Written by Emily Morzewski from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
There is something about the ocean that makes me feel free. Every time I’ve stepped my feet into its waters, I feel like it is speaking. The rhythm of the waves and the undertow is like a beating heart pushing blood, in the form of water, out to its farthest reaches then back towards the heart. I could just sit and watch the waves for hours. The ocean is so beautiful and it’s also powerful. When we went on an excursion to learn how to surf, the instructor said it best. You must respect the ocean. That means not just jumping in with reckless abandon.
The day that we went surfing happened to be after it had been storming in the area so the waves that day were pretty big. We went surfing at Seven Mile Beach. It also started raining when we started, but it wasn’t really noticeable because we were wearing wetsuits. It was kind of exciting to have my first experience surfing be when the waves were strong. The first time I got on a surfboard and just rode a wave on my stomach was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I felt like I was flying. That is the best way I know how to describe the feeling because it is unlike anything else I have experienced in my life. It is also a lot harder to stand up than it looks. I fell off a lot before I even made it to my feet. The first time I got my feet under me and kind of stood up on the board, I ended up falling on my face. The most difficult part of surfing was getting out far enough to catch a wave. With the waves being so strong it was a lot of work to catch a wave. On the very last wave, I stood up all the way. I felt so accomplished because my goal was to just stand up once.
After surfing we went to a Vietnamese place for lunch. I did not know what I wanted to eat, so I asked the waitress what was good and took her suggestion. I ended up eating a steak dish with onions and rice. It was delicious and I was glad I took her suggestion.
After lunch with the group, some people took the train back to campus and a group of us went to this park in Kiama called Blowhole. It is a place where there is a rock formation that when the waves hit it air pressure builds up until it sprays water into the air like a blowhole of a whale. It’s fascinating how nature has formed something like this. All the pieces had to fall into place perfectly to create this formation. We climbed around on the rocks in the area a bit before heading back to campus on the train.