Heap o'neoprene

Sometimes even when conditions appear exactly the same — same wave height, same swell period, same direction, same tide — the waves shift from clean, organized peaks serving up long rights and lefts to mushy chaotic close-outs. Betty’s turns to Junkers.

Today was not that bad, but certainly the picture-perfect failed to materialize. Especially unfortunate as Kaylee decided for the first time in a while to join us for a surf. She caught a wave right away; joy suffused my heart. But mostly the sets would either back off or break erratically. Despite that, Nick caught several waves on the longboard that I let him use because I am such a nice mom. I caught a few, Bobby messed around up the beach from us, and then a clean-up set pushed everyone way inside.

As we changed amidst the ATV fumes and racket, the sun broke through a hole in the clouds. White sails lit up on the horizon; seafoam curled along crashing waves like decorative icing on a cake. Shadows cast darker, adding depth and dimension to a world that, moments before, had been all varying shades of gray.

The surfing part was only so-so; the pleasure of surfing with the kids plus the unexpected beauty pouring forth on the beach upgraded the session into a much nicer memory.