#4: Jetty, early surf and therefore short as I had to get to work. Same story as the last few: overhead pitching waves, some of which I made and some of which I did not. I do love watching the sun rise over the mountains, the alchemy of dawn as an iron sky turns gold.

#5: Another in a string of windless, sunny days, this one with the swell dropping to 2 at 12, so we rounded up the kids after school – our own, plus a couple more – and hit Moonstone. The crowded parking lot meant changing right next to the caretaker’s trailer. He sat in his lawn chair acknowledging neither the display of nudity in front of him nor the dogs running amok through his “yard.” Bobby and the kids had suited up and lit out for the pretty little waves; I spent the next 20 minutes trying to pry the broken fin out of my board – having snapped it, I decided to pull out the side ones and surf the board as a single fin. While all around me people pulled on neoprene, grabbed boards, jogged out to make the most of the waning daylight, I searched without luck for a flathead screwdriver, a bobby pin, anything that would separate the jagged remains of the fin from the board. At some point, I leaned the fin on the truck bumper and tried to pop the remaining chunk of fiberglass out that way – until worried looks from surfers across the lot made me reconsider.

At last, the fin wiggled free. I raced out, leashless and grinning at the sight of the kids on waves. Within a few minutes, I was outside, up, kicking out, repeat. The waves only rolled in about waist- and chest-high, but the 12 second interval provided enough energy to catch them easily, enough speed to make the slide down the face fun. We stayed in the water until the pink of the sunset faded into a shade of blue suggesting black wasn’t far behind. All days should end so happily.