It’s not that I haven’t been surfing in the last month - in the last 30 days we’ve been lucky enough to see two hurricanes flirt with the Northeast coast (combined with some stretches of unseasonably warm weather) and I made sure I got as much of that swell as possible - but work on 3S seems to have drawn on every other moment of my free time, or left me with just enough energy to watch back episodes of The Office.
This weekend, however, was a quieter one, and yesterday evening with winds blowing pretty steadily out of the north I decided to take the drive up to Gooch’s beach in Kennebunk. I’d checked the report a few times earlier in the day and was expecting the thigh-high peelers indicated at least twice, but apparently the swell had dropped through the afternoon. By the time I arrived it was knee high, occasionally larger, with long periods between anything worth riding. Having driven to Portland twice in the preceding 24 hours, I have to admit I was a little disappointed, but as I sat in my car and watched a lone long boarder take her last wave in and the light change as the sun dropped auspiciously toward that large hotel on the west side of the beach, it seemed like I’d be more disappointed if I turned around and headed home.
Just being at a beach I don’t normally surf was fun - watching the surf rise unpredictably and thrash around that strange marker a quarter mile out is always interesting - and the waves improved as the sun set. By the time I left there had been four of us in the water, including a guy on a pink fish shredding the beach break, making the rest of us look a little lame. That said, I had some satisfying rides, including a left, looking directly into the setting sun. I’ve never had that sense of blindness riding a wave before, with everything shadowy and in motion. It was pretty strange, feeling more comfortable looking backward over my shoulder than down the face of the wave in front of me.