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Maverick Waves at Half Moon Bay.

A view of the Maverick waves from the hill beside the observatory.

The wind was blowing so hard we could barely stand up straight on the bluffs overlooking the beach. After holding the camera in my bare hands for only five minutes I started to lose the sensation in my fingers. I am sure if I had stood there for 20 minutes like that I would have caught hypothermia. And yet only a few dozen yards down the hill it was so warm people were walking around in t-shirts and cut-off shorts.

Only a few yards to the left of the camera several birds were flying against the wind. They were moving so slowly you could have almost kept up with their progress just by walking, except you would have been fighting the same wind. If we had had a pole long enough we could have reached out and caught them in a net.

The swells were running 15-20 feet. The waves were breaking in the 25-30 foot range. They were following each other so closely that if you were not knocked over by the first the next one or the one behind that would be sure to get you before you could catch your breath from the first wave.

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