#36: Moonstone, two weeks ago. Small and mushy, still windless and warm.

#37: Later that evening, somewhere else. Tide sucking out. What was waist-high there is head-high here. Much more fun, albeit bumpy. My last wave feels like riding down a staircase. So much so, I laugh out loud. The seal gazing at me is not impressed.

#38: More pretty waves. I mar them with my graceless ways. I ask the same question I always ask: How can I be so bad at something I love so much?

#39: International Surfing Day. Humboldt Surfrider hosts a beach clean-up at Moonstone. The swell’s bumped up, along with the north wind. I would’ve skipped the paddle out, but our volunteers persisted. By the time I reach the outside, I’ve been swept halfway to Clam Beach. But the walls of whitewater don’t translate into rideable waves once there, just mountainous mush. Totally stupid, but so bad, I crack up. Cold, windy, choppy, sloppy, overhead mushburgers… Happy International Surfing Day, Humboldt-style!

Looked today, but not in the right place at the right time. Our weeks of tiny, clean and warm 3 at 9 fades, replaced by this north wind-generated (and therefore cold and junky) 10 at 12. The options become 1.) suck it up and throw myself into conditions that still scare me more than I care to admit; 2.) scale down and “surf” those novelty spots that only work when both height and interval hit double digits; 3.) the gym and running along the ocean instead of into it.