Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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I had been in California for about a week, and my parents just arrived. It was Thursday afternoon, and my sister had to go to work. Because my sister could not join us, we went to Huntington Beach and Solana Beach. We drove up and down the coast for a few hours because my parents wanted to see all the different beaches. It was our first time to be together in California, and we were all anxious to get to the coast. We drove down the crowded coast for about an hour until we found a place to stay.

The beach we chose is called Solana beach. We drove around for about thirty minutes trying to find a parking spot, and we finally found one located next to a parking meter. Once we gathered all of our things we headed through the extremely crowded parking lot and down to the beach.

We found a place that was not to congested with people and set up our beach blankets. My family and I sat there for a few minutes, and then my brother and I headed for the water in order to cool down. The waves here were noticeably small because this area was naturally protected against the southeasterly wind that was blowing fairly hard that day. The water was some of the coldest I had ever experienced. Because the water was so cold, we only stayed in for about fifteen or twenty minutes. We sat on the beach for awhile, and then we decided to go see another beach.

We found South Huntington Beach about twenty miles north of Solana Beach. We were in total awe at what we were witnessing. Fifteen and sixteen foot waves were coming in set after set. The raw power of the walls of water was overwhelming. I grabbed my surfboard out of the bed of the truck and started walking towards the water.

Collins 2 I could not believe that the waves were so huge. The loud roar that each wave made when it broke caused me to tremble. I knew then that there was no way I could ride one of those waves on a surfboard. I sat on the beach for about a half an hour just watching the waves roll in. My parents finally ragged on me enough to make me get in the water. The rip tide was stronger than any river current I had ever encountered, and the white wash seemed to never allow me to move. I grabbed my brother's boogie board and started paddling to the outside. It seemed like it took an hour to get outside. Once I got outside, I waited for the wave. I watched three sets pass until I found a wave that looked almost perfect. It had a high peek and was building evenly on both sides. I paddled with all my strength, and the wave picked me up. The initial drop was breath taking. I had to have dropped at least twelve feet. I had never been on such a huge wave in my entire life. The speed was incredible, and the power of the wave was massive. Because of all the water falling on me, I swallowed tons of water. I had to abandon the wave in order to breathe. As soon as I got to the surface and got a breath of air, another wave crashed on top of me. I struggled against the force of nature for my life. When I finally got to a place I could stand, I ran towards the shore. I was already tremendously tired, but the rip tide never gave up. It took me another five minutes to get to shore. I looked around and found myself about four hundred yards from where I paddled out. I spent the rest of my time sitting on hot sand and being thankful for my life.