Since repairs to the Mission Bay Channel jetties began (a 350-ton crane capacity derrick barge and at least one support vessel have been at work there off and on since October), the enormous mound of boulders piled onto the tip of the southern jetty has had local surfers worried.
Their concerns are about the effects the increased size of the jetty, along with its modified footprint, might have on the quality of the waves. The fear was that swells might be blocked or refracted in such a manner as to ruin the waves for surfing. This has proven to not be the case.
As television news anchors continued to hype another “media swell,” hordes of surfers charged into the blue, hoping for the perfect wave (alone) on Saturday. The “Big Jetty” delivered head-high surf with excellent form to a daylong crowd of 30-plus surfers. One young surfer said it was “the best day all year” as peeling right-handers broke across the sand bar. Although crowded, the vibe in the lineup was mellow and there seemed to be plenty of waves to go around.
The next concern about the channel repair project will be the impact of tons of bottom sand that will be pumped over to Mission Beach as the channel is dredged to the proper depth for safe navigation. As this sand migrates off the beach and out into the surf zone, it will change the sand bars. This can be a good thing or it can ruin an existing peak. We’ll wait and see.