Friday evening: Bunkers, super-ultra junky. Stupid, really. We (Bobby and I) went because some of his friends wanted to take another friend surfing for the first time. The guys we were meeting were already out when we arrived. Did I mention junky? Head-high, messy, victory-at-sea-style junky. But before we could even paddle out – or rather, attempt to paddle out – the truck we were riding in (driven by the new guy) got stuck in the sand. Not his fault; the 4WD didn’t kick in for some reason. Bobby kept digging, M kept working the truck back and forth, and I scoured for wood to no avail. Finally with the two of them pushing and me behind the wheel, we were able to reverse it out of the sand trap and park properly. We suited up and dashed out to the non-glorious conditions. I would never have picked that spot under those conditions for someone’s first time, much less my 34th surf of the year. The other two guys, being lifelong Humboldt surfers, had made it outside. We watched them pick of bits of wave here and there, nothing too exciting given the close-out conditions, but they made the most of it.

I had my doubts.

We braved the whitewater. I navigated through the breaking waves successfully for a bit, then reached a point where forward motion became more challenging than I could handle. After spending a couple cycles on the treadmill, I thought, “Why am I doing this? I don’t even like being way outside at Bunkers. This is far too much work with absolutely no reward at the end. This is stupid.” I hollered to Bobby that I was getting out, but he and M decided to press on. Fine. I exited, then walked down the beach to the Jetty, where, while the waves were no better, at least getting out was easy. I’d like to say at this point that something lined up to form a surprisingly fun wave, making the whole session worthwhile – but no such luck.

What did make the time at the beach worth it was the gorgeous sunset, like something out of a master oil painting. A thick line of cloud lined the sky just above the horizon; the sun dropped behind the cloud, shooting rays out above and below, before re-emerging in an explosion of pink, orange, gold and purple just before hitting the water. Meanwhile, the near-full moon glowed increasingly yellow over the hills to the east.

I had plenty of time to admire this scene while waiting for the truck to get unstuck again, post-session.

Saturday: Sixth Avenue; waist-high, glassy, slow (with an occasional decent set), easy. S’alright. More north winds and minus tides coming up.