Plans were made. I’d meet Dave at his house in town at 7 in the morning and from there we’d load up his mom’s minivan and drive westward towards the ocean.
Being the punctual guy that I am I was sure to be knocking on his front door by 6:58. We loaded up and were on our way. The twenty minutes it took to reach the ocean were spent catching up on each other’s lives and trading stories of summer surf.
We reached our first stop, Seaside, and perched ourselves along a wooden fence and eagerly scoured north and south for any sign of undulations. We saw nothing rolling through except the occasional one-foot shore break. Our hearts hung low as we clambered back in the minivan and drove to the next spot, all the while praying for some surf.
The next stop was Asilomar, which didn’t prove to be any better than Seaside.
Dave figured that if both Seaside and Asilomar were lakes, that for sure Carmel would be where the surf was hiding itself. He was wrong.
By this time it was passed 8 and we both were getting antsy. I had gone to bed early so that I could be at Dave’s house at 7 to get the glassy morning surf, and the fact that nothing was rolling in disenchanted me dearly.
With one last ditch effort we put all our money on the hope of Marina beach having something worth our time and gas.
We pulled into the Marina State Beach parking lot around 8:45, and as the sand shifted beneath the tires of the minivan, we got our first look at the break. To be honest there was something moving through Marina, but it wasn’t much. The one lone surfer who was out there seemed to only get a 3 second ride before the wave closed out on him.
We stood on the beach for about 15 minutes trying to fool our eyes into seeing something that was not there. I finally confessed to Dave that I think we got skunked and the best thing to do at this point was to head back.
We did. It was a quiet drive back into town.
At one point Dave felt it was necessary to apologize to me for the crappy surf. I knew it wasn’t Dave’s fault that the ocean was being unreasonable so I made certain to reassure him by saying that any time spent with him was worth the disappointment of not getting any surf, and ya know what, it was.
Between Dave and I, we’ve had plenty of good days worth retelling, and plenty of crap days. What mattered to me was not paddling out, but spending time with a friend who I don’t see much since I go to a school 6 hours away.
Disappointment hits hard, but underneath each despondency there’s a silver lining. You can sit back and whine about being disappointed, or you can look for the good things in each situation. Our happiness is our choice. Ultimately, no one can make us happy or sad unless we allow them.
I still have a sting when I think back on how much time we spent driving and hoping for the best, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a small price to pay to spend a couple of hours with a good friend.