Yesterday my landlord extended a late afternoon invitation to join his family excursion to the beach. The weather was sultry and sunny. My other water option was a long soak in my tub. My answer was quick and to the point."Gimme five minutes."Within 4 I was in his Audi A6 station wagon. The two blonde-headed kids came down to the street several minutes later. Departure took less than 10 minutes. We were all eager to see the ocean and our destination was within the borders of New York City. AP navigated the empty streets of Brooklyn and found a BQE onramp in Dumbo. Out-bound traffic was light in comparison to the inbound lane. We got off at exit 11S and crossed over Jamaica Bay Inlet on the Marine Parkway Bridge. AP turned right and entered Fort Tilden, to which he had a parking permit from the Rockaway Artists Collective. His kids had brought their bikes and rode ahead on the crumbling roads of the decommissioned military outpost.Fort Tilden had served the nation since the War of 1812 and existed as Naval Air Station Rockaway throughout the 20th Century. Coastal guns dotted the dunes to protect New York City from invasion. During the Cold War Nike Hercules and Nike Ajax missiles were installed in bunkers and launch sites to shoot down Soviet nuclear missile. AP's five-year old son was desperate to find a silo."Why they not have missiles now?""The fort was abandoned in the 70s.""Why?" It was only the second of many whys and AP was a good father. He answered each and every why.It was almost five by the time we reached the beach. The earlier crowds had departed for home. The wind off the water was cold. The beach was strewn with plastic bags and beer cans. AP's son asked why."Because people are pigs." AP answered and stripped off his shirt. He had summered most of his life on the Hamptons and we dove into the rough surf. His daughter and son waited in ankle-deep water. His wife sat by the dunes. "You mind?""Not at all." I held the two by the hand, as AP stroked through the surf. He was a good swimmer and friend too, since he returned to his children within two minutes he resumed his parental duty. "Thanks.""Don't mention it." I was also a father.AP carried his 7 year-old daughter into the waves, as his energetic son chased gulls with a stick. I ran into the ocean. The water temperature was in the 70s. I duckdove under a large wave and Aussie-crawled about 100 feet from shore. The current swept east at a fast clip and I swam to keep AP and his daughter before me. I love the rough nature of the Atlantic and spotted a surging wave building a surfable face. I rode it for a good twenty feet before the wave collapsed onto the sandbar. I was slammed to the bottom on my back and popped to the surface gasping for breath.An unusual pain throbbed in the ribs. I had hit the sand hard. Lord Neptune was trying to kill me, but I wasn't an easy victim. Some muscles might have been damaged and I bodysurfed to shallow water. Standing up I inhaled deeply. The ache wasn't going away and I decided it was time to call an end to this swimming expedition. "You okay?" AP asked emerging from the surf with his daughter clinging to his neck."Nothing a few margharitias wouldn't cure.""Your wish is my command." AP is a kindred soul. His wife liked the idea. The kids were happy with the promise of tacos. They were a happy family and happier that we had gone to Fort Tilden. It is our Hamptons. Every time of year.