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.
With Christmas fast approaching, Santa is working on his jumps (presumably coached by Dasher.) Yeah he's got the reindeer to get him and the sleigh around, but with all the supersized gifts those reindeer butts are draggin' by the time he hits the west coast. So every foot of air Windchimp Claus can generate will help kids in Maui get their toys (like they need more toys!)
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!
I tried to take a selfie but all the rigging kept my arms from getting the extension necessary. Had some issues in the nose (stringer needed work, also some delamination here and there. Scott said "Hey I do that kind of work...I coulda saved you a few bucks!") In the two weeks before the procedure the doctor told me to mix up some salt water in a glass and snort it up each nostril because "it will help clear your head". I then explained the length, depth, and g forces I've applied to such endeavors in the past, and that I was well aware of the benefits. Doc approved.
On Monday I find out when I can get back on the water. I'm hoping I haven't seen the last of the 2014 season!
Say what? Chatting with the Wolf on Friday as we discussed how long it had been since our last session at Meschutt, I brought up the time one of our sessions was caught by Google's satellites for Google Maps. He didn't recall it so here it is. I was cruising Google in 2009 when I saw that the Meschutt photo was from one of our sessions. You can check out the full post on the image from 2009, in which I note by reviewing the vehicles and rigged gear (my 5.5 had a specific look, the Wolf and Scott are there) in which I determined the photo had been taken two years earlier. Alas, not a single chimp works at Google, and they have since heartlessly replaced the photo with some random image from a summer.
"We haven't sailed here in years," the Wolf said. It's true. Between Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, and conditions, we hadn't sailed the fine NW launch since Spring 2011. "And they screwed up the beach" Scott noted. Something about stones and pebbles gave irritation to Lord Scotworth.
So be it. We arrived Friday to 4.7ish conditions (sometimes we gagged) we being Peconic Jeff, Jonathan, Birthday Boy Frank (we sang to him) Dr. Pain, John Natalie (in less than perfect conditions!) Scott the Wolf and your editor. The tide was up a bit, and we didn't get Meschutt's trademark half-pipe inside ramps, but there were still some jumps to be had on the outside, particularly as the wind picked up. I started out moderately powered w 4.7/ but by the time I left I was lit on 4.7/77. Good rippery.
A personal idiot highlight that I'll share: Heading towards shore on an inbound reach I saw Jeff watching me...I figured he was contemplating rig choice. Then I saw him raise is camera. Excellent...I shall show off! (I thought). With the so smooth inside I went for a duck jibe...I made the duck jibe...but about a third of the way through I realized my turn would take me through knee to calf deep water. Yikes! I was lucky. The thing about duck jibes is they're harder to adjust once you start. Doh!
(Top: Scott puts his newly acquired Naish through its paces. Bottom: I initiate a duck jibe that could have ripped out the fin box. Lucky duck! Photos by Jeff Schultz.)
Big winds, y'all. Saturday on Gardiners Bay, launching from Goff Pt. it was 4.2's ville with the occasional 3 meter wing. I arrived after peak conditions ("you missed it!" I was warmly chided) but still got to join Jon Ford, the Wolf, Hulse Bill Scott Frank Jeff Jan & Bruce, Fisherman, Joe on the outside, whilst about ten people were windsurfing Napeague proper. Fat starboard ramps (too bad I can't jump on starboard) and swell to jibe off on the outside, and some waveriding inbound for signature Gardiners fun. I was overpowered but not badly, and when it's that windy, mistakes and falls can be really "good"...if you're on the beach watching it happen to someone else. "All my falls were good," Fisherman said. Jeff and the Wolf each had a quality explosion, and I myself blew apart twice.
I missed Sunday but caught the flurry of texts...West Meadow! West Neck! Meschutt! Received this report from Jeff, who caught it at West Meadow: "3.7 nukage. Myself, Christian, Tomas, George, Joe, Scott, Bill, Jon Sassone and some other WM regulars. My forearms are bricks after a day of 4.2 followed by 3.5." I'll bet!