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Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011 Moondoggie Day


Down at the Ocean Beach Pier, the surf wasn't really up, but the tide was coming in, so a row of five breakers was enough to attract about fifteen diehard surfers, even if the temperature was under 50 degrees with a water temp of 55.  Those guys keep track of the tides so they know when they can cop a ride.

Here comes Moondoggie, slogging through the sand carrying his board.  He's maybe six feet tall, weighs about 165 and may be 20 years old.  He's wearing his wetsuit half pulled up, board tucked under his arm.  They don't use the big boards any more from what I've seen. He stands there looking at the other surfers bobbing around on the swells way out toward the end of the pier, talking about the "big one."

Moondoggie stands on the cold cold beach half naked.  Then he sticks his arms into the air over his head like he's praying to the surf gods, and screams an announcement of his presence.  He holds them up for a few seconds before looking around, grabbing the dangling wetsuit and slithering into it.  When it's zipped up he grabs his board and heads toward the sea.  Walking partway into the surf he suddenly screams again.  Reckon he's discovered the Pacific isn't very warm?

He dives through an oncoming smallish breaker, tosses his head on the other side and slips onto his board, paddling on out to the end of the breakers.  After buddy bobbing, watching a couple other surfers grab a wave, go for a little ride and paddle back, our boy, Moondoggie, picks one and paddles for it, jumps up on the board and glides toward shore.

When the wave plays out, he simply stands up in the shallow water and walks a ways before shoving the board through the next soupy wave.  He looks resigned to getting a ride from whatever the sea has to offer this day.

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