To conquer my fear of the seas, I decided to go boogieboarding. At the boogie-board-rental I inquired about the costs. There was a small, sturdy man there. He had the intimidating body of a surfer.
These are very good boards, Japanese boards. Professional boards!
Boogieboarding is a professional sport?!
Well… Of course! Haven’t you seen the movie, man?! Come on!
I had not seen the movie and paid an exorbitant price for the boogieboards.
The next day, I decided to go surfing.
The bay I was at, Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka, is famous for being one of the world’s premier surfing spots for advanced surfers. It was too hard for me. Besides, it was off season. There was no order to those waves. My surfing teacher brought me in his tuktuk to Whiskey Point. He promised it would be much more doable there. On the way I asked him where he had been during the tsunami. He himself had been at home, he said. His house was located at a safe distance from the shore. His mom and sister, however, he added, had been at the beach and were never found.
Whiskey Point too, seemed deserted. But there was something in the sea.
A crocodile was fighting the current, which, because of both wind and season, was utterly unpredictable. My surf teacher, who did not seem easily impressed, immediately admitted he had never seen anything like it. The crocodile must have been brought there from a river nearby. The waves made him tumble. At one time, it was like he tried to open a wave like a beartrap, we stared at his belly. It was green like a pistachio. When he got out of sight, we looked for the pistachio in the water. He moved less and less, but the current pushed him slowly closer to the beach. Finally, the crocodile managed to point his jaw towards the shore. The sea threw him on the shore, gave him a moment, then grabbed him by the tail and pulled him back. The crocodile lacked the strength to find his way to the dry sand.
Teacher and I kept watching from a safe distance, till the crocodile seemed dead enough. Teacher turned around. He looked at me and my surfboard:
Maktub. We are not surfing today.