|TTS18 in J-Bay|
The plan, in typical TTS fashion, went awry. In fair Jeffrey's Bay where we lay our scene, you could find 'gnarly surfers crossing' signs planted haphazardly in the cement of the quaint main street. And on a bleak Friday morning at 6:30, you could find a mammoth overland truck carrying 16 girls towards Island Time Surf School.
For the sake and sanity of our surf instructor, a young man named Vern, we split into two groups for lessons. Group one suited up, which was easier said than done. The nature of wetsuits is clingy and suffocating, requiring half of your energy simply to squeeze yourself into it. After a lesson in sand surfing, Vern turned us loose to the Indian Ocean.
The ocean must have had it in for us. To say the waves are a tumble dry washing machine would be an accurate statement. The sensation is in one way high speed and the other slow motion. You feel the board slip out from underneath your body, you have a split second to think Really? Again?, and then the swell crashes over your head. It pummels at your body, then flips you head over heels as if to rid your pockets of lunch money. Every single time a girl got swept under a wave she'd come up sputtering and laughing, shouting “That was sick!” for all to hear. But the breakthrough moment when you finally get yourself standing on the board, a shaky infant on new legs, is beautiful.
So, how did the plans go awry? Everything seemed fine for group one, and indeed, it was. Group two was turned away, the surf deemed too high for beginners. So on Sunday morning at the crack of dawn, we came back. Group two had the opportunity to hang ten with just as much fervor and luck as group one. Yeah, nothing went according to plan. But such is the essence of The Traveling School, and such is life. The experience required adaptation, and as newly ordained surfers, we went with the flow.
BY: ANNE, North Carolina, Junior