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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Windsurfing Magazine Board Tests

Life is good. While I am still no where near 100% physically: I am feeling better every day.

Josh Sampiero, from Windsurfing Magazine put together a great event, with a great group of varied people.
We arrived late Sunday, and although it was windy…my neck and shoulder hurt so much, I decided to wait for Monday, and start sailing after a good nights rest. I got to meet John Massman of Isthmus. I’ve been buying from these guys for 15 plus years. It was great to meet him face to face. [sorry you couldn’t be here too Gary]

Monday wasn’t that windy. So I pulled out my 10 year old Ezzy Infinity 8.5 and sailed my first Formula Board or two. It took me awhile to adjust, and once I did; I understand the love of planing in dead flat corduroy water, and 12 MPH. But truthfully, it was a lot of work. I think that if I didn’t own a sailboat; I would have one of these early planning machines.

Tuesday, was sunny, warm, and windless; great for healing. I took full advantage of it. The highlight of the day was spending time with Josh Angullo. The guy is a legend; yet he has a way of making everyone around him feel just as important.

Wednesday, was dead off shore gusty 17 to 25+. It was a bit of a pain to slog out and back from the wind line. But once out there, it was just great fun on some of the higher volume Free Rides’.


Thursday was also kind of a down day. No sun, but no real wind either. I saw some guys out on huge sails and Formulas pumping like crazy…But I’ll rest up. Friday, and Saturday are forecast to be side on, to on shore at 20-25 MPH! I can’t wait.

Plus the first of the Long Island crew show up tomorrow

Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 Windsurfing Magazine Board Tests

The build up.

LL & I were originally going to drive down Friday. But the best laid plans….you know the rest. I am just starting to heal up from this sinus infection. I have had it on and off for so long now that I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since January. And while I have been able to sneak in some sailing and surfing when I had days that I was feeling better; I have severely slacking off my exercises , or PT for my neck and shoulder. That is a bad thing. If I don’t keep the muscles built up to stabilize my neck and shoulder, I get big pain. And I am now paying, from neglecting the gym.

As such, we decided to delay our departure, to give me an extra day or two to heal, and to get my gear in order.

I did some quick glass work to the RRD. I had no time to paint; so I just put a sticker on it to keep the UV off the repair.

And I really wanted to finish the nose on the Naish  and the tail on the JP.

The Naish is a great old school wave board. But it suffered from a “Turkish slipper” nose that was prone to breaking. So I lopped it off and am in the process of re-glassing it. [Still not finished in time]

In the end I want the nose on the Naish to look like this previous  nose repair to the JP.
The JP suffered the insult of being run aground onto a sand bar at West Meadow. Even though I have replaced it with the RRD, I still really like the board.  I have been laying glass and epoxy down over the wood layer. When I hit the sand bar, the bottom of the board remained intact. However the deck in front of the finbox insert creased and delaminated. I sanded the tail down to the wood and carbon. So far, I have laid two layers of glass on the deck. Next I will wrap the rails with one more layer of glass. She may weight a pound or so more than the original, but she will be just right for those gusty 5.0 days when you want a little bit more floatation.

Most of my repairs are like this one on my Fish. Light, Fast and slightly visable if you know where to look. But they get me back out on the water soon. The JP is the closest to a rebuild I’ve done in awhile. 

We arrived yesterday afternoon about four’ish. It was blowing a cold side off shore at our house. The drive down here took its toll and aggravated my shoulder/neck injury, to the point that; [while it was tempting to go sailing after a six hour drive]; I thought better of it.

The group is a great one. Josh Sampiero of Windsurfing Magazine put together a great group of people. Today is rainy, cold and not very windy. I am watching some of the “hard core” sailors plane occasionally on their huge sails and light air Formula gear from my bedroom window. I’m tempted…But I know another day of rest is exactly what my body needs. Just to be down here is what my soul needs.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The winter Crew.

I love sailing, surfing, and just generally being in or on the water in the winter.
We have no access problems,[other than the occasional driving through a blizzard, or navigating the ice] most beaches are not being used. So we basically have free rein over all of them.

Occasionally you will meet up with an overzealous Authority; they usually come around and realize that we aren’t hurting anyone, and are not a danger to our selves.

Then there are the conditions: during the summer we have to rely on your basic South Westerly thermal. They tend to blow on the south shore from 3:00 till 7:00 in the afternoon. There are some spots on the Island where it blows 5.0, but the spots close to me tend to blow7.0.

In the winter we are blessed with fronts all the time. Warm fronts bring 4.5 westerlies, or 5.0 southerlies. If there are tropical storm systems spinning around the Atlantic, we get big clean surfable saves to play with. If the system gets to close…then we have VAS Victory At Sea condition, so we will sail on one of the many bays or sounds.

One of my favorite winds is the Northwesterly; usually associated with a Cold Front; Northwesterlies can blow as hard as 3.5. They can kick up great Back Side wave riding, Bump and jump, and even flat fast water for all you Freestylers.  So dress warmly, and get on it early, Northwesterlies have a tendency to blow themselves out before noon.

Then there are the Nor’easters…these are the bane of anyone arrogant enough to build on the waterfront. Nor’easters can pack a short punch or better yet blow relentlessly for days. As they travel the coast of the eastern US, they can produce waves, as well as wind. My favorite are the ones that chose to spend a few days off the Carolinas pushing water to build a big [logo to mast high] long period [10 seconds or more] swell. This way, even if we don’t get a wind event, we get clean easy swell. If the Nor’easter tracks up the coast [as is usually the case]; we get a day or two of Easterlies. Easterlies can make even the most jaded anti GSB [Great South Bay] sailor hoot and holler.

If the Nor’easter stays spinning just east of the East End [which it can do for days] on its journey to Cape Cod and Nova Scotia… Then we are in for a real treat. There are two basic scenarios
1-     The storm funnels water into Long Island sound creating DTL [Down The Line] “Mysto Waves”. The Mysto appears because the LI Sound goes from over 100 feet deep, to about 20 feet at certain spots. You can sail this as a rolling swell, or where it actually starts to break. The wind is side, or side on, shore; and can blow anything from 4.0 to 7.0
Or        2-  Lastly the conditions I’ve sailed the least in, but I dream about the most. This occurs when the Ocean holds its long period south swell, and the wind blows a perfect side off. Timing is essential here, as is local knowledge of the break. I however can think of nothing greater than dropping in on a logo to mast high “true DTL’ wave with a 5.0 to 6.0 sail. Simply perfect.

But perhaps the greatest thing about winter sailing here on the Island, is the people. For the last 25+ years I have had the privilege to sail with some of the greatest people in the world. The most generous, genuine, and positive tribe I have ever had the pleasure of sharing the water with. Whereas we tend for safety reasons to all sail together in the winter… I miss my crew in the summer, when we all scatter for different parts, or when we are outnumbered by all the seasonal Watermen.

One of this groups greatest attributes is its positive vibe. No one ever feels the need to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down. As a result, we all feed off of each others positive energy. There are no show offs: great sailors, not great sailors; we all sail together, we watch out for each other, we compliment, and help each other. Maybe we are just so stoked by sharing the experience that we just don’t have the bad stuff in us.

This is pretty rare in today’s world: especially on line. For the most part, my participation in on line posting boards is only in groups where I know the majority of the posters in real life. I use them to communicate with my friends. It is faster, and much more efficient, than the 50 phone calls we would need to decide where we are sailing, surfing, or whatever…

It became acutely apparent to me that this is not the norm during the last few weeks. I have been fighting a tenacious sinus infection the last month and a half, so I have had more time to read those boards that are made up of people I have something in common with, [Cape Dory Sailboats, Fishing, etc.] but where I only know a fraction of the participants.

There is a real tendency among posters on these boards to put down, or trash talk others. I can only guess this is so the trash talking poster can feel better about themselves at the  expense of someone else . Sometimes it’s blatant, mostly it’s more subtle. It usually comes from someone who feels the need to prove their superior knowledge by arguing every minute point someone makes. Or, it’s the guy who rights a dissertation on every subject complete with their credentials. This poster rarely actually answers the initial posters question: but instead does their very best to ramble on with tons of unintelligible data, and opinion, usually hijacking the thread as his bully pulpit.

Boy I am glad I went sailing yesterday, and last weekend as well. I heard the surfing was great yesterday, and we had some great windsurfing last week, but missed it, because I want to fully kick this sinus thing before I leave for Hatteras.

I feel lucky that I found this crew. They have become the best friends a guy could have in this day and age. Real, genuine, caring, fun, people.

Thank you guys.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Too much to do: too little time to do it.

I am less than a week away from my week as a “Guest Tester” for Windsurfing Magazine. http://www.windsurfingmag.com/

There is just so much to do.
1- Get rid of this damn sinus infection… [I am currently on my second course of antibiotics] this is just tenacious. I felt better for about a week, then bam I’m down for the count. I probably won’t fully kick this thing till I am finally on vacation.Starting to feel better.
2- Get the truck oiled, greased, and ready...Check
3- Get my sails back from EZZY... ETA Thursday night Done
4- Make enough money to take the time off work… Guess I am dipping into savings.
5- Finish fixing my JP109 and Naish wave… Maybe this weekend
6- Paint the repairs to my RRD, Sumo, and Syncro…I doubt it. Guess I’ll just live with the stickers.
7- Pack…I’m sure this will be a last minute scramble.
8- Get my Blackberry to sync with my laptop…HA HA HA HA yea that’ll happen.
9- get a new pair of Rx sunglasses because I broke my old ones…ordered but not ready yet.Got em' today
10- Find out where I am actually staying, and plan my trip… soon

Wish me luck. And health.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let’s hope my ship comes in…

So EZZY did their best to take care of my sail issues. Now I am like a little kid waiting for his Christmas presents. I can’t wait for my sails to arrive. I am told it should take another week or so. They are on a container ship somewhere in the Pacific. But I am so impatient. Yesterday I sailed my Ezzy Wave Panther 5.5 with my 110 ltr RRD FSW. I was almost relived that it was gusty 5.5 wind. That way I didn’t have to use my 9 year old 5.0. Some guys were out on 5.0’s; but I hate to shlog. Even so; I did shlog some of the time, but the sail never overpowered in the gusts. Just controlled power.

It’s getting warmer; yesterday I sailed with open palm mittens. This is wonderful; I can sail so much longer with bare hands, than mittens.
Plus DLST starts on the 13th; and my stint with Windsurfing Magazine as a guest Tester starts soon. So I am really going to need those sails. I am making do with my old 5.0 and just not sailing when it is light enough for the 6.9. I CAN’T WAIT FOR MY NEW TOYS TO ARRIVE! I promise to treat them well and enjoy the hell out of them.

Special thanks goes to Garry Stone of Isthmus Sailboards, and Tim Ortlieb of Ezzy.
Let’s hope my ship comes in…