After leaving Anchorage I stopped in San Francisco for a few days of business and alumni events, then hopped down to Laguna Beach, south of Los Angeles, for a retreat with about 50 other provosts. They have a longstanding tradition of hosting this retreat at the Surf & Sand Resort, right on the beach.
It’s quite a nice place to visit – when the weather is good. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy for most of my visit. And the waves were pounding the shore, and indeed the base of the hotel itself, so hard the building would shake. All day. All night. It was quite impressive – check out the video clips in the gallery, most of them taken from my balcony a few floors above the spot where the waves crashed under the bottom balcony. On the other hand, the surfing community was out in great numbers (video).
The moon was full, which always leads to higher tides. Furthermore, I heard others mention a storm out at sea, which I later learned to be Typhoon Merbok. It was west of Hawaii at the time and then slammed western Alaska a few days later. The satellite imagery is quite impressive – as were the reports of waves exceeding 50 ft.! (I hope the good ship Dreamcatcher and its crew rode out the storm in a safe harbor.)
This post was written a few weeks later and thus benefits from some hindsight reporting, but is backdated to the final date of my visit to Laguna Beach.