Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The first time

My sister and I were so excited to go play at Zuma beach in Malibu during one of our dad's visitation weekends. He brought boogie boards for us and we set out into the sea, splashing around the waves while he stayed on the beach to catch some rays. We were maybe 11 and 12. This was during the time when he was competing in triathalons and he wanted to be tan for the one coming up.

Out at sea, my sister and I were catching waves like crazy, boogie boarding our little hearts out. After awhile though, we noticed that we were kind of far from the shore. We were right next to each other when we realized we were caught in a rip current.

Neither of us knew what to do about it - we were being swiftly pulled out to sea and soon found ourselves looking at the backs of surfers. I'm a strong swimmer and so is my sister, but this was scary. We were floating on our boogie boards and tried waving to shore, yelling, trying to get the life guard's or our dad's attention.

We kept moving farther from the shore with every passing second.

Finally, with no one responding to our calls for help, we swam toward shore. We weren't making much headway. My sister started to fall behind- she couldn't paddle anymore- the current was too strong and we'd already been swimming and paddling while boogie boarding for quite some time.

Her boogie board was keeping her afloat, but it wasn't helping otherwise. She let it go and I yelled to her to hold onto mine. I kept a tight grip on the cord and pulled her and myself toward shore.

It felt like an eternity before I touched sand with my toes. I was gasping for breath and trying so hard not to panic from terror. My sister was kicking and holding onto my board for dear life. I dug into the sand and pulled harder, going inches at a time, against the rip current.

Finally, we got close enough to shore where we could both dig into the sand and walk forward without losing any ground. When we made it back to dry land, it was a sobering moment. The beach was busy with sunbathers and sand castle builders, but no one had seen us out there, fighting to get back.

My sister hugged me (which was RARE) and thanked me for saving her life. This was the first time I'd need to be there to make sure my sister made it through another day alive.


Princess Extraordinaire said...

How scary! You saved her life!! I am glad to be reading your blog agin - do you remember me? I have been MIA from here for a bit but am back so come say hi when you have a chance...

Ginormous Boobs said...

You are a great sister life preserver.

TC said...

Wow. That's crazy stuff.

I still wanna know what part II of yesterday's story was!!!

Bob Dobalina said...

I've always said you would be useful as a flotation device. I didn't realize it was true even when you were 11.

Grant Miller said...

You're not just a blogging hero, but a real hero!

Anonymous said...

What a scary experience for you two! I'm so glad you were okay in the end.

It's good to be back reading your blog again, I have missed you. (and yet didn't notice you were back until you visited mine. Self-centered, moi?)


p.s. Would it be too much trouble to you to change my blog title in your bloglist to the current one, "walking on ice in high heels"? thanks a million!

Jack and Jill said...

The ocean scares the shit out of me. There are too many different kinds of currents, and WTF? How am I supposed to keep track and stay alive?

I prefer to just lie on the beach and drink these days.


CarmenSinCity said...

Wow - that's scary - glad everything turned out okay and you got to play the hero :)

Scotty said...

I bet you like living by the beach so you can save more people.

pistols at dawn said...

That's got to be nice for a kid to realize that even if your life is in danger in public, no one will notice or care.

Del-V said...

Once you save someone’s life they should become your indentured servant out of gratitude.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

princess, Of course I remember you! Glad to see you're back at it.

GB, I am that.

TC, There are very few memories that are as clear as this one from my childhood. As for the 2nd part, I may write it, but maybe not. Debating whether I want to bring it all up just now.

BobD, I do float well, as proven in our jacuzzi roomie meeting.

Mr. Miller, A hero? Meh. Notsomuch. It was purely selfish- what was I gonna do without my best friend?

ii, I was happy to be back on dry land!

Jack&Jill, That was the last time my sister went swimming in the ocean. She'll still go and get her feet wet, but she doesn't want to get caught up in something like that again.

Carmen, Verrry scary.

Scotty, I'm not as athletic anymore. I doubt my hero skills would hold up in the Pacific if I tried this again.

Pistols, BINGO. It was certainly an eye-opener.

Del-V, She had saved my life previously, so this was payback I guess.