Two of us surfed at first - a small ground swell from a tropical storm that would never come to be. I remembered that feeling of acknowledgement - knowing that someone else saw me have a great ride on a tough wave. Over the next several weeks, we surfed a bunch of spots in a bunch of different conditions - Indian River Inlet, the Ocean City Pier, and the Ocean City Inlet.
Then, on a foggy morning that brought along some tropical waves, we met up with more of the "email crew." All of a sudden, there were five of us. All living in DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis. All dreaming of a life on the beach, and obsessed with getting more time in the water, at a time when gasoline was a dreadful $1.65/gallon (vs. the 97 cents/gallon it had been just 4 years prior).
|Banner made by a coworker at the engineering firm|
where I worked at the time!
We travelled, too. There were trips to Florida, trips to Puerto Rico, and trips to Costa Rica. Trips to Baja and trips to New Jersey. Our ranks grew, and with that, came requests. Requests for beach tents. Requests for t-shirts. Requests for snacks. Requests to enter surf contests as a team. And so we started raising money.
|Northwestern Costa Rica, looking north toward the Nicaragua border.....a beautiful place|
Of course, this is where the problems always start, and on cue, they started. We obtained a 501(c)3 designation in 2004, and started charging a membership fee to offset the costs to the informal club "leadership." With 40, then 50, then 60 members......a "tiki party" gets pretty expensive. I was elected as the Board Member At-Large on the inaugural board of directors in 2004. The first time I'd been elected to anything - it was pretty cool. It also benefited my surfing - I probably surfed 30 days in 2003 and 40 days in 2004.
|Me on the far right, Cape Henlopen, DE - October 2003.|
My last really strong interaction with the club was as Vice President in 2007. I had moved into non-profit work the year before, and was somehow surprised that I had even less time to surf! That trend has sadly continued. However, the amazing members that make up the ASC continued to lead it forward.
The Annapolis Surf Club now boasts nearly 60 members and regularly participates in charity surf contests in four states, organizes surfing trips to at least two or three remote destinations (i.e. Costa Rica) annually, and still somehow manage to keep the organization together. 10 years. 0 employees. Not shabby.
Hau`oli la Ho'omana'o, boys and girls of the ASC!
|Fun little waves on an ASC trip to the Jersey Shore........2003|