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October 12, 2010


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I believe the comment was "Anybody can go fast in a straight line: you can BUY performance: But if you want call yourselves Windsurfers you have to be able to jibe.
Races, after all; are won and lost in the turns." The reason I think this, is because she would often use this comment when trying to get beginners to take windsurfing lessons. We would spend a lot of time in those days, chasing after windsurfing rentals, who would tear off in one direction, with no clue how to get back to the dock. You remember the type; one lesson at Club Med, and they were experts.

But Michael, you have returned the favor tenfold by inspiring me many times over: through your Blog, and seeing your progress in this sport. I too, was perfectly happy being stuck at a “terminal intermediate” level in my sailing. As always you have re-stoked my stoke!


Thank you Michael. It was a joy to see you after all these years. I know we will be back. Frank can't stop talking about that day.


Frank, I've heard Steve quote the "anybody can go fast in a straight line" bit many times, and that may be Lauralee as well, but she absolutely positively said "you people don't know how to windsurf" or something equally to the point. And she wasn't being a technique snob...she was instead standing there jaw agape at the collection of knuckleheads with great gear that she'd come upon. She rang my bell, certainly, and it was, like I said, a great moment. A year later, I'd gone from "jibe? tack?" to working on helitacks (as well as jibing and tacking.) And then duck jibes and backwinded sailing and push tacks and dozens of other things, the genesis for all of which was "DUDE, YOU HAVE SOME LEARNING TO DO!"

I can still picture us all on the beach that day. I was in awe of you two. Which is why it was such a blast to see LL again!

Way to go Micheal! Your footnoting an inspirating seed given by a skilled windsurfer is way cool. And to see and sail with that person is priceless. Way to go Lauralee.


Great story Michael. As a perpetually bad windsurfer, I can really relate to this. I don't know how many times someone told me something that rang as a "D'Oh" moment for me - something that I should have seen or thought of or been aware of - that changed the game.


Right now on History and Discovery they are having sooooooo many shark documentaries and last night they had one about where the Jaws story originally came from - the big shark attacks back in 1916 up the New Jersey coast.........isn't that your area? Thought of you guys and wondered whether there are regular Great White sitings around your way. Also it seems Bull sharks come your way too, I thought they don't usually go much further up than the Carolinas.

Bunty, what in the heck are you trying to do...scare everyone? Shark Week is lots of fun on TV though. If you want stories about great whites they show up more around Cape Cod, and certainly out by Horse Joe in the Bay area. Of course I've been told that the seven footer I saw last year may have been a young white.

Lord T, yer darn tootin' I said "Whilst". I say Whilst all the time whilst I whilst away the hours. Google it, me droog.

I had to chuckle over "whilst". I thought "whilst" had disappeared from American English and was only used in Britain. Puffin, are you by any chance a fellow Brit?

Most of the dictionaries say that "while" and "whilst" have the same meaning. But to my English ears, "whilst" only sounds correct when used to set up one of sentences with phrases of contrasting senses such as, "Whilst Tillerman writes some excellent blog posts, at times he can be a real nit-picker."

The inspiration (LOL) for "whilst" in the many Puffin posts is the venerable British windsurfing guru Peter Hart, who drops the W-bomb often in his instructional tapes.

I am descended from midwesterners, and raised in New York. My great great grand-uncle was Alexander the Great. I've inherited none of the G genes, however.

Ahah. I thought so. You are only "whilsting" to make fun of a fellow Brit. Shame on you.

Great stuff! Sounds like you all had a fun day, the great thing about this sport is not only the constant challenges that it offers us but also the fine, diverse group of people we meet along the way. I personally am amazed how we all encourage and root each other on, not only with positive tips on improving ones skills but also the recognition and joy we all get when we see or witness a fellow sailor preform a radical maneuver,I always come away from a day like you all had with a smile on my face, good times with good friends!!CD

Just found this. Great stuff!!! And a great tribute to our Friend ...

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    "It's good to have a shredmobile" my friend Caldwell said, so I made one. It's a Ford E150 cargo van done up with lumber and k-mart plastic boxes.