Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Red Tide

At the end of the day yesterday, I went to the beach to look at the surf.

We were hit with a "red tide" and the breaking waves had a bloody look to them. Bloody waves and strong winds made it look a little scary and I didn't go out.

This morning, I got to the break before sunrise and things had calmed a bit, but not too much. The red tide was still blooming but I decided to give it a whirl anyway, fully expecting to get punished by what the local surf report was describing as "gnarly" waves.

Paddling out was tough. I got slapped in the face immediately and spit out that red algae shit. It was disgusting. Making matters worse, I opted for the long board today since I thought the swell was going to dissipate a bit overnight. It's more difficult to get under large waves with a longboard than a shortboard. The swell hadn't dissipated at all. 4 and 5 foot waves were common with a couple rogue sets of 6+ footers out there.

I was turtle rolling left and right, huffing, puffing and paddling. It's amazing how much stronger my arms are now than they were only 2 months ago when I began surfing again. There was finally a lull to the waves and with a few strong paddles, I was "outside."

Normally, you do most of the hard work on the "inside" where the waves are breaking and rushing the shore. However, even "outside" there was a lot of work to be done today. I was getting pushed west very quickly and had to expend a lot of energy paddling east every 5-minutes or so just to keep my place.

The winds were too strong, the current fast and the waves choppy. I was getting tired. It was like trading 100,000 shares for $100 in profit. Tough and frustrating. I guess that's why it was just me and my buddy out there.

In the end, I caught one excellent ride and wiped out twice. As I paddled back in through the red sludge I smelled strongly of the tide. I walked out of the water and onto the shore. I removed my leash and took a look back at the angry waves. I was out of breath but I felt like I had accomplished something.

Anyway, "red tide" has also washed up on my trading desk. I hit my loss limit for the day... I am done. Score one for the "haters."

After my massive August I don't see any reason to piss money away during these low volume headfakes... soon enough the volume should return and make this a market worth trading again. Until then, I've decided to trade extremely lightly... hopefully volume comes back after the Fed meeting.


Bluedog said...

A bad day surfing is better than a good day of most anything else. ;) You should post a pic of your longboard.

I'm treading lightly until the Fed meeting. V is too low. It's a chopfest out there.

Dinosaur Trader said...


I don't have a digital camera but if I can find one to borrow, I will.


artha said...


What? You don't own a digital camera? You truly are a dinosaur! :)

BTW, how is your family doing? Is your wife feeling better? And how was your daughter's day at the nursery school?

Dinosaur Trader said...


In many ways I truly am a Dinosaur...

Thanks for asking about the family. Judy feels 100%, so we're assuming it was a (very) rogue virus that hit her. Still, we'll get another blood test in a month to check for the tick-borne illnesses because those symptoms can come and go.

As for my daughter, she's having a tough time separating thus far. I'm sure this will improve in time. It's hard to watch them struggle though.

Hope all is well with you,