rom the grassy meadow of Hammonds Reef, the
lineup is crowded with eager surfers chasing down an early winter
swell. There’s a break between sets as they sit motionless in the glassy
lineup scanning the horizon for approaching waves.
Beyond the reef, the calm is broken by the distant barks of dog-like California sea lions.
Torpedoing through the placid waters, their barks bellow toward Montecito’s best surf spot.
Montecito’s cluster of surf spots are situated along a two-mile stretch of coast laden with fun
right-handers. From east to west – Fernald Point, Miramar, Hammonds Reef and Bonnymede
– breaks are shared by surfers and marine mammals alike. Anyone who frequents those spots will
tell you of encounters they’ve experienced with the real rulers of the surf: seals and sea lions and
countless pods of coastal bottlenose dolphins.
A late afternoon session at Hammonds can be a memorable one. A four- to six-foot wave looms on
by Chuck Graham
photos by David Pu’u
On Ocean Waves