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June 3, 2007

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how many days can you say a dream came true?
i grew up swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off of Long Island, NY but I never made the opportunity to surf although i'd always wished to. even after 8 years in the pacific northwest i had never donned a wetsuit, assuming wrongly that it wouldn't do all that much good against the chilly salt water of sound and ocean. luckily, igor had more initiative and organized an expedition down to seaside, oregon. we rented boards and i a suit and hurled ourselves into the waves at indian beach before the crowds got there. a dog accompanied us down the path (good luck in japan!) and when we hit the water a seal joined us (more luck!). we exhausted ourselves paddling through the chop, rode the swells up and down and didn't really catch much. later, after watching other beginners, we stayed in the shallows and practiced on the smaller breaks. by the end of the day i was getting up and riding them in to shore. aside from the thrilling sensation of standing up on a wave and feeling its power drive you, the recollections of those moments are very vivid. going to sleep at night i see the shifting water on my eyelids and feel the bed moving to the rhythm. half the thrill was discovering that wetsuits really do work; all of a sudden, ocean swimming is an option again. the trip was nothing short of an awakening, a religious experience. i've found something more fun than booze.