surf sessions #51, #52

Sunset after a happy day at South Beach.

#51: I should’ve taken photos of the waves we surfed, but I was busy racing into my wetsuit, paddling out and surfing them. Classic longboarding fun at South Beach. Dropped down into Crescent City to sunshine, light offshore breeze and a minimal crowd. Caught wave after wave, mostly rights that took me way down the beach, a final left that delivered me closer to the car. No epic barrels, not a lot of adrenaline rushing, just me glowing with happiness and a teensy bit of grace.

#52: For various reasons, I ended up at Camel instead of surfing closer to home. The sunshine bathing the rest of the county in golden rays stopped at the coast, where the gathered fog cut visibility to nil. Forget trying to see anything from the overlook. This was strictly a paddle-out-to-check-it-out kind of day. I shivered into my still-dripping wetsuit, kicking myself for not hanging it up the night before, waxed up and trotted down the hundred stairs for a look. (“Hundred” is an approximation.) My friend opted to stay closer to shore, but, after being slapped down by the inside reforms, I struck out for the outside. The waves smashed off the rock, peeling right briefly before mushing out altogether, then slowly rebuilding into those near-shore closeouts. Through the fog I saw silhouettes near wash rock – shortboarders, most likely – but couldn’t see the waves. I’d opted for the Taylor longboard. From around the rock, several surfers bobbed into view. I paddled into a couple waves only to have them die out milliseconds after I stood up. Most unsatisfactory. I soaked in the otherworldly feel of the scene for a moment – ocean all liquid glass, fog imparting a sense of the mystical – before saying the hell with it and getting on with my evening elsewhere.

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