All at Moonstone, due to both prevailing north winds and a friend returning to the water after a long absence. For a beginner, Moonstone’s waves are gentler, the shallower slope of the ocean floor more reassuring.

And the first two sessions took place during our brief heat wave. Seventy degrees at the airport and the water up to 58. I surfed without booties. Who cared what the waves were like? The sky shimmered blue from edge to edge, no wind to steal the sun’s warmth. The first evening we stayed in the water till sunset. On one side, the great golden orb melting into the sea, the sky all pink and orange above. On the other side, a nearly full moon rose against the deep blue and purple background. I let the waves roll by so I could watch without interrupting, then finally caught a last wave in, moonlight dancing on the water.

By the third session, the climate had cooled, the clouds had rolled in. I love being in the ocean. I love my friend. But at some point — I think it was around the fourteenth time I found myself facing endless rows of whitewater to fight through so that I could get outside and catch another mushy closeout — I got over it. “I’m over this,” I yelled to my husband. Nonetheless, I slogged my way to the line-up, and caught a final wave in. Turned out to be the best one of the day. The shoulder started to give way to foam, then it all reformed into a tiny wave with just enough speed that I managed to ride all the way to shore.

Thanks, ocean.