Whew… It had to be a crazy windy choppy nasty cold wet day on day 365… But I guess it was fitting. Beca and I went down to the pier and met Kevin… There were about 20 friends and family members on the beach when were down there to watch us and cheer us on. No way in the world I would’ve gone out in this normally. EVER. It looked awful. But at noon the three of us (tried to) paddle out in seas that were blowing sideways. After about 10 minutes of non stop paddling I caught a wave. It was a smaller one than the overhead waves that were out but it counts. I had drifted 3 blocks in that short amount of time. Done. Over. Finished. Just the one wave today.
It has been a great weekend. Saturday night my parents threw me a party for all my friends at the beach house and about 40 people came over and hung out, had drinks, ate a catered dinner and played corn hole. We had T shirts made up for the big day on Sunday. It turned out great. On Sunday night my friends and wife threw me another party at the Lazy Pirate in Carolina Beach. It was a surprise. The owners of the charity I raised money or were there and about 15-20 friends came out to wish me congrats. The restaurant put up a slide show that Kerri made for the past year of surfing. It was awesome.
All in all I ended up raising over $1200 for Ocean Cure. I feel like I could have gotten more if I had gone to local businesses but I wanted to keep in personal and just ask friends and family. Watching the slide show with my best friends and family made me realize just how much fun I have had in the past 12 months in the ocean. It was very very difficult and I will never do it again but I can say that every day was really special. There wasn’t a day that I did not have fun. Although some were definitely better than others! Lots of bumps and bruises. The worst part was having to get into a WET wet suit everyday for 5 straight months. Hasn’t been dry since October. And physically it was hard because you don’t give your body a break. At all. It’s every. Single. Day. But even harder was the mental aspect. After going out alone and freezing in 25 ° temps in choppy water to catch a wave and then coming home to look at the forecast and knowing you have 4 more days of the same conditions can beat you down mentally. Some of my favorite days were when it would be cold and I would be the only one in the ocean at 6:45 AM with no one in sight. Very peaceful times to clear your mind.. And surfing with the J crew is always fun.
Big thanks to every person that donated money to Ocean Cure, thanks to Ocean Cure for letting me help them out, my parents for the pictures, t-shirts, party, etc.., every person that I have surfed with and bugged to death about my streak (particularly everyone in the J crew), Kerri Cunningham for putting together an awesome slides show and paddling out with me on days when nobody else would, WECT and WSFX for putting me on TV, Libby at the Island Gazette for writing the article in the paper, Kevin for introducing me to Life Rolls On and Ocean Cure, and lastly Beca. For sacrificing her surfing time to take pictures, watch me surf, missing out on dawn patrols, making sure the great white shark that was in our front yard doesn’t eat me, repairing my wet suit, and encouraging me not to quit. Thanks everyone.
And yes, I did paddle out on day 366. I have no clue when I’ll stop but now I am not under any pressure to continue. It has become a routine for me. I would estimate that over the past year I have caught around 2000 waves and have no desire to stop. . But it was for a great cause and I did it with great friends. Peace..