Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hurricane Bill: a recap.

By Sunday, The State Parks Authorities had a handle on what Tropical Storm Bill was, or was not going to do. The State 4X4 beaches were still closed. And that was probably a good idea; they lost an awful lot of sand. But thank goodness they came to their senses on Sunday.

After Friday nights attempt to sail to Demo, I was exhausted. So I spent Saturday sailing on Segue. The wind was light and variable. No Hurricane force winds here. And it switched between Sunny, hot, humid, & steamy: And Raining, hot, humid, & steamy.

Bunger postponed their contest on Sunday morning. At high tide there was no room for spectators on the beach. Low tide was at 4:30 so I headed down the Ocean Parkway. The lots were open at Jones but no one was allowed in the water. Tobay and Gilgo were packed. People were parked along the highway for miles. Cops were happily writing tickets. Even though I heard that the RM bridge was closed… I figured I’d give it a try. First I tried to drive to Demo. [I know, wishful thinking.]. When that didn’t work I drove down towards RM 5. I had some decent sessions there this winter. 5 was open, but the lot was closed. “Better back track to 4” just as I pull in the lot, I hear my name. It’s Ron and Ray. “Billy Z is right over there, we are heading to field 3.” “I’m going wherever you’re going”.

When we arrived, I looked out in front of the pencil; it was huge, and clean. And spaced well apart; like 5-10 seconds. I debated taking out a boogie board and fins. It looked about a quarter mile away, and the shore break was just bombs. Ron looked at me, “take your longboard, look how much space there is between the waves; this is what it is all about.” “But what about the shore break?” ” I’ve seen you handle worse”

Ray then followed up, “This is it boys” As big as it was, the long period waves gave you plenty of time to paddle out. You just had to wait for it. As it turns out the biggest problem was the side shore drift. If you are a news paper reporter you would call it the “dangerous rip current”. It wasn’t dangerous; and it helps you get out past the impact zone. But the side shore drift took you from RM3 to the eastern side of RM 2 in no time.

The waves were so clean. You dropped in, stood up, and then it was like oh my God, what do I do now? I’ve never had a ride this long. I’m usually getting pummeled by the shore break by now. This is what long period swell is all about. No fancy bottom turns for me. Just enjoying the glide…Definitely the best day of surfing I’ve ever had.

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