surf session #30


Manila at a minus tide
Lots of surfing this week. Oh, how I love summer! The long days, the sweet little sandbars set up all over the place. Perfect for Kaylee, too, as she’s been at surf camp all week. “Mom!” she’d start off each afternoon report, “The waves were so much fun! We paddled outside really easily. I made lots of drops!” She’s been working on that – timing her pop up so that as she’s catching the wave she separates from her board as it’s sliding down the wave face. Too early and your weight slows the board down so that the wave goes on without you. Too late, and you end up on your belly, propelled forward – this is how everyone starts – and clambering to your feet from there. But if you pop up at the right moment, as your board drops away, you find yourself on your feet almost effortlessly and discover the little rollercoaster rush of whoosh! down the face.

Yesterday, I’d checked Bunkers in the a.m. – the only likely place given the minus tide, teensy swell and swell direction. From the overlook, I saw waves, but no people. The air hung clear and still, affording me a sharpened view from Patrick’s Point to Table Bluff. Often a subtle fog haze blurs everything in the distance; the clarity of the atmosphere this week makes everything seem close, detailed, in focus. Stunning. A golden shimmer announced the onset of the sunrise. I had to make a choice: Hoof it out to the beach to get a better look and hope someone shows up to surf with? Or hightail it back home to for a long walk with the dog? I didn’t have time for both. Something compelled me back home – probably the lack of a surf partner. Bunkers is one place I will not surf alone, superstitious as I am about it. But Sandy and I enjoyed our amble on the beach. I even took pictures.

The -1.62 minus tide revealed the whirls and ridges normally hidden under the edge of the sea, and resulted in an early morning river of sorts – Sandy took a swim while I waded across. The brightness of the day made 7 a.m. feel like noon. The exceptional weather inspired an exceptional mood, but I was reminded how much better all mornings feel when began with a walk, a surf. Outside provides a reality check against the made-up world of computers and TV and shopping, a reminder of what matters. I spent a lot of my walk being grateful for being here now. No matter all the various struggles and challenges – to be able to walk along the beach with a happy yellow dog on a day such as this? Life is good.

Life remained good throughout the chaotic radio day and into the evening. My conscience twinged a bit over missing Arts!Arcata, but I promised I’d do my own art roundabout over the weekend. Nick wanted to surf, which given the small swell, was a fine idea. We went out at Power Poles in even smaller surf than yesterday. Again, dozens of people on the beach. Again, a postcard sunset. Again, a fine, fun time.

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