Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weather Phenomena or Public Health Emergency?

Late Tuesday (early Wednesday!)
I wanted to give a Shout Out to Jeweler, who posted this to my Facebook Wall today: "Yep Dave. It snowed all of Monday. It looks like there is a giant sucker hole over the summit today though."

That was his answer to my earlier comment on Jeweler's Status Update. Jeweler: "Depression hurts everyone. I want winter to end" he posted. I commented: "is it still snowing up there? That's three Mondays in a row!"

Tuesday, Jeweler posted this Status Update: "I heard the fishing is good close to me. If the rain stops, I'll get there this evening." When my blog posts Thursday, I'll put the links to my last two posts on Jeweler's wall.

Everyone forgets to "think outside the box" once in a while...even more so when El Niño is holding sway, and gray Winter-like weather persists deep into spring. For Hard Core Groomers, it's much worse. We suffer the Double Whammy...lousy weather and not being able to get into our tractors and deal with it! The old saw says: "An idle mind is the Devil's playground" That goes in spades for us groomers on Summer Hiatus!

Looking at the Climate Prediction Center's 90 Day Outlook Discussion, there isn't a whole lot for Jeweler to hang his hat on short term. Eventually, Spring will come, El Niño is in decline now. The CPC says there a better than even chance that we'll be having a hot Summer...once it gets here!

I remember the last round of Strong El Niño influence on the High Sierra Spring and Summer...It had to be late May or even early June. Winter had already hung on way too long! I was standing in the Check-Out line at the Albertson's with a half dozen other Truckee Locals. Everyone was looking down at their shoes or the floor...there was a lot of fidgeting about, it was creepy quiet, and nobody wanted to make eye contact. They especially didn't want to gaze out the front windows at the falling snow! I remember realizing right then that this was much more than a weather was becoming a Mental Health Emergency!

Truckee finally emerged like an animal awakening from hibernation to enjoy yet another fine High Sierra Summer.

That October, SturgeUrge and I were widening our horizons in Southern Baja. We visited Rancho Leonero on Baja's East Cape for the first time. The Ranch is one of the venerable "Old Baja" style fishing resorts scattered along the rural East Cape. The warm Mexican hospitality of the sleepy fishing villages around these resorts make for good times, and subtly civilize even the most grizzled traveling anglers.

When we arrived at the Ranch, after the three hour jitney ride from Cabo's International Airport, we stepped into the warm, lurid tropical afternoon. A brisk wind was blowing out of the North. We settled into our room, and enjoyed a few cervesas while we unpacked and started rigging our tackle. Tackle Ho-ing is a great way to spend a sultry tropical afternoon...winding down from a long day of travel with a frosty Pacifico...putting the diamond file to big game hooks can be very relaxing...setting the drag on a Big Game Reel with a 50lb hand scale always helps melt away the hustle and bustle of International Travel.

On our way down to the Dining Room, we noticed the wind had freshened. The Sea of Cortez looked like San Francisco Bay at 3PM in the dead of Summer...the sheep were in the meadow...Big Time! After a couple of hours of getting to know our fellow anglers in the cantina, we retired back to our room, and the winds were still howling.

At breakfast the next morning, the whitecaps were everywhere on the usually calm Cortez. We've learned over the years to never fish the day after we travel...we're too good at outsmarting ourselves on the water to add travel fatigue to our quarry's list of allies!

After watching the fleet head out for the day, we returned to our room to finish rigging. After lunch we took our light tackle down to the beach to do some shore fishing. The wind was still blowing out of the North. There was serious surf! Normally this far up the Cortez, there's no surf to speak of. Today, there were so many combers that we couldn't cast far enough to get past them!

When the anglers who did get out told their stories over dinner we realized we were the butt of Mother Nature's cruelest practical joke...not only had her Grande El Niño run Winter almost to the Summer Solstice, but down here in North America's Tropics, El Niño was now bringing Winter's steady Northerlies to the East Cape six weeks early! Our first trip to the fabled waters of the East Cape was scuttled by these winds.

The folks at Rancho Leonero were more than gracious. They refunded the rest of our week, arranged lodging and a boat charter in Cabo, and had their handyman/jitney driver drive us into Cabo where we had a great time catching Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado and some Sierra Mackeral. The cab ride was epic...SturgeUrge and I will never forget that ride, and coupled with a magic time in Cabo, we had our best Baja Adventure to date...but that's a story for another day!

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