Meet me by the sea

Happy Human Rights Day, South Africa!

To celebrate the girls and I hopped in a car with some new friends and headed down to Muizenburg for a day of surfing. And what a stellar day it turned out to be. It felt so good to be in the ocean. Finally we were at a beach where we could get in the water.

We rented some wetsuits and boards, got a quick, five minute tutorial from our South African buddy, Josh, and then headed in the water. What a feeling to be out gliding over the water on a board, paddling up and over the waves. Scenes from every surfing movie flashed through my mind and I shook my head and smiled. No wonder people love this. I hadn’t even attempted yet and I was already one happy girl. I faced my board toward the shore and positioned myself, waiting for the right wave. Here’s where it got good. I flashed back to when I was young, my dad teaching me and Ty how to catch a wave with a boogie board and ride it all the way in. And when the wave came, I felt just like that little girl again. I caught the wave or maybe it caught me and I started flying toward the shore. I thought, I guess I should try and stand up now. Up I went.

Alright, so I know it was only like a three foot wave or whatever, but still it felt pretty sweet to get up my first try and ride it all the way in. In true Blue Crush fashion, I put my hands up in victory at the very end.

I started to paddle back out, so so so ready to do it again when all of a sudden this super loud siren starts going off. I looked toward the shore and at the other surfers- no one was really reacting. I finally asked someone near me, “What does that mean? What’s going on?” He just says “Shark.”

Oh.

Although a bit slower than I would have thought, everyone started making their way out of the water. A big white flag with a back shark was waving in the distance. A frightened little girl was calling to her dad to help get in quicker. Josh told us that the siren goes off about twice a day and that the flag would switch in maybe 20 minutes or so and then we could go back in.

And after a little excursion to a local coffee shop, we did go back in. Laughing and cheering each other on, we surfed and played in the warm Indian Ocean until our faces were burnt and our hair crunchy with sea salt.

Shout out to my papa for his birthday this week! Thanks for carrying me in the ocean when I was little, despite my frightened protests, and teaching me to love the sea.

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