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York Harbor, 7/20/23

Jim Snyder

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I guess when you post a trip the morning before there's a chance it will end up a solo venture. It was a day of blue skies, puffy clouds and mother ducks schooling their ducklings in coasteering. The predicted swell had been downgraded to 1' so I had given up on the possibility of surfing, although I still planned to visit the dedicated "multi use area" at Long Beach.

Having chosen to launch at max flow it was slow going leaving the harbor. Approaching open ocean, it was evident that the ocean was bigger than predicted, but being solo I wasn't going to be taking many risks.

I decided to leave the Black Rocks for the return trip as the action around East Point looked spectacular.


I found one pour over that looked inviting. Sadly the water sucked out and left me touching rocks. It's amazing how graceful these boats can be in the water but put a couple little rocks touching them and they're dead in the water. Fortunately the next wave was big enough to clear me out without mishap.

Now in the open ocean it was clear that 1' long period swells were the norm but occasional sets of 2 to 3 footers were coming in. The water between York and Long Sands is pretty shallow and rocky so I had to be alert for large waves popping up. 


As I approached the designated surf area it was clear that I wasn't likely to get any rides. There were lots of board surfers and the beach was crowded with swimmers. The surfers were nice and offered to clear a lane for me to have a go but the larger waves were close to 3' and I feared not being able to get off before the beach so I declined.


Determined to get at least one ride I headed south and finally noticed a stretch of what I thought was private and without swimmers. I caught a nice wave and rode all the way into the foam pile and had turned to point back out, letting the dying waves wash over me and waiting for a lull to paddle back out. Then a lifeguard appeared behind me telling me I couldn't be in that area. He was nice about it and even asked if I needed help getting back out but I declined.

Because of the swell direction even the rocks inside East Point were fun, although I avoided the Black Rocks as by now the water was so high that they were providing little protection or safe zones. I treated myself to an ice cream cone in York to cap off a great day.

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