Monday, January 12, 2015

Where Loyalties Lie

[surf shots by Scott, my dad and Danielle]

Escaping out of the small neoprene hole at the top of my 4/3 wetsuit after winter surfs for the last fifteen years always makes me think that, were I ever to be captured and tied up, I'd stand a pretty good chance of getting away. This morning I watched the steam float off my wetsuit as the rays of sun struck it; some scientific reaction that occurs when the cold water lingering in my suit meets the warm sun, although don't ask me to explain it beyond that. These are signs that remind me I'm not in Tahiti anymore.

We only surfed a few times on the trip. These sailing adventures are more about following the wind than the waves, even though we've usually found both. The spots we surfed were extremely beautiful and extremely shallow. The sea floor at the first spot made a pattern: deep, dark cave, shallow finger of reef, deep, dark, bottomless cave, shallow coral reef... At both spots I sat on the shoulder and observed for a long while before I took any waves. I would periodically peek under to see how deep it was, all the while extremely conscious of the fact that Sprout comes with me wherever I surf now. Finally a little corner came to me and I rode happily and cautiously along, kicking out before the shallows. 

It was hard not sitting at the main peak, taking off deep and trying to get barreled; pushing myself while also proving myself to the other surfers. Sometimes I feel like I have a responsibility to positively represent all female surfers when I paddle out. Like I owe it to every water woman who has tried to make her way in a male dominated arena to surf my best so that guys know girls can surf and deserve to be out there too. But I owe more to Sprout, and the good news was there was a local girl out taking off in the thick of the male pack and riding gracefully along. 

My last wave was my best. Scott gave me a boost by pushing my feet right as the wave came so I had extra speed going down the line. Maybe I'm just making this up so I feel less guilty about surfing while pregnant, but I think that Sprout really enjoys surfing with me. Sometimes it's hard feeling more vulnerable than usual. It's hard not to see that vulnerability as a weakness, but I know I will look back on this experience of surfing with my baby in my belly as some of the best surfing I've ever done.

Mauruuru Tahiti for the waves and memories! 

Tahiti Travel Tales


  1. Think about how cool it will be for Sprout to tell people that she or he began surfing before she or he was even born! I bet Sprout DOES love it already! :)

  2. I'm laughing about the escapology. Our back fence does that steamy thing as well when the conditions are just right. How lovely that you're still surfing a bit with your little Sprout, it probably feels like flying to Sprout. CJ xx

  3. What an incredible bond to share with your little one! These pictures are beautiful! You guys take the coolest family vacations:) I love looking at these pictures, so that I can pretend I'm near the ocean, too:)


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