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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

We ARE All Gonn’a Die!

But if you have half a brain, you knew that already.
And what is really point? It’s not about how you die.

It’s about how you live.

If you lived this last week, on the East Coast: you wouldn’t know that.
America’s new religion is Panic. And oh so many of you have focused your attention on the flickering alter of the short attention span. The technological trinity: of Television, Internet, and PDA’s. Unfortunately, our elected officials have shown the same level of panic that a 3 year old does when a spider crawls on their shoulder for the first time.
First I watched the world yet again, panic as our government attempted to hold the country hostage for the sake of Political Theater. Then an irrelevant company attempted to make itself relevant, by passing judgment on our Government’s fiscal stability. This led the panic lovers to misuse some short term insignificant statistics. So instead of talking about a 2 or 3 percent Market Correction. We were subject to tales of 600 point catastrophes.

Our nation no longer has the ability to put things in perspective. We make long term decisions based of short term information.

Next up:  the National disasters…an earthquake in Virginia. What a surprise; it could be felt all up and down the Appalachian Mountain Chain. Did no one take high school geology? And now we have Irene. “The most terrifying storm I have ever seen from space” was the quote. Does it matter that this astronaut has never witnessed a hurricane from space before? Apparently not. For the last two days we have been bombarded with inaccurate computer models. The evacuation orders have been issued; transit canceled! Enough!

It has been an enlightening week for me.

On Wednesday I ruined my Blackberry. I will admit that it had me frazzled for a day or two. On Thursday I was able to get it to work for a few seconds. I saw 48 text messages. I don’t know who you were. But I can’t; and I am not returning your e-mails. I am free. I am not going to die. I am going to live.

Thursday I windsurfed in Chatham. Chatham is beautiful; the water is clear; the swell was clean. It was great. Right up until the part when I fell and split open my lip. I admit it I was pretty upset.

Yep 50
I was in Chatham to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. I knew there would be pictures, and I did not want to mess up the photo’s. Turns out I didn’t need stitches. They basically used surgical grade crazy glue.

Mom and Dad
Friday we went fishing. My brother Joe, his son Sam, my cousin Charles, dad and I.  What a glorious morning. We caught and released way too many bluefish. Dad caught the only keeper striped bass. Seems the world was not coming to an end.  I was reminded of how special the day was when we were visited by three humpback whales.

That afternoon Joe, Sam, Lauralee and I kicked back while my Father took the rest of my relatives out for a sail. He must have been exhausted. But elated that at the same time he could share his time with all his family. And that is really what this is all about, isn’t it? Today was able to spend the day trading stories with my Family. Did we care about anything else? What else is there really?

Tomorrow I’ll check the surf to see if it is surfable. I’ll check the wind to see if I can go windsurfing. And next week…I guess I’ll have to get a new Blackberry.

But what really matters? Happy Anniversary; Mom and Dad. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I guess some people just like to spend money.

Too hot to do anything today. No breeze. No swell. So Here I am surfing the web.

Interesting match up.  Extreme Cats, costing 400,000 Euro vs. stock windsurfing gear costing 3,000 Euro. I sailed the JP Guy Cribb is using, during the Windsurfing Magazine tests this Spring. It was a bit too aggressive for my taste. But not a board that would be difficult for an intermediate to sail.
But I guess some people just like to spend money.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yacht Club Racing

Let’s be honest. You all know I don’t like racing.
When I was younger, it was a means to an end…I did not have my own boat… so if I raced for someone…I got to go sailing.
And that was tolerable, until…
I learned that if I worked for a boat yard, I could sail all I wanted. {Just not necessarily when I wanted}. You learn a lot about sailing, when you sail many different types of boats, in various stages of disrepair.  And you learn even more, when you are the guy that has to do the repair.
I learned that I liked just sailing. Not crewing for someone else. Just sailing.  Alone if possible. I’m not a team player. I’m not into team building. I’ll take the helm; thank you. No I don’t enjoy running the bow, trimming the sheets and lines to your specifications, and instructions. I don’t like Freezing to death, or baking to a crisp as rail meat.

And I really don’t like being stuck on a sailboat in no wind when the sailing sucks; strictly so we can accumulate points to increase the boats standings.  Or worse yet, being stuck on a boat when it is really windy, and I would be having so much more fun windsurfing.
I don’t need to prove I can move my toy through the rat maze faster than you can.
In certain circumstances, or rare occasions, I can see why people would want to Class Race. It’s about the sailor; not the wallet. I have a lot of respect for Class Racers. I’m still not going to crew for you. But I respect what you do.

However, as my years progress I have been developing a distain for most yacht club racers. This did not start until I joined a Yacht Club myself. Club Racers, most commonly race in a PHRF handicapped division. In most cases they own a boat so tender, that they can’t even sail it. I was going to say; can’t even sail it alone. But that is pretty much obvious; isn’t it.  So many of these guys; yes guys; lack basic seamanship skills: Including sailing.
They motor to and from their moorings. Yell at their crews.  They spend hundreds of thousands each year on sail inventory, and millions on new boats every few years.
I can deal with these type A’s, if they steer clear of me. [NO I will NOT crew for you. You would not want me anyway. I will second guess all your commands, and you can’t depend on me. I will not show up if there is a surf-able swell, the wind is too light, or it’s windy enough for me to windsurf].
I also don’t really mind that you guys devote a whole page or so of the local newspaper on your race results, and exploits frostbiting in the winter. {“Really, you sail in the winter? You must be so cool.”]
What bothers me, and really gets under my skin is that I receive an e-mail just about every week from some ex-athlete, Club Racer trying to Huck Finn me into spending my hard earned free time sitting on a race committee boat. In our bay it is called the Worry Wart.
Huck here, spams my inbox with lectures on how I need to honor our Bay’s historic racing tradition. Because it’s so important that I support our gallant racers by wasting my day baking in the sun keeping score, so he and his buddies can race against each other and re-live their high school glory days.
If it’s so important; then why don’t you keep score? We’re not stupid, and you’re not the cool kid in high school any more. You’re not even the want-to-be-cool kid. We are not responding to your e-mails; because we don’t care, and we have better things to do. You want a score keeper, pep squad; how about cheerleaders? Why don’t you just go hire someone to man the race committee boat? You hired your crew.[Yea half those guys wouldn’t show up either; if it wasn’t for the fact that they work for you, and are looking for a promotion.] Come on it can’t cost as much as that new unobtainium sail quiver you just purchased.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Josh Angulo

I know this is three years old. But when I dream of windsurfing. This is what I dream.

Josh at home from umi pictures on Vimeo.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random thoughts

Wind & Water - the Invention of Windsurfing (2007) from Joseph Schuster on Vimeo.

I met up with a group of guys I used to windsurf with in the 80's. It made me nostalgic for the old days, when you had one board and one sail. There has even been a lot of discussion on early sailing on iwindsurf.  About one third of them do not windsurf as much as they used to. And these guys where great sailors. So I figured these old clips were appropriate.

Right now my van smells like a mix of air freshener, and  rotting seaweed. Heckscher has been closed to swimming due to high bacteria levels. Of course, I learned this on the local news; AFTER I went sailing there twice this week! http://www.news12.com/articleDetail.jsp?articleId=289012&position=1&news_type=news
[Incidentally the life guard they are interviewing is Chris Goodwin. He just started windsurfing several years ago. After watching us fly across the water from his lifeguard stand, he decided to give it a go. Now after just a few years he can rip with the best of em’. http://youtu.be/fLzXrdjvC_E ]
But back to why my van stinks. Heckscher may be closed to swimming; But not to windsurfing. I guess they have never seen me windsurf; and don’t realize I spend as much time in the water as I spend gliding over it.
This August has been unusual. You usually have to put up with Heckscher’s weeds in June and July due to its famous thermals.It is just the only place it blows during the summer. Unless of course, we get an errant tropical storm. This season however, June and the first half of July were a bust.
You noticed bizarre behavior among windsurfers.  Die hard wave sailors were spotted on 9.0 sails and slalom gear! There were even reports of manicured lawns. Thank god there were some small waves. In unpredictable behavior, since late July, early August; I have been windsurfing twice a week. [one session was even in the ocean]. Plus earlier this week we had big clean swell!. [I missed surfing it, because I was too busy with the dizzying gyrations of the DOW. And I actually was dizzy;{ probably some leftover effects from being in a coma the last week of June}] But it has been so nice to be windsurfing, that I am cool with it.
I’m pretty much cool with everything. I went from accident---to living in nothing flat. I am lucky. Joe, on the other hand; my brother, has been getting beaten up the last few weeks. He was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel: now we are screaming wrong light! And wrong tunnel. The cumulative effects of treating his illness are now worse than the illness in the first place. It just plain sucks. Joe is stronger than I. He just deals with whatever is thrown at him. No complaints. No whining. He just get’s it done.

Segue is on the Hard
She hasn’t been on dry land since October of 09. My list of “to-do’s” is enormous. I’ll probably get to  about one tenth of them . I need to…

Let her hull dry out.
Grind and fill any blisters that show up.
Add a 4 inch dark green boot stripe above the waterline.
Acid wash my hull. [done; just not so well]
Wax my hull. [only one coat]
Scrape and clean the teak. [ barely started]
Oil the toe rail.
Varnish the tiller.
Cetol the coamings, hand holds, eyebrow, and mast box.
Add a window to the Genni.
Add a dodger without a front end to use as a Bimini.
Attach a spinnaker bail at the mast head for a gennaker.
And the list goes on and on...