Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hello Irene

Antoine & Irene in Boston Harbah

I was watching live hurricane coverage. The commentator was railing against thrill seekers who go out in the hurricane and get themselves in trouble when they should be staying at home and watching live hurricane coverage. I didn't want to be one of those pesky thrill seekers.

Reports were coming in that all beaches were closed, north shore, Cape Cod, R.I.

We decided to try P Bay. On my way there I had to stop to clear fallen branches blocking the road. A waiting motorist thanked me as he drove through. I imagined that his wife was going into labor and that my being there allowed him to race her to the hopspital just in time. See, I thought, this is why I'm out. Not to windsurf. To do good.

16 to 60 in less than 60 seconds- We had 7 or 8 hardy do-gooders windsurfing in the bay. The bay was ours, no lifeguards to kick us out. Winds were mostly 30-50, getting increasingly crazy and gusty near the end, which was 12:30 when the environ police arrived. They kicked us out.

Jay in the bay

On most runs the wind would fluctuate wildly. You could see the gusts, the patches of white water rolling across the bay with mist and pelting rain, but the lulls were just as tiring. I was bouncing around in those conditions like a puppet in the hands of a drunk puppeteer. Overpowered, underpowered, overpowered, just right go for my jibe, overpowered, underpowered, rest. Still it was good fun! My best windsurfing session in the last year or so, numbskull that I am.

Oops, I saw this branch fall across the walkway

Antoine was the only one crazy enough to do a few runs in Boston Harbor

Back at home we had some trees down in the neighborhood. Leaves and twigs were scattered everywhere. There was a brown out/power outage for most of the day which snuffed out my computer. I think I was safer on the water.

More pics of Antoine in Boston Harbor.

Pleasure Bay, Windsurfed, ESE, SE, 16-60, 3.5M Sail/RealWind85, with Igor, Sean, Dean, Antoine, Scott, Bill, others.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy in the Gusts

My last 3 or 4 windsurfing sessions have been kinda frustrating- underpowered, overpowered, chop but not enough for decent jumps, rocks where I don't want them to be, sun that sets when I want it to stay light. I used to think I knew something about finding good sailing conditions and rigging the right gear. Now I'm not getting any love. It must be a conspiracy to sell me more gear.

Picture- Everyone was having fun at Ned's. Everyone had bigger sails and boards than me. I was very happy in the gusts.

Ned's Point, Windsurfed, SSW, 13-23, 6.2/ Acid94, with others..

Friday, August 19, 2011

Staycation # 9

Ben tubes with style

Tubing on the Deerfield River, Charlemont- This was a lot more fun than expected, carefree, funny, enough whitewater to be exciting at times. I actually enjoyed this more than the zipping, go figure.

Our 2 day mini-vacation to Western Mass was really nice. These family adventures are the best! It's funny to think back about the stresses of traveling with our kids when they were younger, fighting over car space, who gets which color sippy cup. Now it seems almost too easy and pleasant.

Sometimes I have a hard time connecting the present to the past. Are we really the same family? Same life? Or were those busy days of young children just some blurry, frustrating, messy, happy dream?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Staycation # 8

Ben Zips

Zip It Up- Barb, Ben and I zip lined at Zoar Outdoor in Charlemont, MA. This was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but not as much fun as kitesurfing. Doing it with my loved ones tipped the scale towards the zipping, though, and anyway I love to try novel outdoor activites.

Zipping wasn't as scary or thrilling as I expected. It was pleasent, scenic. The canopy of trees almost felt like a floor that we could step out onto. We had sturdy harnesses and lines hooked in the whole time so we could lean way out over the platforms without fear of consequences.

Seeing a bear cub walking around below one of the zips added some additional novelty and excitement. I wanted to see the bear cub harnessed in and zipping with us but the zip leaders said that was out of the question.

We stayed at the Hawk Mountain Lodge at Zoar.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Staycation # 7

Barb and I took on the Charles River with Kayak and SUP. Pretty day, glassy water, not much adreneline needed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Staycation # 6

Diminshing winds, too small kite, not the best session.

I stopped at the Eastham Windmill on my way out. It was built in 1680. It's almost as old as me.

First Encounter, Kitesurfed, NW, 10-19, 13M Octane/ Mako 150 & Mako King, Solo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Staycation # 5

Wind and waves grew nicely. I went from being barely able to keep a kite up, to fully depowered and flying down the waves trying to slow down to do a bottom turn.

It's such a good feeling when you're struggling just to get riding and then the wind fills in and suddenly you're dancing through the waves.

Nahant, Kitesurfed, SSE, 7-27, 17M Zephyr/Mako King and Mako 150, with Walter.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Staycation # 4

Sandie and I had the W Dennis shallows to ourselves. I couldn't believe it. Maybe everyone thought 10-16 wasn't enough wind to get excited about. It was a fun session for us though.

West Dennis, Kitesurfed, SSE, 10-16, 17M Zephyr/Door64 and Flex136, with Sandie.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Staycation # 3

Sailed out from Apponagansett Bay to Cuttyhunk on Walter's 44' boat, anchored, went for a swim, scraped some barnacles off the prop and some skin off our knuckles, took Sergey for a fast dinghy ride around the island.

A perfect day for it. Enough wind to cruise but not enough to keep thinking about those other sports that I'm not at all obsessive about. We got back to port around sunset and had a grilled dinner on the boat with the full moon shimmering off the glassy black water. Walter, Carl, Carl's 10 year old Sergey, with Dana joining us for dinner.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Staycation # 2

Slept in the back of my truck overnight in a parking lot in Falmouth, pretty comfy! Some say this is crazy and stupid, acting like a teenager. I say it's good harmless fun and saves $ on campground fees. You decide.

Rode the Shining Sea Bike Path end to end. 20 miles is a perfect length for taking it easy, getting lunch in Woods Hole, exploring some side streets, seeing Nobska light. It's a very nice path, good amenities. The Woods Hole end has the nicest views.

Then I drove back towards Boston, stopped to paddle out to The Sand Spit at the mouth of the North River in Scituate. I immediately bonded with this stunning tidal seascape. Who knew that Scituate was so beautiful! The spit is a 1/2 mile of sand bars and pools that become exposed at low tide, flanked by ocean waves, 3 river outlets, cliffs, miles of tidal marsh and meandering channels. At high tide the waves wash right across the sand bar into the rivers.

Don't think for a minute that I have a 1 track mind but I've gotta come back here to kite in NE! Probably the best way is to boat out from the Driftway boat ramp. And better offseason than in because it draws a big boating and kayaking crowd.

I felt totaly relaxed and happy after 2 days of following my heart and going where the wind and sun took me. For a salt-brain like me, exploring the New England coast is just as good as any exotic travel adventure... I think. Almost as good. At least I can take all my toys.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Staycation # 1

I windsurfed at Wood Neck, (after lifeguard hours), chatting with the local crew, trying to fit in, talking like I'd never heard of kiting. But I was underpowered and I could see kites in the air at Chappy.

So I went to Chappy, kited until sunset, chatting with the local crew, trying to fit in, talking like I had never heard of windsurfing.

Wood Neck, Windsurfed, SW, 15-20, 6.2M/ RW85, with others.
Chappy, Kitesurfed, SW, 10-15, 13M Octane/ Mako 150, with Paul M, others.

It was nice to kite with Paul. He stayed in the diminshing winds, put up his Flysurfer 21M, and kept me company into the sunset.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Boat, Kite, Rain

We boated out from Barn Hill Rd boat ramp, thru Stage Harbor, to Monomoy Island, picked a good looking sand bar and dropped gear, claiming the deserted miles of sand bars and flats as our personal real estate to explore. Then the tide came in and swallowed it all up.

Grey scudding clouds, drizzle, downpours, mist, strong gusty wind, 1 jet boat, 4 kites, 4 smiles.

It was a good adventure! A little wild. A little crazy. The best use of a rainy day that I can think of. I'd say the only use of a rainy day that I can think of but some have accused me of having a 1 track mind.

Peter's trail of bread crumbs

Monomoy, Kitesurfed, SSE, 20-35, Flex 136/9M Octane, with Paul, Holly, Peter.