Friday, Nov. 23: Jetty
Bobby wanted to go north, but I said please can we check the Jetty, please. So we did. We drove the truck out for the second time – what a treat, after years of walking. The waves looked OK. Not great, but like some fun could be had. Bobby wasn’t as keen on it, mostly because of the way the tide was sucking out from a high-high to an extreme low. The water in the harbor entrance rippled with the violence of the incoming waves fighting the outward pull; the Jetty channel looked like a Class 3 whitewater adventure. But the waves at the Jetty itself looked mellow enough, judging from the several people that were out. Besides, the sun shone down hot and the wind wasn’t blowing. Bobby said he’d wait. I said I’d hurry.

Caught two waves right off, easy lefts, and the rip wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. Catching a third sent me slipping and falling, a move I’d expected since I’d neglected to bring wax. I keep it in both cars, but hadn’t remembered to toss any in the truck. Despite the relatively thick layer on my board, I always scratch a little more on, just to keep it fresh. And then the place shut down. “Somebody put another quarter in!” we joked, as we bobbed and paddled to stay in position for the sets that never came back. Finally I caught an inside left and called it a day. Not a particularly momentous session, but pleasant nonetheless. More exciting than the surf was Bobby suggesting I drive the truck on the way back. I know he wanted me to practice driving on the sand, but I think he was also conscious of the vast number of people out taking advantage of the holiday Friday and the nice weather, and figured better me getting us stuck than him. (I have blind faith in Toyotas, however, and am determined that will not happen.)

I had to do a backward U-turn off, then pull forward. Bobby directed me a bit – I was surprised how tightly the truck could turn – and then we cruised right on out with minimal conflict (I don’t always shift when Bobby thinks I should, but often I am reaching for the gearshift just as he says, “Jen! Shift!” I then point out, “I am!” This has been happening for years. And when I’m driving and Bobby’s along, part of my attention is paid to how he thinks I’m driving, which inevitably distracts me from the actual act of driving, leading to errors and confirmation of his worst fears about my ability. But we made it out of the sand and all the way home with, as I said, minimal conflict.)

Monday, Nov. 26: Jetty
This time I drove the truck out by myself – breath held, brow furrowed. Again, the actual driving on the sand came easily. Good truck. The waves were similar to Fridays, but smaller. No one was out when I first pulled up, but as I watched, a longboarder suited up. Knowing the waves were likely bigger – they appeared maybe waist-high – than they looked, not to mention more fun, I decided to take advantage of being there, having a bit of time, and pulled on my still-damp suit. The wind had clocked from northwest back to south with a wintery chill that encouraged me to wear gloves. I hate wearing gloves and rarely do – they make me feel like I’m paddling with weights or water balloons on the ends of my arms. As the longboarder reached the outside, my perception of the waves being bigger than they looked was confirmed: the sets were, in fact, at least shoulder-high.

With only two, and then three, of us out, the lackadaisical waves still made for a fun session. Not fun as in, “Wow! That was so much fun!” but fun as in, “Well, the sun’s out, the wind’s offshore, the ocean’s glassy and the crowd’s nonexistent… and I sure need some practice and to stretch my body out after all the sitting… and being out on a day like this is more fun than being home doing laundry, worrying about the bills.” Not kidding about the practice – I move like The Tin Man before Dorothy oiled him.

Exited the beach without incident. I’m liking this truck ownership. (We’ll see what happens when I have to report it to Social Services. Wonder how that’ll affect the Medi-Cal-transitioning into Healthy Families situation already fraught with questions. Technically, to be poor enough to qualify for government health care means one can’t own more than one vehicle worth more than a couple thousand dollars at most. The idea being that you should sell off everything off value to cover your expenses before resorting to – gasp! – government assistance. Logical, no?)