“In Hersey Pennsylvania, with a pistol in his mouth” I replied.
We are all grateful to Christian, who promised to be a wind sacrifice for the holiday weekend, and delivered mightily.
Friday: Olympic conditions at East Landing. George, Joe Natalie, Scott, Bill, Hulse, Tomas, Jonathan, the Wolf, a friend of Dr. Pain’s, me in 4.2-4.7 conditions with sweet ramps and rolling swell on the outside. I arrived, rigged my new 4.7, but then Bill came over and said the wind had dropped…I needed to rig bigger. Derigged the 4.7 just in time for Bill to come back over and tell me that the wind had come up…I should rig 4.7. Ha! Got out there and was sweetly overpowered for a few hours…then I was just overpowered. Air was cool (too cool for shorties) and blowing more from the North than we usually sail East Landing in (the reach was to the right instead of the left) but the Peconic was a warm welcome bathtub. Good jumping, good jibing off the swell…an excellent sesh! (editor's addition: I forget to mention the rain. Yeah the rain was sometimes blinding, sometimes hitting the water so hard that there was an "echo fog" from the rain splash a few feet off the water. Big deal...I'd take this day again in a second!)
Saturday: Sebonac Inlet, y’all. Tomas, Jan & Bruce, Felix, George, Joe, and your editor on five meter sails under sunny blue skies. For Felix it was his introduction to Sebonac, which while friendly was not serving up the trademark ramps. Took the 5.5 out. After 90 minutes (for me...George and Joe were on it early) the wind began to lighten, and some of us switched from chop hop mode to freestyle. I blew various attempts at donkey jibes and upwind 360's (hadn't hit a UW360 since Bonaire) before lightening winds forced us to pack it in. "We milked it to the end" George said.
Sunday: Return to Mecox. The forecast for Mecox was perfect: Warm building southerlies. Sally, Eileen and I launched from the Yacht Club...Sally on a 4.5, Eileen 5.0, and me on the 6.2/99 liter Skate (could have been on the 5.5). This was Sally's triumphant return to windsurfing after our February Bonaire trip. She felt overpowered but managed some deep water waterstarts, whilst Eileen claimed a perfect jibe. For myself it was mostly jibatorium step and ducks, as the UW360 continued to humiliate me. Until my very last attempt! Yes... Also on the water: Eileen's dog's vet (I sailed with two veterinarians in one weekend...a first) and one lucky guy with a house on the bay.
Three days of windsurfing on the Fourth of July weekend...that my puffins is a summer holiday!
(Top: Eileen and the editor inbound at the Yacht Club. Middle: Dr. Tomas is not in fact working with medical marijuana. Bottom: Sally shreds.)
I missed it (of course I missed it...there were waves. Story of my life these days...) but the Wolf, Scott, and Jeff were out on 5.3's at the Bowl Wednesday. "Sailed big boards from 2:30 - 3:30. Wind was due E to slightly ESE, and gusty. We alternated from nicely-powered to slogging. Bowl was mostly flat, except for a small outer sandbar that would jack up a head-high wave out of nowhere. Caught a couple giant airs and even a few short wave rides. Good sesh, sunny and smiling."
Don't you like how Jeff cuts to the chase? Then yesterday some of the guys caught more action at Sebonac Inlet.
One day I'll have a proper full-on windsurfing session again. I know...I just got back from Bonaire, but as Scott would say "I neeeeeeeed it!"
Switching topics to a different kind of Puffin, Scott says he saw some puffins a few weeks ago. This is great news...I haven't seen any puffins in the area in about three years, and I worry that whatever they eat (sand eels) are no longer around. I'll be looking for puffins at my next Sebonac sesh...this is the time to catch a glimpse of them.
(Jeff was too busy catching those occasional waves to snap many photos, but here's one he took of Scott on the inside at the Bowl.)
We just received this from Bowsprite, the mad and wonderful nautical illustrator of New York Harbor. "Puffin in da house! But of course this trippy groovy piece will make me think of you!" she writes. So here it is. Thanks Christina!
Alec and Jack (my nephews in Oregon) hanging out with the Great Puffin of Portland (or so I shall refer to him.) Alec is a seagull man himself, so I'm glad to see him accepting other seabirds, as Jack's t-shirt recommends. Jack has good taste in all things.
Previous niece and nephew sighting at the Oregon Puffin can be found here.
With the bulk of the Puffin/Wind Chimp community up north snowboarding at CD's place (wish I coulda made it!) I have no tales of derring-do (or doofus do) of my own to share. So thank you Bill Nightingale for sending this peach...Alaska wakeboarding (featuring a special appearance by a puffin 56 seconds into the video.) Enjoy!
Every year on February 2nd, Peconic Puffins emerge from their burrow and consider their shadows. If there's a shadow, what does it mean? Should I visit Bill and Hulse in Puerto Rico? Take the wife to Bonaire? Check the seals on my drysuit? Or just bring my fin collection to the kitchen table, do some winter maintenance with sandpaper, and daydream about April wave sessions at the Bowl?
The druids celebrated the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox (though the date is off by a week...not bad for people without decent iPhone apps) and in Punxsutawney I've read they used to hunt groundhogs and then have a barbecue. But those were the old days. This Groundhog Day I'm gonna check my drysuit (and dream of Bonaire.)
(Photo courtesy Gareth James at Geograph. And if you're wondering what the kayak & cucumber blog set have to say about it, check out the Groundhogma on Frogma.)
The Wolf returned to the water a few days ago, sufficiently recovered from a dinged knee. Peconic Jeff noted that this event took place on the auspicious day of a Wolf Moon. I asked Jeff (who knows about moons) when the Puffin Moon was, as I am desperate to get back on the water. Jeff did some research and said "I don't know...all I found for "Puffin Moon" was this:
Peconic Jeff put me on to The Mighty Sven, a puffin in Happy Feet Two (penguin movie...been there done that. Would do it again, too...penguins and movies go together!) Sven is said to be "a tufted puffin passing himself off as a penguin who can fly."
Passing himself off as a penguin? I think they've got that backward. Puffins don't want to be penguins (why would they...penguins don't fly, and who has the better beak? The soulful eye?)
The Mighty Sven...if you're ever out east come sail with the crew. Thanks Jeff for spotting a brother Puffin!
RIFF, the Reykjavik International Film Festival, is Iceland's number one film event. They say they are, so it could be true. Certainly they're the tops with us at the Peconic Puffin, because RIFF's grand prize is...
The Golden Puffin!
How cool is that?
There are puffins all over the RIFF website...some appear to be silver...and there's a giant (well, man-sized) golden silhouette of a puffin. Puffin puffin puffin! Works for us.
(Director Jim Jarmusch displays classic puffin affection as he gnaws lovingly on the skull of a golden bird. A big shout-out to Jennifer for netting this unusual bit of puffinry!)
No boards or sails here. Sometimes puffining takes me to strange places. This young lady is named Rhiannon, and was a member of a puffin club (a penguin may have been involved as well.) In addition to puffins she blogs about fashion. I have a GREAT puffin tie, but no photo of me wearing it. Something to do in April...
I've been reflecting (ie feeling sorry for myself) on the lack of SUPing (missed ALL OF WINTER) and sparse windsurfing conditions of late. I will be off the water for the next week, but will still have windsurfing stuff here (particularly if Jeff shoots any new photos!)
Surfboard craftsman and waterman Rotorhead sent the alert:
"AKC Welcomes Three New Breeds The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce that three new breeds became eligible for AKC registration on January 1, 2011, bringing the totally number of registered breeds to 170.
(let's skip #1 and get to the point:)
The Norwegian Lundehund is the only AKC-registered breed whose original purpose was puffin hunting."
Puffin hunting? What the heck? That seems wrong (though maybe broiled puffin on a hot dog bun with mustard is a treat.) But back to the Lundehund:
"Today the breed makes a loyal and playful family companion."
Puffins have ALWAYS been loyal and playful. But my wife and I are thinking about getting a dog, so maybe the Lundehund would be a good choice.
(Puffin on the left: "You ever seen a Lundehund?" Puffin on the right: No, but I saw The Black Swan. Overhyped!" Lundhound pack: "Easy, boys...let's sneak up on 'em slow.")