Another day just like the one before: howling offshores, overhead sloping waves peeling left and right under a sky screaming to be photographed. Clouds flattening out dark on bottom, exploding white and puffy on top. Blue sky lurking behind, an occasional sunbeam upping the contrast factor. A thousand adjectives would not do it justice. Against this canvas, the planes circled. Eight of them, small ones, circling, dipping, soaring, all in memorial to Keith Newcomer, who’d died in a crash in his own plane, along with his 7-year-old son. The paddle-out was going on across the peninsula, out in the bay where the water was calmer. I thought about going and only didn’t because I didn’t know him well and more so because my own son had opted to come surfing with me for the first time in several weeks.
So we watched from the water, both on longboards (I had to convince Nick that the longboards were necessary, based on my experience of the day before. “I swear, you won’t catch anything on a shortboard, dude.”) A couple friends from Oregon stopped on their way home, paddled out as well. I navigated the wind, waited till the last minute to take off, paddled hard, caught wave after wave. Everything else – tension, worry, all that shit that weighs me down – evaporated, was replaced by a mellow satisfaction.”How was it?” a friend asked when we finally returned to the beach. “Fun,” I said. “Really fun. Super fun. Stupidly really super fun.” Again, words fell short. But “fun” will have to do.I’ll take it.