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.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Winter water

CIB.12.26.2010.edited from Frank Messina on Vimeo.

This is from a few years ago in a NNE at CIB home of the infamous "Mysto" wave. The Mysto never showed up,and unfortunately, the snow got to the point that you had little or no viability. Add to that, rising water from an incoming tide, and there was literally no beach left when it was time to leave the water. I wast pushed so far down wind I had to climb some guy's sea wall to get out of the water. I'm pretty sure I dinged my board in the process. Then I had to walk about a quarter mile back upwind to my truck. My friends were a little pissed that they had to stop sailing to look for me.

That: is why I love Winter sailing...it's the friends. Spring, Summer, Fall; everyone sails or surfs. In the Winter we are all alone. Our crew is a tight group that has be out together in these conditions for over three decades. We look out for each other. We have all rescued or been rescued by each other over the years. Although, maybe I've been rescued more than my fair share. I can always count on these guys.

Yesterday we didn't sail, but we were in the water anyway. we donned our thickest wetsuits or drysuits and walked a search grid at three beaches. We were looking for any hidden underwater hazards that may have been there due to Hurricane Sandy. We found a few and removed them. One we are just going to just have to mark with some buoys. So why would seven guys spend three hours walking around in chest deep water?  Both the air and water temperature were in the high 30's. I'm sure we all had better things to do... We did it because the State Parks asked us to. They are already overwhelmed with trying to re build Jones and Fire Island, so they could not have done this; but we could.

Now this video is from George [a great windsurfer]. But it shows that in the Winter the best days can become serious in an instant. This is why we always have each others backs.

1 comment:

McPhilly said...

I don't talk about it much, but it brings back some real visceral, adrenaline-pumping memories of the time I lost my gear after getting creamed by a 5th break outside set at Gilgo about 10 years ago.

After a long bob/swim in (I had a bulky PFD on which slowed me down a lot), I reunited myself with my rapidly escaping gear on the beach way downwind. There was a moment there I thought about taking the PFD off, because it was so restrictive to swimming, but the PFD didn't want to come off, and I thought better of it.

I've erased a lot of it from my mind, but it's there in the back of my mind every time I sail a hardcore spot.

The good thing about "onshore" conditions is the wave action and wind combine to save you effort swimming back in, but it was not a lighthearted moment.

As for offshore, we know as surfers how quickly the wind can blow you out if you lose track/do not actively maintain your position.