"No" I replied. I had just returned to the beach after a few minutes of humiliation in the impact zone. Couldn't get out, couldn't get in gracefully.
"Well you're going to get some anyway." This I knew when I said no. Saying "no" just seemed like more fun.
"You've got to bear off." This was true.
"No shit. I tried bearing off but the board was getting turned by the current"
"Always with an excuse," Hulse said.
The following story is not true: On my first ocean run in a year, and at Cupsogue (where I hadn't sailed since 2008) on the 93 with a 5.5 I had just caught the sail from my only sweet jibe of the day banking off some swell, when what looked like a wooden branch popped out of water (a fallen tree out here, I wondered) and then the top of it stretched forward and bit my left hand. I was more surprised than anything...WTF? Sailed back to the beach, took the board out of the water, and showed Scott.
"That blood is going to attract Mary Lee."
That's all I need, to get eaten by a shark after being bit by a sea snake.
"Mary Lee is down at Hatteras," John Natalie said. This was true and good, though she was near Democrat Point two weeks ago.
My hand was starting to swell up a bit from the sea snake venom. I tried sucking it out and spitting, but it didn't seem to help. "Salt water will be good for it" Jeff suggested. So I launched again. And couldn't get the nose of the board to bear off...I seemed to be in perpetual swirl mode. So I came in to be abused by Hulse.
All of that is actually true except for the sea snake parts.
What really happened was, like all good wavesailing dings and damage, I was just at the shoreline. I'd sailed in from my first run, right up to the beach, and stepped off. Out went the water, and holding the boom with my right hand I reached for the front footstrap with my left hand...overhand...when a wave came in and popped the back of the board up, mashing my hand into the boom. It hurt like hell. I got the gear up onto the beach and then sat in the sand to let the pain pass, and then a sea snake slithered up and bit my hand right where it was mashed. What a one-two combination! But I'll take boom/snake over snake/shark any day.
Okay I'm still making up the snake part. It bit me when I was derigging.
(Top: John Natalie taking a wave upwind. Photo by Jeff. Bottom: My hand, happily not in Mary Lee's belly. Also on the water: George Pav and Lord vanderWolf.)