Someday I will have a good camera again and you will be suitably impressed by the orange of the sky contrasting with the blue of the ocean.

#42: Fortunately my friend who’s learning to surf is 1.) a good sport; 2.) stoked to be in the ocean regardless of conditions. These positive attributes proved handy when our initial paddle out found us sitting on a peak next to an injured sea lion. (Poor guy.) We looked at each other, the sea lion and I. We looked at each other, my friend and I. “This seems like a bad idea,” she ventured. “My thoughts exactly,” I agreed. Especially since I was surfing without a leash. Not sure which threat was greater – that the sea lion would be aggressive due to his injuries or that he was essentially bait for any area sharks – but in either case, sharing a swim with him seemed a bad idea.

We warned the two other women about to paddle out, then weighed options. Our wetsuits were on and wet. Should we drive up the beach and resume our surf in less bait-ridden waves? Or call it a day and exchange the neoprene for yoga pants? Might as well get some exercise. We relocated to a more northerly spot, looked at junky crumbly swell I wouldn’t normally have bothered with, and paddled out into current that swept us down the beach into an area where even the whitewater flopped over so weakly that finding some push was impossible. After 20 minutes of paddling and a few halfhearted attempts at catching waves, we called it a morning and went in.

(Note: Was thinking about another time I surfed this spot without a leash, how I’d had a great session until my last wave, on which I wiped out, crashed head first against my board hard enough to stun me into a sensation of coming-to – and as I flashed back into awareness, Nick Cave was singing in my head. I thought I’d written about it, but can’t find it. Did however, find an old Jennifer’s Garden playlist and, at risk of sounding vain, I’m happy to look back at those and still feel like I had some pretty all right taste.)

#43: Drug Bobby out for an afternoon surf. Bumpy and high-tide, ongoing lousy wind swell, but a pretty sky and enough sets to keep a girl busy. Left with a smile on my face. Life is good.