03 December 2009

7@16, E

photo by Mehmet Akin

Tues, I'm working with a young man who tells me I look like an old fisherman. You know the way you're wearing that hat, the beard, the flannel... He tries to be polite. Well that wasn't the look I was going for but, yeah, I'd like to be out on the ocean about now, I tell him.

The ocean. Man, how long has it been?

I Hadn't been paying too much attention to the surf forecast (it is easier that way) but Weds looked promising, perfectly timed with too much coverage at work.

Hot coffee and bracing morning air, we dropped little Lulu off at school under moonlight. I felt bad I was dropping her off at before school care so early and then driving away with surfboards strapped to the roof. I'll make it up to her on Friday I thought, and then pointed West. The pre-surf jitters didn't hit until a few miles before the break.

The bright winter sun was blinding on the over-head rights. After a dry month or so, surfing felt pretty alien. At times there was a little chop on the face making my board chatter as I went down the line. The chop fragmented the light, making it even more blinding but the waves were so perfect you just had to set your line and go and go. But otherwise there were predictable peaks aided by the big tide.

One wave, about six seal lions were gliding along within the turquoise face. And then the surfer furthest out went for their wave and they backed off, not before I was convinced they'd fully charge us. All of us cheered the spectacle as the surfer eased into perfect position and the sea lions barked away.

As the sun changed angle you could really see what you were doing. It was far from 'epic' but 'epic' is over-rated anyway. A good surf is more about context, perspective, reference and the moment. Soon, the waves cleaned up, the surface ripple smoothed out, I re-learned how to surf, the chatter (mental and surface) went away and for the next few hours I forgot words, transcended time and let the details disperse as soon as they occurred. And I watched my friends do the same.

After I got out, I noticed waves further up the beach and just could not walk away. I paddled myself into old age and for some reason, this time it was relatively easy to walk away and turn my back on the waves. This morning I really do feel like a haggard old fisherman, while not trying to find a meaning within it all.
"10,000 Years Pass In A Week"- Lungfish