Overhead, sloppy, chunky and the sun dropping into the sea. No one else but me wanted to paddle out, so I said, “Just one wave.” Victory-at-sea-like, I sloshed through the channel, dodged the lumps rolling in and bouncing off the jetty, tried to find some pattern to the mess around me, checked out the other folks scattered around. A few shortboarders opting to stay way inside, one guy paddling to stay in place on what appeared to be the outside. The current pulled me too far out at first; I used the incoming waves to realign myself with what appeared to be the place to be. Was the place to be – as right behind me, a lump of water suddenly shaped itself into a peak. I turned, paddled, caught it easily, popped to my feet and… almost stalled out. But a quick weight-shift propelled down the face of a wave not big, but bigger than I’ve been on in a while. Speed is fun! (Not that kind, kids!) The colliding waves created an occasional staircase effect. I navigated my way up, down, left, then right, then left again, almost to shore. It felt like forever. And then I stepped out of the temporary nirvana, back into the world of obligation. But oh, what a grand and much-needed 30 seconds of bliss.