Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Surfboard Tales, Part Four

After a storm, a great deal of flotsam is kicked up by the agitation, including various forms of algae and kelp not ordinarily seen on more peaceful days.  Much of it is unattractive and some of it is a little on the slimy side.  It is not unusual after riding a wave to find a draping of brown grape kelp on one's shoulder or a doily of green, plasticine algae on top of one's head.

I was talking about how much was in the water one morning with a young surfer who was typical of his generation, as he was educated in the academic concerns of the environment but a little less enthused about the real thing.  He offered this observation, while picking an accumulation of algae and other ocean offal from his wetsuit with great care and an expression of disgust on his face: 

“I like the waves.  It’s the ocean I can’t stand.”

[Excerpt from Reading Water, all rights reserved © 2011]