A Photo from the DIRTY SOUTH

This is what they, I am told, call ‘flat’ conditions on the Big Island. The wave. The move, radical anywhere.

STEPHEN R. DAVIS is back in the Northwest. He didn’t, like, hep me to the timeline for his arrival, but I was out in the very unusual circumstance of barely-rideable waves (the usual being what is known as ‘flat’ anywhere and everywhere), and I look around, and there’s someone paddling out, too much sort of burnt-orange hair hanging out from a hood. I try to focus with my better eye and the one that has developed ‘floaters,’ and can’t help but think, “Who the fuck is that and why is he trying to steal the Stephen Davis look?”

Anyway, he’s back, and, he claims, I actually and purposefully kept him from going on several waves and burned him on another. “Yes, Steve, I did. It was you ‘welcome back’ burning.” “Okay.” “Okay.”

Steve hasn’t cut all ties with the Island. A former Port Townsend ripper, Makenna (sp?), who I never, to my knowledge, met; the son of a surfer, sent Steve this photo. Yes, the guy does rip.

I don’t have a lot more to report, surf-wise. A succession of rainstorms, most centered too far south to send swell of any size down the Strait, have soaked and saturated and… yeah, kind of depressing. Welcome back, Steve; anxiously awaiting my pay-back burning.

I would endure, possibly without audible grumbling, numerous burnings, and multiple instances where people just can’t seem to not shoulder hop or be totally (not fond of bailing) in the way on a decent wave; I will happily paddle out for sessions where the wind or the tide are wrong, or the waves are weak and sloppy; all because I prefer pretty much any surf session over any skunking.

Yes, the scenery, if one looks, can be spectacular. The mountains are getting snow, leaves are still falling, some still hanging on trees. Yes, the clouds, when it isn’t just one massive and all-encompassing cloud, can be beautiful. Yeah, yeah; but I can’t wait to get that session where I set my sights on a set wave, a bomb; I’m in position. I look over at Steve. He smiles. He goes. Welcome back.

ALSO: The showdown between Nam and I, pretty much set up by Reggie’s claim that Nam is the “King of the Strait,” postponed several times because he was getting out of the water, or I was, or something; it is ON. ON I tell you. We were both recently in the water at the same time. I wanted to ask observers on the beach who outsurfed whom. I did yell at Nam on one wave that “Posing is not the same as ripping,” but there were too many people and not enough waves, and I am well aware that most (or a high percentage of) folks seem to like Nam, and I am, um, less popular.

My lack of popularity is something my friends like to point out. Frequently. Here’s one from promoter Reggie: “You know that one woman surfer… not a fan of you. Well, she…”

Nam, pointing out that neither of us caught that many waves (I’ve never caught too many waves), said the session shouldn’t count. “Oh, then I’m going to claim victory.” “Wait. Two out of three.” Fair enough. Next time.

According to Trish, all us Olympic Peninsula surfers, and the surfers who cruise up 101 or come over on the ferries; yeah, let’s be inclusive, even if it’s only to be accurate; each one of us acts as if, after this little swell window or this session, waves will never return. She’s right, of course. There will be other opportunities. And Trish doesn’t have the answer to “Okay, so, like… when, exactly?”

Stephen R. Davis out on a boat. Oh, sometimes he has a beard. Sometimes he shaves it. I believe he shaved it the other day. All orange all the time. Oh, and he also rips

WAIT, because Chimacum Tim wants to be mentioned, this because he seems to believe realsurfers is more than it is, I should mention he just had a birthday. Forty-something. This was pointed out by his wife, Shay (might be Shae, not sure). “Oh, why isn’t he here surfing with you?” “Back issue.” Now, I did send him a text on my way home. I did say, because Shay asked me to, that she was ripping (I’m really not that generous on rating ripping, and I really didn’t hang around to observe), but, because I do admit the truth when I have to, Chim Tim (and part of this is that he told a friend that, “you know, Erwin does actually surf pretty well”) is a pretty decent surfer. In fact, though I hate to gossip, someone did say Tim was doing some good surfing on a fish, impressive enough that that unnamed individual was considering adding one to his quiver.

So, Sunday, Seahawks, and, hey, is it still raining? Or is it about to rain? Or will it ever stop raining?

We’ll see.

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