos include. Burritos include when you miss the boat. Burritos include when you drive two days to surf and get nothing. Burritos make everything better.
When he reaches Santa Barbara, Surfline Man pulls the 101. There’s a taqueria with the best burritos ever. Surfline Man just needs to remember where he is. Waiting for a red light, he opens Google Maps and looks around. Immersed in his phone, Surfline Man does not notice that the light is turning green. Cars honk behind him.
Haley Street. That rings true. Surfline Man drives the Sprinter to the half-remembered taqueria. One-way streets confuse him. Nothing is going well today.
As he places his order, Surfline Man sees the “cash only” sign. Shit. Surfline Man rushes over to the Sprinter and digs into the glove box. He must have this burrito. He finds a pair of twenty safe from emergencies. It’s totally an emergency.
Reverently, Surfline Man unwraps his burrito. The first bite feels like heaven. It warms her soul or anything that warms the burritos. This is the best burrito ever.
The burrito revives the spirits of Surfline Man. This whole trip has been such a learning experience! Surfline Man will become a better surfer because of it. Even the best surfers get scammed sometimes! He just needs to get smarter. Next time it will be so different.
Surfline Man will read the weather reports carefully now. It is true that they do not have as many pretty colors as the surf forecast. Plus, they have so many swear words and the cards all have those weird twisty lines. It’s hard to make sense of it all. Sometimes a man has to work for what he wants.
Full of cars, the highway rolls slowly. Surfline Man spots a few Grateful Dead and settles down. He’s so above the Beach Boys. They are so cliché. Surfline Man is going to listen to real music now.
The Grateful Dead! They are like so creative.
Time flies as the Sprinter moves along the road. Surfline Man isn’t really making any progress, but he doesn’t care. No matter. Just give him good tunes and a great burrito, and he will make it.
As the sun sets, Surfline Man reaches Rincon. From the freeway, he looks over his shoulder just in time to see a set roll across the creek. Gold-tinted spray shoots through the air as head-high waves fall on the cobblestones. A light breeze tickles the faces of the wave. It’s a California dream.
Surfline Man plans to turn around. He could paddle and get waves. But as soon as he thinks about it, the perfect golden light turns gray. Surfline Man is too late.
I should have been here an hour ago.