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THE VISITING NEW YORKER

By: Mike Townsend

Our friend Adrian Gaut always times his jaunts down to Southern California with good waves. Not a coincidence. He also has a knack, perhaps coincidentally enough, for pulling up in his van just in time for a good dinner, so we end up splitting our perfect meal for two into three. No complaints, though–he brings more than enough beer and good conversation to make up for it. Adrian is tall and incredibly lean, and his last name makes you want to call him gaunt. On the other hand, I have a bit of an extra chunk that I like to save for rainy days. So even for an evening, sharing my dinner lets me pretend I could begin to catch up with him.

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Adrian lives in New York but flies out to San Francisco and Los Angeles often to photograph cars. He keeps a dialed VW in storage and surfs the coast with it whenever he flies out–again, if the waves are good. The other evening he showed up just in time for a beet salad, then waking up at 6 the next morning to surf a beach break. There was beautiful lighting and absolutely calm wind. I swam and shot, having had a bad run of breaking boards the week before.

As the day continued, we made our way down to Uppers and the winds picked up. Quintessential Santa Ana offshore winds. A classic California day. Uppers is more of a novelty wave, one I haven’t surfed in years, but I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was and the good memories it brought back.

Adrian bought lunch, as always, and we drove home in a van well-stocked with beer. He’s welcome back any time for dinner.

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