Saturday, April 26, 2008

SCARBOROUGH BEACH, Landboarded, E 10-15, Solo

Baseball- Ben had a morning Little League Game that I wanted to watch. I knew that I was missing some wind but felt that being there for the game was more important.

Windsurfing- When I finally got to the beach, there were 5 kiters out, but in the time that it took me to get into my drysuit, the wind dropped off and everyone came in, or wished they had. My drysuit came right back off again.

Landboard Police- Not to be daunted, I rigged a 4.2 and landboarded in the parking lot until a park ranger wheeled up to tell me that I was violating the law by using anything with wheels, without a motor, in a state park. Cars, trucks, & motorcycles O.K. Wind powered vehicles not O.K. It's just to protect others, safety first.

Aunt Carrie's
Sail Chi- Not to be daunted, I took my 4.2 to the beach and practiced Petra Kanz's famous, "sail chi". This was actually pretty fun. I impressed myself by completing some moves that I had never even tried before. I think I could be a pretty good windsurfer if I always did it without water. I even made my loops, all of them, no problem.

Aunt Carrie's- After the excitement of dry land training wore off, I drove over to Aunt Carrie's Restaurant to check out a little-used wave sailing site. I see why it's little-used, almost no parking, rocky launch, probable wind shadow in SW. I guess it could work in NE when Scarborough is closed for the season. It didn't look like a hidden gem, although I like the way the picture of the access road came out.

Baseball Gene = Windsurfing Gene- I think I see a parallel between baseball and windsurfing, something that makes it seem possible that a genetic predisposition for one could transfer to the other, like father, like son. It's this- both sports are similar in that you never know what's going to happen next. The good, the bad, and the unexpected can occur at any moment, whether it's a sudden change in wind, waves, state park laws, or a change in the path of that little ball. It can shift from disaster to euphoria and back again, in the blink of an eye. And it's the hope that perfection, (perfect wind & waves, a perfect game,) or something close, waits around the corner that keeps us coming back for more. In other words, the baseball gene and the windsurfing gene are probably the same gene. One day Ben will realize this and take to windsurfing like he has to baseball. Maybe. I'd play baseball but I'm too old for Little League, and the Red Sox haven't shown any interest yet.

Baseball = Windsurfing

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mt Monadnock, Hiking with Ben

Mountain Man

Natural High- This was outdoor adventure minus the speed and adrenaline of some other sports that I know and love. A beautiful, blue sky day, peaceful, very satisfying hike.

Ben did great with his first mountain climb! He loves a physical challenge, and really seemed to enjoy the mountain and the vistas.

We took the Spellman Trail up, reported to be the most challenging. It was very rocky, deserted, surprisingly steep, with a small meandering stream and wonderful views. White Cross Trail, going down, took about half as long as the trip up.

Details- The drive was 1 hr 40 minutes, hike up took about 3 hours, going slow to take pics and explore, 1 1/2 hours going down fast. Ben wished he had his worn hiking boots instead of sneakers. 2 bike water bottles for me and the wineskin for Ben was plenty of H2o for a warm sunny day.

We were 2 tired but happy hikers at the end of the day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nantasket Beach, Everything, ESE 5-15, solo

Inspiring? I got a comment, offline, from a windsurfing friend saying that my blog is inspiring. Really? That's probably the nicest complement I've gotten on this windsurfing/blogging stuff. It partially offsets the, "nutjob", and "sicko", comments I got last December, when I posted about ice angels forming on my sails. My friend also said something about me still doing this stuff at my ripe old age but I'm not going into that.

Not inspiring- I had a few free hours today in light winds, so I scouted out a new wave venue, Nantasket. When I arrived, it had tiny waves and tiny wind. This called for my full arsenal of light wind toys. Here's how;

1; Used an old Fanatic Bat, (transition board),to kayak surf the tiny waves.
2; Ditched the kayak paddle, used the Bat to surf the tiny waves.
3; Stuck a 6.2 on the Bat and used it to surf the tiny waves.
4; Stuck the 6.2 on the landboard and gave up on the tiny waves.

Poor Man's SUP; I thought I could use the Fanatic Bat as a stand up paddle board to catch some waves. I've SUP'd that board before in flat water, but it's tipsy in bumps, and kneeling and paddeling in waves isn't much fun. I'll have to try a real SUP to see if it's as good as they say. It's hard to imagine that it could live up to the hype.
Nantasket, high tide

The landboard was fast and fun, lots of high speed duck jibes. At mid tide, the beach was a smooth, flat runway. ESE = side on. If I had been smart enough to move down the beach, I probably could have found some onshore wind for long cruisin' runs. I had loosened up the trucks after the last session and it made it much more turny and fun, big improvement. Nantasket, mid-tide, with landboard tracks

Nantasket looks like it could be pretty tasty in a good NE, E, SE swell with wind. It might get pretty big. A local big board surfer, that was leaving as I wheeled in, divulged that there are surfcams at The Red Parrot Restaurant, and N.E. surf. I took Rt. 3 to 228, 45 minute drive with light traffic.

Click on pics to see full size

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chapin, landboarded / West Dennis, windsurfed. Solo, mostly light winds, temp 50

Chapin Mist

Loop Dreams- I took the winter off from loop shenanigans. I didn't want to be constantly crashing into ice water. But the mercury is climbing, the grass is thinking about turning green, and I decided it was time to renew my loftier windsurfing ambitions. So all week I watched loop videos during my nightly exercising. I visualized forward loops and practised holding onto an invisible boom while throwing my head and shoulders around in a graceful imaginary loop. I fell asleep thinking about the body mechanics of the loop and picturing myself completing them in slow motion.

The result? Light winds all weekend. Well, there was some wind. Like when I was driving to the beach. Or when I had left one beach and was driving to another. I had a short land board session at Chapin, on the sandbar at low tide, bouncing across the ripples. Then the wind came up and I left for Harding's where the wind turned out to be light again.

It didn't stop me though. I did light wind loop practise on the 5.2/carve123, in the pond at West Dennis. And I found that all the visualizing and studying helped. I was doing a better job of throwing my head back and twisting my shoulders around than usual. It helped me come around further, often keeping my head dry.

I had 1 very brief session, on the oceanside at West Dennis, when I got planing on the 5.2/ RW85 during a rain squall. It wasn't quite enough to go for a planing loop but it was fun to be moving.

Who knows when I'll get the right conditions to go for the real thing. I probably can't sail next weekend. We have busy family plans, friends wedding, etc. But I'm going to try to keep visualizing to keep my resolve alive. I have this foolishly optimistic feeling that I'm going to complete one eventually.

Bottom Pic- letting my landboard loose on miles of washboard sand at Chapin.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chapin Beach, ENE 12-30, 6.2/Acid 94, 4.2/RW85, Juan, Peter, kiters

Sandbar Sailing- It was a good long session. Juan, me and 1 kiter stayed out after last call for the tide. After about 6 hours on the water, we had 45 minutes, (15 minutes one way x 3), of lugging equipment across 1/2 mile of sand before we could de-rig and pack up. It was a little crazy, but fun. I loved how peaceful and beautiful it was out there on the edge of the exposed bar with just a few seagulls, endless sand, and us. Our original launch spot looked like a little dot on the horizon.

ENE gripes- The ENE wind didn't seem to build up the waves like a NE does. They stayed pretty tiny, even with a good strong wind. Also, there was a wind shadow for the first few hundred yards. It made sailing inside the sandbar at mid tide too gusty/skunky. I think that the wind would have been cleaner at Mayflower. The waves probably would have been about the same.

Picture- Juan, jibe entry with speed. Most of the water in this picture was gone at low tide.