surf sessions #14, #15

This isnt awkward at all!

#14: Sometimes enthusiasm triumphs over conditions. Moonstone, 6@11, south winds and high tide. Ridiculous. But my neighbor friend is learning to surf, so I took her to play around in the whitewater and knee-high reforms rolling in. Her glee triggered my own happiness. Being in the ocean after weeks away, salt on my lips, cold water rushing in through my wetsuit seams – home. Maybe it was my buoyant heart, but those silly little waves served up a remarkable amount of fun.

#15: The swell finally dropped low enough that the spit resembled a parking lot. Nick, Bobby and I spent two hours in the water, me on the 7’6″ BK and then on the 8’0″ Taylor once Nick swapped it out for his shortboard. The set waves rolled in chest-high and peeling – my first wave was a playful left to the beach that had me grinning — but options in between proved mediocre. Lovely to surf with just five other people, though, all of whom I like quite a bit. I’d started cranky, tugging my wet wetsuit on in the rain, air 54 degrees, water 51 – clearly, this whole surfing thing is completely stupid – and then right off, that effortless left, like being cranky at someone all day and then you see that person and happiness floods you so quickly you can’t even remember why you were mad.  Again, conditions came in secondary to attitude.

Amazing grace?

In other fun news, had a chance to fly the coast a few days ago. From the sky, both worlds are visible – the known and the unknown. We found the Lost Coast and the Scientology compound. Mendocino’s jigsaw puzzle coastline sparkled. Mendo’s all jewel-toned and vibrant, whereas Humboldt and Del Norte are no less beautiful, but the beauty is subdued into deeper blues, darker greens, everything grayed down.

I love the lighthouse off Point St. George for its remoteness and very unlikeliness of existing. It marked the reef from 1892 – 1975:

Saint George Reef Lighthouse

The St. George Reef Lighthouse was one of the least sought-after assignments in the service. Five keepers were attached to the station, and they worked in shifts of three months at the lighthouse followed by two months at Crescent City with their families. Service at the station tried the mental health of many keepers and claimed the lives of five men. During construction, a worker holding a tag line to the derrick’s boom was pulled off the pier and fell to his death. In 1893, assistant keeper William Erikson and the station’s boat simply disappeared during a trip to Crescent City. According to the Lighthouse Board report, “no vestige of man or boat” has ever been discovered. (Read more at the link above.)

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