Camel Rock. Pulled up to the overlook and saw long, fun waves peeling right in the fog… no, the sun… no, the fog….

By the time the girls (my Kaylee and her friend) and I suited up and walked the hundred stairs down, the wind had picked up, blown the fog away and put an ugly chop on the water. We powered through to water’s edge, clinging to our boards lest the wind take them. At this point, my optimism evaporated completely. The rising tide didn’t help. Many of the rocks scattered throughout the shorebreak disappeared with each pulse of water.

Typically, I love taking the kids out – in mellow conditions. When I’m worrying about them getting smashed into rocks or clobbered by 14-second interval sets or being run over by a kayaker or getting smacked in the head by their boards when the wind picks them up… not so much. This day was the second sort. Within five minutes I announced, “This is not going to be fun!” and suggested they exit the water.

They did, relieved, I think.

Meanwhile, I tried to catch some of the small, choppy rights coming through. No luck. I then moved over to where a left was breaking off Wash Rock – “breaking” in the loosest sense – and practiced popping up backside for a few waves. I let a wave wash me in, ready to call it a day, when I realized that a friend of mine, someone I’d been trying to connect with, had paddled out over by Camel proper. Back in I went.

This time I caught a few of those better-than-nothing rights. Now, in these sort of shitty conditions, I don’t mind sharing – to get on someone for dropping in on such junky surf seems silly. But this guy dropped right in front of me, so I yelled, “Got it!” His response was to jump off his board and over the back of the wave. What happened next, of course, was his board walloped me in the shins, knocking me down.

I will not post the ugly language that went through my head at that point – or when he dropped in on my again on the next wave. I should’ve unleashed some harsh verbiage on him, but feared I wouldn’t be able to moderate my temper and would have regrets later. So I said nothing, just stewed in momentary hatred before getting out completely. Stupid jerk.