Perfect Amalgam

Friday was one of those days that does not come around often. Many things all blended together forming the most perfect amalgam. A true rarity with sunny blue skies, 5-foot swell prediction, a scarce dash of free time, a boat scheduled to leave for town after lunch (near our favorite surf break) and my son Tres would be finished with school. Holly Mackerel! It was like a message from the gods, not to be taken lightly.

The decision made itself over a cheeseburger and fries lunch, a rarity in itself here at Tranquilo Bay. I was well on my way but still needed to secure maternal consent for the boy. Mom gave us the go ahead (Thanks Mom) and we had only 30-minutes until the boat was to cast off. We were so stoked.

Shades, hat, rash guard, sun screen, wax, before we knew it the boat was speeding away from the dock and heading towards the beautiful glassy lines we knew we would find. Tres choose his 6-foot blue thruster and a 7-foot green fun shape for his buddy Scott, who would be joining us later. I choose an Ocean Kayak Big Yak, great for surfing medium sized clean surf, a real fun ride.

I could see the anticipation on my son’s face as we started across the big channel. As we coasted the boat in and got our first look at the surf it was clean and about one whole foot. I’m not talking Hawaiian style, these were 1-foot on the face. The boat dropped us off and we agreed upon what time to rendezvous.

At least we would have some fun paddling around and could reluctantly check out all the coral heads we routinely surf over. Flat days here are actually kind of creepy because of that. Better to surf in mind-numbing bliss than to actually know what is underneath you I always say.

We had been there about 10-minutes, goofing off on the inside, when all of a sudden we were caught off guard by a monster 3-foot set. The set made me think about checking out the real break on the other side of the point. Just maybe there would be something to ride.


“Hey Tres” I shouted to my son, “not much going on here, do you want to paddle over to the big point where I surf and try to catch one?” “Yes, yes, yes, I am ready Dad,” he said. As we paddled around the point a few swells moved under us as they began to stack up on the reef. It was open-water and Tres seemed very alert and a just a little bit anxious. I started up with a little small talk while we were paddling to ease his mind. Then a couple waved at us and took our picture from high on the rocky point. Tres noticed the photo and I could tell he felt BIG paddling out to the real spot with his Dad.

Just then a head high set (Tres’ head not mine) rolled in off the point. Tres instantly got a little nervous, “Dad maybe we should go back to wait for Uncle Jay, it looks pretty big Dad.” “Common,” I said, “we paddled all the way up here to take a look, lets at least paddle over and just feel a couple waves.”

We arrived at the take off spot and watched a few roll under us. Tres was ready, tried paddling hard for a few, but couldn’t quite get in. Then I saw some nice pretty lines coming so we paddled out just a bit farther. We let the first wave of the set go, but the second one was to perfect. We both took off on the same wave, at the same time, just a few feet apart. It was his first wave ever at Carenero.

The visual image I shall maintain with clarity. He dropped in the wave to my left, I stayed a high line at the crest of the wave looking down. He looked beautiful sliding down the face of that clean wave; his first of what will be many here, in this home spot. It was so cool; I know we will return often as his skills advance.

After feeling a little “horsepower” at Carenero, Tres was ready to go back and meet his best buddy Scott in more familiar territory. We were back in the lineup at our normal spot, where Tres feels at home. I could see the tension in his body language fade.

Uncle Jay, Scott and Patrick pulled up just at the right time. Scott jumped in without his board and swam over to our line-up. “I just feel like swimming Uncle Jim,” Scott said. He didn’t miss much. As we talked about the day, Tres said, “Hey Scott, my Dad and I went up there and surfed Carenero and it was kinda big.” I only smiled and interjected nothing.

Well, the “Perfect Amalgam” never really generated that beautiful 5-foot surf, but it sure produced one hell of a lifetime memory.

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