03 April 2008

Montara, 3 April 2008

Today’s excitement began with an email from ATA saying that, as it had gone out of business, we needed to find another way to get to Honolulu in two weeks. Luckily we were up early and beat the rush to book on other airlines; by the afternoon, flights for those dates cost over $900! Nevertheless, we had to pay about $50 more for each ticket, plus United charges $85 for surfboards (soon going up to $100), which is $35 more than defunct ATA. (Ah, maybe that’s why they went bankrupt!) Also we have to take a red-eye back – ugh, but on the plus side, we get even more time on the island that way.

I planned to leave work early to surf, but I'm so friggin' important now that I had to stick around to approve something. (I don't want to be that important! Work should never interfere with play). By the time I reached Montara, I had less than an hour before I needed to leave for a Surfrider meeting at the nearby scenic Lighthouse. There were a handful of guys out, not a crowd but enough to dispel the spookiness, though it was windchoppy and mostly closing out 4-footers. Some backwash going on too; I even saw one guy surfing a reflected wave back out towards the lineup. Legitimately, I could have invoked the Tyrfing exception, but I just had to get in the water because it'd been waaay too long.

The first wave I tried to catch closed out as I started to pop up, and in the ensuing wipeout two bad things happened, only one which I can explain. First, as I raised my arms to protect my head, I pushed my SeaSpecs sunglasses up and off – the first time in nearly 5 years of wearing them on sunny days that I’ve lost a pair. Second, my leash got wrapped around my front leg two or three times – that’s never happened before and I’m not sure how it did. I was trying to untangle myself when another wave closed out with me on the inside, and it didn’t seem like there was much I could do with my legs effectively tied together. I ditched the board as best I could and dove under, but got dragged with the leash tightening even more around my leg, leaving marked indentations in my wetsuit and skin. It was a really short sesh but I decided to call it a day after that. Still I’m glad I went out and washed some of the stress out of my soul.

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