Hurricanes, obvious due to the recent tragedy of Katrina, do a lot of damage...physically, emotionally, and financially....but this weekend Ophelia has brought me good times with my friends and a more real sense of how 'real' our world is.
Not even knowing there was going to be waves this weekend, I returned home to Morehead City, NC....to find that a hurricane is developing right off the coast. I have grown up in this area my whole life and have seen many hurricanes...but I have always kept track....somehow things got really busy for me this past week and I totally did not realize! Now, growing up in this area and if you surf, you go surfing.
So first thing this morning I headed out to check things out and found a solid waist/chest high glassy rides...(above picture is a little bigger, but somewhat small compared to what grew through out the day)
As the day drew on and I kept surfing, with my friend Marc, things got bigger...the waves were breaking past the pier and becoming well overhead!
On the right is what it started to look like when I left today! I cannot really express how amazingly fun this sport is and how humbling going out in these conditions can be.
Surfing, to me, is very cleansing and gives me a real sense of who I am and where I want to be. Out there in the water, you get to reflect a lot on what matters to you...and thats exactly what I did today.
These conditions are not for the novice of heart, mind, and will, but have given me a generous dose of those very things today (things have been hard lately with my learning curve and the volumous nature of my work)....so I got to vent, got to shout...and got to finally drain some pent up energy by not sitting by a computer.
On a real positive note, I got to see some friends I haven't seen since high school. I was paddling into a really big wave and heard someone hooting at me (surfer behavior to say, 'right on, take it!')...and as I was getting up, I saw MJ Marsh...one of the local professional surfers who is just an amazing surfer and very humble. Also, I got to see my friend Matt Orbach, who I didn't realize till today is a full time volunteer in the peace corps...in the Ukraine...and also that his dad, how crazily coincidental is the director of Duke Marine Lab, Dr. Mike Orbach...who I also truely admire for his policy work and ability to mobilize people to save our oceans, wetlands, and beachs. I actually applied to work at the North Carolina Coastal Federation before moving to Charleston, SC to which he is very instrumental....
and of course I got to surf with Marc, a true friend who is soon going to be a daddy of Calvin Baxter Warren!!
I only hope tomorrow is as replenishing as today!