Monday evening. Camel Rock/Wash Rock. In front of the Boneyards. The waves closed out for the most part, morphing from mushy as one paddled in to powerful as one (and when I say “one,” I mean “one dorky kook known also as ‘me.'”) tried to avoid the whitewater. Mostly I got knocked down. This shortboarder kept to himself, moving slightly north or south depending on where Bobby, M and I sat, and caught wave after wave after wave. The waves he caught were no better than the ones I caught, but he’d found a groove and surfed with a finesse I lack. He must’ve caught 10 to every single one of mine.

Me: paddle, miss, paddle back, paddle, miss, paddle back, paddle, catch, stand up, get knocked down, get washed in, struggle back outside. (Not much of a struggle – the waves only came in about shoulder high, but time-consuming nonetheless.)

Him: paddle, catch, ride, cut out, paddle back, catch, ride, cut out, paddle, catch ride, cut out…

You get the picture.

But the sky! The wind slowed to stillness; the setting sun silhouetted Camel Rock like a black cutout on top of a watercolor painting. The hazy horizon turned the sunset into a scene from SoCal – a Tequila Sunrise should really be called a Tequila Sunset. Yellow, pink, red, beautiful.

A waxing crescent moon glowed above. We stayed well past sunset, climbing up the stairs in the dusk, the parking lot dark before we drove away.