IMG_3106Robin and I have been hitting the North Carolina beaches intermittently for years. One of the reasons we like to go south is that the water’s warm. You can actually jump in without the threat of cardiac arrest from the shock of brain-freezing cold.

            Years ago, we started dragging our beach chairs to the very edge of the surf so the incoming waves would swirl around our ankles. “Chair-rafting,” we named our new sport. The idea was to get so close to the water that eventually a big wave would spill you laughing out of your chair.

            Now this is an obviously superior way to sun at the beach. You watch the sea rise in the distance with the hint of a wave, see it roll in slowly, swell, surge forward, and then break and crash. White foaming waters rush up at you. Will they just flick water at your feet, or swoosh up to your waist and fill your chair with sand? It’s hard to predict. That’s the idea. If you don’t get enough wave action, you keep pulling your chair further down into the wet sand at the edge of the ocean.

            We’ve been chair-rafting for years. We sometimes persuade a friend or two to try it. But with all those people parading by us in their bikinis, you’d think more of them would have decided to give chair-rafting a go, even if they didn’t know what to call it. Once you’ve chair-rafted, you’ll never go back to dry sunbathing again.

            Oh, a couple of warnings. Don’t take your towel with you on your chair-raft; it’ll turn into a soggy wet mass in about two minutes. And if you’re a really brave chair-rafter who gets far down into the surf, you might not want to wear your favorite sunglasses or any other removable item. But at least we’ve never lost a bathing suit while chair-rafting.