The National Weather Service issued a Rough Bar Advisory until 9 p.m. from Point Reyes to Monastery Beach near Carmel. Swells 10 to 15 feet high are creating strong rip currents at most beaches. At Rockaway Beach, waves crashed onto the shore, creating an entertaining view for customers at Moonraker restaurant.
"It's fun watching people walking by getting a little too close to the rail and occasionally a few of them will get a little bit wet," said Shawn McNamara of Moonraker restaurant.
The big swells are actually a big attraction for some surfers. It's opening day for Mavericks near Half Moon Bay, where the waves are finally breaking. Surfers said it was a great start to the winter surfing season.
"Oh yeah, you go out there, your heart's racing no matter what. That's why it's so fun about coming out here. It's never gets old. When you're dealing with that much water -- it scares the heck out of you," said Mavericks surfer Ken Collins.
The Coast Guard is also warning boaters to check the weather before leaving and make sure all their safety gear is up to date and in good working condition.
Sneaker waves killed five people last winter along the Northern California coast.