Another Saturday at Sebonac. Scott Jeff Kurt and yours truly (me later to be swapped out for Frank and Joe) on 5-somethings and all kinds of boards. I started with the 5.5 on my 109...then the wind picked up, so I boarded down to the 99.
That killed it.
Then it came back, then it died again. Then I left.
Which brought it back.
You know the drill. Still it was sunny and fun!
I pulled a major kook move, not zipping up my 5.3 (though I spent plenty of time getting the neck seal just right. When I fell I thought "I really should still be in a drysuit...this water is cold!"
My first local sesh since mid-November! Plagued by minor surgery, a dinged back, and the Winter That Froze Over Hell, it had been awhile for your humble editor. But the dry spell is done! 4.2 at Sebonac Inlet: Scott, the Wolf, Frank, Jason, Peconic Jeff, the Natalies and moi in the bright sun and nippy water (48 degrees) I got an hour in sailing moderately powered, which was plenty for me as the back recovers. It got holey towards the end (as Easter approached?) and Scott pronounced "it's OVER" just as Jan and Bruce arrived (Jan in her spiffy new truck straight from the dealer.) Next time. I can't wait until next time!
(That's the view from Scott's helmet cam as he takes some air. Oh yeah!)
The Mighty Mike Burns recently queried the Long Island windsurfing forum thusly: "Liquid water?" What's a waterman or waterwoman to do with all this ice? I had a great seven days in Bonaire last month (more reports coming) but I need more. I subscribe to Long Island's Windsurfing Rule of 100 (works for SUPing too). But dang...I need me a place to get wet! Some of the wind chimps have been finding ways around...
Option one is ice windsurfing. I haven't partaken in a few years, but Scott, the Wolf and Jeff were amongst the gliding at Mecox recently. Just remember that dropping the sail (or yourself) doesn't mean you stop. You keep going and going and going...
Option two is to head south. Bill Barber sent word from 'Rico that the waves were tasty and sweet and warm, and that he's having a great time, which is why in the time-honored tradition of the Peconic Puffin: we hate him. And ask him for more photos!
I myself am in Option three mode...waiting for some ocean conditions or a string of warm days to open up Sebonac. There's a 4.7 day with my name on it out there somewhere.
(Ice sailing photo by Jeff Schultz. Photographer of Sir William unknown as of press time.)
Peconic Jeff reports on this January 5th sesh: "4.2 session at Sebonac: myself, George Pav (pictured), Scott, the Wolf and whoever else showed up after I left. Temps in the 30’s, gusts in the 40’s, and a passing snow shower = great January windsurfing!
I love me some January windsurfing. I hope to get out there soon, but need the air to be above 30 degrees.
(George puts on the brakes as he comes in to Sebonac. Photo by Jeff.)
For nary a decade I've been posting New Year's Resolutions for the coming water year. The lists have varied from long and detailed to "the unaimed arrow never misses" (no resolutions...just sail.) This year I want some goals. Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Air, on port. I can't remember the last time I looked down from a big jump and thought "oh sh**). Or even had an elegant bayside jump with that extra second of hang time. Lack of conditions, lack of sessions, whatever. I want.
Air, on starboard. I am such a bad starboard jumper that people ask me why I don't jump on starboard (this is when I am trying to!) At this point it's in my head that I suck on starboard jumps. Must improve.
Duck Tack. The planing kind. I can actually do the tricky part (the sail work). Keeping the board planing while getting into switchstance is my bugaboo. A trip to Bonaire is coming, though, and I must take advantage of those conditions.
Work the waves. Windsurfing, SUPsailing, SUPsurfing...I need as much time as possible, and a better understanding. Every once in awhile I'll have a sweet long ride, and Jon or Scott will tell me how I was perfectly doing something...and I don't know what they are talking about. But hey...I'm the guy who can't find the channel! (actually I did get better at that.)
Enough words. I want to be more like the ocean. No talking, all action.
(I'm always happy to rig in January. Old Ponquogue photo by Jeff Schultz. Closing words by Perry Farrell.
Jeff reports on a sesh I missed last week: "...chose to brave face-pelting rain & sail the nuking nor'easter at Napeague with Scott, Frank, Bruce & the Wolf. I rode 4.2/86L fully sheeted out, and should have been on 3.7 like everyone else. Caught a few waves in front of the fireplace, including one full speed jump off a 4-5' wave."
Take a look at the windmeter for the day. Yeah, they got wind!
It was cold on the beach. "Wind chill" said Scott, but I thought it was the humidity. "What works is a long hood that covers your neck," Scott continued, showing me his, which is attached to his wetsuit. Mine doesn't come more than halfway down my neck. Must go shopping...I imagine a hood/shirt combo.
Jeff, the Wolf, George Pav, Scott, a seal and I hit Ponquogue (ESE 18-20, 3-4 foot waves) on everything from 5.3's to my 6.2 (the seal did not rig). The shore break wasn't particularly strong but it came all the way to the sand, so you had to carry your board over white water and get on fast while you still had water beneath your fin. This the Wolf would not do. And so Lord vanderWolf got worked, trying to time the perfect moment (which he did once, took a nice ride out and caught a fine wave back in. Once.) After an hour of abuse, finding himself a few hundred yards down the beach having had to chase his gear, he called it a day.
I myself had issues with arm strength...the lack of. Too little windsurfing over the winter made sailing unhooked a bear, and I had to come in to the beach a lot. Still was having a good time until I heard Scott say something about "it's time for 5.2" when it occurred to me that I was tired from carrying too much sail. Doh! With sand blowing down the beach all the 4WD guys rerigged on the spot. I had to hike to the parking lot, and by the time the 6.2 was down I was chilled to the bone, and so went girlyman, calling it a day as the Wolf drove by. My old 5.5 isn't waveworthy anyway...must go shopping.
Jeff had a waveworthy sail. But in his words he took one wave too many. How fixable is it? We await word. He may need to join me shopping!
All photos and video by Jeff Schultz. Scott goes back side, I contemplate a large seal, Jeff's sail, and Jeff's compilation video of the day.
Too bad I didn't get one this winter (not that there still isn't hope...we can get snow through early April!) But down Delaware way George Markopoulos has been sailing through the white stuff. Love the photo above, posted on his Facebook page.
(Top: If the snow was much deeper George could sail across the top of it. Bottom: Skippers meeting at Ponquogue from a few years ago...I love those sessions! Photo by Jeff Schultz.)
“These are the worst conditions we’ve every sailed here….EVER,” Scott proclaimed.
Oh good. I’d never windsurfed Webbies, so when Scott made the call I jumped in the van and started driving. Scott and the Wolf were already there, rigging 4.7’s. Christian was also en route to have his maiden Webbies sesh. Webbies, AKA Belleview Park, is on Moriches Bay in Center Moriches. To be sailed on southerlies.
Arrived. Scott was tearing it up on a 4.7 so I rigged 4.5. Christian was already there rigging a 5.0, and the Wolf was putting the finishing touches on his 4.7. By the time the rest of us got our gear to the water a big lull came through, so we eschewed our smallest boards in favor of larger rides (that's right...I said eschewed.)
Gust lull gust lull gust lull gust lull...but hey in the gusts I was ripping (and could have used the 77 instead of the 93 I was on.) For the Great Shlog Back at the end I was thankful for the extra 16 liters.
First to wimp out was The Wolf. The rest of us stuck it out, and soon were rewarded with five great minutes. Then Christian went all girlie whirlie whilst Scott watched me shlog.
It's true that by normal standards it was le crap session, but it had been a couple weeks since returning from Bonaire and it felt great to hook in and fly. UnBonaire-like was the water, which was frickin cold. I wore a 5/3 and a hood and gloves. Scott said "you don't need gloves" but I'll bet he was wearing gloves when he said that. In the water my hands chilled quickly, inside gloves. Maybe I'm just another whining wimp.
Still, I was glad to see Webbies. I don't imagine I'll be sailing there much (it's a long drive for me...Tiana or Mecox or the North Fork are better choices on southerlies for this puffin) but for the occasional situation I may well return.
If only I'd caught it! Jeff reports: "Another magical winter session today with the Wolf, Christian, Joe & Marty. Knee to waist glassy lefts, blessed by a curious seal. Pic of Marty with the Wolf behind him."
"Another" because Saturday was good too. Nice! Pic by Jeff, of course.
I had a one hour window to sail. It wasn't windy enough when I got to K Road, so I had to bag it, even though the forecast was for building winds, and the waves looked so nice. As is my habit I asked Jeff to fill me in later on what I missed, so as to increase my jealousy. Here's the report:
4.7 frontside DTL 2-3 bottom/top-turn rides on 4-6' waves, that's all you missed :) Full powered at first, rode the 77L, then lulls (and a swim in the rinse zone) had me grabbing the 100L. At first, Scott & Frank were dragging their heels ("it's only 36F, I was expecting 40!" ... "aw man, the sun just disappeared behind those clouds!" ... "brrr, it's really cold!"), but once suited up and wave sailing, everyone was all smiles and plenty warm. Only thing holding us back from sailing another hour was our maxed out forearms.
The flu kept Christian out of the ocean, but not from a bayside session. You'll have to get the report from him, though I do hope he's asleep and healing his weary self at this point.
What else can I say but "oh man!" Great for them though!
I only caught one. A waist-high left. But after 45 minutes of wave faces that never jacked up sufficiently (or did so 50 feet from wherever I was) that one wave was sufficient. Had to be! Air temp 24, water 43...conditions were chilly, and when the wind started to come up, I headed home to make a fire. T'was Jeff, the Wolf and me @K Road.