I headed out to the lake last night for a surf session with onshore winds 20-30 knots. Waves were about 5-7 feet, but very confused. I tried using the surf kayak for most of the evening to catch rides, but there were heavy closeouts everywhere. It was kind of a mess. My early lessons in having some sort of bend in the wind from the North was reinforced. The waves reflected off the pier and I was essentially playing in seven foot clapotis in a surf boat. I would drop in to surf on a massive face that would quickly hit a wave reflecting off the pier, and I would get almost airborn each time, (fun on it’s own) but I was terrified of nose diving the bullet in the shallow water, so I always held back a bit. But I took a lot of zippered closeouts where I got tossed sideways nearly airborne.
It was good, and somewhat life-affirming to head out, and hit the surf after doing a lot of thinking about the 18 year old, Mitch Fajman, who lost his life on Lake Michigan on Saturday evening. I take a lot of risks as a 37 year old guy. I usually have a healthy pit of dread in my belly for big wind and waves. And on most days within reason I tell my belly to shut the hell up, so I can surf. But on that particular day, I listened to it, and stayed home. But having had some nasty swims out there, it is no joke. But, I can’t live my life in fear of what might happen. I love the thrill of catching big waves in a small boat. Nothing in life compares to it. I just pray that my judgement holds steady in the years to come.