Morning of December 4, first stop: Devereux.  As with a lot of these pictures, the photo doesn't do the size justice.  Those that know the break know how big it needs to be for the waves to be breaking that far out.  If you look carefully, there's a board sticking out from under the second wall of whitewater (rollover the picture to see it magnified).

Devereux set, early Tuesday morning.

Obligatory artsy-fartsy picture.

Not everyone was as excited about the swell. (On the other hand, maybe she's stretching in preparation for the brutal paddle-out.) There was nobody out at Sands Tuesday morning.  Not only that, but even the bigger sets were holding a workable shoulder.  Weird...

Classic Devereux shot.  Not big, not super clean, but plenty to work with and a mellow crowd to boot.

Looking East towards IV.  It's kind of hard to tell with the glare from the sun, but these lines were stretching half a mile out to sea.  There were reefs breaking that I hadn't ever even imagined.

Clean line and an empty lineup somewhere that I'm not supposed to identify.

Poles.  Smaller (as usual) but very workable.  This dude(tte) is setting up for a nice soft shoulder that held all the way to the cliffs.

The zoo at the peak at Poles.

There were already a bunch of people out at the point, but this fella was able to snag a pretty hollow one all to himself.

Looney-Toons-style wipeout, shortly after a nasty drop-in.

The sets weren't huge yet (still December 4), but as you can see, they were washing right over the shelves.  Enough to make you gulp ("outside!").

The swell peaked early on December 5.  Here's a shot of an unridden IV reef set wave. (Probably empty because of the epic paddle and lack of beach!)

More far off reef sets.

Dude probably wondering how he's going to get past the beachbreak.

You'll just have to take my word on how big this cavern was. (Big.)

If not for the lengthy paddle and section-y waves, the far-off reefs would have been a lot of fun.

Epic Poles on the morning of December 5.  It seemed like the lines were stretching as far out as the pier. (I wet my suit, so to speak, on a 2-minute + ride from the peak at Poles all the way to the cliffs under the 217.) The little specks between the waves are what you think they are.

C.P. peanut gallery.  It must have been the crowds that were inspiring some ridiculous drops.  Even with the (much) bigger size, the waves out at the point didn't seem to be breaking much further out. (An ill-timed wipeout, in other words, could easily result in a dragging across the mussels.) Regardless, there were some great surfers out there, taking off on some gnarly waves (usually with a couple of friends).