30 August 2005

A Little Somethin' Somethin'

I made a beeline to Sunset this morning, thinking—okay, hoping—I'd see remnants of the latest swell. You know, the swell I missed. I'm going up PCH, certain that when I rounded the bend, I'd see nice long lines in the water. I. Was. Wrong. I went up to the light at Gladstone's and made a U-turn. Then I parked. And there it was. Lake Sunset. There was one lone surfer out there. Out there sitting. Sitting quietly. Doing nothing. But sitting. So I got out to talk to a woman I'd seen during my last session there. She said she was going to get in anyway. After a few minutes, I decided to look elsewhere. Luckily, I thought it prudent to watch for a little while longer. That's when it happened. The set waves came through. They weren't huge. They weren't epic. But there they were. And Sunset was empty. That's enough to make a paddle out worthwhile. This was made even more remarkable by the fact that it was high tide. I finally decided to get in. I wasn't motivated enough to drive to LPB and I figured Malibu was still a zoo. So Sunset it was. At its most crowded today, I think there were seven of us in the water. There were more than enough set waves to go around. It was one of those days when you spend as much time connecting with other people in the water as you do connecting with the waves. After I moved my car down to the south so I could take my board down that eroded dirt path, I was approached by a guy who was a bit miffed about the conditions. We talked for awhile. Then I told him he might as well get in. He agreed. As it turns out, this guy was one of our local newscasters. What's funny is that I didn't recognize his face—I don't watch much news; I'm an NPR junkie—but I did recognize his voice. I spent most of the session having a deep conversation with the woman I mentioned earlier. I always tell people that surfing, for me at least, is not just about catching waves. It's also about the people in the water around you. I may have missed the swell, but today's session was great.


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