In which we are at the beach ....
“Sponges grow in the ocean. That just 'gets' me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen.”
We arrive at the beach, the fresh smell of salt water and sunblock lingering in the air.
“What are we doing?” I ask as we walk in towards a bicycle rental shop.
“We’re going to rent a family bicycle and cycle across the entire boardwalk.”
“Oh. Sounds like fun.” We walk towards the shop and enter into the air conditioned room. Behind the counter stood an old man, maybe around 54, who greeted us with a smile.
“How can I help you?”
“Can we have a family sized bicycle?”
“Yes, that would be 25 dollars.”
The man walked out and we followed. He walked into a garage where he pulled out a large gleaming red four wheel bicycle. It looked almost like an incomplete old time car, as if after making the frame, no one ever bothered to put one anything else, leaving the car entirely open. There were two steering wheels, but only one actually steered. My parents sat in the back row. Me and my brother in the front. There was a small basket looking seat in front of the first row. It was nice and high so Daniel sat there with a small squeeze horn.
Thomas started out as the driver. To be honest, we all thought that he was a terrible driver. It was as if he didn't know what a straight line was and the concept of trying not to avoid things at last minute. While he was driving, I felt like we almost got into multiple accidents yet he still had the this-is-all-so-easy-that-I-don’t-have-to-pay-attention face on. After a while, I was so grateful that it was my turn to drive. No more close calls.
The boardwalk was mostly made of boards (hence its name). While I was driving, we suddenly heard a loud rumbling sound that kept on going for a long time. We all thought that it was either thunder or wind, but it turned out to be the sound of the wheels rolling on the hollow floorboards of the boardwalk. The sound was unbelievable.
* * *
I was extremely disappointed as I trudged back from the bathroom I took so long to get to, especially barfoot on the wood, which is surprisingly hot. I needed to change into my swimsuit and the bathroom didn’t allow changing in them. The wood was burning my feet and the sun was shining hard at me. The sound of waves crashing into the beach echoed throughout the beach as I rushed back to where my parents were.
“Why don’t you have your suit on?” Mom asked me.
“The bathrooms don’t let you change. I’ll have to change here.”
“Do you need help?”
“Sure.” Seconds later, I had my suit on and I rushed into the water.
The waves here were much smaller than on the other end of the beach, but because we parked over here and because we didn’t want to stray too from our car we stayed over here. Thomas and I went pretty deep into the sea, trying to get a good wave. Seeing that there wasn’t any waves yet, we went back onto land to try to dig a hole, a tradition we do every time we went to the beach.
“Hey, look at this!” I pointed at a little bug looking creature. It scampered away and I reached out and grabbed it again.
“Quick, put it in here!”Mom had a pail filled with water in her hand. I let the little shrimp bug into the water. We found so many of them it was ridiculous. Everytime we found one, Daniel would get extremely excited and jump up and down as one of us put it in the pail.
Unfortunately, the hole we dug was way too close to the tide and was washed away before we could even finish. By now the tide was starting to get higher and the waves bigger. We jumped into the ocean and rode some waves.
* * *
Four great ways to ride waves without a surfboard:
1. “If you gently float on your back as a large wave comes, you feel like you’re floating in midair as the wave passes you.” - Thomas
Revision made by Linda: “If you gently float on your back with your head tilted slightly up as a large wave comes, you feel like you’re floating in midair as the wave passes you even more.”
2. “If you dive with the wave, the wave pushes you down” - Thomas
Revision made by Linda: “Not true.”
3. “If a really big wave comes crashing in, start swimming when it’s still kind of far away and when the waves crash into you and pull you near shore, you’ll feel like you’re in a swirling mess and it is the coolest feeling ever” - Linda
Revision made by Thomas: No revision acquired
4. When a really large wave comes crashing at you, try jumping as last minute as possible and do a 180 degrees turn so that the water doesn’t get into your eyes. The best jumps can leave you half-way out of the water even at the high point of the wave.” - Linda
Revision made by Thomas: “How in the world do you even jump that high?”
* * *
It was around noon that we stopped for a break and had hot dogs for lunch. The waves were still getting higher and we rushed back into the water to catch the big ones again.
* * *
While we were in the water, playing with waves, Daniel had been on the sand, digging another hole with Dad. It was small and round and it looked extremely like a well. We got out of the water to help with the hole, hoping to make it nice and big before the tide came up and washed it away like our other one. Speaking of which has been completely washed away. The Well, as Thomas calls it, was dug nice and deep, but its walls kept on continuously collapsing. Each collapse made the Well bigger and eventually it wasn’t really a well anymore. We dug hard to keep up with the collapses as we watched the tide get higher and higher, closer and closer to our Well. We all knew the inevitable was coming. Our Well was going to get washed away soon. Feeling like a deserting soldier running away from its dying fort to join enemy forces, I ran back into the water and joined the waves. Minutes later, I turned back to look at our Well. There was nothing left but a few small lumps of sand. Another wave washed up and lumps disappeared. The Well was gone.
* * *
The waverider is walking into the water. She is calm as she stares at the ever rolling horizon of the ocean. She digs her toes into the soft and fine sand. She stands with her heels raised to get a better grip on the sand. Her legs are bent into a slight squat and she eyes the incoming wave, judging whether she should take her great leap. No, the wave is too small. She lets it pass her, gently jumping to keep her head above water. She lands on the sandy bottom again and grips the sand with her feet again. A few more waves pass her. She jumps them, but none of them are the great wave that she is waiting for to make her magnificent leap. A wave is approaching. The loudness of its water rings in the waverider’s ears. The wave has come. She waits until the wave almost looms above before she jumps. Immediately, she springs up, one knee bent up against her, the other leg straight. Her arms are down beside her as she spirals up and hits the wave with her back. She is half-way out of the water and the wave sparkles as the waverider hits it, splashing glistening white water out around her, as if she has grown angel wings. Her hair is stretched out behind her, wet from the water, as the wave pushes her slightly forward. The waverider spirals down and lands into her original position. Her toes in the silky sand, waiting for the next wave.