“Most fun session I’ve had in five years.”

Really? 2 at 7 and most fun in five years?

“Seriously,” he said. More rewarding than two disc golf holes-in-one, he said.

That’s not the most compelling argument to me, surfing vs. disc golf, but he did sound serious.

So we went. The southwest swell had actually picked up to a 17-second interval. Bobby and I forced the girls to come to the beach with us (oh, the horror! Poor maltreated children!) so the dog would be happy on the sand. All day long I’d been anxious to get in the water, imagining the relief the cold ocean would bring on this unusually hot day. No wind locally or on the outer waters. Power Poles awaiting, micro waves cruising in at an angle to shore, glassy water slick as oil, a bank of dark cloud separating ocean and sky along the horizon, the sand littered with people enjoying the summer sunshine, the ocean empty of other surfers but full of sea life. The girls set up a blanket; Bobby and I paddled out.

I thought about the chat I’d had with JB earlier, about how a shark had chased him out of the water there a couple days prior.

I tried not to think about the chat I’d had with JB earlier, about how a shark had chased him out of the water there a couple days prior. I decided to make sure Bobby caught a wave first, so if one of us had to be bait, it’d be me. That’s one of the problems I have surfing with family members; I can’t shut off the worrying part of my brain.

He caught a left, small, but sweet enough. I caught a tiny left, too, somewhat less than gracefully. Birds sailed by, seals poked their noses up, I eyed a few boils with suspicion. We stayed out, trading tiny waves. After drifting down the beach a way, we found ourselves in one of those spots where wave and current meet in such a way that paddling takes on a treadmill effect – you stroke and stroke, but go nowhere. In a small swell like this, though, navigating out isn’t too difficult, but I could hear some frustration in Bobby’s voice. He was probably exhausted, I thought, what with the eight hours of hard labor at work before this experience. “One more!” I hollered to him. He nodded, then caught one in almost immediately. I tried to take the next wave, but my hand slipped off my underwaxed board and I found myself tumbling over instead.

Refusing to end on a bad note, I lined up for a more inside, shorebreakier peak. This would be a bit steeper and faster necessitating a quicker pop up. And on a left, my weak side. But a set came, I paddled and POP I was up. So that was something.

Not my most fun session in five years, but still a lovely way to end the day – and one I might’ve missed if my friend hadn’t called with encouragement.