All week I had anxiety when I thought about getting into that water in Santa Monica. Seriously, my palms would start sweating. I knew I had to get in the water - being a month out - but I couldn't do it in water where there would be potentially high human effluvia.
So I drove to County and had a good time catching some okay waves on Saturday. The ones that didn't close out were kind of soft and my timing was off, so I dug a rail more than once and bunked some decent shoulders. Decent size - maybe chest-high on the tweeners. And when the infrequent set wave did come through it was probably head high, but I was always in the wrong spot. I had an onslaught of sneezes about an hour into my session and my sinuses started closing up so I couldn't quite breathe through my nose. This makes me think I might just be allergic to the ocean.
On my drive home, I talked to Suzy Q who let me know that Venice was closed again because of a sewage spill in Ballona Creek which just made me happy I'd driven 45 minutes to County. I'm not sure I can ever surf at home again.
Today, I met Suzy Q and we drove to RPB, which is really still too close to civilization for my health, but I figured I'd be able to keep my head out of the water on those easy waves.
I have to admit to having a stick up my butt about RPB. Too many people, too soft of waves, too much paddling. I have tended to be really tense when I've gone there in the past. This time, though, was easy. It was weird. We positioned ourselves between the bathrooms and the point and I found myself easily sliding into waves with confidence. It was easy to spot who you can take off in front of because they wouldn't be able to turn and it was easy to steer my board around those paddling out. My last wave Suzy Q and I had already loudly announced we were taking in so we "shared" it with one other guy. It was challenging to chase Suzy Q within two feet and manipulate the speed of my ride so I wouldn't run into her. The guy was much further behind me on this very slow wave, so I wasn't worried that we were ruining his wave.
It was a good day. It went a long way in easing my anxiety about polluted water and it made me see I haven't completely lost what little skill I had.