Monday, December 31, 2007

Boston First Night Procession, unicycled, with Josh, Ben, James, Daniel, chef & lobster.

Not windsurfing fun, but fun- This is the first time me and the boys, (and 2 friends), have unicycled in a parade. We wore Dr. Suess hats and weaved in and out among the trolleys and floats in the parade. We had a fixed space in the line-up but the parade captain told us that we could cruise around. This was more of a kick than I expected, a healthy challenge, constantly turning and dodging, throwing balls to each other & the onlookers, holding hands & spinning, etc. I had one head-on crash with another unicycler, (from a unicycling chef chasing a unicycling lobster), but no damage was done. We both got up laughing. The kids all seemed to have a great time.

If we do it again- Make sure to include Barbara in the group so she will get a parade sticker and can walk along with us as support. She can bring extra clothes for Ben in a backpack, handwarmers etc. We could use simple costumes of some sort. Or a theme like a keystone cop chasing prisoners. The prisoners could steal the cops hat and throw it around, the cop could blow a whistle and make chase, the prisoners could be chained to each other & the cop but let go, prisoners could throw huge key to each other, huge handcuffs. Or clowns with streamers and foxtails (ball with tail), superheros, rock band with inflatable instruments, surfer and sharks, lighted ball, lighted hats. Park at the end of the parade next time. Barbara can drop us off at the start and then take the T back to us after she parks. Eat before we go to fuel up, especially Ben.

Picture- The parade captain told us that we could cruise around.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Cut, Windsurfed, SSE, S, SW, 10-30, with Tucker, Jerry, Outcast, 5.2/ Realwind 85, temp 47.

Birthday gift- O.K. I want to know who's responsible for this warm windy morning on my birthday. I'd like to thank them personally. The wind began to shift to the west and got a little funky shortly after I started but I don't want to sound ungrateful. It was a wonderful gift just to be out on saltwater on my birthday. Age 48, if you're wondering.

Warm, windy, rainy & foggy- a beautiful day at the cut.

Tasty Menu-
The cut dished up a wonderful variety of conditions. I had about 2 hours of intense sailing, planing off and on, playing in the waves- nice sideshore riding and jumping, enjoying the flats around various sandbars and coves, bouncing across the washboard where the 10 knot current meets the ocean on the outer bar, getting washed sometimes. Great fun!

Waves- Maybe the waves were about chest high outside the bar? It's so hard to judge. They were pretty forgiving, although I had my rig pulled out of my hands during one washing. Bad news. It would have been a long swim back if I lost my gear. I swam as fast as my arms could take me to get to it before another wave could hit. At dead low I could stand on the bar in some places. We were out a little past a sandbar island that someone said was new.

Tidal Bore-
The tide was going out for most of the session, amazing current. It had a strange effect on the sailing at times, making the wind seem extra light or extra strong, knocking me off plane, creating patches of bizarre chop, strange waves. Once, when I was trying to waterstart on the outer bar, I got hit by 2 waves coming from completely opposite directions at the same time.

If a shark falls in the forest? It's funny, I didn't think about the great whites once when I was out there. I only thought about the windsurfing. If you don't think about sharks, does that mean they aren't there?

Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

West Dennis, Windsurfed, SSE, 15-27, with Tucker, 6.2/Acid 94, 46 temp, sailed 2-4:30.

Revenge on the skunks! The skunks almost got me again. I went to W. Dennis on the strength of the forecast. Once again, I suited up, rigged, and slogged. But I won in the end. A windsurfing compatriot, Tucker, loaned me a bigger board for a few runs and that's all it took. Skunks be gone! I barely planed, then I easily planed, and then I was cruisin' with power to spare. West Dennis was a sailors' playground with low tide and onshore wind, tiny breaking waves near the Lighthouse Inn, (port tack jump), speed jibes in 1 foot of water near the launch. Jibing seems like a whole new manuever when the water is that flat and I've got that much speed going into it. Lip smacking, elbow flapping, mallard duck jibes? No problem. Revenge is sweet.

Hello 2008- I think this session was a good omen for the new year. I'll face the skunks as they come. Bring it on.

Picture- unknown kiter before the wind picked up. I couldn't make myself stop to get a picture when it was good.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Loon Mountain, Skiied, with Barbara, Josh, Ben, Sam.

Escape from the skunks! Hey, if I'm going to get skunked every time I go windsurfing then I'll go skiing instead. So there. I didn't think about the evil wind skunks once. The skiing was great; no lines, easy drive both ways, and the 2 feet of new snow that fell during the week was in terrific shape all day. Lots of fun for all of us!

Picture to right- Josh, little skiis, big jump.

Ben, will be coming thru the trees when he comes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Plymouth/ Nelson St., Windsurfed, ENE, 10-35?, Solo, 3.5,4.2,5.2,6.2/RW85 & Acid94, sailed from 11:00-2:00, temp- 39 to 43.

Skunks- I went, I rigged, I got skunked. I had about 3 runs, fully powered on the 3.5, jumping chop and feeling lucky to be alive, before the skunks got me. The wind dropped a little, I rigged bigger, then the wind dropped more, I rigged bigger, and on and on into infinity. I planed on every sail that I rigged but not for long. I just couldn't believe that I was getting skunked when the forecast was for winds up to 60. This makes 3 out of 4 sessions in which I have been visited by the wind skunks. Bad skunks! The white stuff is snow, not foam, unfortunately.

Zombie feet- As an experiment to benefit all windsurfers, I tried putting chemical feet warmers inside my booties. With my booties duct taped to my drysuit, water seeps in very slowly, so I thought why not? The warmers fit very nicely in my booties, like insoles, very comfortable. But they didn't heat up. As I sailed I could feel the warmers migrating towards my toes, still no heat. Later, when I removed my booties, the warmers seemed to be gone but there was a smelly, crappy mess all over my feet. It looked like I had been walking in goose poop. Or that my feet belonged to a dead person. I found the paper from the warmers all scrunched up by my toes. I tried to remain philosophical. It was a good experiment. Feet warmers don't work. If this saves others from making the attempt and getting dead, poopy feet, it will have been worth it. Now somebody has to try hand warmers, (Peconic Puffin?).

Nelson St details- ENE is dead onshore, easy to stay in shallow water on a cold day. I left 1 hour before high tide but the water was already very high. It was about 1 or 2 feet away from washing over the rocks into the parking lot. The Plymouth meter was pretty accurate for conditions on the water. The Duxbury meter was off on the wind speed and direction, even though it's just across the bay. The IWindsurf graphs show that some sites kept the wind much longer than others. Pleasure Bay, of all places, was still a solid 20-30 until 4:00.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

NWS Taunton, MA Point Forecast: Chatham MA

Hazardous weather condition(s): High Wind Warning
Sunday: Periods of rain and sleet. The rain could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. High near 46. Very windy, with a east wind between 30 and 40 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
(12 to 16 inches of snow expected in ski country Saturday night and Sunday).

To ski or to windsurf. That is the question. It is one that has intrigued and challenged great philosophers throughout history. Pondering it requires complete concentration and immersion. No distractions, please... The answer lies in the deepest recesses of ones heart...

Windsurf. The roads going north might be a snowy, slushy mess. Now, where will it be best...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Pleasure Bay, Windsurfed, W/ WNW, 10-25 (mostly 10), solo, 6.2/Carve123, Temp 41, sailed from 2-4

There was a small craft advisory for this afternoon. I was hoping that we would get yet another windy Saturday. When the wind hit 14-21 in Boston I hit the road. No luck. I think that the wind might have been a threat to small craft for about 5 minutes. I did some light air freestyle and planed in an occasional gust. New mitts- I tried my new mitts, Body Glove 5 mil claws. Not bad. They could fit better, would benefit from some pre-curve, and I don't like the split fingers, but my hands stayed warm and the grip was a little better than my 7 mil mitts. My dream of finding the perfect gloves/mittens isn't over but these are an improvement.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fogland, Windsurfed, NW, 17-47, Oliver, Juan, 3 or 4 others, 4.2 & 3.5/Realwind 85, Temp 29 F. Sailed from 10-3.

You know it's windy when- Fogland looks like this. That white stuff is foam not ice, thank you.

Frosty Fogland- Here's something new. When I was derigging I noticed something slippery and white on my sails. At first I thought it might be some kind of tiny jellyfish. Then I realized that it was ice. I've never seen that before. It made it a little harder to roll up my sails. IWindsurf says the temp was 29 for most of the day but I think it was warmer around noon with the sun out. I didn't see any ice then. I can't believe that we had such a good crowd for such a cold day! It was great to have the company. I don't feel quite so crazy when there's a whole crew of guys ripping it up in the sub-freezing temps. Toasty Drysuit- I was cozy warm all day with the exception of my hands. My ski helmet liner was a must for keeping my face warm. I also wore my full neoprene hood and my helmet, of course. Feet were fine with just the 7 mil booties duct taped to my drysuit. A Shifty Character- The wind was a little shifty but it made for some good chop hopping at times. It was alternating WNW, NW, and N. The WNW was straight into port tack jumps, whether you wanted to or not. NW was port tack jump. The N was about equal for port and starboard tack jumps. The chop was surprisingly good considering the shallow water in the cove.

Bottom Picture- Ice angels formed on my board. Click on the pictures to see them large.