Sunday, June 12, 2011
I had received for my birthday, an eight-footish long board from my wonderful family and had yet to surf it. We (the fam; Jeff, Lily and I) gathered up two surfboards and a boogie (Lily wasn't surfing quite yet...) and headed south to get on Pendleton and soak up sun and surf. I was excited. While we set up on the beach, we glanced around and I noted that we must be early birds; no-one on the beach yet....Wait. I was wrong. I noticed a wall of orange slowly pushing toward us. I strained my eyes. Then I chuckled as I realized that the residents of the brig were tramping across the width of the beach picking up every single bit of litter there. We were, in fact, such early birds, that on a military base we had even shown up before the EMI of litter patrol.
Anyway, to the very first surf session in the history of Dorian.
Jeff had been catching waves for an hour before I waved him in to keep an eye on Lily while I gave it a shot. He insisted, of course, that she would be fine for a few minutes while he gave me a hand standing up on the board....Whateve, I thought, I can figure it out but I will humor you. I splayed out on the board and began paddling. The water was shallow far enough out for Jeff to wade out with me to a decent spot. So we waited...then he saw with his expert eyes, something ride-able and told me to start paddling into it as he gave the tail a little shove. I paddled, turned and pushed with my arms...up, up, drop, and sanding....teetering...and roll. I saw it coming, so I held my breath, but forgot to shut my eyes. I felt the tug of the leash on my ankle, I turned toward the sea-floor and screamed...loudly gurgled, actually...at the monstrous stingray that swam under me. This caused me to flail backward toward my board, which then, instead of floating steadily away, caught my turbulence, lunged sideways then flung back...right into my forehead. I gurgled hysterically again as the momentum sent me back in the direction of my sea-monster friend. I forgot about the other hazard in the water and flailed right back...into the nose of my board with my sternum. Luckily, all the water was slowing everything down and I managed to not fatally injure myself. I finally found footing where I thought was a good distance from the stingray and stood up...right under my board which caught the top of my head this time.
When I had finally made it safely back to my beach towel, weakly carrying the board under my arm, I flopped down and set the board beside me. I lay happily in the sun, revelling. I looked over at Jeff, who had only seen part of what had gone on, and smiled. He asked if I was OK, I said yes. I will not be doing that again today, though.
And so I have surfed once, and not since, for a variety of reasons. But I am most definitely looking forward to giving it a shot up here, where the sea-monsters are much larger and stronger.