Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Call me Johnny Utah

Point Break

30 days after I left Los Angeles I was heading into the state of Maine with 45 degree air trying to creep through any imperfection in my hand made riding suit. I found myself following Erica who was leading to a surf shop in Kennebunk, ME where the owner had contacted Erica via an online forum with a place to stay and gear to surf. I have never surfed before.

It was around 6pm by the time we arrived and introductions were postponed because we were going to try and surf before it had gotten to late out. Before I was even able to extend my hand to greet the couple that offered to shelter us I was handed a wetsuit. I know people surf in chilly weather but it must have been in the 40s as the sun was going down and I'm sure the Atlantic wasn't going to be much warmer.

Nanci and Marc didn't waste any time getting Erica and I to the beach. I was handed a a long surf board and Nancy gave me a brief explanation of what I should do. Then I found myself running into 50 degree water with no real idea of where I was or what I was doing.

It was great.

Erica trying to get her suit on moments before running into the water.

By the time I wrestled my long board past the breakers my feet and hands had already adjusted to the water temperature and I felt completely comfortable. Though the waves weren't very large that night they were still big enough to surf. You just had to wait for the right ones and with only the moon light lighting the horizon it was a bit difficult to see them coming.

The way I spotted the right wave was when Marc and Nanci would shout "Go Jeff, paddle..." I paddled and caught my first wave and jumped up on the massive beginner board that I was handed and surfed into the shore. All I thought was, "great another expensive hobby."