Size matters (not always)!
It has been in late September 2008 that I was hunting a “ghost swell” at Denmark’s North Sea coast. It was a time when we just recently had discovered that some Atlantic swells make the 90 degree turn around Scotland to reach the Danish shores as high period groundswell. We were just learning to read the forecasts accurately in search of these swells and that learning process involved quite a couple of failures.
That day trip of mine back then also looked like a failure for a long time. I had spent the night at my favourite jetty and woke up to a hazy day with a very light offshore. To my delight there were some lines out at sea that pulsed at the low frequency that is typical for long period ground swells. But it soon turned out that these lines were very limited in size and had very long lulls in between sets.
This wouldn´t have been a problem as these ground swells carry quite a bit of energy despite their tiny size. But they have to meet suited bottoms at the correct angle to get transformed into something at least surfable with a longboard. Which they didn´t. At least in the morning. So I spent a long time of the day strolling around and waiting for the tide to change and hoping the swell would get a notch more size and checking different sandbars and all the time hoping that things would come together. In vain.