Before I begin this little tale, let me just say; When it comes to getting skunked, I am world champion. No one can claim more mirage sightings than me. I have driven farther, for no waves, than anyone. Period.
My brother Chris, loves to call me four times a day, when there is, is about to be, or if there is no chance in hell of surf, trying to get me to drive to Jacksonville. He doesn't mean to be wrong all the time, it's just that his hopes are sometimes mixed with the facts. Friday at eight A.M., I had five messages from him. I got on the internet surf reports, looked at the pictures, and by eleven, I was in the car headed to the east coast. I haven't REALLY surfed since my neck was welded in place and I was chafing in the car. I knew it was going to be good and I was worried I wouldn't surf well.
Huguenot Park was packed but the locals were full and leaving the table. It was about chest, to head high, and fun. I paddled my 7'2" fun shape into a herd of surfers, that I could see weren't getting any waves. I waited for a long time, and finally got a scrap that didn't break by the jetty. A guy took off on me, and I just pulled in behind him and he kicked out. After that, I had no trouble the rest of the day, and got about seven or eight pretty good waves.
The real joy was watching Chris, finally riding the right board, after fifteen years of being under sized and sinking. He is white as a ghost from his chemo and radiation treatments, but he doesn't care. He was sitting inside first peak and I had to laugh, and slap the water, every time he stood up. This was the birthday present of a lifetime. I remembered him singing "Happy Birthday " to me from Bethesda Maryland, in a bed, in the National Cancer Institute, one year ago. I know I have mentioned it before, but I love to say it, he had a six percent survival rate. Less than Lance. So when he does a cut back at first peak, on my birthday, well that's as good as kicking Jan Ullrich's ass any day. I never thought I would surf again with my neck, and I didn't think Chris would see another birthday....mine or his, so Yeah the waves were good, I surfed pretty good, so did Chris....but that's the least of it.
I picked up my chips, tossed one to the dealer with a wink, and left while I was ahead.