Watch Out for the Waves!

Waves surfing Laurie Jensen

A wave at the South Jetty at the end of November. [Photo by Laurie Jensen-You can see more of Laurie Jensen’s work at the Humboldt Bay Birds Facebook page.]

The National Weather Service warns there will be high waves over the next few days. They posted on their Facebook page,

Already elevated surf will build even higher Friday afternoon and evening with breaker heights around 20 feet along the Northwest California coastline. After a brief period of lower surf late Saturday, surf will again build late Sunday and into Monday as very large, long period westerly swell arrives. Breaker heights during this time period will approach 30 feet, and a High Surf Advisory or High Surf Warning may be required. Large waves will lead to increased run-up on beaches with waves topping and washing over large rocks and jetties. These large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean waters. Beachgoers need to stay farther back from the surf and off of jetties or rocks, and mariners should use extreme caution when operating near the surf zone.




  • Seriously stay away from the surf!
    Once years ago at trinidad head we were walking by the cliffside to the north when i heard the water…we literally grabbed onto roots in the cliff wall as a wave suddenly reached over my waist (im 5’8) all the way up there. I saw folks grasping to rocks all along the beach.
    Still wonder if anyone was swept away,& wonder if many of our missing persons suffered that fate.
    I had never been in a sneaker wave before, its way more intense than words can say, it happens so fast.

    Learn how to watch/count waves&look for high water lines on beach. That education could save your life.
    Most surfers can tell you how.

  • Preparedness is a state of mind. Survival is of the fittest. Mother Nature dosent care either way.

  • Can anyone please suggest a safe spot from which to watch these incredible waves?

    • top of the dune at the north jetty parking lot. its the dune between the parking lot and the jetty. most likely the Coast Guard will be doing some training which is awesome to watch. go on an out going tide, the waves will be bigger and its when they do the training.

    • McKinleyville Vista Point. Many places on Stage Coach Road between Moonstone and Patrick’s Point State Park, including Hooda Point, Luffenholtz, Elk Head, etc.

    • I get these awesome photos from the South Jetty side. The swells do go side to side inside the jetties, but head west towards the North jetty about 1/2 thru the opening. I feel safer on the South Jetty, as the swells do crash over the north jetty side

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Very nice. So you drove out past Table Bluff and out to the end of the spit to the South Jetty? Very trippy Humboldt experience. I would stay on the Bluff for these high wave periods.

        Great observations on North/South Jetty comparisons. Very tricky for boaters and surfers. Also shore fishers. And the TIDE.

      • I like it when the twenty footers roll clear in and hit the wing wall on the south spit. They smack it and go straight up about sixty feet. Super cool photos to be had on the south side of the wall.

    • I like stars,

      You want to prepare and be in a safe spot? If you’re not one of the fittest maybe don’t go (wink).

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Table Bluff public parking lot looking down on the South Spit. Just south of CR, Hookton Road exit. Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Look it up. Call the Refuge.

    • Clam Beach Overlook

  • The moon, I heard, is really, really safe… Trust me, it is amazing, amazing. These are really, really, amazing waves.To protect us from these amazing waves, we will build an amazing wall, a beautiful wall, a tremendous, beautiful, amazing wall, and I will have the planet Pluto pay for it. And then I will grab them by the Uranus… Amazing… And beautiful, really…

  • I’ll be out in it! 😎 Great surfing this weekend

  • Best viewing advice is literally stay off the beach.
    Houda point is cool as you can catch the mist from huge waves there.
    Scenic drive awesome but gets crowded.
    Watch yourself near the jetties, but is cool to see coast guard train there.
    Vista point above (just south) clam beach accessible from 101S only, &can catch hammond trail at airport offramp then walk north. Good dog walking zone.

  • Never turn your back on the ocean. If you see the surf coming, you can be prepared.

  • the biggest pressure waves between the jetties will be Monday morning from 10-11am. 35-40 feet.

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