Yesterday’s post talked about our adventures snorkeling and at Queen’s Bath, but the kids had one other activity on the week’s wish list: boogie boarding.
For years my family would rent a house every summer at Myrtle Beach. We’d spend a week being beach bums, which always involved a great deal of sand and ocean time. Building sand creations, digging moats, jumping in the surf, and (when they got old enough) boogie boarding.
When the kids were little they started in the very shallow water, throwing themselves around on their boogie boards like skydivers jumping out of a plane. Each summer they’d work their way further out into the water. BrightSide would stand in the waves with them, timing their launch so they could ride each wave into shore. By our last vacation in Myrtle the three of them had moved pretty far out there, with T-man and Bear riding some pretty big waves to the beach.
At least I thought they were pretty big waves. Until I stood on a beach in Kauai, staring at the wall of water my kids intended to ride.
The kids were super excited to get in the water. T-man and Bear were 100% confident in their boogie boarding skills…and I agreed that yes, they were indeed outstanding boogie boarders in Myrtle Beach but these were Hawaii waves and they needed to take them seriously.
I’m pretty sure all they heard was “Blah blah blah, outstanding boogie boarders, blah blah blah blah blah.” Shoot, they were running for the water before I could even grab BrightSide’s backpack and send him after them.
This is what the waves looked like as they loomed over my kid’s head.
To say I was torn would be a huge understatement. T-man and Bear were so excited – they’d been talking about boogie boarding all week and had finally hit the beach to see some massive waves awaiting them. And I was excited for them…but there was still that holy crap feeling as I watched the ocean pick them up and hurtle them toward the shore. (Did I mention there were rocks clustered to the left and right with only a small section of sand in between?)
Along the rock outcropping to the left of the beach we had a group of sea turtles join us for the day. There were probably 8-10 of them in all, bobbing up and down in the waves, riding in and out like surfers. They were seriously cool.
I enjoyed taking pictures of the kids while they played. BrightSide stayed in the water, helping them line up and catch the waves at just the right time. They were having a blast.
It’s a good thing BrightSide was there, too, because there was no way in hell I could hang out in that water. You see, I had the bright idea that I wanted to meet the turtles. It looked simple enough – they were right there at the end of the rocks, and that was only about 10 yards offshore. Heck, the kids were going twice that far out to boogie board, surely I could walk out to see the turtles up close.
Well. I walked far enough in that the water reached my knees – piece of cake, right? I managed to snap the photo above before the insane pull of the ocean (it was only up to my KNEES, for heaven’s sake) yanked me sideways. I staggered around for a moment before lurching back to shore, secure in the knowledge that the safest place for me was on the sand.
BrightSide, meanwhile, continued to rock it out in waves that repeatedly crashed over his head. I have no idea how he managed to keep those kids afloat out there, let alone help them take off with the enormous waves rolling in.
I was relaxed (or as relaxed as I could be) and cheering them on when suddenly T-man flipped himself up onto his board to ride in.
Those kids had such a fantastic time; even when BrightSide came in for a rest on the beach, they kept on playing in the surf, having a ball rolling around in the water, just like when they were little.
I think we took about 400 pounds of sand back to our hotel room and, truth be told, Bear banged one of her ankles on a rock. But everyone was basically in one piece and grinning ear to ear at their memories of riding the Kauai waves.