(Scott wants this post to be all about Frank's rounding the horn of the Shinnecock Jetty. I want to tell the story of the day in order. If you want Scott's version skip down to the bottom. Here's my version:)
Wind and pouring rain at the Bowl. That's how it always is for a good Bowl session. But Friday was particularly so! I arrived to find Scott, Frank, Jeff and Jeremy (the man in Gumby Green) getting their 4.7 on (that's 5.0 to Frank). Rigged my own as Bruce arrived.
"I don't know if I want to rig" Bruce said, eyeing the howling misery of the rain.
"That's the thing about the Bowl," I reminded him. "We all remember the windsurfing but forget that it was raining!"
Rigged we did, launched we did. My first time in the ocean in six months, so I was tentative. Also perhaps I was tentative because the swell on the outside was 6 feet plus. Blew my nervous Nellie jibe, and sailed back to shore to adjust a footstrap (on the 93 FSW which hadn't been sailed all winter). Happily everyone else was sailing to shore as well. To advise me on footstrap trim? No! Seems that everyone was overpowered now, and I was just too out of balance to notice that I was overpowered too.
So we all rigged down. Except for Frank, who stayed out there on his 5.0. Frank is, after all, not like the rest of us.
Bruce and I brought our freshly rigged 4.2's down and watched Frank sail, as we hemmed and hawed in the rain. Then the craziest rainiest gust of all time came through. Seriously. 50 mph winds and perhaps two inches of rain in ten minutes...the water drops were ripping up the beach as they hit. Visibility was perhaps 50 feet. Thank goodness we were all on shore. Except for Frank.
But the squall soon stopped, Frank appeared, and all was well. Frank relaunched, followed by Bruce, and I watched and waited, as the wind seemed to have dropped a lot. Bruce was shlogging so I decided to call it a day.
Just as I got to my van I heard Scott shout out "Frank is going through the inlet!" The deal at the Bowl is to not get too near the inlet to Shinnecock Bay during incoming tide, lest you fall, not be able to waterstart, and have the incoming tide suck you through. Lots of current, and swirling eddies to boot make it quite difficult...I've almost gone through in the past, but never actually.
The trick is to go all the way through the inlet...don't try and get out over the rocks on the side...and then get out on the Shinnecock Bay side and walk your gear back (or walk back, get your car and drive back to your gear). Frank took the ride as Bruce and Jeremy kept an eye on him from the jetty whilst Scott and Jeff drove to the bay side to meet him, and I did some of each. One thing about windsurfing: it's nice to have friends who look out for you! So Frank hogged the spotlight for another 20 minutes, then emerged, proclaiming that he'd had a great 5.0 session. And he had!
(Top: Frank talks about the weather to Bruce and Jeremy as he passes through Shinnecock Inlet. Note the color of Jeremy's wetsuit. When asked about the green, he replied that the wetsuit was from Portugal. In Portugal they know how to make a green wetsuit. Bottom: Text from Lord Scotworth encapsulating the day much more efficiently than I could! Photo by Jeff Schultz.)