Another day, another wave that I would need to pass on. Robby Naish posted this picture on Facebook a few days ago (photographer credit is Tracy Leboe). In his post Robby said "It was not a huge day, but the wind was steady and I had a great time out there."
Wave sailing Aruba. Yeah I said it. Check out this photo of the mighty Jeroen Weststrate tearing up Westpunt, Aruba. Also check out the photo credit in the lower right corner: Dasher Films. Methinks something special is afoot down Aruba way. Watch this space...
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.)
Friday morning. Light rain. I have developed a sore back from I don't know what (the beachside masseuse says the chop has been rough on people's backs. The beachside masseuse...yeah I said it.) So I am in pain. But it's blowing 21, we leave tomorrow afternoon for the frozen Northeast, and there's a planing donkey jibe with my name on it somewhere on Lac Bay.
Time to hit the water.
(A lone windsurfer on Lac Bay in the morning rain. In this tropical paradise it's like taking a warm shower, but the spoiled seem to be waiting for the sun to come back out. Not me.
One of the great truths of windsurfing is that nobody sees your best moments. It’s very rare. Even rarer if you’re me, with so few bests to witness! This day was to be an exception. Day Two of our Bonaire vacation had me out on a 6.5 with about thirty other windsurfers when a squall came through, knocking half the sailors down into the water while the other half raced to shore to gear down fast. I grabbed a 5.0/85 liter FSW and took off like a shot (4.5 would have been more than enough.)
Tearing across the wide-open bay, focused primarily on keeping the board in the water I found myself bearing down fast on the reef that separates the main sailing bay from the blue water, and I was out of position to shoot one of the channels. Full bat out of hell mode, but I’d only been on the gear for a minute, so I was uncomfortable yet needed to rip a hellacious carve jibe, or more likely explode in the process. This was going to be intense…
I tore into a major G-force jibe, threw up a wall of water, came flying out (luck, luck, and luck) and then I heard a howl of approval. It’s Caesar Finies, one of Bonaire’s greats, cheering my hero jibe! Yes! I wave, thrilled, then watch him throw a Culo (planning duck to switchstance backwinded loopy thing, and then I don’t know what.) Then he was back up and sailing along side me, both of us lit, when a perfect ramp presented itself. Nobody goes to Bonaire for the jumping, but I popped up and put what I thought was five feet of air beneath the tail on pure flatwater, probably my biggest jump in such conditions ever. Caesar whoops again! We sail around together for about five more minutes (yeah that’s right…me and Caesar tearing it up) before the squall passed and we shlogged back to shore.
I’m thrilled…my jibe and my jump both witnessed and cheered by a great sailor. But it’s not over. Five minutes later on shore Caesar waves me over. “We had a really good sesh out there,” he says. Yes, I said, thinking “I’m part of his we?” Then he said “your jump, man, the bottom of your fin was like here” as he indicates neck high. “Wow thanks,” I tell him, and ask some questions about the impossible moves he was throwing.
Me and Caesar, tearing up Lac Bay. I can call it a trip already.
(Photo: A lone windsurfer on the water after the squall winds subsided. There was a rainbow but I didn't have the camera ready.)
Ladies, are you still searching for that special someone? Consider looking amongst the windsurfers:
10. The ratio of men to women is 4 to 1. 9. They can talk about something besides football. 8. They don’t smell too bad because it’s a good bet they’ve gotten wet recently. 7. They have another interest besides sex. 6. You know they’re rich enough to afford windsurfing equipment. 5. You always get the latest weather report, several times a day. 4. They are capable of commitment, at least to their sport. 3. They have no issues about wearing rubber. 2. You always know where they are, at least when it’s windy. 1. Windsurfers are generally fit, tanned, and have cute butts.
Non-windsurfing men should NOT...repeat NOT...pursue windsurfing women, unless they are prepared to immediately throw themselves into the sport. Otherwise such men will be surrounded by angry windsurfing men who all seek the great and rare prize: the girlfriend or wife who windsurfs (the editor is so blessed.) To squander such a find on a landlubber is an offense to those of us who sheet in!
(There is the opinion held by a small minority that it is a drag to be a man whose significant other windsurfs...you probably have to rig for them, they use your equipment etc. but generally speaking the willingness of such wahines to make every vacation a windsurfing vacation, to understand why the garage needs to be packed with tons of expensive wet gear etc. outweighs the rigging/sharing concerns. Discussion of such matters is encouraged.)
It's just one big hashtag out there, as forecasters try to come up with names for what I suppose will be a very big snow. A blizzard. "Like nothing we've ever seen" the NYC Mayor has been said to have said. Really? I hope I don't jinx it and actually contribute to biblical winter weather, but I am skeptical about the hashtaggyness of the storm.
That being said we battened down the hatches at the house today. Good luck to all. If you are swept away on a glacier may you have many bars on your cell phones!
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 Schultz captured at Nauset Beach (MA) a few days ago. Looks like my 2014 season is over, but I'm hoping to get back on it in January! In the meantime I'll look at this photo and dream. Photo swiped from Jeff's Facebook page.
"When are you back in the water?" Scott texted me. I haven't sailed or paddled in six weeks, largely due to being on the wrong end of a knife in a dark alley. There were three of them...you should see the other guys! No wait...that was a movie. A teense of surgery has kept me off the water for six weeks, but yesterday the doctor said I'm cleared to windsurf and paddle. Not only that, but "salt water will be good for you!"
Puffins, Chimps, men of wind and water: See you in January! Doctors orders.