Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
DEEP HOLE, windsurfed, mostly W,WNW,WSW, 15-35, 31-43, 5.2 & 4.2/ RW85, with Chris, Sergey, Mitch, Fred, Scott, Davide, Graham, others
O.K. I did an estimate this morning, pitched to Ben a little, and caught the tail end of a fantastic day at Deep Hole. Got on the water 2 days in a row! I'm feeding my inner beach bum.
Deep Hole Delivery- Big waves, sideshore wind, relatively warm water & air, nice group of sailors on the water, and the sun even peaked out from behind the clouds to illuminate the lines of spray blowing off the tops of the waves. This was one of my best days at Deep Hole! The wind was crazy up and down sometimes, light on the inside, howling outside, but I'm not complaining. I think it was when the wind had a little more north in it that it got really crazy. I guess WNW for Deep Hole is like catnip for a cat. Even a little makes it wild.
Got pounded- I was happy to find that the waves weren't too punishing even though they were about head to logo high. When the wind was really light on the inside, some sets would catch 2 or 3 guys heading out and just mow them down, it happened to me plenty, but I didn't see a yard sale of broken gear in the parking lot. Towards the end, when I was on my 4.2, the wind was steadier, (a little more WSW), and there was plenty of it. Getting out was easy. The waves during my mast breakage last March were probably about this size but pitching heavier and with less breaks in between the sets. Today's version was just right.
Hard to watch- I only stopped to watch and take pictures for about 10 minutes because it wasn't a day to squander. I could have spent hours taking photos. There was an impressive level of sailing happening. I saw some great freestyle right in the waves, care of Chris, Sergey, and Davide, a massive forward loop from somebody, and some of the smoothest waveriding I've seen. It didn't look like your typical day in little ol' New England.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I did a little kite training, a little slogging on the windsurfer, and a little planing on big windsurfing gear off and on. Another gale warning goes bust. When the wind jumped to 30, I believed what the forecasters had said, that it was going to stay up once it filled in. So I rigged a smaller sail and then slogged on that. There was a pretty big group at Kalmus brought out by the great forecast for a very warm, very windy day that turned out to be mostly a mirage.
I wouldn't mind it that much, except that tomorrow is shaping up to be one of the best days of the year at Deep Hole and I picked today to sail based on the fantastic forecast for today.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
It was a great day! I know that I'll feel like I'm still moving when I'm lying in bed tonight. I'll have the feeling of lift that you get when you ride up over a wave. I can feel it now sitting in this chair.
Windsurfing or the farm; I had to choose. Go windsurfing at Deep Hole; bright and sunny, warm, rare sideshore wave riding, very windy. Or visit Roy's farm, see Josh's new room and maybe help him set it up. I wanted to do both.
So I visited the farm on Saturday evening, sailed on Sunday, AND I visited my mother in Connecticut after sailing. Thanks for the delicious, hearty dinner mom!
But I felt a little uncomfortable when I was driving to the beach, a little self indulgent. I was thinking about how Roy said he works all weekend, every weekend on the farm, milling his own lumber to make planks for the new barn, cutting wood for heating, tending to the animals, fixing, building, improving. That's real work. It makes sense.
Windsurfing? It satisfies my thirst for adventure and play but maybe we're supposed to outgrow these things. Maybe I'm stuck in a second childhood that came immediately after the first. I'm sure that I would be a better person if I could focus all of my energy on work and family and stop letting myself get distracted by wind and ocean waves. On the other hand, maybe I think too much.
Deep Hole- The waves were best just down wind of the point where they wrap around a little to be straight sideshore in WSW. It's very rare that I get to practise going down the line in sideshore wind. What a kick! I felt like my sloppy bottom turns and cutbacks were improving during the day. 2 things- I have to get my weight more forward on the board to keep my speed up on the bottom turn, timing and reading the wave is critical. There was a wave contest that I wanted to see, The Matunuck Wave Classic, but it turned out that it was held at a private residence about 1/2 mile upwind of Deep Hole.
Picture- unknown sailor at Deep Hole, small waves but fun and easy.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Even a honkytonk beach like Nantasket looks beautiful just after sunrise, with lines of whitewater stretched against a pale blue early morning sky. After the wind deserted me, I used the Carve 123 to surf a few floppy waves, mostly just whitewater rides. Then I had lunch and headed home. The conditions weren't great but I was just happy to be there. The air temp was about 40 to start although it didn't feel that cold to me in my winter regalia.
We got a new computer last week and we still don't have all the kinks worked out,(I.E. photos).
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Mayflower was nice! In NE wind you sail almost straight out into the waves, then on the outside the wave angle changes to be more with the wind. The waves were getting pretty big in places (head high?) but they were floppy so they didn't pose any threat, great for jumps. Sergey gave me encouragement and tips on my loops. It really helps to have someone say, "the conditions are perfect, just go out to the first whitewater and do one!" I didn't do one but my attempts felt really good. I was rotating all the way around but my feet came out of the straps right at the end. Sergey's observations about how my attempts looked (cheese roll, too far back on the board) also helped a lot. If I could get good conditions for a few weekends in a row I might have a chance of sailing away from one.
Scott tried Revere Beach, which we thought would be good in NE, but he reported that it was super gusty and had frustrating shorebreak and shallows alternating, making it hard to get going.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Windsurfing- Josh, "I'd forgotton how much fun windsurfing in light winds can be!" We couldn't get him off the water. On Monday we got some planing wind a little before we had to leave for the ferry. Josh, Bob, and I got on it for a few hours at the Coast Guard station.
We gave Josh's girlfriend, Cricket, an intro to windsurfing. She did pretty well but seemed to come away with the feeling that the sport is really hard. It's too bad that we don't have a good teaching board like the Starboard Start.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Fact Checking the Wind Forecasts-
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Lighthouse Inn- We've had terrible luck with weather for our weekend trips to the Lighthouse Inn with the AMC windsurfing club but this is the first time that we've been kicked out of the West Dennis parking lot!
Sunday, glassy water- On Sunday, Hurricane Kyle was a non event, except that the parking lot was still closed. That meant that we couldn't sail in the pond with the NE winds but it didn't matter. The 27-31 mph that IWindsurf forecast for the area never happened anyway. It wasn't the best West Dennis trip ever, but those of us that attended in spite of the weathers attempt to scare us off, will probably agree that it was memorable in it's own way.
The last time I was kicked out of West Dennis the conditions seemed to justify it.
Picture- Ben practises hand stands against the baby lighthouse (outdoor shower) at the inn.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Poor man's surfboard-Take a moderately sized windsurfing board, stick a wave fin on it, strap a leash on the back footstrap, and viola! You have a surfboard. It looks silly but it works. I had fun. I got a lot of questions from other surfers like, uh, what kind of board is that? Dude, is that a windsurfing board? But I didn't mind. Hanging out with Gerry, who has a real surfboard, boosted my credibility.
Nantasket- Everyone says it's a little better at mid-tide. The waves were barely catchable to start but got bigger as it neared high tide, then dropped swiftly around dead high. I was told that at dead low the waves break on an outer sandbar and tend to close out. I guess dead low and dead high aren't so great. There were a lot of surfers there, maybe 20 to 30, spread out all along the beach.
Surf glasses- The waves were small enough to get by with wearing my glasses. That's a first. I could actually see the waves coming in before they broke on me. This was very user friendly surfing.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This was my first skunk since getting back from PEI. I'm back in the real world. Apparently it was blowing 15-25 at West Dennis and Kalmus. The wind machinery for Chatham wasn't working.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Hannah's wind- I left the house at 5:00 am to get an early morning session before the wind tanked at 11:00. It wasn't the wavesailing I had hoped to get, with the tail end of tropical storm Hannah going thru, but I can't complain about the wind. Maybe I did get a little spoiled in PEI.
Harding's notes- NW was slightly side off, wind was a little gusty, not too bad, sailing was straight into the chop, good for jumping for the first hour. I found a sandbar with small waves way out in the bay, upwind and east of a tall bouy, (white and green with a ball on top). I couldn't believe I could stand in waist deep water way out there, (mid-tide). Too bad that the wind was dropping then. I had just discovered the sandbar when I had to head back. It seemed like Chatham held the wind longer than most sites, as IWindsurf predicted.
Josh's new horizon- We got Josh off to his new school in New Hampshire this afternoon. This marks a new chapter in our family life. The school seemed very nice, warm & friendly, beautiful farm country. I hope that Josh is happy there.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Windsurfing overall-I windsurfed 8 out of 13 days, (1 of those was non-planing), 3 were fantastic (days 4, 11, 12). It sure beats August in New England!
Photography overall- I didn't have great luck with the beautiful island light for my photos. PEI just glows in the late afternoon sun. The red earth shows up everywhere, red dirt roads, red cliffs and dunes, red borders to the farms. All this is accented by the blue ocean and sky and patchwork fields of green and gold, and it all takes on a rosy hue as sunset approaches. But it seemed like most of the times that a shot presented itself it was cloudy or rainy or in the middle of the day. I got plenty of O.K. shots but few that really capture the unique colors of the island.
No Joshing- I missed Josh, lover of all things boating and saltwater. This was our first vacation without him. I guess this is a preview of some of the empty nester feelings to come.
Drive- We made it back to Boston in about 12 hours, including 2 stops for food and stretching our bodies. We may have overlooked a few speed limit signs..
Friday, August 29, 2008
|Last Session- It was windy last night! It sounded like the roof was going to blow off. I got up at sunrise to squeeze in 1 last session back at the bay entrance. I obeyed the rule of diminishing wind; don't go to the outside break in dieing wind with an outgoing tide. The inside waves had too much wind shadow from the dunes, so I went upwind and up current, into the bay. I sailed over the big flats across from the fish pier, knee deep water, decent wind. Then I said goodbye to one of the prettiest windsurfing spots that I've sailed.|
Surf Advisory- I was chatting with a surfer at a gas station tonight. He said that PEI doesn't get much ridable surf. Apparently, the Magdellan Islands and Novia Scotia get better swell. I had noticed that the waves have been floppy, not really surfing waves. They were big enough, but not shaped right. They're still great for windsurfing though, especially jumping, easy to get out through. I know that many people here are very wary of the waves. The north shore has some special roped in swimming areas because it frequently gets surf and people have died from the rip tides.
Top Picture- A channel marker bouy washed up overnight. The opening to the ocean is in the background of the picture, old wharf on the right side.
Bottom picture- Closer look at the old wharf and waves.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
| I got Ben out on the Carve123, pulling him behind the dinghy for some mock water skiing. Light wind kept the water flat. He was standing up for some long runs! Then I derigged and packed up all the sails. We had reservations to go parasailing in the afternoon but it was canceled for high winds. You know what that means.|
Windsurfing- I went back to the mouth of the bay. This time I drove. The NE wind was great there!! The shadow from the dunes wasn't as bad as I expected for NE and it was easy to get out past it. The waves were smaller with the side-on wind, maybe chest high on the outside, tide was coming in. Except for the fact that it was mostly deserted it felt pretty safe. I loved the variety; wide point break on the left, beach break on the right upwind of the old pier, breaking swell rolling down the middle of the channel. There was a lot of smooth water in between swells, around sandbars, etc. I did some exploring, tried all the wave breaks, went out past them, sailed upwind of the old pier towards Blooming point. I'm going to be spoiled!
Picture- there is heavy duty mussel farming in most of the bays. PEI mussels are delicious but the bouys can get in the way for windsurfing & boating.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Deep water but The N wind was slightly side-off in front of the chalet creating a small wind shadow and making it hard to sail over the sandbar. Barbara & Ben opted for a hang out day at the chalet. I opted for a cross bay run to the mouth of the bay to get into some waves. Barb & Ben drove over to pick me up in the afternoon when the wind had dropped, saving me hours of shlogging upwind to get back. That's a loving family!
Top picture- riding a gust thru the wind shadow in front of the chalet. The mouth of the bay is past the last dune on the far left in the picture, 3 1/2 miles across.
No Crowds- There wasn't another person in sight. This made it seem more wild and unspoiled but it also made me a little nervous about the outgoing tide so I mostly played on the inside waves. As I was stopping 3 kiters came out.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
| Today was sunny, cool, with light wind. Barbara decided that it was a perfect day to bike around the bay to the fishing pier, nice ride. Ben and I put on wet suits and spent hours playing on the edge of the sandbar, using a big old windsurfing board as a flotation toy, snorkeling, and hunting for escargo, (Ben tried one and liked it).|
Picture- Many of the islands fishing piers are very picturesque. I love the graceful lines of the PEI fishing boats.
Monday, August 25, 2008
| We went amusement parking at The Sandspit, played black light mini-golf, and had a fantastic lobster dinner at Fisherman's Wharf.|
Tides- The water depth in the bay seems to be equally dependent on wind direction and tide. The days that the wind has been from the W, NW, N, blowing into the mouth of the bay, the water has been deep most of the day. The SW days, wind blowing out of the bay, have been shallow most of the day. The sailing is much better with the deeper water so I'm hoping for more NW wind.
Picture- sunset in our little corner of the bay.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
| Camping- Ben and I enjoyed a spectacular sunrise on the dunes! It had been pretty windy during the night. We had to close up the tent vent that faced the wind to keep out blowing sand but otherwise it was fine. We both slept like lambs. In the morning there were some fresh drifts of sand on the dunes. If we stepped into the drifts we would sink almost to our knees. Camping on the dunes with Ben was definitely one of the highlights of the vacation so far.|
Windsurfing- I got some sailing in with low water in the bay, walking out past the sandbar. Barbara & Ben held off because the sailing is less user friendly when we can't sail over the flats.
Baseball & Biking- We did an afternoon baseball practise at the local baseball diamond. We took Barbara's bike along so she could ride back with a 25 mph SW tail wind but the wind had dropped to 10-15 by the time we finished baseball and Barbara started back. Those tail winds never seem to work out for biking.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Clammy conditions- I did a few runs on the 6.2, no wetsuit, but the wind was pretty marginal, 10-20, gusty, SW. This was the first day with low water in the bay. The sandbar that we had been sailing over was mostly out of the water, good for clamming. Ben loved digging for steamers! We had a feast of mussels, steamers and snails from the bay, with grilled salmon, (no one ate the snails but me).
Camping- After dinner, Ben and I boated out to the dunes for some camping. We set the tent up pretty high in the dunes, then watched a fiery sunset and chatted about life as the stars bagan to switch on. We both saw a shooting star that seemed close enough to touch. It almost looked like fireworks. Ben said that it was the first one that he's ever seen. That must be a good omen!
Picture- clamming in front of the chalet
Friday, August 22, 2008
| I got my rest day. The wind was super light, glassy water. We climbed to the top of the Panmure Lighthouse, swam and played catch on Panmure Island beach, and went on a seal tour at Murray Harbor. It was a very relaxing day.|
Picture- Ben took this shot of the Panmure Island Lighthouse.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
| Windsurfing in the morning, biking in the afternoon, baseball practise on Greenwich Beach in the evening. I may need to squeeze a rest day in here somewhere. Deep water in the bay again made for good sailing conditions.|
Top picture- in a NW we sail out to the left, towards the cliffs.
Bottom pictures- view of the bike path along St. Peters Harbor
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
| Another windy night and morning but this time the wind stayed up all day. It was a little too cold, windy, drizzly, for Barbara and Ben. They went to town for some back to school shopping. It seemed very quiet on the bay without them, just me, the wind and the water. But the sailing was fantastic! I was on the water for at least 7 hours, chasing my tail. That isn't a sign of youthful-like strength. It's a sign that I was sailing in a protected bay and cove with waist deep sandbars and that, after all the skunky days I've had this season, I couldn't bear to let good wind go to waste. I didn't waste any of it!|
Picture- deep water all day meant that I could sail everywhere, including right up to the bank.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
|I heard the wind howling all night and got up to a bay of whitecaps, but we had a lazy breakfast and the wind was light by the time we got out there. No worries. We had a great light air session. High tide made for a perfect water depth, knee to waist deep over the entire sandbar.|
Ben was tacking, beachstarting, and even got a few jibes on his 2.7 with the Carve 123.
Picture- A sign of the wind! Some nearby trees grow away from the direction of the prevailing west wind.
Monday, August 18, 2008
| The winds were in the 10 to 15 range for most of the day, sunny, warm. It was a great day to boat out to the dunes for a picnic, swimming, baseball practise, and sand sliding.|
For an aging beach-bum-at-heart like me, these deserted dunes on Tracadie Bay are one of the wonders of the world.
Pictures- Barbara & Ben ripping it up on the slopes!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Our faithfull steed is loaded and eager to set off on the long road north to Prince Edward Island, Canada. We're hoping for a southerly wind to push us on our way, maybe save some gas. Check in time is 4:00 pm on Saturday, no problem.
Monday, July 28, 2008
|Meet Josh's new car, 1976 Chevy Monty Carlo. Notice the big smile on his face. He says it's his dream car. It's big, it's old, it's cool, and he can work on it without getting a degree in computer programming. I'd forgotten how big the hoods were on these old bombers. They are about 1 mile long. I still think that windsurfing is more fun, but I'm happy that he's happy.|
Sunday, July 27, 2008
| West Dennis provided a few hours of decent sailing before thunder heads rolled through and chased everyone into their vehicles. I waited in the truck for close to an hour, reading Windsport Mag. Then, about 30 minutes after I had seen the last lightning, I was back out in NW on the pond side for a few blasting flatwater runs until more lightening appeared. It was tooo close for comfort! I was off the water in about 10 seconds.|
SSW & S are definitely my favorite wind directions here! I love the breaking chop in front of the Lighthouse Inn and on the far side.
Picture- Thunderstorms chased everyone off the water.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
|Taylors Waves- I heard from Jean that he was heading to Taylors Lane today to try to take advantage of the strong SE wind for some wavesailing. Ben went off for an early evening playdate around 4:30 and the wind was still 19 - 30 at Fogland, so I threw the boards in the truck and hit the road. No luck. By the time I got to Taylors, the wind was 10-15 and Jean had left for greener pastures. I did some light wind foolishness at Fogland, just so I could say that I had my exercise for the day. At least I got to see Taylors Lane with SE waves. They looked nice!|
Summer at Kalmus- A few days ago, I got a friendly comment that I'm crazy to sail at anyplace except Kalmus in the Summer. What can I say? Before we had kids, my wife and I sailed at Kalmus almost every weekend. I loved it. These days I don't sail there very often for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I just don't have enough time to make the drive. Sometimes I'm looking for waves or want to try a new spot. Today, the swell report was 8' off the coast of R.I. and the wind seemed wide spread. It would have been hard to pass that up without trying. It's that slightly scared feeling of sailing in waves, being at the edge of my ability, and wondering if I can handle it, that gives me the biggest thrill. And I know that Kalmus will be there when I get too digusted with the summertime skunks.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
| I was in my drysuit last weekend, windsurfing in Maine. Today I had on nothing but a bathing suit, no booties even. Kalmus was like a bathtub with wind.|
I can't believe that I got to sail the 5.2 with 85 liters, fully powered, for 2 weekends in a row! In the summertime! I love that set up. I sailed 6 hours straight with just a few short breaks for food & beverage. I was in the zone.
Picture- Sergey does the shaka.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Chris sent me this video of his bag of tricks, shot at Kalmus. Looks nice! It's great to see what's possible at a local spot. So much for blaming my feeble freestyle crashes on lack of good local conditions. Maybe I can blame it on my equipment.
Can anyone name all of these moves?
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Dialed in and under- I know it's been a good session when I lean over to derig and a waterfall comes out of my sinuses. It means I went thru the washing machine at least once. Waves, courtesy of Hurricane Bertha, were about chest high with some maybe a little bigger, very nice! I definitely felt the adrenaline kick in at times. My equipment seemed just right for the conditions, for once.
Lifeguard Encounter- This beach has a surfing area, marked by two large red flags, (only until 4:30). I stayed out for about an hour straight for my first session, being careful to stay in the surfing zone or out in deep water. When I finally came in to rest, a lifeguard was waiting for me. I thought that I must have broken some rule or endangered somebody's children. But he only wanted to tell me that he liked one of my jumps, and that he used to see windsurfers here all the time when he was a kid but now he never does. I guess I was something of a curiosity. A genuine antique windsurfer.
Beach Notes- Frigid water! I used my drysuit on this 80 degree day. I talked to a surfer who said that, even with her wetsuit, she got so cold that her muscles refused to work. It was a nice launch with sideshore wind, I think S or SSE?, then it went more onshore, SE?, and it was harder to get out thru the waves. At low tide the beach would be a dream for landboarding. At high tide there is no beach. Parking was a nightmare on such a beautiful, hot, summer day. It took me a long time to find a spot. Bring lots of quarters, they check the meters, even on Sunday. The drive was a little under 1 1/2 hours, no weekend backups.
Bottom photo- Cape Neddick Light, up close.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
|Wind in my face- I love that feeling! It's been hard to come by in the last few months.|
What the? I had the strange sensation of leaving my house when it was windy, driving to the beach and finding, that it was still windy! The water wasn't glassy. There were even little white caps. Ed was packing up when I arrived, as usual, but this time he said, as he drove away, "you're gonna have a good time, the wind's picking up!" And he was right!
Twilight session- It was 7:00 when I arrived at the beach. I thought I probably had until 8:45 before it would be too dark to see what's what. I forgot to look at my watch at first, and then it was too dark to read it. So I kept sailing. Finally, the wind seemed to bump up a hair and I could imagine that I might be close to being overpowered. It made me a little nervous that I couldn't see what was coming up, gusts for instance, or chop, or water. It was 9:10 when I stopped sailing and pushed that little light on my watch. I had squeezed in some stolen moments all right. Hopefully this heralds an end to my skunkfest.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
|Barbara came home from work early today to jump start her R & R for the 3 day weekend. That allowed me to get out in the afternoon and chase some weekday wind. She even called me, as she was leaving the office, to let me know that she was on her way home and to suggest that I get myself ready to go. I have a very thoughtful and beautiful wife!|
1 day, 2 skunks- I may be setting a new world record for skunks.
Skunk # 1- The truck was blowing around on the highway on the way to Horseneck, but the last flag before the beach wasn't stiff, a bad sign. The wind died just before I pulled in. Gerry, Jeff & Ron said they had solid wind and head high waves for most of the afternoon. I went out on a 6.2 for about 1/2 hour and did nothing, then packed up.
Skunk # 2- The wind was still blowing into the low 30's almost everywhere else in New England. So I drove to Fogland and caught the tail end of it. I got a few planing runs, even some chop hops, before the wind dropped like a lead downhaul. It quickly became too light for non-planing freestyle.