Saturday, February 23, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Launch- If it's your first time sailing here you should ask others about the best place to launch through the rocks. At low tide it's easier to see the layout. The rocky land sticks out to the right and to the left with a deeper place in the middle where most people launch. Starting in the middle in waist deep water is usually fine at any tide. This is where you'll be if you walk straight down from the left end of the parking lot. When sailing back in don't sail in too far on the right side, (west), of the launch. There are a few larger rocks there that may be near the surface in waist to chest deep water. The left side, (east), and the middle are mostly small rocks, relatively safe to sail in shallow.
Boring Details- Booties are a must for walking across the rocks. Best waves are at high tide and incoming tide. Any south direction will build up waves. S & SE are reported to build the nicest swells. SW builds wind waves, although they can still get big. W is sideshore, great for waveriding but you need left over waves from the SW, S, or SE. NW to NE are very gusty, offshore, not recommended. S, SW, W are starboard tack heading out.
Hazards- Rocks, waves, and it's easy to get blown downwind away from the point. People and equipment have been hurt here. Waves are often small to medium but can get mast high. It can be hard to get out in S, SW, (onshore wind), when the waves are medium to big. It can be very choppy on the outside in strong winds. If you blow downwind you can make it to a beach and walk back but you may need to avoid the rock wall, if waves are reaching it. You can sail downwind of the point, to the east, (in SW or W), to take a break from the waves, as long as you have enough power to sail upwind to get back. That's where the actual deep hole is.
Directions- In Massachusettes take Rt. 95 south into R.I. Go thru Providence, take Rt 4 south, (left side exit). Rt 4 turns into Rt 1. Follow Rt. 1 past Pt. Judith and East Matunuck State Beach, take exit for Matunuck Beach Rd., (left side exit), this will put you on Rt. 1 north briefly, then take right side exit for Matunuck Beach Rd. The road goes to the ocean and then turns left to follow the beach. When the paved road takes a sharp left away from the water, continue straight towards dirt Rd, (still Matunuck Beach Rd). A small dirt parking lot will be on the right with a small sign saying Deep Hole Fishing Area. Park at the far end of the lot. 1 1/2 hour drive from Boston area.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Deep Hole, Windsurfed, W, SSW, WSW, 20-54?, Mitch, Blake, Steve, 4.2 & 3.5/RW 85, 42-38 air temp. 41 water temp.
Stress cleaner- I had a stressful week. Is there anything more humbling than being the parent of a teenager? I know, I know, being the parent of two teenagers. I'll find out about that in a few years. Anyway, my urge to sail was pretty high on the Want-O-Meter because I had this frustration and angst to clean out. So I made the best of less-than-best conditions. It did the trick. I came home smiling.
Conditions- It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon with three of us out on small boards and sails having a good time, not bothering anyone. Then, before we knew it, some black, streaky clouds appeared on the horizon, like an ugly frown. As the clouds approached the wind notched up into the, "oh *****", range, chasing everyone out of the pool, (IWindsurf showed gusts over 50 but who knows). We got course sand blowing down the beach, heavy snow blowing sideways, and side-off wind. Then the clouds passed, the wind shifted back, and dropped off until the next band of clouds appeared on the horizon and it started to build again, to be repeated several times to varying degrees. I was mostly overpowered, underpowered, or sitting on the beach waiting for the perfect moment in the build/diminish cycle. I got a few perfect moments, like below, but they were fleeting. My guess is that only someone who really, really needed a windsurfing session would have enjoyed this day.
A jump to remember- As I drove home I found myself dwelling on one particular jump. It was a little different from most of my jumps. I was slightly overpowered on the 4.2, dead sideshore wind in the 30-40 MPH range. I hit a good wave as it crested, and went for it. When I leveled out, at the top of the jump, I felt myself drifting sideways, pushed by the wind, while still moving forward. I've felt a little sideways drift before but never as much as this. I felt like a feather in a gale. It made me very aware of the power of the wind under the board. It was a little scary but fascinating, and fun. I'm sure it increased my hang time. I completed my arc, landed O.K., and came away thinking about that flying, drifting feeling. I'd like some more of that please. I think that one jump was probably worth the price of admission.
Top picture- The calm after the squall.
Mid Picture- Mitch. "Where did the wind go"?
Bottom picture- Mitch. Nukin' wake!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Here's a good joke- We get an incredible forecast for windsurfing for early February, (50 air temp, sunny, SW gale, weekend), and where am I? At Sunday River, where most of the mountain is shut down due to the high winds. This caused the 2 or 3 lower lifts that were open to get clogged with skiiers from the rest of the planet. And we were skiing on crust from an overnight snow that turned to sleet. While I was standing in the endless lift lines I had plenty of time to try to appreciate the humor of the situation. Very funny. If there is an omnipotent being that peers down on us mortals from the clouds, she was having a good laugh at my expense.
Skiing faster than the speed of light- The skiing got better after that and I was able to put windsurfing out of my mind. They opened most of the lifts in the afternoon, on Saturday, and the crust got skiied off quickly, revealing a sparkeling new snow underneath. Everyone in our group had given up on skiing except Al, Josh, and me, so Al took us around the mountain at a full clip trying to make up for lost time. His full speed is just about as fast as the skiis will go. The slopes seemed a little blurry at that speed in the flat light. Luckily, my skiis knew what to do. Barbara, Lee and Anna went snowshoeing, which they report is much more demanding than the wimpy skiing that we were doing.
The good and the bad- Sunday was a fine ski day. Lots of glades were open, making Al very excited and keeping Josh from being a bored teenager. Anna tussled with a tree and went back to the house to ice and elevate her knee. We stopped a little early so we could get back for the Superbowl. My two high points of the trip: Saturday evening in the outdoor hot tub with Al, Ben, and the Beatles, leaned back and looking up at the stars; Trying out an extra pair of skiis, much wider and more shaped than mine, that just felt great. Al & Lee were wonderful hosts, as always. Josh drove the whole way home, his first driving on a highway trip.
Top picture- Josh in full ski regalia.
Bottom picture- Al doing what he loves best.