Full Moon Dropkick

It was the supermoon from hell. The likes hadn’t been seen since 1948, and wouldn’t come back again till 2034. The closest the moon had been and would be to earth in all that time, 33 % bigger, brighter, betterer than any other time. A historic moment in time. How could we forego an opportunity like that? How could we sit at home and twiddle our thumbs while there was moonlight to lap up, and, more to the point, swell to ride?

So we didn’t.

We worded up all our mates, all the regular crew, put the invite out, lit the spark of feverish passion for living life to the full, balancing on the sharp knife-edge of sucking the marrow out of life, being brave, daring and dashing, embracing adventure and seizing the day. We asked everyone we knew, including all our own family. Come out for the moonlight ride of a century, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sheer unadulterated glory. We put it to well over twenty people.

No one showed up.

So in the end there was only the two of us meeting in the carpark 10 mins before sunset. It was going to be our fourth moonlight ride. There was still plenty of movement at the station, the day was warm, coming into summer, and people were coming in from the beach in big numbers. There was only two of us going out. So we paddled out into the waves, straight past the small handful of daytime lingerers still floating around at the point closest to the beach, and as we struck out past them we could feel more than see that some of them had decided to follow us, and we pushed through to the very end of the point, first rock, where, as it so happened, we did find one of our regular crew who had come out earlier and hadn’t gone home yet. Needless to say, he wasn’t going to go anywhere.

We sat on our boards as the night fell around us and very quickly, one after the other, the lingering leftovers pulled the pin and bailed out. When darkness set in there were, all told, four of us there, including one random who was sticking it out, and good on him. The swell wasn’t major, nothing much was happening, and anyway we were here on a mission, so we just relaxed on our boards, had a chat, and bobbed up and down amiably to the gentle rise and fall of the night sea. The, at exactly the appointed time, I spied a tiny sliver of bright orange appearing at the edge of the horizon, and all four of us sat there, mesmerised, as the big fat super moon rose majestically out of the water, perfectly round and bright orange, every line and contour and crater etched into its surface clear to see. Before long she sat a full hand’s breath above the edge of the world, and the light was as bright as day, just about, with everything eerily quiet, no wind, the birds in bed, and the surface of the ocean as smooth as glass.

So we turned around and paddled onto the first wave coming along and shot down into the bay, riding first in the darkness of the shadow of the sentinel rock, and then emerging into the bright light of the moon as it sat between sentinel rock and the bulk of the headland. It was like stepping from night into day. We dropped off at the end of the ride, and as we paddled back up again we noticed that the water had taken on a life of its own. Every time our hands cut into the water to drag us forwards they sent up showers of multicoloured sparkles, growing brighter and more intense as we went along: yellow, orange, red, blue, green, purple, shining and twinkling in the moonlight like fairy lights on a christmas tree in an acid trip. The bubbles caused by our hands twirled and swirled psychedelically, creating clouds of colour just beneath the surface. Amazing, and surreal. It’s called phosphorescence, and is caused by the disturbance of organisms like bacteria and plankton in the surface layer of warm ocean water; disturbed, in this case, by our hands pulling through the water.

A wall of black water rose up behind me and I paddled, glided and jumped, and I was away riding across the bay, and I yahooed and yelled and sang with the exhilaration of it, the sheer amazement of riding over the ocean in the night. Then, not sure why, but for some reason I looked down at my feet, and there at the tail of my board, where my fins were anchoring the living rising ocean, the bubbles of my wake had turned blue, bright neon blue, and they were tumbling and falling over each other in a waterfall of luminescence, and where the edge of my board sliced through the water two trails of bright neon-green foam had sprung up, and followed me all the way along that ride; until I fell off at the end of the wave, and plunging into the water I kept my eyes open and saw that I floated in a whirlpool of multicoloured particles of light, all around me, everywhere. I was just mindblowing.

We paddled and jumped and caught and rode for a while, the three of us taking it in turns, till eventually our mate left to face the music with his missus, not having let anyone know where we was going, and more importantly, that he didn’t intend to come back till well into the night. The fourth bloke was long since gone. So the two of us rode and paddled, and carved the great black. We had regrouped and had been sitting there for a bit, sharing these amazing experiences, just revelling in the sensation of it all, when, out of the blue, some other bloke turned up. By this stage we’d been out for a while, the tide had started coming in, and the waves were coming through less frequently. We sat, as usual, in the order in which we get our rides: first person back on the inside, next one to their right, and so on, taking it in turns as the waves pass through. We’d been sitting there for a good ten minutes at that stage, waiting for a wave, when the new bloke turned up. We talked to him companionably for a few minutes, and then a wave presented itself behind us. My mate, who was on the inside and was therefore first in line, spun around and paddled onto it, got up and started riding, when right smack bang in front of him the newcomer paddled onto his wave and dropped in on him, cut him out of it and snatched his wave. I sat there and stared, thinking that was a bizarre thing to do.

My mate didn’t feel philosophical about it. He stuck his head out of the water, bristling with fury, and that was the end of our night ride. Three people in the whole bay, and some dickhead still feels the need to drop in on someone else. Unbelievable.

So we paddled to shore and walked away in disgust, commenting on the lack of manners and etiquette in the world of surfing. We were walking up the boatramp when a couple of girls with boards under their arms came bouncing down towards us. Seeing us they stopped and said:

‘Oh, how are yous, have yous seen a bloke out there with long hair?’

We looked at each other and said:

‘Yes, he’s out there …’

Then we walked off and they headed down towards the water. When we were out of earshot we turned back to each other and finished off the sentence:

‘… but he’s a cunt’.

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