#30: Bobby’s birthday surf. He wanted a family surf and the ocean obliged, offering up fun-sized glassy waves and offshore winds.

Now, if the day had been mine to direct, I would have rousted everyone out of bed in conjunction with the low tide, but because we were doing things on someone else’s schedule, the morning turned to afternoon and the tide to high before we arrived at the beach. We dropped the car off near the Coast Guard station. I climbed into the back of the truck, clung to the side as Bobby drove us out the bouncy back road and up over the dunes. This is what passes for crazy in my life.

At the beach, the glassy ocean reflected the gray summer sky. Silver shimmered here and there as the clouds thinned. Only a few people out, spread between a couple peaks. The family suited up. Everyone caught waves. Seeing Kaylee out, making pretty drops, as confident inside a breaking set as gliding down the face of a wave, particularly pleased me. I still remember the first time she ever surfed out there – she was nine and the summer was magic. Nice to see that magic rekindled.

#31: Slightly smaller surf, no less fun. This time I took myself out of the house early to make the low. Worked out well – the biggest problem I had was I surfed so long and caught so many waves that my body wearied and I ended up making a number of particularly kooky drops near the end. There’s a reason I always, always add a little wax to my board, I remembered as I slipped on a slick patch not once, but twice.

Meanwhile, this guy I didn’t know put my own wave count to shame as for the entire duration of his time in the water he was: 1.) on a wave; 2.) paddling into a wave; or, 3.) paddling back from catching a wave. Inside, outside, small, set, whatever – the man rode everything with a friendly, nonchalant style. Plus, despite catching so many waves, he was never in anyone’s way or preventing anyone else from catching their own. Pretty much it was like Jesus was in the line-up.

Ultimately, I made a nice drop on a set wave, then caught a final left to the beach to wrap up the session. Always better to end on a good note. And this was good.