Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two Completely Different Sessions


I’m not sure what I was thinking on Monday when I decided to paddle out by the pier. It was 1-2 ft., the south wind was on it pretty hard and there was a heavy marine layer. I should have known when the flag at Hoag was sticking straight out – in the wrong direction. There were only a handful of guys out but I was already down there so I was going to give it a go. I was out for less than an hour and managed to catch a few. A SUP guy was paddling around but didn’t get in anyone’s way.

Now Tuesday was a different story. I checked the camera and NP looked like a lake and the tide was really low. Headed down south and as I drove past Lowers towards San O it was looking pretty fun. I looked back at Uppers and thought about making the long walk down the trail and back but decided against it. I pulled into the parking lot as a shoulder high set rolled through.  That always makes my heart beat a little faster, a familiar feeling that anyone who surfs knows all too well. The tide was low so I wore the booties. I don’t like wearing them but I wanted to avoid the ripped up feet that I’ve had many times over the years walking out at low tide.  For some reason I wore my leash which I normally don’t do. I hate leashes but after watching a head high set I decided that I didn’t want a long swim and didn’t want to spend the afternoon fixing dings (which I suck at). Needless to say, I didn’t need the leash. It always seems to work that way. Last summer on a big day I left the leash in the car and ended up wishing I had it as I was caught inside and got pounded trying to hold on. Anyway, it was a great session, the crowd was light and I was in a good mood.

I had a nice chat with an older guy as I was getting ready to leave. Funny, I bet a lot of people consider me the older guy! He was telling me he got his first surfboard in 1960 and surfed year round for 10 years without a wetsuit. He had a family and stopped surfing like so many do. 10 years ago he started back up and has been going strong ever since. I hope I’m still at it at that age.

Realizing that I was running late, I rushed home and showered, ate something, picked up a friend and we headed out to Canyon Lake to visit another friend. We met his wife and daughter at a local sushi place and had a nice lunch – all you can eat for $19.99. Most of the all you can eat places I’ve tried are below average but this place rocks. After lunch he gave us a guided tour of the area, which is beautiful, and we headed back to his house. We hung out for a while and then it was time to head back to OC. My friend Don, whom I’ve known since we were football teammates in high school, was diagnosed with ALS around a year and a half ago. I have to say, his attitude is amazing. He is a true inspiration. He talks openly about his prognosis and has fully accepted it, even joking about it at times. What else can he do, right? His body is gradually failing him and his mind (and wit) is a sharp as a tack and will remain that way. His wife Deanna, also a high school classmate, is an incredible woman and a wonderful caregiver. I really enjoy spending time with them.

Job fair tomorrow morning, then maybe a quick surf?

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