Surfed solo. Wind plus swell plus the teensy amount of time I had available suggested a jaunt over the dunes as the most pragmatic course of action. I shivered into my wet wetsuit, despaired at the increasingly split seams, tossed my phone, camera, towel and bar of wax into a bag, pulled out the 7’5″ – least heavy to haul across the sand, little more rocker to make those later drops – slipped into my booties and set off with the dog.
At home, daffodils, tulips and the budding lilac bush confirm Spring’s imminence, but dune flowers have yet to blossom. The trail remains dull green, gray and withered brown with only the invasive lupins serving up an occasional yellow-red distraction. A fair warning for the smattering of offshore fog that greeted us. After a glance confirmed the waves to be tolerably inviting, I pulled on my gloves, winced at the hole just under the palm – really, for as much as all this layering costs, one wishes surf gear would prove somewhat more resilient! – hung my bag on a driftwood chunk, apologized to Sandy for leaving her alone on the beach and struck out for what approximated a channel between peaks.
Fifty-degree water rushed in through the chinks in my neoprene armor, prompting me to paddle faster, harder, whatever would be necessary to warm up. The mixed swell meant waves came in in competing directions, making the path to the outside a zig-zag of outracing breaking peaks. Pleased to make the outside, I turned back to assess my location. The dunes, fuzzy through the marine layer, blurred into an indistinguishable line. The huge trunks I’d planned to line up against had been reduced to mere branches along the shore. I couldn’t find my white bag standing out against the dark gray of the sand. I enjoyed the where-am-I weirdness for a few minutes, paddled south for a few more before my landmarks coalesced. Reassured, I sought out a right, ended up on a left. Paddled back around for another of the same.
Time was short, so after a couple waves, I figured I’d catch one in – and I did, but it broke as I paddled into it, launching me forward on my belly before I could pop up. So grateful for the complete lack of other surfers in the water. Clambered to my feet late, rode the pulse of energy close enough to the beach that Sandy saw my and joyously struck out to greet me in the water. Well, not joyously, exactly. More like, “FINALLY! WHERE DID YOU GO?!!!”
Satisfied enough, we returned home.