Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan:
I made it over the set, which had four or five waves. It was a close enough thing that I went airborne over the top of at least one, and was drenched with offshore spray by each of them, and I was shaken to the core by the sound of the waves detonating a few yards behind me. I was convinced that if I had been caught inside, I would have died. This conviction was a first for me. This was the fear line that made surfing different, here underscored extra-heavily. I felt like Pip, the cabin boy in Moby-Dick who falls overboard and is rescued but loses his mind, undone by visions of the ocean’s infinite malice and indifference. I paddled far, far around the Rice Bowl reef, on the Tonggs side, light-headed, humiliated, back to shore.