I wasn’t planning on going surfing! Art asked me about five hundred times today if I wanted to go, and I just kept saying that I would rather just go for a quick swim while he took Margo to the playground. He had already gone for a session earlier in the day, but I wasn’t really interested because the conditions weren’t super great. There was a good size swell, but the wind had been just the wrong direction (onshore) all day and it was a little bit bumpy looking.
We hiked down to the beach playground, and to our surprise, it looked like the wind was going to switch and clean up the surf! I imagined me getting some great waves while Art was stuck on the beach with the girls! Bwahaha! Art had Goldie in the Ergo baby carrier and she was way overdue for a crash/nap in that thing. And, Margo was at her most favorite place in the world: the swing set. So, I quickly ran home to put on my gear, grab the longboard and head out into the sea for a while.
To start: even though the ocean looked better than it had earlier, the conditions were still a little bumpy. Paddling out in any sort of chop is very annoying. Instead of gliding across the smooth ocean… think ‘slap slap, slosh slosh, smack smack‘ as the nose of your longboard hits the water. And, when there is any size to the waves, you want to time your paddle out as best you can, so that you don’t get smashed on the head by a really big wave. Paddling in choppy conditions is NOT fast, even with a huge board like mine. So, your chances of being crushed by a bit set wave are increased when it’s onshore conditions. I made it out ok, but as soon as I made it out into the line up a really big set came and cleaned everybody up, including me! The waves were WAY bigger than I had thought. And, there seemed to be nobody sitting outside, which is where I like to sit, so I can catch the big set waves. Sitting way outside, all alone, at Rainbow Bay, one of the MOST crowded surf spots in the world… I felt like I was miles out to sea!
Keep in mind, I haven’t been surfing too much in the past year, due to pregnancy and baby. So, ok, I admit, the waves weren’t that big! But they were way over my head (I’ll call it 3-4 ft Hawaiian, if that means anything to you) and the lip of one of those big set waves that broke way outside was powerful enough that when it hit me, it ripped my boardshorts off down to the bottom of my bum. Lucky for me, I was sitting just about halfway out to the sharknets, so there was nobody around to see my bare tush out there in the ocean! I was cracking up (haha, no pun intended there). And, yes… I said sharknets! Ewww… I don’t know if I’ve ever sat so close to them. They were still quite a far distance away, but with nobody else around you, you can bet I was sitting with my legs ON TOP of my board and not dangling down below! Everything is always a little more scary when the wind is onshore, I can’t explain it,,, but it even smells ‘fishy‘ out there when the wind is like that.
Overall, the session was a little annoying. It was really hard to be in the right position, mostly because of the onshore wind conditions, and I knew it wasn’t going to a session where I would catch a million waves. I did catch one really big one that went on forever! It was awesome and by far the biggest wave I’ve had in well over a year. After that one, I decided to go out and ‘catch one more wave‘. That’s it… when you say, ‘just one more wave‘. You know you’re in trouble. For some reason, when it comes to ‘just one more wave‘. That ‘one more wave‘ never seems to come! You just sit and sit and sit and even if that wave does come, for some stupid reason, you miss it! (Ok well, not everyone, but I always tend to). And, the ‘one last wave’ scenario almost always happens when it’s:
a) About to get dark
b) A building swell and the waves are getting huger and huger by the second (happened to me all the time in Hawaii)
c) You have to go to work
d) You have a sneaking suspision that the sleeping baby you left with your husband on the beach, is now awake and screaming for boobs.
I waited and waited for that last wave and it just wasn’t happening! I wanted to catch just one more of those big set waves! Com-on ocean! Despite my pleading to mother ocean, I was just bobbing around in the sloppy onshore conditions, feeling like a cartesian diver and even getting a little seasick. As I was sitting there waiting, (halfway out to the sharknets) a blue bottle jelly fish found its way onto my hand, OUCH! It was really tiny, but it was still stingy!!! It was getting dark and I felt like I had been out there for ages, waiting and waiting, without catching a wave. Although, I had been sitting in the wrong spot plenty of times and caught a few big waves on the top of my head.
And then…. I saw a dark shadow under the water. I still don’t know what the dark shadow was and I didn’t want to find out, sitting there, halfway out to the sharknets and all. Now, for every man in the gray suit (a bit of Aussie slang) that I *think* I have ever seen, there have been literally hundreds of dolphins, or huge rays, or turtles. But, like I said, I didn’t want to hang around and find out what the dark shadow was. It was getting late anyway and I think I was sitting in a dead spot and I couldn’t catch any waves. Also, I was thinking that Goldie would be searching for some boobs by now….
So, I just paddled in. Paddled in. Yup, paddled in. Lots of surfers would never paddle in. They would stubbornly sit out there until they caught a wave. It’s some surfer’s stigma: ‘You can’t paddle in!!!’. But, not me… I paddle in all the time. Actually, this particular time, I hightailed it in!
Because, really, the waves in the ocean will always be there. Big, small, perfect, bumpy, whatever. I’m never one to run away in a hairy situation. But sometimes, you’ve just got to forget about it! Turn around! Run away! Get out of there! And, that’s exactly what I did. I got home and indeed, Goldie was ready for me! I’m glad I didn’t sit out there and wait for the next wave. Overall, it was a strange and annoying session. But, strange session and all, it sure was nice to float in the warm sea and to be reminded about the power of the all-mighty ocean 🙂