(filed by our special correspondent Chimply Lord Scotworth:) Got the call early to go to Ditch,supposedly it was epic so jamming out there some guy in a box truck in front of me turns his left blinker on so I start to pass him on the right..right? wrong ! he makes a right! I cant explain how close (doing 60) I came to getting smashed into the guard rail. Got to Ditch with blood pressure at 200x200 and after half an hour finally calmed down. Waves were pretty good, but you had to pay some dues to get out. Too much offshore, but Jimi Jam, Fisherman and Jonathan got out and shredded (Jonathan underpowered on a 6.2! The Wolf and I decided to go back west to the Bowl. Got to the Bowl and it was honkin 5.3! After many jumps I was way outside and landed one flat...SNAP!! The only thing holding the two halves together was a footstrap...took me a long time to get back body dragging with two halves acting like anchors! Hope I never go through that again. had my GoPro on but when I got back to the beach it said "card full", didn't get any video. The Wolf broke his mast in the shorebreak before he even got out! Thanks to Jonathan for replacing his mast right away and replacing my board! Oh almost forgot..C.D. showed up and sailed!!!
For a number of us, those Puffins and Wind Chimps and assorted Fools On The Water under the age of 60 or 50...the Wolf is our beacon. He turned 70 this week. 70! And he's still out there. Every time Jan vanderWolf catches a wave or launches off a ramp, we're hopeful for ourselves, that we can be out there decades from now. Also we're having a good time, because let's face it: The Wolf is fun to sail and paddle with. "The Stoke of the Wolf" Jeff calls it.
So Happy Birthday Jan! May we get some conditions soon!
(Above: Air Wolf. Below: The Stoke of the Wolf. From Jeff Schultz's collection.
"A surprisingly good sesh," Scott proclaimed. When it all started it didnt...Scott, Jeff and I met at Ponquogue, where the wind was insufficient and the waves uninteresting enough that Jeff said he was going back to work, and I decided to drive to the Peconic to sulk in a bay session. Just as I pulled up to the Little Peconic I got a text: "15-20 sideshore at K Rd, going on on 5.3/Go, small waves breaking" from Jeff. Scott texted that he was going to Rick's (later we would determine that his spellchecker didn't like "rig".) Anyhow I drove all the way back, rigged the 6.2 (to Scott's 5.8 and Jeff's 5.3) and went.
The waves grew to 3 feet and the wind came up enough for Jeff to switch to his Skate. Soon the Wolf arrived, followed by Bill. Bill in his triumphant return to windsurfing (he just picked up a tasty light wind board...we need a photo of it) forgot a few things...mast pieces and soforth...and so had to borrow from Scott.
There was some beach break...the move was to drop board in knee-high water and shoot through the white stuff, then hit the inside ramps which were packed with bluefish. "I landed on two," Scott said. Scott jumps a lot, so there were surely many fish who thought him a pain in the neck (worst Peconic Puffin joke ever, folks. There it is. All uphill from here. Ooof.) 2014 is All About K Road...we SUP, we sail, we don't have crowds of surfers to contend with (it must be working somewhere else for them, which is just fine.) More days like this please!
(From the top: Scott spots his fish while the editor watches, Jeff works a wave, Bill takes his new board for a spin, Wolf wave. Photos by Jeff Schultz Photography.)
iWindsurf is talking about ENE 15 gusting to 23 in the afternoon. That's your basic big board at the Bowl (Bill's Bowl) type conditions. A fine way to start the long Memorial Day weekend. What say ye, men of wind and waves?
We sat in Scott's truck for almost an hour, staring at the waves, bemoaning the lack of planing winds, and jibbering like fools. We are wind chimps, after all. The Bowl waves looked tasty (3-5') and some surfers were catching some action, but there was a shortage of whitecaps. Finally Jeff decided to try SUPsailing, and when he started planing the rest of us decided to rig.
Jeff was soon on his 100 liter with a 5.3, planing "often". I was powered on my 6.2 and 109, and the rest of the guys (now including Jimi and Eric) were in various states of power. Soon Bill Barber arrived, and announced that Bowl was his personal property. "This is my beach," Bill proclaimed. "I was here before any of you m**********rs." Content with his dominion over the beach, jetty, water and waves, Bill neither rigged nor command us to vacate, so we continued to play as the waves on the outside grew to a crumbly 6-7'. By and by the Wolf packed it in (but not before catching one fine wave ride on the inside) Jimi and Eric lost interest (or was it the fog) Scott said he was calling it a day, and it was just Jeff and I. Until a large hole in the wind materialized as eight feet of swell reared up in front of me. I shlogged over before it broke, yelled to Jeff "too big for me in this wind" and wimpered back to the beach.
For future reference it's worth noting that the Mecox meter showed SE 15-18 during the sesh. That's enough to go, we now know!
JUST what the doctor ordered! Oh yeah. Looking at 2-4 foot waves at Ponquogue, Scott and I (he on 98 liters and a 5.7, me 5.5 on the 109 Freestyle) had an absolutely pleasant time in the ENE wind. A little backside wave riding, the occasional jump...by no means a major session but heck: a sunny day windsurfing in the waves?!?! Yes sir please may I have another!
Jon Ford organized the sesh, though in the end he did not rig. Joe Natalie and friends were sailing bayside, and Kurt stopped by just as we were derigging. Miss miss miss. Thank you Scott for sharing the day!
Consider the line in the sand. Such was the wind direction offshore last Friday, as determined by I don't know who (someone will comment soon). I hadn't yet arrived, but Frank and Scott felt it was too offshore (Frank said in the parking lot it was dead offshore btw.) This over the protestations of Jeff, who had an excellent side off session last fall which seemed to point to a new day of side off wavesailing in Greater Puffindom. Meanwhile up island at Gilgo, George Pav, Jon Sassone and company caught a fine wave sesh that left Peconic Jeff wishing he was Side-Off Jeff.
What's it to be, Men (and Jan) of Wind and Water? I think we've got to give this angle more chances. Yes we've got wind shadows and tricky swirling on the inside, but if we've got a SUP board or two on hand someone can always paddle out and rescue, no?
It was cold on the beach. "Wind chill" said Scott, but I thought it was the humidity. "What works is a long hood that covers your neck," Scott continued, showing me his, which is attached to his wetsuit. Mine doesn't come more than halfway down my neck. Must go shopping...I imagine a hood/shirt combo.
Jeff, the Wolf, George Pav, Scott, a seal and I hit Ponquogue (ESE 18-20, 3-4 foot waves) on everything from 5.3's to my 6.2 (the seal did not rig). The shore break wasn't particularly strong but it came all the way to the sand, so you had to carry your board over white water and get on fast while you still had water beneath your fin. This the Wolf would not do. And so Lord vanderWolf got worked, trying to time the perfect moment (which he did once, took a nice ride out and caught a fine wave back in. Once.) After an hour of abuse, finding himself a few hundred yards down the beach having had to chase his gear, he called it a day.
I myself had issues with arm strength...the lack of. Too little windsurfing over the winter made sailing unhooked a bear, and I had to come in to the beach a lot. Still was having a good time until I heard Scott say something about "it's time for 5.2" when it occurred to me that I was tired from carrying too much sail. Doh! With sand blowing down the beach all the 4WD guys rerigged on the spot. I had to hike to the parking lot, and by the time the 6.2 was down I was chilled to the bone, and so went girlyman, calling it a day as the Wolf drove by. My old 5.5 isn't waveworthy anyway...must go shopping.
Jeff had a waveworthy sail. But in his words he took one wave too many. How fixable is it? We await word. He may need to join me shopping!
All photos and video by Jeff Schultz. Scott goes back side, I contemplate a large seal, Jeff's sail, and Jeff's compilation video of the day.
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.)
I've seen a lot of angles of monster jumps, but this one really gets me. The guy is a spec in the sky! Posted by "Guavajelly" on Facebook, it is almost certainly from the insane Red Bull Storm Chase session in Cornwall. Thanks to Andy in the OBX for calling attention to it!
I had a one hour window to sail. It wasn't windy enough when I got to K Road, so I had to bag it, even though the forecast was for building winds, and the waves looked so nice. As is my habit I asked Jeff to fill me in later on what I missed, so as to increase my jealousy. Here's the report:
4.7 frontside DTL 2-3 bottom/top-turn rides on 4-6' waves, that's all you missed :) Full powered at first, rode the 77L, then lulls (and a swim in the rinse zone) had me grabbing the 100L. At first, Scott & Frank were dragging their heels ("it's only 36F, I was expecting 40!" ... "aw man, the sun just disappeared behind those clouds!" ... "brrr, it's really cold!"), but once suited up and wave sailing, everyone was all smiles and plenty warm. Only thing holding us back from sailing another hour was our maxed out forearms.
The flu kept Christian out of the ocean, but not from a bayside session. You'll have to get the report from him, though I do hope he's asleep and healing his weary self at this point.
What else can I say but "oh man!" Great for them though!