Next stop of the trip, via a Half Moon Bay that was so foggy you couldn't see your hand in front of your face - let alone the possibility of the sea, was Santa Cruz.
A brilliant place, it's got that shabby, slightly neglected sea-side town feel, so reminiscent of many places back here, that just gives it a certain character rather than the twee cuteness of towns like Santa Barbara. I loved it.
So first day, we check out Steamer Lane, it was looking nice in the morning, glassy, shoulder-high, but with no boards, again we could only watch.
My bro, soon to be heading back to Canada was insistent he get in for a surf with us. The wind had got up a bit and there wasn't a chance I was going to attempt to ingratiate myself with the locals on a ten foot turd of epoxy at the lane, so the Bics at Cowells it was to be. This place, at the time mere knee high, was party wave central. Drop ins and straight-handers were order of the day, with no hard feelings and plenty of smiles. If you were lucky enough to score one to yourself though, unbelievably long rides. I imagine on a bigger day it'd be log heaven.