The Pond


Frank Messina


When I arrived, my adrenaline surged as I watched "The Domer" fully powered on a 3. something. My god the gusts looked at least into the 40s. I rigged the smallest gear I own; an 8'4" Hi Tech {~70ltrs}, and a 4.0 Ezzy wave.


I had to do the light wind limbo in the lulls, but, I figured it was only going to get windier.

It took me a little while to get the 4.0 dialed in. The last time I sailed the 8'4" was with my 4.5, I actually had to move the mast base forward a little to settle the ride. This was the opposite of what I expected. So finally, I got the board trimmed out; boom right height, mast foot right spot, and harness lines in the right place. My god it was great, the gusts would come in, I'd just sheet in, bear off, and fly. Perfect. This lasted about 15 minutes. The first of three tests I was to encounter was blinding rain. Or was it blinding hail? Sure felt like hail, or was it bee bees? I continued to sail despite low, er, um, I mean Zero visibility impeded my progress.

The thunder and lighting was getting close and the wind was shutting down so I sailed to the nearest shore. So I waited {test # two} for the wind to return. I waited a long time. Too long. When it seamed that my session was over, I decided to put my Boy Scout Merit Badge in Knots to use. I de-rigged and bundled my gear to the top of my board. [Note to self: the reason I am sailing 'the pond' in the first place is because it is just that, an enclosed body of water. If the wind dies, or I break down, the worst thing that could happen is that I would have to WALK back to my car.] I guess I forgot that, because I decided it might be fun to paddle my gear straight back across the pond. Hear forth referred to at test # three.

Well it was fun, for about 10 minutes. Than it becameIt difficult, I kept slipping off my board [ in the past when I have self rescued, it was always on a 100ltr board or more]. I had to push the board ahead of me while swimming from behind. This was excruciatingly slow and inefficient. My life jacket served only to slow me down, I came pretty close to taking it off, pushing the gear out ahead of me and swimming crawl. Figured I only had a little more to go any way.

After a half-hour or so, this swimming thing was getting really tedious. Plus I saw an ambulance and cop car at the beach I figured some little old lady called the cops my god, I saw someone drowning out there in the bay!

I wondered how the "rescue squad" expected to help me from shore. I didn't see any boats or drysuits, just flashing lights. "God I'm bored", and getting tired too. I was just about 50 feet from shore when the real rescue team arrived. MikeDa BakerVitti and 'Hurricane' Phil Grey paddled out to great me. Thanks guys. I also understand Lenny 'Da Squid' Gazda actually drove over to Centre Island looking for me. Thanks Len. No photos, just really sore knees from all that swimming.