My nephew Todd heard about all the fun Jeremy was having boogie boarding and decided that he wanted to join in. He called me and asked me to look for a boogie board for him. I stopped at a discount sporting goods store in the south bay and bought an inexpensive one for him, then had my dad deliver it to Todd for me. This was probably a little bit of torture, because Todd could not try it out until he came to visit me or someone else who lives close to the ocean. His mom, my sister Patty, says that after getting the board he tried on the wetsuit over and over again in anticipation. He was wearing his dad's wetsuit, and it fits surprisingly well with the legs rolled up a short distance.
Patty was baby sitting Jeremy and his sister while their mom and dad were off for a romantic weekend in Mendocino. Perhaps at Todd's insistence, Patty arranged to drive all the kids out to visit over the weekend. She called me beforehand and asked about the boogie boarding prospects. The swells at sea have been too high for kayaking or anything else at sea lately, but I had an idea. Jeremy, his friend Daniel, and I had recently discovered that at low tide the boogie boarding was OK at Salmon Creek Beach even when the swells are high. I checked the Tide Log and told Patty we should take the kids to the beach by 3:00 PM Saturday. There was a -1.1 foot tide predicted at 4:58 PM. This would not work on Sunday when the low tide would happen later.
This time I brought out my little Frenzy kayak to play in while Jeremy an Todd played on their boogie boards. Patty brought Nathan and Kira (Todd's little brother and Jeremy's little sister) along to build sand castles and chase sea foam.
Jeremy and Todd gravitated to a spot on the beach that looked a little dumpy to me (steep drop-off with waves breaking close to shore). The larger waves close to shore must have seemed a little more attractive. I tried to talk them into moving down to a "soupy" area that looked like there was a longer shelf of sand extending out to sea. But Jeremy didn't hear me and Todd stayed with Jeremy who was his current instructor. I tried surfing in the soupier spot figuring they would follow me. I asked Patty to move down the beach in case the boys were staying near her. Finally I talked them into moving. But by then it was 4:30 and they were both pretty tired. Jeremy didn't think my spot was much better, and there was a strong current in the water that they had to wade through and this may have tired them out more. I borrowed Jeremy's board for a few rides and though it worked great!
Moving up and down the beach in the kayak, near or far from the boys on the boards, I got to paddle in a lot of rough water. I made it over the dumpy part of the waves many times, and got quite a few rides back up onto the beach. I also got dumped out of the kayak quite a few times as well. In the dumpy area the kayak was tipped end-over-end backwards once when I was trying to plow over one wave. In the soupy area I was able to ride out the breakers for long periods of time and catch my breath. The large swells at sea broke a hundred meters farther out and prevented me from even thinking about trying to break for the open ocean.
I took a rest break from time to time to talk to Patty, but Jeremy and Todd hit the waves almost continuously for two hours. (With an occasional short stop to catch their breath when it got knocked out of them). They didn't want to stop, I think, because they knew that we started late and didn't have much time before sunset sent us home. I kept asking them if they were tired or cold and got an empathetic NO every time. Neither of them were wearing booties, gloves, or hoods. I felt a little overdressed in my wetsuit with life vest, booties, and felt hat.
But finally Todd had to stop and sit down for a while. Since this happened a little after 5:00 PM, Patty convinced them to quit so we could all go home. Once they were out of the water, the boys discovered they were hungry and eager to be taken to their Grandmother's house where dinner would be waiting for them.