Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE WEDGE-BIG WAVE DAY!

 

After my near drowning on Saturday, and the passing of Newport Beach, CA. Lifeguard/Hero- Ben Carlson while saving a man's life; I realized how incredibly dangerous large swells can be even for the most experienced. I decided to head to "The Wedge" on Monday to take a few shots. The waves continued to swell to unbelievable heights. To my surprise there were several people actually charging out into the water, speedo's on (which isn't commonly seen in Orange County, CA., but I overheard them saying that trunks always fall off) and fins in hand, excited to ride these monsters.
Can you say, "CRAZY!"
Seriously, there were bodysurfers as young as 12-13 chasing these incredible waves. They were obviously very experienced even at their young age, along with "The Wedge Crew" (a group of seasoned bodysurfing veterans.)
In between the click of my lens, I found myself praying for them, setting my camera aside to scour the white wash waiting for them to pop up from the humongous waves that had just crashed over them. My anxiety level was definitely heightened as I recalled being tumbled, thrown and disoriented under water; losing perception of up or down under waves half that size.
The crowds excitement and adrenaline kicked in as each giant grew to enormous height...taller and taller. They would gasp and stare in awestruck wonder. Even captivating these three active young boys attention.
It was definitely something to behold in person. The lifeguards coned off the area to make sure that inexperienced people didn't get too close and risk getting swept out to sea. They stood along the shoreline, ready and waiting to risk their lives for someone in need. I'm sure it was a difficult day for them while still mourning the loss of their fallen brother. 
Until you see these waves in person you can't begin to understand the volume of a lifeguard's job.
I was lucky enough to get there before the huge crowds arrived and found a perfect front row spot. 
 
To see more pictures from the day or order prints...stop by my website:
LISA PETRARCA PHOTOGRAPHY

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A RARE DAY MOON COMING OUT OF THE WATER'S EDGE!


Anthony saw a rare day moon coming out of the waters edge today while GoPro'ing. The waves were big and rough when I decided to join him in the water w/my boogie board while he was filming. I stood at the edge a little nervous because it looked pretty brutal out there (original plan to snorkel got instantly cancelled w/the conditions.) The waves that were crashing into shore were knocking everyone off their feet & dragging them in, clothes and all.

Not one to be a sissy, I headed out. Anthony started to film me as we talked, when all of a sudden we realized a set had rolled on top of us & we were in the impact zone. I ditched the board to go under. It was so strong I heard my neck crack & thought, "Hope I'm not paralyzed!" I popped up only w/seconds to breathe before I was hit again and sent rolling on the bottom. The waves rolled in...one right after the other, "4" MORE TIMES! I was smashed over & over again. I thought..."This is it?" I have no more air." As I prayed under water, "Jesus, please save me," the last wave finally rolled me up, instead of sucking me back out, close enough to where I could touch. I never even had a moment in between the waves to try to grab my board. I was lucky to gasp even a little bit of air while trying to spit out the salt water I'd swallowed.

As I struggled to pull my bathing suit up, I guess I only managed to get the front up because Anthony finally realized that I was in trouble (he'd made it out of the impact zone after the 1st wave...every man for himself) when he turned around to see my big ol' bare butt hanging out as I scrambled for the safety of the beach! LOL!!! Yep, I was a flasher today. I seriously was so out of it I had to sit at the edge of the beach to regroup. WOW! I need to listen to my instincts (rough, brutal, large surf) DO NOT ENTER! 

video
**Disclaimer: I walked past a group of about 7, 18-20 year old boogie boarders/body surfers who had been caught in like me & they were saying to each other, "That was crazy, the only way I got out of there was getting lucky enough to catch one of the waves in. They didn't go back in again after that either! I'm not such a big sissy SEE! Just a flasher!!! Anthony even came in after a while and said, "WOW that was rough!"
Hahahhaha my life! 

Here's my hubby's reaction after getting held under for a while too:
video


 

***Check out the war wound on my arm...not sure if the leash got wrapped around me or what?