Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chatham- Upwinder, Downwinder, Bike

What a great day for exploring around Monomoy Island! The wind died for lunch, then came back stronger than before. I can't believe how lucky I was to not get stranded anywhere, or chased off the water by thunderstorms. I'm probably going to have to pay for that later somehow.

Parking lot party, waiting for wind in AM

Here's How- In the morning, Skipper and I do an upwinder from Harding's along the bay side of Monomoy Island, about 3 or 4 miles out I'd guess, to the place where the little outer bar connects to the Island. How-U-Doing-Chris joins us for a while then peels off.

It's mostly waist to ankle deep crystal clear water with sand bars and tiny beach grass islands here and there, as beautiful as it gets. Skipper has some excitement when he sees a 3' shark jump out of the water near him. We decide it's not a shark cause sharks don't jump, only kiters and windsurfers do.

Picture- Skipper and Chris on a tiny offshore sandbar with miles of shallow water.

There are 2 boatloads of kiters taking lessons on the flats at our furthest point of travel. They're probably pissed that we're making their many miles of solitude and shallow water so congested with traffic.

The wind drops suddenly, which gives us a new appreciation of how far out we are. We can barely see the tiny kites flying back at Harding's. It would be a very long walk and swim back! What took 2 hours of upwind edging coming out takes about 15 minutes going back for Skipper, a little longer for me. It's lunch time, 2:00.
Upwinder- S, SSW, 12-22, 12M Varial/6' Surfboard, with Skipper, 3 miles out.

Downwinder to The Cut- I've wanted to do this downwinder for years! Route- I go downwind along the bay side of Monomoy, then find a path and cross over to the ocean at one of the last sandy spots I can see before the end.

Obsessive Detail Map

The ocean side of Monomoy Island is the best run of the day, silky smooth water, a little swell here and there, and solid wind! It's too bad that I am so cautious about the conditions.

Conditions- I had planned for the incoming tide in the mouth of The Cut but, because the wind had dropped mid day, I ended up coming over late. The tide is ripping out hard.

The wind is mostly sideshore where I first cross Monomoy, offshore once I round the elbow.

I very much want to take some runs across the cut in the smooth water but I'm thinking about being by myself, with a rip tide, offshore wind, and this is the spot where most of the Great Whites have been spotted and tagged in the last few years. I picture a worst case scenario here that starts with the wind dieing suddenly and ends with a not-so-great White Shark putting holes in my kite. It's hard to patch holes made by a Great White.

End of the line at The Cut, looking back towards the elbow.

So I wimp out, do little S turns and stay close to shore. Besides it's getting late, dark clouds are moving in, and I still have to bike back to the truck. Wimp, wimp, wimp.
Downwinder- SSW, 15-25, 12M Varial/ Mako 150, Solo, 2 Miles.

Bike- I just relax and take it easy biking back to the truck, enjoying scenic Chatham in it's Summer glory. It's a perfect way to cap off my day. I'm sure I didn't deserve such a great day but I'll take it!

My trusty bike at the lighthouse, Monomoy Island in background