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The Spirt of Surfing

Spirit of Surfing

Logan Reed was18 years old, 5’11’’ tall with jet black hair cut tight around his head, long on top and brown eyes with a handsome face. He was one of those sporty lads that had to be a winner at any cost; he hated losing and would go to any lengths to be the best. Given his attitude he wasn’t the most liked kid in school, not that it bothered him much. Logan had been in every event and team sport his school had ever held and normally been at the top. It was rumoured that when his closest rival in the 100 meters broke his leg days before the schools championship he had had something to do with it. This was completely false but his reputation for wanting to win put him right in the frame; he was actually away that weekend.

When he wasn’t chasing the gold medal, Logan was a nice polite lad who used manners more than most lads of his age. Right now though he wasn’t trying to win any sporting event, he was trying to win over the affections and attentions of one Joss Kisswater. She just happened to be the prettiest girl in the school as well as the best at sports. She’d recently come over from California and with her stunning good looks, blonde hair, golden suntan and American accent meant that Joss was on lots of boy’s minds. He believed though they were a match made in heaven and destined to be together; all he had to do was convince her of it. The problem was three other lads were also trying to get her and they were better than him at one thing, the one thing Joss loved and he was crap at – Surfing.

As his dad loved surfing Logan had tried a few times in the past and failed, he thought that surfing was a waste of time and would stay with his aunt whenever the family went on a surfing holiday, but not this time. This time he had to learn and be good at it if he was to impress Joss, it would be his last chance as he and the rest of his class were booked on a school trip to Cornwall to go surfing soon after the Essex games were over.

Logan came home from training and at the dinner table made a statement that stopped all conversation. Don, his dad and Jill, his mum looked at him gobsmacked, as did his younger brother Sid as he said it again.

“I think I’ll come with you this time and do some surfing, yeah that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Jill call the doctor Logan’s got a fever,” his dad laughed loudly.

“Shut up Don if he wants to come then all the better, it would be nice to have a real family holiday for a change. You did say surfing Logan didn’t you? I wasn’t hearing things? Because we’d love you to come with us wouldn’t we Don?” Jill said.

Don believed Logan was messing about as he’d never liked surfing and he knew he’d only tried it for his sake. The problem Don had was his son’s obsession with winning, he had completely forgotten that he was just as bad and that’s where Logan got his will to win from. Jill put his dinner in front of him and ruffled his hair, his dad though was still sceptical and when he felt like this his only action was to take the mickey and this was no exception.

“This is wave surfing son and not internet surfing, you know the one with a surfboard and not a keyboard.” He said grinning and so was Sid.

“Donald Reed don’t be so sarcastic, it doesn’t become you and you’re no good at it either,” Jill said while checking the Ryanair website for a seat on their flight to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. They were staying in El Cotillo a small fishing village and a place well known for good surfing and its many coves. The night life wasn’t great but they would be there to surf anything else was a bonus as far as they were concerned.

“Right, it’s done Logan you are on our flight, you’ll have to share with Sid though.” Jill said.

“No way mum, he farts and snores in his sleep and besides he’s only coming because he fancies Joss Kisswater. Logan loves Joss, Logan loves Joss.”

“Shut up you little twat ‘cos it aint true,” he replied red faced telling everyone Sid was right.

“Logan loves Joss,” Sid kept saying until his mum told him to be quiet. “But he does love her,” ‘One more time Sid and its bed, got it?’ Jill said sternly.

The Reed household was a generally relaxed place and normally the kids were free to speak, although Jill controlled the proceedings and insured it didn’t get out of hand. She knew how Don and Logan had a way of winding each other up, that was the problem with two people who were so alike in so many ways. Although Sid was silenced Don continued, ‘Who’s Joss then Logan and when do we get to meet this radiant beauty?’ he said smarmily and not much different to Sid. “One more word and you’re on the settee for a week mister,” Jill replied sternly and Don knew what that meant.

Jill waited for Logan to be alone and sat down to chat to him, he looked down and she hated to see him that way. “Okay Logan why do you really want to come and no lies”

“Sid’s right it is about Joss, mum she’s so beautiful and is very keen on sports. She’s, she’s everything I want and more, except she’s from California and loves surfing. Of all bloody things it had to be surfing!” Logan complained. Jill let the word bloody go this time, although Logan knew she wasn’t happy by the tell tale sign of one of her eye brows lifting; it was her way of letting people know she was displeased.

The flight started out as any other until a woman’s voice came over the loud speaker and announced her name as Captain Helen Roper and she would be the pilot. Then some wit from the rear shouted, ‘Just what we need a woman pilot, I bet she’s pulled the choke out and hung her handbag on it.’ He called out, laughing. Other than that it was straight forward enough until the landing, the last few seconds the plane was wobbling around and the pilot dumped it down hard pulling up sharply. Then the same wit called out again this time slightly drunkenly. “Just like my missus’s driving, she puts the hand brake on so hard that she pulls the rear axle up to the gearbox and then takes three turns of the lights to get it off again.” The whole plane roared with laughter except for the women and kids who didn’t understand what he’d just said.

The drive to their apartment was uneventful and soon they were settling in and after a quick trip to the shops and a restaurant, they were all ready for a nights sleep. Logan was the first up and went for a run while the rest slept; it was still dark as he ran along the road up to the café on the beach. He stopped, breathing heavily with sweat running freely down his body which glistened in the dimming moon light. Standing with his hands on his hips Logan watched as the sun started to rise and was amazed at the beautiful sight, for a short time he was completely captivated by it.

After breakfast Logan was eager to get started pushing everybody to get a move on, he had no time to waste with small talk.

“Come on you lot lets go, we’re losing time in the water,” Logan said hurriedly.

“If I’d had known that a pretty face and blonde hair would have gotten you surfing, I’d have put a wig and bra on years ago.’ his dad laughed.

“Whatever,” Logan answered in true teenage fashion as he walked out the door towards the surf board hire shop. His dad was going to try and teach him, until Jill reminded him of what his dad had told him after he tried to teach her to drive.

“Never teach your own family son because it’s a recipe for disaster,” his dad had said. ‘You remember that Don, we were almost divorced after half an hour of you trying to teach me. Let him go to surf school it’ll give him a chance to meet new people as well.” Jill said.

“Great idea and how long will that last before he considers it a race to be the best? Why he has to always try to be the best at everything beats me.” Don explained exasperatedly. Jill’s eye brow went up and he knew she was about to have a go at him. To Jill he was like a lamb to the slaughter. “Oh that’s rich coming from the man who trained relentlessly for three months to beat Steve Guilds in the over 40s surf competition last year.” Jill countered.

“That was different that was a proper competition,” he retorted. ‘Rubbish! You and Logan are like two peas in a pod and that’s something you just will not accept. He’s you at a younger age and it’s you he gets his competiveness from, now live with it Donald Reed.’ Jill rarely used his full name and it meant conversation over.

As Logan had done some surfing before the school put him with a group that was already a few days in to their lessons, he could get to his knees no problem, it was standing that he found very difficult. The first two days were a real challenge for Logan; he was not only the new boy but most of the class were school mates from Colchester. On the third day a pretty girl started talking to him and he had to admit to himself she was very nice, very nice indeed.

“You’ve done this before then, my names Lisa what’s yours?”

“Logan and yeah my dad’s mad about surfing, so is my mum and little brother Sid, it’s not my favourite thing in the world.”

“So why do it? It don’t look like anyone’s forcing you.”

Not wanting to say the real reason why he lied, ‘Just keeping the old man happy, you know what their like.’

Lisa laughed at his comment as her parents were the very pushy type; whatever she did they pushed her to be the best. She was never allowed to enjoy anything, practise, practise, practise, train, train, train. This surfing school was her own idea and they didn’t know she was doing it. If they had she’d have been sent to surf school weeks before she went.

“Yeah mine want me to win at everything I go in for, so I don’t go in for much. All I want to do is have fun, you’re only young once and I’m not going to miss one single minute of it. Before you know it you’ve got two kids and a mortgage, maybe that’s for me later but for right now I’m just after fun, fun, fun.”

Their conversation was cut short by the Spanish instructor calling for them to get back in the water. Logan spent a lot of time watching Lisa instead of surfing. She knew he was watching her and played up to him. Lisa laughed as the last wave wiped him out and Logan fell head first in to the shallow water, he jumped up too quickly and fell back in again.

Logan did what everyone does when they mess up; he checked to see who saw him fall and then strutted off as if he’d planned it all along. It was a few minutes before his face stopped going red. Later that night, while out with his family having a meal, Lisa spotted him and came over to their table with a friend. “Is Logan surfing to get you to go out with him like Joss Kisswater?” asked his little brother, Sid like all kids speak before they think and this was one of those times. Logan went even redder than earlier and got up and walked out muttering, ‘bloody little brothers who needs them and this stupid holiday.’

The next day Logan found he was being ignored by the rest of the class, it seemed that Lisa’s friend had told them of the night before and they had taken her side. Not unusual as they were all from the same school, he was used to being alone; it was one of the down sides of wanting to win all the time. The first half of that day he spent trying to get on his feet and he kept away from the rest of the school, until Lisa paddled over smiling.

“How’s it going?” she asked.

He shrugged his shoulders, ‘what’s it to you, thought you lot wanted nothing to do with me.’

“Don’t be like that they just think your trying it on with me, are you?”

Before he could answer Lisa was called by her friends, she turned and started to paddle away with a sad look on her face. This changed to a big smile as she heard him say, ‘no l like you, think you’re alright for a carrot cruncher.’

“Losing now and then is good for the soul, my aunt always says,” she said over her shoulder.

“Losing is good for the soul, my arse,” he said to himself.

Logan was now more determined to learn how to surf than ever, he was going to win the competition that was being held the day before the party on the beach and he had only one more day left. It wasn’t enough time. His solution was to practise alone at night and there was to be a full moon tonight so he’d have plenty of light. This was a stupid and dangerous thing to do. Had his parents known of his plan they would have stopped him, so he lied about there being a BBQ for the class and he’d be back late.

Don and Jill believed him and went out for their meal while Logan ate a quick sandwich and grabbed his board, no one gave him a second look as he walked towards the surf beach area, people walking around with surf boards was nothing new. Pulling the zip up on his wetsuit Logan slipped in to the water, the light from the moon reflected on the waves giving the water an eerie silvery glow. Two things would now put Logan’s life at risk, the first was his single mindedness and the second was his complete lack of knowledge about the currents and tides.

After a few hours trying to stay on his feet and failing Logan paddled out and lay back on his board staring at the full moon, in his mind it was looking down and laughing at his poor attempts to surf. He glared back at the moon, what he didn’t realise was that he was way further out than he’d ever been and getting in was now his main concern.

No matter how hard he paddled Logan found he was being pushed further out from the beach and away from the town towards the cliffs. Panic set in and he paddled for all he was worth, this had no effect and he was still heading towards the rocks, Logan began screaming for help but as no one knew he was there no one heard his cries except the laughing moon.

Logan made up his mind that his only chance of surviving was to head for the rocks and climb his way out and back to safety. He was now very much aware of his stupid decision to surf at night and alone, for the first time in years he cried as he head butted the board in frustration. The high cliffs were passing by as he tried to paddle towards them, then a loud cracking and the sound of rocks splitting apart, was followed by the sound of splashing as huge boulders hit the water. It was then he spotted what looked like a cave opening or was the light playing tricks on him? only one way to find out

This could be his salvation and like a drowning man he went for it paddling flat out. For the first time he felt like things were going his way as he glided towards what he hoped was an opening. About fifty meters out strangely the sea seemed to calm and he paddled in to the entrance, sitting up on his board he quickly looked around and spotted a dry ledge. Easing his board over to the side Logan pulled himself up and on to the ledge, leaned his board up and sat with his back against the wall.

Taking a moment to catch his breath he look around and noticed something that seemed out of place in the cave; it was manmade. Logan stood up and walked towards what he guessed was a metal tube built in to the wall and as he closed in on the object he saw a door or hatch with a circular handle in the middle of it. Whatever it was it had been there a while, the rust on the metal showed that but who owned it and how did it get here he wondered.

Then he instantly cheered up as he thought it may be a way to the top of the cliff and safety, at least he hoped. First though he had to open the door and that by the look of it wasn’t going to be easy, all the rust around the wheel held it fast.

“Is nothing ever straight forward?’ He said aloud which echoed around the cave.

Finding a small rock he hit the wheel and tried again, this time it moved with a rusty metal on metal sound. The hinges held for a moment then the door suddenly gave and swung open, it clanged against the outside of the tube and it felt like he was in a bell. Logan being caught by surprise shot across the cave floor. Cursing he got up and then got another shock as a man’s head appeared through the opening, he had a flat sailors cap on and a huge grin on his face.

“Gooday cobber bloody ‘ell you blokes have taken your time getting here, struth fella I thought you’d never come.” The voice said in a broad Australian accent.

Logan couldn’t get back far enough from the man; his eyes were wide open in fear and amazement. The last thing he’d expected to find was an Australian behind the door and just stared as the man climbed out of the opening and stretched his arms above his head.

“Who, who are you? You, you scared the shit out of me mate,” Logan said half stuttering.

“The names Clay Norton, second in command on this old tub XAE1 and, Clay stopped what he was about to say as he stared at Logan’s surf board. “Jeez what a ripper mate, she’s a beaut what’s she made of?” Clay asked as he stroked Logan’s surfboard.

“Fibre glass, polystyrene and plastic,” Clay had no idea what Logan was talking about and nodded.

“Blimey it’s some sort of Bakelite I guess, who would have believed it? Bloody ‘ell, not me fella, mind if I take a picture she really is something else and how’s she ride?”
“No, if you want and pretty good I suppose not that I’m any good at surfing, my dad has one like it that went on to win the world title in Hawaii last year, the board not my dad that is. Anyway what was you doing down here?”

“Australian Royal Navy fella been on patrol and we had a fire on board, you wanna ride some rollers with me? Got to get past the Bone Yard there first though, struth it’s been ages since I’ve gotten my board wet. I was the Queensland champ and when I get back home I’m going to take the Australian title, yep I’m bloody good.”

Logan was still in shock and shrugged his shoulders as Clay went back in and moments later came out with an old camera and big wooden board and started to strip off, ‘just get out of me strides and then I’m good to go cobber.” Clay set the camera on a rock and set it to take a picture; he rushed over with his board and stood next to Logan. “Say cheese.” He laughed. Still in shock Logan smiled waited for the click and then jumped in after Clay, he followed behind him paddling. They were soon out of the cave and headed in to the breakers; Clay was up and surfing instantly while Logan was up and down constantly.

Clay rode a few more waves then paddled over to Logan and sat on his board shaking his head. “Surfing’s about balance and timing, I’ve been watching you fella and you gotta put your hands here and then push yourself up real fast, still you aint bad for a Limey. Watch me on the next wave.” Clay’s timing was perfect and he was up and away, he dropped off the wave and came back over to Logan and he spent a good hour telling Logan when to paddle and when to get up.

Then as if by magic Logan seemed to get it right almost every time and Clay was whooping away with encouragement, Logan had the balance and was surfing like his dad and for the first time he was actually enjoying himself. The two of them surfed wave after wave in the moon light, this was probably one of the best times Logan could ever remember having. While sitting on their boards Clay looked back and said sadly. ‘The sun will be up soon and that means I gotta go Blue, struth this has been a ripper, bloody ‘ell it has. Would you do me a favour Logan? Could you contact the Royal Australian Navy and tell them that XAE1 needs some assistance for me.’ Then Clay took off his gold chain with a sharks tooth on it and handed it to Logan. “Just something to remember me by.” He said. ‘Thanks I couldn’t have done this without your help Clay.’ “Too right, Blue. I’m the true spirit of surfing, me.”

Logan agreed not really understanding why he had to contact them and why he had to leave but guessed he had to get back to his boat before he was missed and he needed to get home as well. Clay paddled along with Logan and stayed sitting on his board until he walked out of the sea, he turned to wave but Clay was nowhere to be seen. Logan crept in and went straight to bed; he slept for over ten hours. Waking, his first thought was that maybe he’d had a dream about meeting Clay; the sharks tooth around his neck told him differently.

Logan found a contact number online and called the Australian Embassy, who ten minutes later called him back and said someone would be flying over to speak with him in a few hours. As it turned out the RAN had a ship nearby and a Captain and four others arrived at their apartment. Logan, along with his dad was whisked off in a semi ridged boat and he showed them the area where the cave was, due to the tides and currents it was inaccessible at that time.

Logan missed the surfing competition although he wasn’t too worried by that and the next morning they were flying home to Waltham Abbey. He’d missed Lisa and was genuinely sorry about that. Still life went on and two weeks later he is at the Essex Athletics finals.

Logan was the favourite for the 100 metres and as he headed to the starting blocks for the final, he looked up and saw his mum with Lisa standing a few rows back. He waved and they both waved back, just then Joss Kisswater strolled over dressed in the smallest skirt ever. She looked fantastic and walked up to Logan and said. “Win this and I’m all yours tonight,” she winked and then blew him a kiss, somehow he didn’t notice.

The starter called them to their blocks and he settled himself while all the time he was looking at Lisa who was smiling back, he tucked the shark tooth in his vest and waited as the starter shouted.

“On your marks, get set,” BANG and the runners took off sprinting as fast as they could, everyone accept Logan. He stood up and to everyone’s amazement slowly walked over to the fence and vaulted it, heading straight for Lisa, smiling.

“You’re right, winning isn’t everything and losing is good for the soul.” Logan said.

His dad was about to say something sarcastic and Jill knew it, her right hand clamped firmly around his privates. “One word Mr Reed and these will be out of use for a very long time.” She said. Don made a big show of pretending to pull a zip across his mouth, while Logan and Lisa walked off hand in hand.

Later that day back at home there was a knock on the door, Jill answered it, standing there were ten men all from the RAN, the oldest looking introduced himself.

“My names Admiral Stuart Brown and these are my fellow officers from the Royal Australian Navy, can we speak with a Logan Reed please?” he said in a posh Australian accent if there is such a thing.

Jill offered them all seats at the dining table with Logan and Don sitting together. One of the men opened a briefcase and handed the Admiral a brown envelope. He took out a photograph and spent a few moments studying it and Logan’s face, placing it face down on the table said.

“Do you know a Second Lieutenant Clayton Norton?”

“Yeah I know Clay we surfed some waves a few weeks ago in El Cotillo, why he aint in trouble is he?”

***

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The Spirt of Surfing

Logan Reed was18 years old, 5’11’’ tall with jet black hair cut tight around his head, long on top and brown eyes with a handsome face. He was one of those sporty lads that had to be a winner at any cost; he hated losing and would go to any lengths to be the best. Given his attitude he wasn’t the most liked kid in school, not that it bothered him much. When he wasn’t chasing the gold medal, Logan was a nice polite lad who used manners more than most lads of his age. Right now though he wasn’t trying to win any sporting event, he was trying to win over the affections and attentions of one Joss Kisswater. She just happened to be the prettiest girl in the school as well as the best at sports. She’d recently come over from California and with her stunning good looks, blonde hair, golden suntan and American accent meant that Joss was on lots of boy’s minds. He believed though they were a match made in heaven and destined to be together; all he had to do was convince her of it. The problem was three other lads were also trying to get her and they were better than him at one thing, the one thing Joss loved and he was crap at - Surfing. Logan had done some surfing before the school put him with a group that was already a few days in to their lessons, he could get to his knees no problem, it was standing that he found very difficult. Logan was now more determined to learn how to surf than ever, he was going to win the competition that was being held the day before the party on the beach and he had only one more day left. It wasn’t enough time. His solution was to practise alone at night and there was to be a full moon tonight so he’d have plenty of light. Pulling the zip up on his wetsuit Logan slipped in to the water, the light from the moon reflected on the waves giving the water an eerie silvery glow. Two things would now put Logan’s life at risk, the first was his single mindedness and the second was his complete lack of knowledge about the currents and tides. Logan made up his mind that his only chance of surviving was to head for the rocks and climb his way out and back to safety. Clay Norton was a top Australian surfer and he finds Logan and helps him to surf, the problem is that Clay doesn’t turn out to be the man Logan thinks he is.

  • Author: George G George
  • Published: 2015-09-07 18:05:06
  • Words: 5000
The Spirt of Surfing The Spirt of Surfing