7/4 — Gray Whale Cove and Linda Mar

I drove to Gray Whale in the fog and hiked down. The beach was full of people celebrating the Fourth and no one was in the water. I had a few little rides, but wasn’t feeling good. I rode into shore and sat. I hadn’t eaten for almost a day and hadn’t really realized it until then. Not by choice… I just had been anxious about things, mostly one, and in a day of travel I didn’t eat. I hiked back up and picked up a bagel.

I went to Linda Mar where the water was smooth and the waves were small. I paddled out in a mindful haze. I caught a few waves, lefts, riding my 6'2" like a longboard and stepping up to the front and crouching to stay in the break.

I made friends with another surfer also surfing alone on the Fourth. We chatted about surf and who we were. A massive whale breached its head close out to sea. A few minutes later a pod of dolphins lazing around appeared. We paddled out to the pod and watched from our immersed vantage point as little baby dolphins popped out of the water.

I caught a few more waves, and finally went in, walking through families, smoke, waving flags and sparks.

The surf was okay, but today was nearly without question the worst 4th of July I’ve ever had, and possibly the most alone I’ve ever felt in years.

I let very few people into the close areas of my life, the ones I cherish and care for the most. One, in particular, I love.

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