Scary, isn't it. The usual beach day begins with a 7AM wake-up. Eat breakfast, out in the water by 8, paddle around until 10, when surfing stops. Go to 7/11 for doughnuts and coffee. Lunch is a burger and fries from a burger joint on the beach. Roll back to the house around 3 or 4. Shower, eat dinner, hang out, eat ice cream or funnel cake, in bed by midnight. I've actually lost 10 lbs this summer. Paddling a sufrboard around, especially a 9'4" surfboard, is a real workout.
I'm not yet a surfer. I can stay upright on the board, took 4 surf sessions to figure that out. I can catch waves, took about 6 weeks to get that. Mainly figuring out which waves were catchable, and when to start paddling. I have stood up and ridden waves exactly once. In knee high surf. Clean knee high surf. I have become a connisuer (sp?) of the wipeout. I can go over the falls, pearl, get closed out-on, and generally do everything else that results in the sinuses getting powerwashed.
I've been having a blast. Next summer I am going to consistently get up, and do so on decent waves. Maybe even waves like we had last weekend.
Last weekend Tropical Storm Ernesto rolled through. Friday was 60 MPH winds, with higher gusts, tons of rain. Driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge I could feel the resonance waves in the span (it's a suspension bridge). Not Galloping Gertie waves, but you could feel the bridge move. Very weird.
Saturday we went to the beach, saw 20+ foot waves hitting it (Ernesto had been pushing them up the Atlantic for a couple of days), and decided not to surf. Storm surf is impressive. You can feel the impact of the waves when they break. Sort of a "Whoosh-BOOM!"
Saturday evening the waves were only(!) 15 feet, so several friends decided to try surfing them. They got out (took work), got one ride apiece, and decided that that was quite enough. Too much debris in the water, and going over the falls on a 15 footer is aesthetically unpleasant.
Sunday they were running 6 to 8 feet, with sets of 10 to 12 feet. Since they were smaller I decided to go out and try to catch some.
That was incredibly stupid. I had no business being out in that. Especially on a longboard. I almost made it out past the break when one of those sets rolled in. (30 second later and I'd've made it (and then been really fucked, as I'd've had to get back.)) I'm paddling out, almost there, and this bid ass wave rears up in front of me. Right in front of me. Then it sucked me in. Literally. It pulled me in, right up the face. Then over the top as it broke. Then if fell on me. Pushed me under. I came up for air after it had gone by. Before I could get a breath the second wave in the set did the same thing. Suck in, around, boom.
There were 5 waves in that set. No chance to get a breath between waves. Took about a minute to get through all that. Sure, holding your breath for minute is easy. If you're sitting in a chair. When you've been paddling, hard, for several minutes trying to get out, and then get slammed around by the waves, it's another story.
The last wave spit me out, towards shore, and I could breath again. So I paddled back in to shore and sat in my beach chair shaking for about an hour. I don't think I've come that close to dying of (my own) stupidity since I gave up drugs.
People who knew what they were doing (and only a bit better than I am) had a great time that day. The waves were overhead, clean, and breaking deep. Friends who've surfed a lot said it was the best they'd ever seen in Ocean City. As good as the average Hawaiian wave. Next year I'll be able to handle them.
Oh, almost forgot the Patented HuSi Medical Problems Meme: I've developed Meniere's Disease. An inner ear disorder that can cause hearing loss and vertigo. Fortunately I've just got the hearing loss. In the right ear. It's a build up of fluid deep in the ear. So I can't hear low frequencies in that ear, and the high frequencies are distorted.
Due to a childhood injury subsequent to a playground disagreement I'm already pratly blind in my left eye. Blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, if I lose a limb you can start calling me "Lucky".
Sigh. Only one more weekend of looking at flocks of Wild North American Boobies. Ah well. Winter's coming and, with it, the chance to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a honey. Need to acquire thoase things. Maybe now that I'm a svelte 205 lbs instead of a fat 215...
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