Tag Archives: cold

Dear Bill, have you gone Tico on us yet?

Water temperature 48.9F, air 41.

Cold is relative until you surf for 1.5 hours in water below 50F and can’t feel your hands, feet or face anymore.

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It is also relative when your husband is in Costa Rica, Face Timing you from a hammock after catching overheard barrels for breakfast.

Dear Bill,

The dogs are all sleeping in our bed…on your side. I did not tell them to do that. It was a natural instinct when they sensed the alpha male was gone and left for Costa Rica without his alpha female.  We are all fine here,  just very, very cold.  We are not using the outside hammock because the dogs ate it, so I will be face timing you from bed in my long johns and Christmas socks, covered in down blankets and 2 inches of fleece. 

The surf here has been awesome too….as long as you put on a wetsuit, hoodie, gloves, booties and crank the car heater to 90 degrees and have it blowing on you as you try to take off all your gear without any feeling in your hands.  Mia wanted no part of this, because she claims surfing should be fun.  I have no idea what she could mean by this.

Skye is feeling better after her hysterectomy. I can tell because she is jumping off the back of the couch again and flinging her head like a stallion, wagging her tail fiercely while skootie ootieing with her butt around the tile floors at full speed.  This is helpful because it spreads all the buckets of sand that they bring in, from the now grassless backyard, to the edges of the rooms and I only have to sweep 32,000 times vs 32,001.  The Christmas socks help me to ignore this.

It was awesome to hear about your head high barrel.  Glad you are getting epic surf and are SO WARM while surfing it.  That makes me feel warm here, too.  Right?  Did you get the picture of me in the car after taking off my wetsuit?  The white balance was not off…..my entire face was indeed blue.   

But seriously…

I miss you so much and as much as I want you home, I want time to stand still for you there so you can rest, surf and soak up some of that Tico vibe. I am beyond stoked for you to be there.  You work so hard here and deserve some Pura Vida.  Bring it home with you to get us through the rest of winter.  Okay?

Love you!

Your freezing cold wife. 



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Bone cold

December chill

Winter blew in. Her cold air meeting with the Gulf’s warmth, forming fog in protest. It sends a chill down into our bones. We walk with bare feet on sand so cold. Wetsuits are stretched on and they still don’t keep out the icy waters. You wade out gradually, feet numbing, cold water seeping into the seams. Your body warms the salty sea trapped between neoprene and skin….for a bit. It is not really the cold that brings a surfer in, shivering. Okay, well, technically it is, but what truly brings us in is the numbness. Bone chilling numbness…when you can’t feel your hands, your face or your feet.

The waves are good so we stay out as long as possible; huddling down into the icy water to escape the wind and keep warm. We paddle to get the feeling back into our hands and have regret when it does; pain flashing. Finally, even with a nice set rolling in, there is a realization that the point of being “cold” has passed. The body is now frozen. You catch the next wave and ride it to the shore.

Running up the beach on ghost feet and reaching back with stone hands to try and grasp the zipper to undo a wetsuit is comical. Fingers are defiant to the grasp signal coming from the brain; they feel like chunks of wood. At the car the heater can not be turned on fast enough (if you can move your fingers to do it), and the struggle to remove a skin tight wetsuit, without the use of fingers, begins. When the shivering starts, you might as well give up.

Once the blood runs warm in your limbs again, you get that winter surfers glow…..flushed cheeks, salty skin, and hands that are a bit icy to the touch for hours. It makes a warm cup of anything that much tastier. After you are warm, you don’t regret it at all (emphasis on AFTER). You remember fun waves that were good enough to challenge you to get outside your comfort zone.

My threshold for cold is when the air temps dip below 50 and the water temp below 60. And the only way I will tolerate that is if the sun is out and shining bright. I am aware it is not really cold by some standards. I have surfed in much colder conditions, but I can’t say I liked it. I hate to admit it, but I am a fair weather surfer. There, I said it. I just can’t get out in the really cold stuff and enjoy myself. In my head, surfing should not be a sufferfest.

Today the water temperature is 58.8 degrees and the air hovers at 43. It is raining off and on. No sun at all. A cold wind is blowing.

We are home, warm and dry; dreaming of warmer days to come.

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She was initiated into one crazy club

The first real cold front has arrived, and with it we pulled out wetsuits. I take Mia and her friend surfing after school once or twice each week. We went yesterday and not only was the air temp around 58F and the water about 70F, but it was also raining and no sun at all. With the air so cold, the water felt like bath water, so the surfing was fine……it was the getting out that was freezing! Chattering teeth, blue lips and fumbling fingers that were too cold to work on wetsuit zippers and such. Brrrrr. Thank goodness for heaters and warm sheepskin UGG’s to slip our feet into.

There will be more warm days to come, so I dont think wetsuits are it from here on out, but yesterday they were certainly in order.


Don’t let that smile fool you. She wanted nothing to do with having her picture taken. All she was thinking of was the heater in the car. Her little legs were mottled blue and she could not stop laughing. It was her first cold front surf and in spite of the sufferfest that getting out of the water was, she had a blast surfing. We were laughing and laughing because my fingers would not work to snap the picture. She stomped her frozen foot and said “OMG Mom, just take the picture already. I’m frozen!!” After numerous tries and threatened mutiny from the little surfer girl, I finally got a picture.

I just had to have a picture because there is something magical and inclusive that a day like yesterday brings. There are not many people who will get out in the ocean on a day like that. Only a soul surfer will put up with that kind of discomfort to catch a wave. It’s like she became part of the tribe yesterday afternoon. I am so grateful to have been there to share it with her. As much as taking that picture aggravated her, one day she will see it and remember that afternoon at the cold beach.

And I would bet my life that she smiles and remembers that feeling. That stoke to be a part of something so special. That surfing life.

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