I am covered in jelly fish stings and sea lice bites, but yesterday made it all worth it. I won’t pretend to be a great surfer, or even a good one, but–after a 20-year absence–I bought a board at the tail end of last season and worked hard this summer getting back into it.
Hanna sent its first warnings to Long Island yesterday in the form of morning beach closures. The early waves rolled in as solid overhead sets. For me at least, they were big waves. All summer I’d put in my time on two-footers. In Northeast fly fishing terms, it’s like spending the season targeting bluefish and then finally getting a shot at false albacore. (Not meant as a slight; I love fishing for bluefish.)
I am still jacked from the speed. And from turning my head to look at a wall of water extending above it.
Even wiping out was fun. On my last wave I went over the falls, doing an unintentional somersault in the whitewater before paddling back to the beach exhausted. The lifeguards had blocked off the water with a yellow rope; dozens of people stood behind it watching the surfers. I felt pretty pumped walking along the edge of that rope. Until one of the guys who’d been out earlier called out to me, “Nice face plant.”
Shoot, man, I was hoping nobody saw that.
*Apologies to Gary Busey (Photo a random still from “Big Wednesday.”)