Scoring Perfect Cedar..this can't be true,...slaps self, no, slap 10
I'm stoked on windsurfing again. After three months of a rather loud sucking sound, well something had to give. Today it was the weather, and it gave and gave like a Vegas jackpot crazy slot machine.
The drive along Ocean Parkway revealed an angry-looking sky, flags standing out to crackling attention fully side shore, and an ocean of big white stallions. The kind of vista that gets adrenals spurting, and testiculoids shrinking. turn up teh volume on the radio and drown the fearsome roar of the wind.
Of course, it started with the usual death-marches, slushing through rainfilled, shin-deep Lake Doom, rigging too big, getting halfway down, turning back and rerigging, bringing down a smaller board etc. We had perfectly mistimed it for high tide at about 1:45 ish. Going down in the impact zone didn't look like a good idea at all.
A bad time to start for sure, there was now a solid swell and it was hammering the shore pretty hard - it took a bit or patience, timing, perseverance and tweakery to get over the worst of it, but the outside 5.0 on the 100 liter board was feeling like a nice start to the day. The waves were coming in long smooth lines and rolling in pretty slowly giving plenty of time for manoevers.
A ways offshore, a long way offshore all the distant sandbars were going off. Even at high tide. The waves were moving from SE to NW with tops feathering, and from our vantage point clearly a lot of rights, breaking from surfer's left to right. The wind was alternating a bit SE then E. Sometimes coming from the direction of Democrat Point, and, later as it filled in more strongly, it came from the inlet under the RM bridge. As the tide went down the waves cleaned up and the wind filled in more strongly, even with the wave board there was no trouble keeping upwind enough as there had been at high tide. Domer was on a 4.7 and I a 5.0. Plemty of swell had also wrapped in, and was now coming in from the south, offering ample opportunity for port tack jumping. Apologies, port guys, I hadn't sailed in 3 months, more or less, and port tack jumping was wasted on these two Starboard air preferrers. For the most part I was doing what I had to to keep the board connected the water and avoid any potentially costly wipeouts in the impact zone, or a man-board separation.
It took us both a while to relax and find a groove, and when Domer did, he went off, off, and offer! Jigging and jagging on the rideables and making oodles of inside jibes. As for me, well I'm not forgetting anytime soon, the perfect vision of swells building, walling up, waiting for the perfect moment, seeing that thing stand up ready to break, cut back and race dowm the face, bottom, and hopefully comeback for another hit, or resume the search for another promising swell. All too often I suckered into cutting back on the last swell before sand-zero. Mental note: next time hook-out before attempting to cut back on head high shore break waves! The hooked in underwater under sail routine involved the ingestion of a nice cup of salty water and a royal rumbling.
I remember seeing Domer framed against a beauty of a clean, peeling logo-plus wave. But with the waves often coming from behind us, it was harder to tell what was up. Back on the beach , each run was giving issue to the laughter of happy disbelief. How could this possibly be happening? The storminess departed after a few hours, but the perfect 5.0 wind machine was pumping steadily in the joyful sun, and no mater how tired you were, one more run was irresistible.
Offshore, a long way off to the Southwest, a triple sand bar was now looking like the next potential tow-surfing venue. A little cloudbreak happening there. The sort of place, so far out, you'd want to have new booms, UJ's and Mikedabaker's crazy wotsits. Once ripping, you got out pretty far in a hurry. With just two of us out there, not a real sense of security. Especially since my old harness was slipping badly every run. It's no fun being out there, hopping over a peak and feeling your hook slide loose every time. Jibing and going back to hook-in to find your hook is hanging down by your crotch. The problem has plagued me consistently since the last webbing replacement job two years ago. After trying Steve's new harness, I am losing the comfortable but unreliable old diaper (It's toast, gone, fired). One blown jibe, the sail was ripped out of my now shot grip in a 4.5 gust which sent the board and sail careening downwind, eek! -- opportunity for a nice 30 yard crawl-swim-sprint to catch up with it. BTW - If I'd had a PFD on, I don't think that would have been possible at all. Still the way back presented three beaut waves. The last one well it was nice and large and too good to pass-up. I hit it, rode it down only to see that this was gong to end up on the beach. No way out, exceprt try back in the other direction, jibed round and blammo straight into the breaking face.
Things were taking a toll and it was time to make "one more run" stick, in well, a few more runs time.
On the way back we toted, ported, and relay-dragged, two boards each and a sail through the now vigorous mini sand-storm that was moving the Overlook dunes west. Lake Doom was now Pond Clean-off.
The public safety dude was circling the parking lot like a hungry shark, and was glad to see us out of there, well around 7 PM. A couple of ice cold coronas, scottish oatcakes, and a sand shedding, muscle-soothing hot shower later, it was time to drive home with the Who studio renditions of Baba O Reilly and Won't Get Fooled Again prodividing a very appropriate soundtrack for wave re-visions.
Something tells me that Lenny is going to have an equally happy tale to tell from Cape Cod.