Marine Layer

Where the living is easy


Early morning, before sunrise, along coastal Southern California, the air becomes dense and a layer of fog threads through the mountains, beach houses, and atmosphere. The effect creates a moving painting of a landscape many surfers and surf-lovers experience on their search for the perfect spot and wave before dawn. The sun eventually burns through the layer, and there's nothing more beautiful than a California day out at sea.


Seagulls fly overhead, swoop down for the kill. The water is frigid but that doesn't matter. The pure adrenaline of catching that wave and riding it in for all to see, better yet for no one to see, provides the driving force. With the energy of the ocean pushing and pumping, there's nothing that compares to the thrill.

Before the outings, surfers feed their bodies with a healthy breakfast to energize them for hours of adventure. Some favorite breakfasts are oaks, berries, and tea or coffee, or omelettes with vegetables, fresh fruits, and tea or coffee. Caffeine is a necessity. Others stop on the way to pick up food. There’s something to eating while driving. The salty air mixes with the food and makes everything taste that much more delicious. Surfing is a way of life.

The Pacific Ocean feels cold all year round, except maybe when it gets up to the 90s during the summer. Dress warmly. Thank goodness for wetsuits. Put that on before taking that dip. Bring the essentials, surfer board, wax, wetsuit, waterproof sunscreen, and food and water, lots of water. Something to hide car keys helps too. Pack everything into the surf mobiles and the journey begins.

California's coasts along Pacific Coast Highway offers surfers small to medium waves to practice their air game. From Huntington Beach, Newport, Ventura (Hello Dane Reynolds!), to Malibu, surfers proclaim their love affair with the sea. The sea is magnificent. It's alive and dangerous. It's all about one for oneself out at sea. Surfers venture out into the ocean of sea creatures. Sharks, sting rays, and other poisonous life forms pose threat, yet that appreciation for the greatness of the ocean and all that it provides keeps surfers coming back. The sun rises again.