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floating up and down I spin colliding into sound

We went to Pounders Beach the other day. The waves were 8-10 feet. It was literally the scariest ocean encounter I've ever had, including the time Kaitlin and I were in the water with three nurse sharks on Jace's birthday three years ago. The water has so much power that I don't even realize. It was difficult to walk out through the shore break. The water wasn't even to my knees yet it had the power to rip my feet out from under me. The current going back out ripped my feet out from under me but the incoming wave slammed me on the ground and then pulled me out further. I wasn't thinking enough to be scared, but I fought the natural reaction to try and stand up. My dad taught me when I was little to just let the current take you, don't fight it. Just wait til it releases you to try and make it to the surface again. Living in Florida where the ocean has about as many waves as a lake, this didn't make a whole lot of sense. However, this was the day for application of a lesson. So Dad, if you're reading this, thanks for saving my life. (Scratch that. Mom, when you read this can you tell dad thanks? Thanks). The really dangerous part lasted about twenty feet out until the drop off where it got a little safer. The waves were big, but it was mostly because the water was so high. The waves weren't breaking on us, they were just rising up really high. It was so cool! If you caught the wave just right you could jump up on top of it and turn towards the shore. It looked like you were on top of a cliff way above the ground. You could look at the people you were with from four or five feet above them. It made my stomach drop a few times, but it was definitely an adrenaline rush.



(Yeah, those body boarders are most definitely NOT me. They were just some locals who ride the shore break all day like pros)

Another thing I learned about waves was how to dive under them. Again, I never needed to learn this skill before moving to Hawaii. I went to the beach when I first got here with the Kiwis and just got wasted wave after wave. I would just stay treading water until a monster wave broke over me, getting water in my mouth and up my nose, twisting me around and slamming me against the sand, leaving me disoriented and swimming to the ground thinking it was the surface. One person took pity on me and taught me to duck the break and that changed my life. The beach has always been a place of tranquility for me, but now the water was too. If you duck under the waves you can get just low enough to be safe while still feeling the power of the wave. It is probably the best feeling I know, to feel the strength of the water without it hurting you. Even better is when you can keep your heels above water as you dive through the bottom of a wave. The water rushes past your body, smoothing your hair back and you can feel it dragging past your fingers. Then it catches your heels and pulls you back just the tiniest bit. It is really indescribable how much power the ocean has, and how cool it is to be able to play with nature while still recognizing its power.

I guess to sum it all up...I love Hawaii.

[Title from Into the Ocean by Blue October]

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