June 20th, 2017, actually June 19th, we got on the phone with the Raw Surf crew, Kyle, Patrick, and Ant, to discuss the impeding swell from the South in the Caribbean from Tropical Storm Cindy that formed relatively quickly. This storm was heading up into the Gulf! We discussed whether to go surf on the west coast of Florida, where in Sarasota would see offshore winds, with a waist to chest high waves. The Panhandle however was supposed to receive the brunt of the swell, being it was in the direction from which the swell was coming from. This was supposed to give us 6-8 foot waves and clean conditions, as long as we stayed west of Pensacola beaches.
All of us but one met up in Orlando at 2am, where we would head to Ocala, and meet up with one other guy who was coming up from Tampa. And thankfully when we met up with him at 5am, he had just purchased a newer luxury SUV, at least luxury to us. So it was a much more comfortable ride the last 4 hours of the drive west toward Panama City Beach. The rain was on and off with the outer bands from the storm approaching, but we didn’t get lost coming into Mexico Beach, where we were hoping the surf would be big…
Well it didn’t work out that way because either the swell wasn’t filling in enough yet, or we weren’t at an exposed enough of a spot. The way Mexico beach lays out, is it is almost like a giant lagoon, or cove where its protected by outer landmass. We checked around and ran into another buddy, Christian, who had a good idea of where to look, and suggested we go up around the corner north a bit, to Cape San Blas to give it surf check. By the way, its been raining now the entire time, and were hungry, so we went and grabbed a bite for breakfast at a local southern style breakfast restaurant in Mexico beach before we headed out.
So we drove north about 30 minutes in the rain, and found a pull off at Cape San Blas near some houses with ledges, where everyone seemed to be at surfing. It was nice location with a pavilion, and I could stand under cover with the camera in the rain to get some photos. Thankfully we listened to Christian because when we got to Cape San Blas, it was about chest high solid, with barrels all about! Stoked! Though it started to get weird after the tide came in. It almost went flat! So we packed up, grabbed some lunch at a local beach bar, and then headed up toward St. Andrews state park, which is closer to Panama City Beach.
When we arrived at St. Andrews it was pouring down rain! So bad that without water housing, I was unable to bring the camera out and take photos. Which was a real bummer because it was PUMPING right next to the rocks!!! 8ft sets and barrels all eve! Wow! Got so many tubes though, and memories. All the boys had fun and surfed the park until dark, and made our trek back home. I didn’t want to leave, and surf the next day, but the flooding was coming, and we had other places to be! Surgical strike mission all the way! Yew!