Our shore trip this year included the storm known as Hermine. For us, it meant two days of wind-blown rain and red-flagged beaches. The surf was thunderous, pounding the beach with fistfuls of waves that rolled in and crossed over, one on top of the next in a series of foaming, rapid-fire punches that sent concussive thudding sounds across the dunes. As we stood by the water, watching this furious display, a young lady trudged past us, carrying a surf board, her blond hair almost sideways in the wind. About a half mile up the beach, she turned right and headed straight into the maelstrom, throwing down her surf board and falling on top of it just before the first wave crashed over her head. She reappeared, then disappeared over and over, as rolling green mountains of water continually pressed her deep into the valleys between them. But she always surfaced, paddling up into the face of the next wave only seconds before disappearing under another avalanche of foam. This continued for about fifteen minutes. Then, like a prize fighter who has worn down her opponent, she emerged victorious, past the last line of breakers. There she joined two or three other kindred spirits sitting on their boards, all of them, no doubt recovering their strength for what would most likely be a fast ride back to the beach.

This is a gouache painting on Arches paper.

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