Saturday, February 23, 2008

Back when Lee still ran Olympic Windsurfing in Port, I was loading some gear I had just purchased onto the Roof of my wagon when my wife overheard the following exchange between Lee's wife and another customer...
CUSTOMER: Why are they loading all those boards on the roof of that car?
LEE'S WIFE: Well I guess they don't have a van.

I was reading someones post about what makes a good windsurfmobile. So it got me thinking...I've had a lot of cars over the years, and they have always managed to get me to and from the beach. Sometimes on it.

My first was a Datsun B210. It didn't even have proper roof racks. Just some Barecrafter ski racks wrapped in carpet. Then there was the first new car I ever purchased, a white four wheel drive Subaru Justy. That was followed by another Subaru; a four wheel drive wagon, and some embarrassing moments on Madaket beach in Nantucket. But that wagon could off road, and if you got stuck... it was very light. Then there was a leased Ford Explorer. That is when I first tried using the trailer. The trailer was nice because you didn't have to carry your gear around with you all the time. And it kept the car nice and clean. But it sucked because you didn't have your gear with you all the time. Plus in NY you can't drive the parkways, or the left lane with a trailer. Lastly, the Explorer Sucked off road! In fact I almost lost that truck to the ocean in Chatham. I bet the "locals" still make fun of me.

As everyone started buying SUV's in the late 90's, they got expensive. So I tried a pickup. I had a cap on it so I could pull the trailer, or load just a few boards on top. The F150 is a great truck. In fact I still own it. The new millennium brought a rash of board thefts targeted at surfers. This led me to enclose the trailer in an attempt to lock everything away safely.

Then the NY State Parks Police started picking on surfers. It got to the point that the pleasure police would pull your permit just for carrying a board on the beach. I had always admired my friends Quigley 4X4 vans. In 04' I pulled the trigger and have never looked back. I love my truck.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thank you for caring about my safety; but I'm just fine.

Sailed Tanner this morning in the pouring rain, and fog. It was a good choice. The tide was all wrong everywhere else. Sailing the ocean in that fog would have just been foolish. We had a nice crew despite the less than perfect conditions [on and off wind; cyclops sailing in the rain; etc.]. There was literally no one at the beach, but a park rent-a-cop from Babylon who decided it was illegal for us to windsurf there. I pulled off my hood, showed him my gray hair and explained that we were not a bunch of kids, who were being unsafe, or were bothering anyone. And we have been sailing that spot for years. He threatened to call the town Bay Constable who would issue us citations/ tickets/ whatever. I explained that I was on the board of Surfrider, and that we had always had a great relationship with the town of Babylon as far as access. What had changed?

We still had to leave or he was calling the cops. Well we didn't leave. Why? Because we still had two men out sailing in the fog I explained; and we don't leave until everyone is back in safely.

Well he apparently called the Constable, because he came over to me and said that it was now OK for us to sail there today because we weren't bothering anyone. But we were not to sail there if any bathers were using the beach. He also noted that although we were allowed to windsurf from Gilgo, a T/O Babylon beach... we were not allowed to launch from any T/O Babylon beached on the bay.

I told him I understood, thanked him for his concern about us old guys, and went sailing.

As a note: the T/O Babylon actually has a sign at Oak Beach on the bay, that specifically allows Windsurfing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"it's a piece of sporting equipment"

We got lucky again. Sunday was warm,[low 40's] with a nice 20-25 westerly. I was able to sail my new favorite combo; the JP 109 and a 5.5 Ezzy wave. Sailed from 10 till 1. High tide was at one, so exiting through the shore break was not graceful. I have my first repair on the JP this week. A small ding. As Damien Kelly, [the man who taught me glass work] used to say "it's a piece of sporting equipment". Later that afternoon, the cold front came barreling through, complete with snow squalls, and 50 knot gusts and a 20 degree temperature drop.

Steve Domjan took some great shots of the day at
Thanks Steve.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Figured I'd add a photo from this years Paddle Out. I'm on the far right.

At least I got wet

Had a cold all week. So it felt great to sail a little yesterday. I got a late start, and only arrived at West Meadow about 12:30. I saw that the wind was backing off so I rigged a 7.0 and the 125 Sumo. Reached back and forth a little while with Steve D.. Then the wind just got too light to continue. Nice warm [47*]. My drysuit was a little big. I've lost way too much weight. I need to find something better to layer underneath it. Surf looks nice today, but I learned my lesson last time, no more sessions two days in a row. At least not until I get back into shape.