Archive for December, 2011

Conclusion to the fight or flight.

I yell to both of them, “I just want to park my truck and go surf!”  Both men continue to argue as they raise their voices and  get closer to each other.  The younger man continues to walk toward the salty dog as he is setting his board down.  When he gets within a couple of feet of the salty dog he turns his back and heads back towards his car still screaming and shouting.  Both men continue shouting as the younger man gets in his car and drives away shouting at the salty dog.

As I move my truck into the now vacant space I ask the salty dog if he knew that guy and he responded he has never seen him before in his life.  A bit rattled and shocked I get in my 2.5 hours of sup surfing still puzzled by what I just witnessed.  In the water I share the story with my friends who are just as surprised.

Upon returning to my truck after the session, I am greeted by the salty dog who has also surfed and taken some time to relax with the other regulars on the beach by the fire.  His perma grin and blood-shot eyes that are barely open tell me he has had time to fully relax.  He approaches me saying “so that’s what you were riding out there”  commenting on my SUP board.  “That looks like fun I have never tried it.”  We chat a bit about surfing and he never mentions the altercation that had taken place a few hours ago, so I comment,  “Man, I thought you guys were going to fight this morning !”  “That was crazy!”

The salty dog replies “yeah those fuckin idiots come up here thinking they can do or say whatever they want.”  “I have been coming here since 63′, very few people have been coming here before me and I know the ones who have.”

I reply, “I believe that and I am glad it did not get any worse!   We have enough to deal with in the cold shark infested water, I don’t want parking to be an issue as well.”   He responds, “yeah its bullshit man, but I ain’t gonna back down.”  I state “I could see that.  Hope you got some good waves out of it.”

“Yeah not too bad, have a good one, see you next time.”  The salty dog barks as he walks back to his truck.

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When witnessing a fight, do you intervene?

Your heart rate beats faster.  Your adrenaline starts flooding your senses, “fight or flight”?

I just found a parking spot that was tight, but legal.  A man who appeared to be in his 50’s with a camera and Rastafarian hat says, “I’m leaving you can take my spot” as he witnesses me inspecting my bumper creeping over  the driveway entrance.This is an are that has mostly vacation or second homes, very few full timers.  In fact I have parked in this are many times and never saw anyone at that house or in the driveway.  I have also seen the old salty dog in that white work truck with his tarnished yellow long board covered in a thrashed bag that was held together by threads.

Then I received a head shaking accompanied with a disappointing look  from an old salty dog parking his utility work truck in the driveway that I was barely intruding upon.  I could see the disappointment in his look so I asked, “is this ok?” 

“Fuck no it ain’t ok, this is my cousin’s house and if she comes home, which she probably won’t, she’ll be pissed.”   Decreasing his anger after the initial “Fuck no it ain’t ok.”and hearing his own words he continued to improve his attitude with each word and was not upset by the end of his lecture.  That, and the fact he was parked in her driveway taking up the whole space led me to believe I could have stayed, but will move anyway to the spot that was offered to me a mere 10 yards up the hill.  Much more space and it might befriend the old local salty dog, always a plus when you are not as local.

Just then the man offering me his space is entering his car to leave, shouts to the salty dog, “he can park there if he wants, what’s wrong with that?!” Instantly I ask myself why is he getting involved, just as he is leaving and giving me his space resolving any parking issue, and he was not part of the discussion to begin with.  “It’s my cousins driveway and it ain’t ok!” barked the salty dog. “Who  are you? That parking spot is fine and what are you doing in the driveway!” says the camera man now getting out of his car halting his movements towards leaving, choosing to stay and involve himself. The salty dog shouts back, “it’s my cousins driveway, I can park here!”

The calm peaceful morning has just erupted in a matter of seconds!  They exchange a few more words and threats of anger and threw in a I’ve been coming here since 73′ while the salty dog claims to have been coming here since 63′.  The salty dog grabs his board off his truck in intentionally swings it within inches of the camera man’s face, who then shouts as he spreads his arms in a jesus on the cross like way, “go ahead hit me asshole, I want every penny you got.”

I would like to post this scenario to the community and ask what would you do in this situation?  In one week I will post my interaction, and the outcome of this formerly peaceful morning.

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Stand Up Paddleboard Surfing in Nor Cal

Small, infrequent waves in Marin  county, probably due to an extremely high tide of 7ft.  Big swell of 10ft. at 13 seconds.    Moderate winds from the east shifting ranging from 2-15 mph.   Sunny day with temps around the 60’s.

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