surf sessions #58, #59

So busy… didn’t realize I’d forgotten to post about surfing Camel a couple days after my dreamy Jetty session.

#58: Well. Camel. What to say? The waves were fine. Pretty, even. Consistent and peeling. The expanse of sky stretched blue overhead, with the sun sparkling off the ocean. I stayed in till sunset, so I watched the blue give way to pink, the gold shift to the west-facing cliffs and sides of rocks, silhouetting other surfers. All 82 of them. 

Thank goodness for the pretty scenery, because in a crowd that size, my wave-catching ability all but disappears. Since I’ve only been surfing eight years myself (sheesh, I cringe to write that – I thought by five years in my skills would’ve caught up to my desire, but noooo), I lack the right to complain about the sheer volume of people; technically, I’m part of the problem. Still, when I started, 20 or so surfers made a place feel packed. At Camel now, that would be downright pleasant. In my despair, I cursed those in the water who only surf as a hobby, who think of it as just another sport they do. Shouldn’t some sort of passion-meter exist so that those of us who love it, live for it, rely solely on it to nourish our souls, depend on the rare moment of here-and-now that enables us to withstand life’s chaos, shouldn’t we get first dibs? 

When you’re sitting in the midst of so many people catching waves around you, under you, in front of you, behind you, you have plenty of time and reason to think thoughts like that.

#59: Not Camel. And, therefore, less crowded and more rewarding. South wind morning, sky and sea dark with rain and then the threat of it; white spray glowing in contrast,highlighting the waves, shoulder-high, then overhead on the sets. No one yet out.

Let me repeat: no one yet out.

Only H and I on the beach. I wave as I dodge the exposed pilings, uncovered again by the most recent storm; paddle out, catch a fine head-high right that last forever or at least the kind of forever that happens when for several seconds you manage to transcend time. I remember that wave and smiling on it, momentarily alone and feeling all right with the world, storm, wind, rain, cold and all.

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One thought on “surf sessions #58, #59”

  1. The thought of so many people in the water at one place anywhere on the north coast is a little unnerving. I almost feel cliché when I say that when I started surfing in the early ’90s, at least in my area, surfing was still pretty underground and even at the best spots, a group of 12 was a crowd. Otherwise it was just a few friends or nobody at all. This was back when you passed other surfers, you acknowledged them, and they you, with waves or thumbs up/down for how surf conditions where.

    It’s so different now.

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