how many days can you say a dream came true?
i grew up swimming in the
Ocean off of Long Island, NY but I never made the opportunity to surf
although i'd always wished to. even after 8 years in the pacific northwest
i had never donned a wetsuit, assuming wrongly that it wouldn't do all that
much good against the chilly salt water of sound and ocean. luckily, igor
had more initiative and organized an expedition down to
oregon. we rented boards and i a suit and hurled ourselves into the waves
at indian beach before the crowds got there. a dog accompanied us down the
path (good luck in japan!) and when we hit the water a seal joined us (more
luck!). we exhausted ourselves paddling through the chop, rode the swells
up and down and didn't really catch much. later, after watching other beginners,
we stayed in the shallows and practiced on the smaller breaks. by the end
of the day i was getting up and riding them in to shore. aside from the thrilling
sensation of standing up on a wave and feeling its power drive you, the
recollections of those moments are very vivid. going to sleep at night i
see the shifting water on my eyelids and feel the bed moving to the rhythm.
half the thrill was discovering that wetsuits really do work; all of a sudden,
ocean swimming is an option again. the trip was nothing short of an awakening,
a religious experience. i've found something more fun than booze.