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osbourne : surf and surf-bathing, 1890 

Duffield Osbourne  : Surf and Surf-Bathing, 1890.

Osborne, Duffield: Surf and Surf-Bathing
Scribner's Magazine
Volume VII, July-December 1890, pages 100  to 112.
Internet Archive

Re-published in

The Out of Door Library- Athletic Sports.
C. Scribner's Sons, New York, 1897, Chapter IV, pages 237 to 272.
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Page 100
By Duffield Osborne.

The popularity of surf- bathing as a sport may be said to be of fairly recent growth in this country.
Although few perhaps realize the fact, it is nevertheless true that most of the beaches where now the surf curls over net-works of life lines, and where the brown-faced bathing-master lounges, lazy yet watchful, before hundreds of gayly clad pleasure-seekers, were solitudes but a few years since.
The white-topped waves tumbled, one after another, unnoticed upon the gray shore, the sea-breeze played only with the rank grasses upon the dunes, while circling gull and tern screamed their confidential communications to each other without fear of being overheard by human eavesdroppers.

Only on Saturdays, at the hour of full tide, did the scene change ; and then perhaps a farm-wagon or so rolled heavily down to where the ripples lapped the sand ; a stout rope was drawn from its coil under the seats and tied firmly around the hub and axle; a dilapidated fish-house lent itself for a change of garments, and finally, some bronzed ex-whaler, with his bulky strength robed in a flannel shirt and old trousers tied with ropes at waist and ankles, slipped his wrist through the hand-loop at the free end of the rope and dragged it out into the surf a sort of human anchor-buoy while women, children, and less sturdy manhood clung to its now tightening, now slackening length, and sputtered and shrieked over their Saturday bath.

But, passing at a bound from farm-wagon, hand-looped rope, and ex-whaler to the less picturesque, but more effectual, appliances of to-day, the following is by all odds the simplest and best.
Two parallel ropes, firmly anchored, and so elevated from the shore as to lie along the surface of the water, are run out to two heavy log-buoys, also anchored, at a distance of seventy-five yards, more or less, according to the character of both beach and surf.
Half way from the shore to the buoys these ropes should be connected by a transverse line with cork-floats fastened at regular intervals the distances being such that the cork-line shall rest upon the water some yards beyond the point where the heaviest breakers comb.
If placed closer in shore, it is likely to become a source of serious danger, for, diving beneath a heavy wave and coming up under, or perhaps being thrown with more or less force against, a taut rope or a rough cork-buoy, has been the occasion of many painful hurts, and serious injury can be very readily imagined.

Regard being had to the above caution, this system of life-lines is really safer than much more elaborate contrivances.
Women, children, and the inexperienced in general should keep within the rectangle formed by the shore, the long ropes, and the cork-line ; and they would, moreover, do wisely to stay near that rope lying upon the side from which the surf may "set."
Then, if swept off their feet, the chances are all in favor of their being carried within reach of some support which will keep them up until assistance can be had.
It seems hardly necessary to say that any such complication of lines as is seen at some points of Coney Island, for instance, would be a danger rather than a safeguard in any surf heavy enough to "throw " a bather.

A word as to bathing costumes may be of some service here.
A man's suit should be of flannel, because that material is both warm and light ; it should be made in one piece, sleeveless, reaching just to the knee, belted in at the waist, and, above all, close-fitting.
There are few, nowadays, who do not appreciate the privilege of playing with the Atlantic Ocean ; but perhaps there are fewer still who have ever taken the ...

Page 101

... trouble to study the character and humors of their playmate for he is full of tricks, this same ocean, and his jests are sometimes sadly practical ; he is all life and good spirits the jolliest of jolly company when he is in the humor ; but he must be treated with tact, tact born of a knowledge of his ways and moods ; and, above all, his would-be friends must learn to recognize when he is really angry, and then they must leave him to rave or grumble alone until boisterous good-nature resumes its sway.

Watch and note the character of the surf and the formation of the beach for a few days ; the knowledge gained may be useful.
Do you see that line of breakers a quarter of a mile away?
There lies the bar, and to-day the surf is heavy enough to break upon it, though the depth there must be at least six feet.
Sometimes it is shallower, and, if you are ambitious and foolish, you can wade and swim out there and meet the waves first-hand.
It is not worth while to run the risk, though ; the seas will usually form again long before they reach the shore, and, if you are sensible, you can enjoy them fully as much here as if you had put several hundred yards between yourself and help in the always
possible contingency of accident.

No, it is not remarkably rough now ; but last week ! you should have been here then.
There had been great tumults far out beyond that smoke you see floating above the horizon, where some hidden steamer is ploughing her way through blue water; and the great seas rolled and tumbled upon the bar and broke there, but they had no time
to form themselves again.
Plunging onward under their own impulse and beaten out of shape by fiercely thronging successors, they rushed in toward the shore, a seething turmoil of foam, sweeping the sand from one side and heaping it up on another all white above and gray below from bar to beach.

Next week there may be scarce a ripple; you would not know there was an outer bar, and the wavelets, as they lap the sand, will seem so placid that you can not conceive how they could ever have lost their temper.

In spite of all its changes, however, the surf has sometimes local characteristics as fixed as anything can be with which the fickle ocean has to do.
For instance, on the Atlantic coast the storms are generally bred and nurtured in the east ; the milder weather is born of
southern or western winds, and therefore it is that those who have spent much time upon the New Jersey beaches have probably noticed that during very heavy weather the waves, as a rule, rollstraight upon the shore ; while when the surf is lighter it is apt to run diagonally, or, as they say, "sets" from the south.
On the Long Island coast all this is reversed ; there, when the storm winds prevail, the "set" is strong from the east, and the foam and breakers race along the beach from Montauk toward the Metropolis ; while at other times the surf will usually run straight on.
It is hardly necessary to say that a surf without "set" is far more agreeable and somewhat safer.
A bather is not forced to fight constantly against the impulse that is drifting him down the beach and away from companions, ropes, and bathing-grounds.

The strength and height of the waves depend mainly upon influences at work far out upon the ocean, but the beach, as shaped by its watery assailants, reacts upon them in turn.
The finest surf will be found under the following conditions :
First, let there be a storm well out at sea, sending the big rollers straight onto the beach, and then a sharp wind on shore for a few hours.
The effect of this will be, in the first instance, to thin the waves, and he who is fortunate enough to make trial of them undersuch circumstances will find a high, clean-cut surf, each breaker of which combs over in even sequence, and yet without such weight or body of water as to seriously threaten his equilibrium.
Should that same wind off-shore blow for a few hours longer, the tops of the waves will be cut off and the ocean be come too calm to be interesting.

I speak of a "fine surf," but were each man asked what he understands by it or by the term "good bathing," his definition would probably be largely governed by his skill and ability to take care of himself.
For instance, what would be highly satisfactory to a good ...

Page 102

... surfman would be altogether too rough for those compelled by weakness, timidity, or inexperience to stand near the shore and look on ; while what might be agreeable to them would be tame for him.
The opinion of such as say, "Wasn t it splendid to-day ! Why, I swam way out to the bar," need not be considered.
They don;t enjoy surf-bathing ; it is only the swimming that they care for, and they would doubtless be even better pleased at any point on Long Island Sound.
But what I take to be, and what I mean by, "a good bathing-day," is one on which a man who understands himself can take the surf as it comes, either alone or "with convoy," and yet, when there is an ever-present excitement in the knowledge that a second's  carelessness may result in an overthrow of both his person and his pride.

Turning now from the water to the beach itself we find its formation varies, from day to day and from year to year,almost as much as do the waves that are forever smiting it. It may deepen gradually or abruptly, and the shoaling of an abrupt beach is usually the result of some days heavy sea "setting" from one direction or the other, which cuts away the sand above low water-mark and spreads it out over the bottom.
But that characteristic which at the same time varies and affects us most is the position and depth of what is known as the "ditch," that is, where, sometimes at a few feet, sometimes at several yards from the shore, will be found a sudden declivity caused by the continual pounding of the surf along one line, and consequently lying farther out in heavy weather, and conversely.

As a source of danger this same "ditch " is often very material.
Often a man ignorant of the surf, perhaps a poor swimmer or no swimmer at all, starts to wade out waist or breast deep.
To his eyes there is no sign of peril ; one step more, and lo ! he is beyond his depth ; and that, too, just where the waves are pounding him down and the conditions most potent to deprive him of his much-needed presence of mind.
Nor is this all ; he may not, of his own free will, take that last step which involves him in all this difficulty, for it is at the edge of the "ditch" where the "under-tow " is strongest ; nay, more the very strength of the "under-tow " depends largely upon the depth of the ditch.

Doubtless we have all heard a great deal about this "under-tow," as though it were some mysterious force working from the recesses of a treacherous ocean to draw unwary bathers to their doom.
As a matter of fact its presence is obviously natural, and the explanation of it more than simple.
As each wave rolls in and breaks upon the beach, the volume of water which it carries does not remain there and sink into the sand ; it flows back again, and, as the succeeding wave breaks over it, the receding one forms an under-current flowing outward of strength proportionate to the body of water contained in each breaker, and, again, proportionatein a great measure to the depth of the ditch.
Where this latter is an appreciable depression, it can be readily seen that the water of receding waves will flow in to it with similar effect to that of water going over a fall, and that a person standing near is very likely to be drawn over with it, and thus, if the ditch is deep enough, carried out of his depth.
This is all there is to the much-talked-of "under-tow " and the numerous accidents laid to its account.

It may be well to speak here of an other phenomenon not infrequently observed.
I do not recall ever seeing the name by which it is known in print, and, as the word is ignored by Webster, I shall invent my own spelling and write it "sea-poose."
This term is loosely used on different parts of the coast, but the true significance of it is briefly this :
There will sometimes come, at every bathing-ground, days when the ocean seems to lose its head and to act in a very capricious way.
On such occasions it often happens that the beach is cut away at some one point, presumably where the sand happens to be softer and less capable of resisting the action of the water.
There will then be found a little bay indenting the shore, perhaps ten feet, perhaps ten yards.
The waves rolling into such a cove are deflected somewhat by its sides and "set "together at its head, so that two wings of a breaker, so to speak, meet and, running ...

Page 103

... straight out from the point of junction, form a sort of double "under-tow," which will, if the conditions that cause it continue, cut out along its course a depression or trench of varying depth and length.
It can be readily understood that such a trench tends to strengthen the current that causes it, and these two factors, acting and reacting upon each other, occasion what might be called an artificial "under-tow" which is sometimes strong enough to carry an unwary bather some distance out, in a fashion that will cause him either to be glad he is, or to wish he were, within the rectangle of the life lines.

I have sometimes heard old surfmen speak of what they call a " false poose," but I have never been able to find out just what was meant by the expression, much less its causes and character.
I shall therefore leave the question for those who delight to delve into the mysteries of local nomenclature.

And now, standing upon the dunes, our eyes have wandered over the expanse of ocean with a glance more critical and inquiring as it drew near the shore.
The salt savor of the breeze is, at the same time, a tonic and an anodyne ; we are drowsy, but the sea yet draws us to itself with an irresistible impulse ; the waves are rolling straight in and breaking high and clean ; shall we plunge into their cool depths ; shall we combat their strength ; or ride them as they come galloping from the blue to the green, and from the green to the white, until at last they fall spent upon the gray sand of the beach ?
Surely !
Who is there can stand by and resist such temptation !
But wait !
Surf -bathing is not a solitary sport.
See ! the beach is thronged with gay toilets and bright sunshades, and the water has already given place to many.
Watch that couple as they run gracefully down to the shore ; they dash confidently out ; now they have almost reached the line where the waves are breaking ; he takes her hands, and they stand prepared to "jump " the breakers and then a big, foamy crest curls over them and falls with a roar ; and, as it rolls in, you think you see a foot reaching up pathetically out of its depth, and now a hand some yards away, until at last, from out the shallows of the spent wave two dazed and bedraggled shapes stagger to their feet and look, first for themselves, and then for each other.
A broad smile runs along the line of pretty toilets, and the gay sunshades nod their appreciation.
There stand some men, just where the breakers comb, and, as each wave succeeds its precursor and rises into a crest, you may see the half-dozen brown-armed figures shooting over, like so many porpoises, and plunging head foremost under the advancing hill of water.
Look ! there come some big ones one, two, three of them !
The bathers see them too, and press out a few yards ...


... into deeper water ; and then the diving commences.
It is sharp work this time ; the big ocean-coursers are running close upon each other s heels, and the heads scarcely emerge after the first before the second is curling directly above ; now they have passed, and each breathless bather looks around to see how the rest have fared three, four, five but where is the sixth ?
A roar of laughter floats shoreward as a demoralized form is seen to gather itself up, almost upon the beach ; that last breaker of the trio struck too quickly for him ; he cannot ...

Page 104

... tell you just how many somersaults he has turned since the ocean proceeded to take him in hand, but he is sure that they numbered somewhere among the twenties.
Yes, it is brisk sport, and we must "go in."

Fig. 2.

But then, it does not look comfortable, to be thrown ; nor will it please our conceit to so minister to the good-natured mirth of that gay company.
It is pleasanter to be among the laughers and so we shall be.
To that end a few hints will perhaps be found useful, and even though what I shall say may, when said, seem to be obvious enough, yet it is amazing how few people will, of themselves, perceive the obvious and utilize their perceptions.
You, my scornful friend, who think you know it all ; you will go to Southampton next summer, and the spirit of prophecy being upon me you will be thrown, ignominiously thrown, eight times inside of two weeks ; so, remember that much that is "obvious" is
yet fairly occult after all, or at least might as well be, as far as practice is concerned.
And now, to return to the ocean and to didactics.
We shall assume, in the first place, that you are able to swim, and further, that you are not minded to follow the inglorious, yet really dangerous, example of those who wait for a calm interval, and then, rushing through the line of breakers, spend their time swimming out beyond.
Well, then, take your place just where the seas comb.
This point will vary somewhat with the height of the waves, but you will stand, for the most part, in water about waist deep (as shown in Fig. 1).
Should a particular breaker look to be heavier than the preceding, remember that it will strike further out and that you must push forward to meet it.
Then, if you are where you should be, it will comb directly above your head.
Wait until it reaches that point of its development, for if you act too soon or too late your chances of being thrown are greatly increased, and, with the white crest just curving over you, dive under the green wall of water that rises up in front.
Dive just as you would from a low shore, only not quite so much downward say at an angle of twenty degrees off the horizontal (Figs. 2 and 3) ; your object being to slip under the incoming volume of water, to get somewhat into the "under-tow," and yet to run no risk of running afoul of the bottom.
The heavier the wave, the deeper will be the water in which you
stand, and the deeper you can and should dive.
If your antagonist be very big and strong, you will find it advisa- ...

Fig. 3.

Page 105
The Saturday Bath in the Old Days. (illustration?)

... ble to strike out the instant you have plunged ; very much on the theory that, as a bicycle will stand when in motion and fall the instant it stops, so a man can, by swimming under water, keep control of and balance himself much better against the peculiar vibratory motion which one experiences when under a big wave and surrounded by conflicting currents.
Swimming will also tend to bring you to the surface again under full control, and, provided you have acted with judgment, you will
find yourself, when the wave has passed, standing on about the line from which you plunged.

A thing good to remember but difficult to explain the cause of, is that extraordinarily heavy waves almost invariably travel by threes; that is, very often, when you have been standing at one spot and taking perhaps a dozen breakers, you will of a sudden see, rolling in from the bar, a hill of water and foam much higher and heavier than those that have gone before.
Then be sure that there are two more of similar magnitude close behind it and push forward as fast as you can.
If it seems very heavy and you have time, you may try to get beyond the break and ride them in comfort, but if this is impossible, you must dive low, swim, come to the surface promptly, dash the water from your eyes, and be ready for numbers two and three ; and when all have passed, if you are still in good shape, you will find some long draughts of air very agreeable.

Sometimes it will happen that you cannot get far enough out in time to meet these big seas at the proper point, and then it is that your reputation as a surf -man will be in clanger, at least among those who judge by success alone.
There is only one thing to do ; dive under the foam as it boils toward you dive deep and swim hard.
The wave and the "under-tow " will be here commingled in a sort of whirlpool, and you will need all your strength and skill to keep "head-on."
Suffer yourself to be twisted but a few inches from your course, and but doubtless you understand.

There is a rather amusing way of playing with the surf on days when it is fairly high, but thin and without much force.
Instead of diving as the breaker commences to comb, throw yourself over backward and allow your feet to be car- ...

Page 106

... ried up into its crest.
Provided you have judged its strength accurately and given yourself just enough back somersault impetus, you will be turned completely over in the wave (Figs. 4 and 5), and ...

Fig. 4.

... strike with it and upon your feet ; only be careful in picking out your plaything, and don t select one that will pound you into the sand, or perhaps refuse to regulate the number of somersaults according to your wishes or intentions.

Now, it is more than possible that, being a good swimmer, and having first made personal trial of both beach and surf, you may desire to offer your escort to well, to your sister ; and right here let me note a few preliminary cautions.

Never attempt to take a woman into the surf where there is any reason for an experienced surfman to anticipate a sea which, unaccompanied, you would have any difficulty in meeting ; or When the water in the ditch is more than breast deep ; or When the "under-tow "or "set" is especially strong ; or When there is any irregularity of the beach which might cause a "sea-poose " to form.

You may also find it wise to observe the following :
Never take a woman out side the life-lines, and never promise her, either expressly or by implication, that you will not let her hair get wet.
Above all, impress it upon her that she must do exactly as you say, that a moment s hesitation due to timidity or lack of confidence, or, worse than all, anything like panic or an attempt to break from you and escape by flight, is likely to precipitate a disaster which, unpleasant and humiliating when met alone, is trebly so in company.

And now, having read your lecture on the duty of obedience, etc., lead on.
Of course, if the water deepens gradually and the surf is very light, you may go beyond the breakers, but in that event no skill is called for and no suggestions needed.

There are several good ways of holding a woman in the surf, but the best and safest in every emergency is that shown in Fig. 6. You thus stand with your left and her right side toward the ocean, and as the wave rises before you, your companion should, at the word, spring from the sand while at the same moment you swing her around with all your force, and throw her back ward into the advancing breaker (Fig. 7).

You will observe that your own feet are always firmly planted on the bottom, the left foot about twelve inches advanced, and your body and shoulders thrown forward, so as to obtain the best brace against the shock of the water.
The question of preserving your equilibrium is largely one of proper balancing, especially when, as is often the case, you are carried from your foothold and ...

Fig. 5

Page 107

borne some yards toward the shore.
Your companion s weight and impetus, as well as the position in which she strikes the wave that is, directly in front of you, all tend to make your anchorage more secure, or in case of losing it, your balance the easier to maintain.
The body of the wave will, of course, pass completely over you (as shown in Fig.8).
The instant it has so passed and your head emerges, clear your eyes, regain your position (you will practically drop into it again), and if carried shoreward, press out to the proper point so as to be ready for the next.

Should an exceptionally heavy sea roll in, endeavor to push forward to meet it as if you were alone, being very careful, however, not to get out of depth.
Flight is almost always disastrous.
If the sea strikes before you can reach it, there is nothing to do but bend your head and shoulders well forward, brace yourself as firmly as possible, and thus, presenting the least surface for the water to take hold of, and getting the full benefit of the "under-tow," swing your companion (who has also bent low and thrown herself forward) horizontally under the broken wave (Fig. 9).
If she has had much experience, it will be still better for you to dive together, side by side.

Before dropping this branch of the subject I wll call attention briefly to another way of carrying a woman through the surf.
Let her stand directly in front of and facing you (as shown in Fig. 10).
Standing thus, she springs and is pushed backward through the wave somewhat as in the former instance (Fig. 11).
The disadvantages of this method are, first : that you lose in impetus by pushing rather than swinging your companion ; second, that she cannot herself see what is coming ; third, that neither is in as convenient a position to hurry forward to meet an exceptionally heavy wave ; and fourth, that you have not as good a hold in case a sea breaks before it reaches you, or any other emergency arises.

In all that has been said, bear in mind that the cardinal secret of surf-bathing, in all contingencies, is proper balancing, and nothing but experience seconding knowledge can teach you to measure forces and judge correctly to that end.
So far the sea has been a good-natured though sometimes a rough playfellow never really irritable or vindictive ; but unfortunately this disposition cannot be counted upon.
That there are dangers ...

Fig. 6.

...attendant upon ocean-bathing, he who has been present when human life was being fought for can abundantly testify.
To be sure, most of the accidents are results of carelessness or ignorance ; but then the same may be said of accidents everywhere, and a short summary of the dangers peculiar to the surf may be of use.
Some of these have been already indicated, as, for instance, dangers arising from the "under-tow."
This by itself is not likely to trouble anyone except a very poor swimmer, and then only when the ditch is deep ; for the reason that the power of the "under-tow " is confined practically to within the line of breakers and cannot carry a bather any distance.
In the case of a "sea-poose," however, it is different.
I have seen a current of this character running out for many yards beyond a man s depth, and against which ...

Page 108

Fig. 7.

... a strong swimmer would find it almost impossible to make headway.
Fortunately, such instances are rare, but he who may be thus entangled must remember, the moment he realizes his predicament,
that by attempting to fight the current and swim directly toward the beach, he, as a general thing, only wastes his strength.
He must strike out for a few yards along shore, and a slight effort so directed will soon take him out of the dangerous influence.

Again, the "under-tow" may help to a disaster in the following way : As a rule, there is no real danger in being thrown by a breaker, but there have been occasions when an inexperienced or exhausted bather has been struck in such a way, or thrown with such force, as to be more or less injured or dazed; and then, before he could regain control of himself, and while prostrate in the water, he has been drawn back by the "under-tow, "rolled under and pounded down by each succeeding breaker, and finally even drowned.

The great majority, however, of drowning accidents on the sea-board that is, of those which can be even indirectly
attributed to the surf take place under the following circumstances :
Some strong swimmer comes to the beach, entirely ignorant of the strength and ways of the ocean ; he sneers at the warnings of surf-men, and, choosing a calm interval, dashes through the line of breakers and amuses himself by swimming out ; ropes and
log-buoys are entirely beneath his notice.
Finally he begins to feel tired ; the chop of the seas splashes up into his nose and eyes ; it is not so easy as swimming in still water, and he concludes to come in.
Now, the chances are that he will do this without any serious difficulty, even though he does not quite understand how to swim high, with long strokes, ...

Fig. 8.

Page 109 ?

Page 110

Fig. 9.

... when on the inner slope and summit of each wave, until it fairly shoots him toward the shore ; and then to rest and hold his own while on the outer slope and in the trough.
There is always, however, just a possibility, and the stronger the surf the more possible is it that the inexperienced swimmer can not come through the line of breakers when and where he wants to ; he must wait their pleasure, and, if he has measured his strength closely and the delay be long, it is easy to see how that, in trying to pass, he may be thrown down into the " under-tow " and lack sufficient strength to extricate himself.

Next to caution and life-lines, surf dangers are best provided against by a long rope with a slip-noose at the end, either wound on a portable reel or coiled and placed at the lowest point of the beach.
Then a rescuer, throwing the noose around his waist, can make his way to a drowning man, and both can be drawn in by those on shore.
In default of some such contrivance, the next best thing is for all the able-bodied to form a chain of hands ; for, let me say, there is nothing more difficult, even for a strong swimmer and expert surf-man, than bringing a drowning person in through or out of a line of heavy breakers.

I recall an incident which happened some years since at Bridgehampton, Long Island, and which illustrates the difficulty of which I speak.
A young clergyman had arrived only the day be- ...

Fig. 10.

Page 111

... fore ; he was unable to swim a stroke ; and his first exploit was to wade out into the ocean, entirely ignorant of the  fact that the ditch was that day both abrupt and deep or perhaps even that ...

Fig. 11.

... there was such a thing as a ditch and that a single step would take him from a depth of four feet and safety, into
one of six and considerable danger.
Whether he took the step, or the "under- tow" took it for him, is not material, but the bathing-master and one other saw the trouble, dashed in, and, reaching the drowning man, were able to keep his head above water ; but, what with this and fighting the waves, they could not seem to make an inch shoreward.
There were not many on the beach at the time, and only four or five men who could be of any use.
A chain of hands was promptly formed, but it was not long enough to bring the inside man into water less than waist deep, and the
"under-tow," pouring into the big ditch, sucked with all its might.
So they swung backward and forward, now gaining, now losing ground, and meanwhile the bathing-master and those nearest
him, being out of depth, were fast becoming exhausted.
All, so far, had instinctively tried to fight the waves, but it was evident that a change of tactics was necessary ; and, fortunately, at that moment a great ridge of water was seen sweeping in.
Thought came quickly then, and the word: "Let it throw us!" was passed down the line ; then it struck, and, for a moment, there was a confused tangle of legs and arms and heads and bodies swirled around, over, under, and against each other.
Those closer in shore were hurled upon the beach, but the chain held together long enough to drag the others into a place of
Though there were no casualties of any consequence, I am very certain that each link of that chain will not soon forget the experience and will appreciate the truth of my last statement.
And now, let me try to temper all this by saying that the dangers of surf-bathing are, in reality, much less than those that beset still-water swimming, where one is usually out of his depth and with very little chance of escape in case of cramp or exhaustion. Only make friends with the ocean, learn its ways, study its moods a little, and humor it, while you keep careful watch against any sudden ebullition of passion.
Those who stand aloof can never realize the pleasure and ex-...

Page 112

IN GLAD WEATHER. (illustration?)

... citement of the sport they forego, nor shall they know the profound satisfaction born of successfully combating a trio of big rollers, which have tossed companions and rivals in confusion on the beach.

Osborne, Duffield: Surf and Surf-Bathing
Scribner's Magazine
Volume VII, July-December 1890, pages 100  to 112.

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Geoff Cater (2012-2106) : Duffield Osbourne : Surf and Surf-Bathing, 1890.