CAUTION: This post contains references to people and practices from the last century.
I have a home/office landline and two cell phones. One, the smart phone, cracked glass and blown out speakers, is for business, mostly, texts and notes and contacts; oh, and it does have internet, so, if I want to look at a camera or at selected buoys, maybe check out the doppler, I can kind of do it. The other phone is my (and Trish hates the greeting that goes with it in the odd instance that I don’t answer, either because it set itself to mute- not my choice, ever, or I am actually on the device, chatting) Super Secret Stealth Surf Phone. It’s a dumb flip phone, the kind they market to old people.
There is one contact on this device, Miller Paint, that isn’t a family member or a surfer. And there aren’t, like, that many surfers.
And, of the surfers on the contact list, there are probably only three that I would call if I want to team up (as in they drive) to go in search of some rideable waves, and/or to report on conditions, bad or ridiculously bad, should I be as some spot that actually has cell service.
YET, I DO WANT TO KNOW.
And so do you.
“Waist to chest, groomed, lined-up? And, you say, you’re waxed up and, oh, you’re totally dressed in tight, form-fitting rubber and ready to slip into a few, didn’t catch that… A frame peaks and curvasious barrels? One moment please, while I connect you.”
THERE HAS BEEN, lately, and as always, some discussion as to who is telling what to whom. Sharing images is also a topic in conversations that take place during the long lulls between short windows of possible wave action. If your cousin’s surfer buddy from work in East Seattle gets a photo of someone ripping up a side-chopped two footer at any beach that has, in the distant background, some chunk of land that may or may not be Canada… well, who the hell sent that out?
PARTY LINES LEAD TO PARTY WAVES. Yeah, I get it. Back when I started realsurfers.net, 2013 (Yeah again, like ten years! of self indulgent content), I thought it was fine to write about how I surfed this spot until the wind got on it, then cruised over to this other spot, rode a few, then checked out this spot and that one on the way back home. I DID HEAR ABOUT IT from the few readers who, desperate for surf related stuff, stumbled across my… irk… blog.
“Hey,” I surfer asked a friend of mine with him in the water, “Is that the old guy (on the beach trying to put on my wetsuit) who posts shit on the internet?” “You mean… Erwin?” “I don’t know his name, but he’s got that gay website.”
The site is not, basically, gay; though I did, in the interest of inclusion, decide not to call it “Strait Surfing.” And, gay or not, thanks for checking it out. AND NO, I no longer name any spots, or even tell when I might have found some rideable waves. It’s all about the info, the intel. We are all (another sixties reference here, “Spy vs. Spy” from “Mad Magazine,”) trying to piece together enough info on tides and angles and periods and spots to make a reasonable gamble on heading on a surf expedition at a certain time.
WHAT WE HAVE, among surfers who want to find waves, locals and non-locals and way-not-locals, are CIRCLES OF INFLUENCE; maybe you are in my contact list, most likely someone not in mine is in yours. And, NEWS GETS AROUND.
BEFORE I Apologize for my past sins… Just coincidentally, watching some old Dylan on YouTube because, well, I love Dylan’s work, and because the latest podcast of “Nate and Koa’s Podcast” hasn’t shown up, and I came across a video pieced together by “Swingin’ Pig” from two live performances in 1966. It was “Ballad of a Thin Man,” and, because I wasn’t all that stoked on watching it, I hit on the ‘Comments.” Usual stuff, but in there was a reference to the line, “You should be made to carry around a telephone.” The commenter thought this was Dylan foretelling the future. I checked the official lyrics this morning (because I care) and found the lyrics were changed to “You should be made to wear earphones.”
It’s ear buds, Bob; but… hey.
Dylan, of the era, photo by Jerry Schatzberg
ANYWAY, I DO PROMISE to continue to contain if not curtail my gossiping and snitching on whatever super awesome sessions at some unnamed spot I happen to accidentally survive, and I apologize for telling ____ that _____ told me he, ______ was surfing at ______ with _____ and ________ a ______ ago, when, as you now tell me, you were working and totally missed it.
MEANWHILE, I got to the end of the manuscript for “SWAMIS” again, fourth time, and it’s under 100,000 words, and, rather than going through it again (not a rewrite), I am choosing to provide good if non-specific content for folks kind enough to check it out. OH, and if you want to be on the contact list of my super secret stealth surf phone, call me.