Morgan Sliff

Endless Session, Day 174: The Call

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Gliding with the birds on Day 174. Photo by Brendan Simmons

The call of the ocean and gliding behind the birds on Day 174. Photo by Brendan Simmons

By Morgan Sliff

The call of the sea is forceful, gets beneath the deepest parts of your skin, and it’s what makes a surfer familiar with the chilly darkness preceding sunrises all too well.  A water lover with that profound connection to the ocean forcefully lifts his or her tired body out of bed when the rest of the world is still in slumber to plunge into the wintry ice bath that is the Pacific.  The call grabbed hold of a beyond stellar group of surfers this morning, antsy to get their feet wet and dance with walls of water.

5:30 hit with a screeching alarm, but all I could hear next to my head were the beeps saying, “It’s get ready for surf trip time!”  Three very important stops had to be made before the expedition to the sea started – pick up the talented musician and singer Zacc West, swoop the surfboard shaping master himself Jose Barahona, and last but surely not least grab my charging friend Gina.  The troops were rallied, and with three humorously massive longboards strapped to the roof and one shortboard separating Jose and Gina in the backseat, we gassed up the surfmobile and began our journey, southward bound.  With all of us being a tad melancholy from waking up to the loss of rockstar legend David Bowie, we found it more than fitting to play and sing his tunes all the way to our destination while we watched the sky light on fire with the deep red hue of rays poking with ferocity through the clouds.

An epic start to the day was made epic-er when I skipped up to Shane Jones of JoneSea wetsuits in the parking lot, excited to retrieve my brand spankin new handmade and custom wetty.  It was the first time I had stepped foot into a dry wetsuit in months, (I’m a lousy surfer and without fail forget to hang my suits to dry) and it fit like a stretchy, warm neoprene glove.  Brendan Simmons, logging ripper and photographer, followed us down and joined us in the lot along with Lance Jenkins, drone pilot master and handstand surfing extraordinaire, and we dispersed and started our paddle into what was an incredibly long and magical session.

Although the lineup was speckled with an immensely heavy crowd, the consistent waves coming in had my already sore post – yoga shoulders on fire.  I occasionally rolled back and forth in the incoming lines to catch my breath and watch JoneSea on wave after wave, arguably the most skilled and most entertaining surfer in the water at any given time with his unique and effortless style.  The loggin crew occasionally waved or chatted with each other, but for most of the time we floated and bobbed in our own little bubbles, keen on having some alone time with naught but ourselves and the ocean.

One by one, everybody glided back to the parking lot, and still out in the water I looked back to see my fantastic friends standing there and made the decision to part ways with the sea, shoulders eventually giving out and prompting me to join them back where the amazing surf session all began.

Burgers, a ride home with all of us singing into pretend microphones, and making it back just in time to get ready for work followed shortly after.  As we neared home down the infamous 190th St., we gazed at the calm ocean and with great restraint shoved aside the craving for a second session, our jobs and various responsibilities about to take the reins in the very near future.  Even so, the call is endless.  Whether at work, school, home, or in the water- for many it is always and will always be there.  I lost the sea for years of my life, but would feel a deep and utter longing when I stared out my window at the magnificence that was the ocean.  I now understand exactly what that feeling was.

Tomorrow morning will come with assurance of another calling into the sea, and another wall of magical water waiting to be danced upon.

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