2-for-1 Saturday -- Heckscher easterly afternoon and the Center for Imbecilic Boardsailors evening

How great to snag a 4.2 day with a good quorum of the LIW boardheads: Jeff and George and Jill, Joe Rocco, Rich S. Mustang, Domer and old reliables Upwind Mike. Seems like months. The early birds got the 3.5. The late birds got the 4.2. But 4.2 ain’t so shabby, since the swell was on the bay. The breeze switched more NE and started to fade back toward Fire Island, the wind driven drizzle eased up, and it was time to derig. Moostang mentioned CIB and a call to iwiliwilisurf.com revealed 28 – 32.

“if I get out of this drysuit, I’m not getting back in it, so I’ll just drive there in wet rubber with the heater on.”
We made a wagon train and turned back for the north shore, reentering the nasty weather and who knows what. Moostang stopped in Jericho to rearrange part of his truck and a call to ifinallyfoundwind.com echoed the good word: still 28 to 23, lull of 27. Hunger ignored, cold wet suit forgotten, we’re in the home stretch and the prize is at hand.

Oyster Bay appears immediately with the first signs of white caps from the North East. Moostang threw a shaka out his driver’s window followed by five fingers and five more. Agreed. Halfway up the bay road the froth was churning heavily and it was quickly becoming clear 5.5 might have been an understatement. Moostang read my thoughts and threw a new shaka, followed by five fingers and a fist. Yep 5.0 for sure, maybe more. Freaky!
The flag on the bridge was fully stiffied east to west, and soon we were rounding the corner to the Center for Imbecilic Boardsailors. Quick cell calls to Jeff and Lenny in case they want to drop in. Hours of constant ENE flow had set up a fine swell and it was doing its thing out by the rock reef. A fine peeling series of waves breaking clean, surfer’s left to right, the perfect setup. The only problem appears to be a n evil light and gusty area on the inside and a somewhat venomous shorebreak. So, can we rig fast enough and get out there before this party disappears. Another cell call during riggin to Bolling. Moostang goes 5.0 and floaty wave board, I opt for 5.5 and the only bona fide wave board in my quiv.

Moostang hits the windline first and it’s off to the races. Both of us are mongo powered all of a sudden. Moostang’s 5.0 is feeling 4.5 gusts and the 5.5 is starting to feel like a kite. Moostang had it right – floaty board smaller sail. Oh well, last time I did this, I used the big board and was wondering how much better these waves would feel on a real wave board.

Moostang is all over it and catching some primo shoulder high breaking waves of the day, dropping in over the back of one, getting three maybe four bottom turns on another, a jibe-like frontside turn on another and cutback from NW to SE. The wind on the outside is overpowering, and I’m wondering if the old mast will be able to take it. It’s not exactly safe to be that overpowered. I’m also thinking of Lenny and how he’d love to be out here in this crazy shit. But coming back in the front of the waves is sheltered, and the inside calls for more floatation. It’s a “get out there and stay out there” deal. Yowzah the water is a lot colder, the air colder now, and it’s approaching the limit of what’s doable gloveless. But with the battle comes the warming bloodflow and the cold is soon forgotten.

With so much juice in the sail and the steep ramps coming right at you head on, it’s a starboard tack jumper’s dream. Maybe a little less power thank you. Whoop over the top, eek nosefirst landing smooth, but very lucky nosefirst landing, and somewhat unintentional, then spinout, spinout recovered, steam back upwind to line up a few waves on the return trip. Center for Imbecilic Boardsailors, it has been called and there’sno doubt it has more than it’s fair shore of dopey days, but today “the lunatics are on the grass, remembering daydreams, daisychains and laughs, got to keep the loonies on the path.” Lenny would be having conversations with God out here, I can hear him talking about it. ‘Stoopit’ good it is, clean the waves are, little fronside trips they offer, looong smooth fields of velvet inbetween. Like descending giant staircases it is. Maybe too much sail and a not quite enough board, so I pay the price on the inside, and some sail ripped out of the hands adventures on the outside. A little swim chase maybe, but a wave here, and a starboard jump stolen from the teeth of a gust that was looking the other way just as a prize piece of steepness came into view. The icing on the cake. And then in familiar fashion, sometime close to sunset (whatever sunset is possible on a stormy day that is) the wind crapped out, and the imbeciles limped in with crazy smiles and a vow to return. We stopped a while by the ‘house’ to watch the wave show. Thundering shorebreak still and a freakshow of a peeling wave breaking on the reef. Even without wind the wave held its allure. Coterie of Idiotic Believers, Convoy of Incorrigible Bushwackers, Company of Irrepressible Beserkers. Whatever it takes. If the hat fits and the Mysto wave is calling it’s worth the trip even after a 4.0 session on the south shore.

Tomorrow there will be pain. Tonight there is hearty risotto, South Australian Merlot, single malt from Islay, and a choice of either alka seltzer or Tylenol PM. Think I’m still a bit to ‘up’ to sleep. IT’s been a decent vacation, as much wind and surf as I could handle. Tomorrow should have excellent surf for those who still have some functioning body parts. At this point I think just managing a BBQ will be an achievement.