... of the world.
No kidding. Well, so I didn't actually go surfing. I did catch a wave though. I went to the ocean today in a kayak. The surf was not up much. I took a class in understanding the surf zone (sometimes called the break zone) in a kayak.
There are three zones, the soup -- frothy white stuff, inside the bone crushing, thrash a kayaker, wear a helmet, impact zone, and the shark zone -- which is everything else -- sometimes referred to as the "safe zone."
Notice how many of the words I have chosen sound damaging. Do you wonder why? Well -- it seems slightly more damaging than riding a bike. But not much. I hit the beach, I was rolled like a cigar in a kayak, which was colorfully described as being "Maytagged," which relates, of course, to what a washing machine might do to a person, and I was hammered at least once by an incoming wave. Salt water doesn't really hurt the eyes that much, nor is it too dreadful when inhaled. It seems that the beach isn't all that punishing, in the absence of rocks, or any real serious waves. Although I was a mere mile from Mavericks, I was a long ways from those conditions. It was calm with a NW swell at 3' (probably sounds like I know what I am doing).
You might wonder, "Why would you do this?" I hurt in ways I cannot describe. Unmitigated pain combined with Ibuprofen and the imminent threat of immediate hospitalization. The euphoria often associated with fat tires. I like to work out, and to work hard. Add a small element of fear and surprise, and that's a formula for a good time. It doesn't really hurt that much, and I'll sleep brilliantly tonight. When the sea grabs you and tosses you at the beach -- i seriously rocks, if it's right.
It also clearly beats the hell out of staying in the ocean forever, which would be the other choice. If I can learn to manage the surf zone, I can travel up and down the coast at will. Me, some gear, some food, and a kayak, travelling the west coast to Puerto Vallarta. I can paddle out the gate and go north to Alaska, all under my own power. Imagine that.
There's a bunch of satisfaction in that.
"Get yourself a big board
But don't you treat it like a toy
Just get away from the shady turf
And baby go catch some rays on the sunny surf
And when you catch a wave you'll be sittin on top of the world" The Beach Boys
Growing up on the coast, there's a memorable feeling in spending a day in the ocean. It nas grown and becomes part of me, enveloping me. The saltiness reminds me that there are greater forces at work. Large forces.