I spent Christmas up in the San Francisco bay area and was able to hit Half Moon Bay for the first time from a yak. 1st day was great conditions, 2nd day got pretty rough once Mavericks started to break ... that is one LOUD break too my friends ... it was hitting 16-18' i'd guess - I can't imagine it when they have the surf competition and the waves are over 40 feet!
1st day got out at 7:30 ish - met a couple NCKA guys at HMB kayaks - its a pretty good paddle out of the harbor - 1/2 to 3/4 mile - and you have to navigate a couple different openings - kinda plays an optical illusion on ya the first time you go out as the jettys just blend together - just follow the boats and you will find where to go.
I didn't have anything to go on since every other time out of HMB I was on a boat and we went miles out looking for salmon or deep reefs. There isnt a lot of structure out there when you first get out of the harbor - pretty flat. I spent a couple hours mulling around looking for structure in 40-50' and scouting where I wanted to drop a crab hoop the next day - After not really finding anything remarkable for structure I started heading deeper to 60-70'. There I started finding some good stuff to work with. Fishing was pretty slow - only managed a few blues. I saw a humpback whale breach about 1/4 mile away and some dolphins playing around so all in all a pretty good day.
Day 2 - I went back and just wanted to do crabbing. Again I launched around 7:30 and all was calm in the harbor and a bit warmer than the morning before. As I got outside the harbor swell was already around 4 feet @ 10-12 seconds - prediction was for 5' glass at 18-20 seconds. I dropped the hoop 3 times and by the end of the 3rd pull it was a sloppy mess and getting over 6 foot swell. The Mavericks break pushes so much water in there it just bounces off the jetty and became like a washing machine. Each pull I got keeper crab but didn't feel comfortable out by myself with conditions worsening quickly so I made a bee line for the harbor. I dropped the hoop a few more times at the harbor mouth where conditions were better but the wind started picking up to 20+ knots. Eventually I got in and put the crab on ice and drove back home. We had a great dinner that night - nothing like fresh crab!
Happy new years folks - only 5 months till RF season opens again...