May 27, 2019

SF Chronicle: Holding on to a travel companion who wouldn’t let go

“Michael!” my father shouted, shattering my reverie. Behind me, I saw him and the biggest wave I’d ever witnessed, both zooming toward me. My father grabbed my hand — we were too far out to beat the wave to shore. After a few terrifying seconds, the wave began to curl over us in slow motion and enveloped us with unrelenting force. The surf spun us around like driftwood; my father’s grip tightened. As the wave slammed us into the scabrous ocean floor, he held on. And when the undertow began to suck us out to sea, his grip remained strong as he swam us — with his one free arm — toward the shore.