Early Thanksgiving morning, George Drago was walking the beach at Ditch Plain in Montauk. He was just west of the spot surfers refer to as “Poles,” a now-empty beach named after the supports for a bulkhead built to protect the bluff below the old Rheinstein estate. Poles, bluff, and estate are long-gone, eaten by the sea.
You have paddled out and now sit on your surfboard waiting for waves, the sun low in the sky despite the noon hour. The air temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the ocean about the same. Your mind wanders. You’re here only by virtue of the warmth your wetsuit provides through the science of its advanced neoprene.