The Ride

Posted: May 10, 2016 in Adventure, Humor
Tags: ,

Not Army, but this is how it looked. At least in my memory.

Sometimes incredible, amazing things happen when you least expect them.

I love summer, I love the beach, and I always spend time there during June, July or August. Hell, sometimes an October or April visit is in order. And maybe because summer is approaching, an unforgettable incident that happened a few years ago recently popped into my head.

It happened in the Outer Banks. I was with some family members, including my nephews Josh and Canon and my brother-in-law Army. We were down at The Point, where if you have a 4-wheel drive there you can drive right out on the beach.

Let me say this straight out –  if you happen to know Army this story will be infinitely funnier, because he’s at the center of the action and well, he’s Army.

You see, we were all out on the ocean body-surfing that unforgettable day. We were catching some pretty good waves, just enjoying the beautiful weather, the sand and the surf. None of us could have possibly imagined what we were about to witness, an event so epic in its awesomeness it’s etched in my mind forever.

All of us except Army had taken some waves into the shore and were wading/swimming back out towards the breakers when it happened. A wave was hurtling towards us, much bigger than any we’d seen that day. This thing was a mini-tsunami. We were only about a third of the way out so it was too late for any of us to catch it. We looked for Army but he was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he was on the other side of the monster, we had no idea.

Then, about 5-feet in front of the wave, just under the surface and slicing through the sea, we saw him. Army had caught the Mother of All Waves, and was experiencing what would henceforth and forevermore be known simply as . . .

The Ride.

I swear he looked like a torpedo, arms straight out with hands clasped above his head, face down and ankles close together in the back. He shot by us like a meteor as the humongous wave pushed him forward.

‘Twas truly a glorious sight.

We watched, almost in a trance, as he bulleted by. It was then the wave caught us all by surprise, tossing and flipping us over into the angry, churning sea. We came up sputtering and coughing, desperately trying to catch another glimpse of Army and the Body Surf to End All Body Surfs.

The wave crashed to the shore, and as it receded there lay Army, facedown in the sand. I swear he was a good 30-feet from where the sand met the surf. For a few seconds we thought he was dead, but then he slowly rolled over and sat up, stunned. As he looked around, seemingly confused and disoriented, it began . . .

A slow, rhythmic clapping from people all around us on the beach. Some actually rose from their towels to stand, to honor this man who, by performing this feat in front of them, had surely changed their lives forever.

I think I may have even seen a man go to his knees and give the universal “I am not worthy” raising and lowering of his hands.

And in the sky, an old pelican tipped his wings in a show of admiration and respect.

As Army stood, he simply turned to the adoring beachgoers and gave them a thumbs-up, followed by a knowing nod of the head.

It was all that was needed in that moment.

The perfect form, the catching of a once-in-a-lifetime wave at the precise moment, the sight of this man-dolphin slicing through the waves like a barracuda pursuing a grouper – these visions will be in the minds of witnesses forever.

Yes, those fortunate enough to be in attendance that day will never forget, can never forget . . . The Ride.

The Man-Dolphin and his adoring wife.

The Man-Dolphin and his adoring wife.

  1. Yes, I remember this day as if it happened yesterday.

Gimme a holler.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s