Squaretail, quad fins and heavy-duty glassing. The pale-blue surfboard lay at Caspar’s feet as he began his final preparations. Removing each article from the pack, he strapped them to the board in the order he would use them. Discarding for good the boots, sweatshirt and shorts he stepped into the full-body suit pulling it up over his legs, letting the upper body hang at his waist, interest drawn by the complete lack of sound as the tide began its return to source. As the rain fell in sheets and the wind swirled with no design, Caspar took the cool salt air into his lungs and letting it go doubted his purpose for the first time, wondering if this was after-all a fool’s act.
Finding himself thigh-deep in the fifty-degree water, Caspar leaned into the storm, faced a battalion of white-capped soldiers, and launched himself atop the glossy deck of the nine-foot gun. His focus trained beyond the nose of the board, Casper steadied himself and began the long paddle to the island, the last obstacle as he crossed over the threshold.
From her vantage point on the beach, the girl watched Caspar greet the summer swell as it arrived from its lengthy Alaskan journey, meeting each wave head-on with confidence, driving down, pushing through and popping out clean on the other side. With that observation, the girl let her thoughts wander to an image and the words and rhymes of Jim Morrison, and his poetic verse “…climb through the tide…”. As she watched, Caspar paddled further and further from shore and seemed to shrink in the shadow of the force that roiled the sea, sending wave after wave to dissuade the young man from his quest. A black speck on the horizon now, indistinguishable against the shifting backdrop of silvers and greys, Caspar drifted out of sight, to a place where she believed, if the earth were in fact a tabletop, he would fall off the edge and slip into the void.
Caspar found the going much rougher than expected. And as the bitter chop grew in size from breakers and easy rollers to waves two and three feet in height, his only option became to duck each wave, escape the blows by going under, rather than taking them on face to face. As he forced his way up and out through the backside, he met yet another wave and another, each more determined than the last to knock him loose and flush him back to the mainland.
to be continued…