Reverse convoluted alien stereophonic wind hits Cedar and not Heckscher -- go figure?!?
Having just bought a new 4/3 wetsuit at 1 PM at Bunger Surf Shop, Robert Moses causeway was very close by. Well positioned for several choices, including the psychiatric center. Which is where I felt I was gonna end up if I kept trying to guess what would happen with the wind and where today.
Bollocks to it! -- figured since Heckscher was not blowing yet, I'd go surfing instead - plan B - and try Heckscher again later Plan C. The buoy report this AM said a good 5 ft swell was running, and it had to be glassy-ish if there was no wind. Crossing the first span of the RMC bridge revealed precious little wind, barely 7.0 Until you got to the other side, where there was a little wind close to the leeward shore of Fire Island.
A jeep that looked like Billy's was camped out at the side of the road. And pretty soon I found out why. Well the second span of the bridge was hopelessly, pathetically, terminally, backed- up with traffic that was not going anywhere -- time to change plan and get off at the next exit to either --double back to Hecksher -- plan C, or - improvise, er, um: Plan 'X'--drop in at Cedar and say hi to Ely and Carl - if there was still no wind, try plan 'Z' ...forget about RM5 and go on west to go surf at Gilgo. Strangely the treelets on Ocean Parkway were doing a little gyration. Things seemed windy enough in the parking lot at Cedar, too.
A new call to IWS revealed heck still mired in the Doldrums -- what's up with that? Chat with another surfer who's got a big ole volan-cloth and duct-taped 10' longboard and is going to do a 20 minute walk down to 'Hemlocks' with a 25 lb board on a hot day in a 4/3 suit. That is dedication.
Ely and Carl came back up from the beach, and after some ribald banter--it's time to rig. A trek to the sea's edge reveals enough power for a 5.5 and a 100 liter board, with a big-ass fin. Call lenny sa Squid, at Heck tell him i've decided to stay and sail here. Doggone it! -- no live body on the other end - so leave a voicemail.
Carl and Ely do 'The March' first it's not so bad going out, with their 6.2 and 5.8 respectively. Naish 8'11 and AHD Wave 270 respectivement. By the time I got down there it was about to pick up another notch. And then another and another. The tide had recently turned but was not flowing in too hard. The swell had a goodly size and power. I'm not going to give you any sizes, just see below the buoy report was 5.2 - 5.9 feet at the peak time. Any of youze who surfs here knows what a 6 foot swell can produce (Mustang? Mike?). Connecticut Kevin joined in a little later, and must have been pretty stoked for he was practising the sailing-along hoodless head-dip. And with ocean temps in the upper 40's that's a sure-fire way to cool off.
In the inlet the sandbars were showing through in the shallows and breaking fairly vigorously. We were hitting it almost head on so there was some pretty effortless large air. It was more of an effort to avoid the ramps you were not psychologically prepared/too powered up to take on, head on.
The ramps are steep, tall and good enough to shortboard surf, only you'd be mental to paddle this far offshore to surf em. OK, so I chickened out of a few biggos. Out somewhere in the vicinity of the buoys there was Carl taking one on the head and smiling all the time. "Not bad!" he yelled. Pretty soon it would be my turn to bugger-up a move and take a couple of poundings in the same spot. After reaching the bell pylon at Demo it was time to turn around. There were some fine mackers there, and the port tack ride back was the time to 'S' them. The wind was kicking now, and the 5.5 was plenty fine and the fin was too big. In for a drink of water, some downhaul to powered setting, switch to an 10.5 inch fin.
WAIT UP -- memo -- there were algae like things all over the place that looked like green Turd Burgers. At first I thought they were jellyfish, but they were too fuzzy at the edges, and totally the wrong color. Make mental note not to ingest any. Suggest the Limeys (pair of scientist windsurfers we sail with) come with biotech kits to investigate.
Well even the 10.5 inch fin was too big by now as the wind had taken it up a couple of more notches -- what's up with this? Fully powered to a little overpowered, I was beginning to wish I'd brought the 9.5 inch wave fin cos the board was starting to get a bit rebellious wheellieing and wonking on the wave face. Complete oversheeting was the only way to handle it going backside down the fall line, to almost a little frontside, then quick hard back upwind with the bottom turn. This wasn't supposed to happen here. By now it was hitting what Mustang often sails with a 5.0. Meanwhile Ely and Carl were going bonkers upwind, with the Spivvers getting in a couple of phat airs and Carl mostly moving too rapidly to know exactly what was going on there -- but Ely should have some pix soon.
One more run and in for more downhaul still, and flatten the sail a bit. The shore break had grown a bit to adolescence and the tide was now coming in hard. But what of the wind. Someone turned the power off and it was over. Just enough to waterstart.
In the middle of the inlet my board was starting to twist and do weird stuff in the current and it was time to make for the nearest shore. I could see the some of the others schlogging now too. Mistimed the shorebreak had the gear airmailed ahead of me conveniently into the shallows at Overlook. Game over.
Bizarre, plan X kind of day. Note to self: Must remember to try plan X more often
Hasta next week when the inlet tide should be in our favor, or will it be plan Z?
BUOY REPORT 2-5 PM [unfortunately the buoy crapped out at 4 PM ish when the wind was really starting to pick up.] 04 22 5 pm - - - 5.6 0 5.0 S - - 44.1 - - - - 04 22 4 pm - - - 5.9 0 5.0 S - - 44.1 - - - - 04 22 3 pm SSW 17.5 19.4 5.2 7 5.0 S 30.14 49.1 44.1 - - -0.06 - 04 22 2 pm S 15.5 17.5 5.6 7 5.2 SSE 30.16 48.2 44.1 - - -0.04