#6: Windless, head-high, glassy rights and lefts (I went right). I could do this for the rest of my life.

#7: Windless, overhead-and-then-some, glassy rights and lefts. Right there. Right over there. Or maybe right there. If the damn current wasn’t sending me in the opposite direction, maybe I could get to them. Or maybe I should stay here and catch one of those lefts. Or rights. Except, wow, they are hard to get into. Can I possibly take off any later? Would that help? Maybe I should paddle over there. Sure is pretty. Oh shit, look at that set. Paddle… paddle… come on, tired arms! Ah, this sucks. Glug. Gasp. Great, now I’m way inside, way too far over, with muscles feeling like overcooked spaghetti. Forget it. Jeez.

#8: Slightly offshore, overhead, sunny Sunday. We broke one of surfing’s top commandments: Surf the waves you see. We opted to take our chances at a less-crowded elsewhere. But by the time we relocated and suited up, the swell had bumped from 5 at 11 to 5 at 17, changing the beachbreak paddle out from mildly challenging to well nigh impossible — the longshore current pulled us north faster than we could get beyond the lines of whitewater. Far faster. We could watch the dunes blur by faster. Crazy. So, yeah, another paddling session, really.