Stephen Ellison

Storm-Driven Waves in Pacifica Draw Crowds, Warnings

The Bay Area's first storm of the fall not only is producing a lot of rain, it also is causing huge swells along coastal areas like Pacifica, where waves could top 20 feet.

Sightseers were out Tuesday to catch a glimpse of the growing swells, and a lucky few have caught the first Dungeness crab of the season despite the large waves.

"Get a walk before the storm hits," Pacifica resident Eric Corgas said. "I know it’s gonna be a lot of rain. And see the waves because they get crazy out here."

All were being warned to beware of so-called sneaker waves. Some are keeping their eyes peeled.

"We’ve got our grandkids on the beach, so we’re keeping an eye on them," Concord resident Terry McDougall said.

Some not so much.

"No, I know how to dodge ’em. Been here long enough," Corgas said of the waves.

The big waves and strong currents have been making things difficult for those fishing.

"They’re not biting at all," McDougall said. "I think the current is so strong and it’s drifting us all, so our lines are getting caught."

A few got lucky, though, at the start of Dungeness crab season. That means crab cakes would be on the menu for the McDougalls.

"She caught it - my wife," McDougall said. "First time here."

The warning is to stay away, but plenty chose to brave the wind and drizzle for a look at the waves and maybe grab a seaside snack.

"We’ve been selling lots of chowder," said Robby Everhardt of the Chit-Chat Shack. "I’m about to start a new pot. We already sold out of the first pot today."

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