After our surf lesson, we walked up Avenida de la Playa to grab some fish tacos. Luckily the restaurant (Papalulus) had patio seating so we could wear our wetsuits while we ate. It felt glorious, sitting with the sun at our backs, warming us up. Once we were refueled, we rented some epoxy boards from Surf Diva, which were much closer to what we usually surf on, and headed back out into the water. The swell had built to about shoulder high while we were at lunch and the waves had a lot more power than what we’re used to back home. Keep in mind, most of the waves in the gulf form from wind, whereas waves in the ocean originate from the much stronger forces like tides and currents that have traveled for thousands of miles. I got to experience this power firsthand when I was caught sneaking up too far forward on my board. The waves had no problem picking me up and pitching me over the front. Getting pearled like this in the Pacific is much stronger than I’m used to, but admittedly more fun (like the scary type of fun that roller coasters are known for). The lineup was getting more and more crowded as the day wore on and we were having trouble getting a spot to surf. Luckily though, we were beginning to get the hang of things and scoring more waves, in spite of the crowds and more intimidating sets. It was so cool, surfing in the Pacific. This was something Ted and I have daydreamed about ever since that first day out on a board. It was neat being surrounded by so many other surfers (not just sunburnt Alabamians standing right in your surf path – as is the case back home). After a couple of hours, we heard commotion down the lineup and saw two rescue jet skis roaring up to a surfer just to the south of us. We watched as the lifeguards pulled the surfer up on the sled and towed him back to shore. Was it a shark? A heart attack? After we came in for the day and were rinsing off our wetsuits, the injured surfer came up to one of the other showers. I asked him what the rescue was all about. It turns out the guy had just dislocated his shoulder – which shows some serious commitment to a strong paddle. Good for him. So maybe it wasn’t as dramatic as I was thinking, but either way, it was cool to see some real Californian lifeguards in action.