Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I've been missing a lot of the good days this November. Check out the Puffin if you are looking for great Sailing stories. I have none. But I expect to get back on the water soon enough. I did have a great sail today with Lauralee. After yesterdays 50 mph winds, the 5 to 13 we had today was just fine.It was sunny, and in the high 50's. Plus the WSW we had enabled Lauralee to sail all the way back into our slip. Well I was impressed. I don't think I could have done it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

oh well...

I haven't had as much free time as I would like lately.
I morn the loss of Daylight Savings time. It means no after work sessions till spring. But it is Fall, and even the weekends have delivered for us "Weekend Warriors". Most of my sessions have been at CIB, or Demo. I've been fortunate to be able to sail Demo this season. It is an endeavor I do not take lightly.

Demo is not just a place you show up and go sailing. It is as dangerous, as it is beautiful. On great days we can underestimate her power. The decision to sail, or not sail there; is not taken lightly. And although I often consider sailing there; I don’t, unless I am on my “A” game, and the consensus is that everything is right.

It is fair to say that I have been pounded and breaded like a chicken cutlet from the march at Cedar more times than I have actually sailed the point. Often opting out; to sail at Cedar, Gilgo, or just BAF at the Oak launch. “A man’s got to know his limitations”. So I have paid my dues. In doing so, I have taken the time to learn from the guys that have sailed there for decades.

In Surfing, they call it Respect. You respect the Locals; and their knowledge. You respect the wind, waves, tides, current... you respect the place. I love the ocean; but I have a healthy respect for her.

The photo is from Halloween 2009, by Brook. I am on the left. I think it is the only photographic evidence of my presence there. That day was a lot of fun. At one point I think I saw at least 15 sails on the water. The most I have ever seen at Democrat Point. It was truly a great day. But please remember; Demo can turn on you in an instant. Some of the best sailors I know, have broken, and lost gear there. We are not talking novices here. We're talking about folks that sail the Gorge, Hookipa, and other world class spots.

I know I have described sessions there as religious. That's how I feel any way. Especially in an east, nor east.
If not for guys like Brook, Florian, George, Kevin, Billy D, and Billy T, sharing their knowledge; it could easily go the other way.

Yesterday, we had a sailor get separated from his gear; he swam back to Overlook. A few weeks back George broke his board in half. As he slogged what was left of his kit back to the beach...we must have been with in 10 feet of each other at times. Yet, I never even saw him!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

local paper‬‪

“On the Bay: October 23, 2009‬‪Written by Andrea Watson Friday, 23 October 2009”‬‪

“What a weekend we had last week. …, Mother Nature decided to reward all our efforts with a weekend filled with high winds, tons of rain and temperatures that were more normal for mid-December than for late October. Such are the vagaries of weather as those who spend a lot of time on the water know all too well.”‬‪
… 2009 Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series. Way back when this regatta was started, the idea was to race when the wind was up on western Long Island Sound. Well, as the saying goes, be careful about what you wish for”., …BLA BLA BLA…
“On Sunday, all racing was cancelled, as the fierce nor’ easterly hit our area bringing sustained winds at 30 knots and gusts reported as high as 50. …”BLA BLA BLA…‬‪“…
boatyards … long winter. … frostbite season for …very special about this group of people. … who enjoy the cold weather …”EVEN MORE BLA BLA BLA.”‬‪‬‪

OK, so this happens just about every year. And every year the news says pretty much the same thing.
‬‪First we brag about how the MB Fall Series is supposed to take advantage of the Fall winds.
Then they end up canceling races because it’s too windy! Too windy?

‬‪It wasn’t that windy. I sailed a 5.5 that Sunday.
But, I guess if you spend several hundred thousand dollars on a high tech racing yacht designed for the light breezes of summer, it’s too windy.‬‪

Then I get to read about how brave and crazy all the frostbiters are.
Oooh!, they sail in the winter.‬‪Of course people sail in the winter…
‬‪it’s windy in the winter,‬‪
there are waves in the winter,‬‪
there are no crowds in the winter,‬‪
But mostly, we have access in the winter.‬‪
Thank god for winter

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just touching base

Just touching base with ya’ll. This Fall on Long Island has been like… Fall on Long Island. My favorite time of year. The water is still warm; even if the air is freezing [and it is freezing]. In the Fall most of our access problems go away. [ but that doesn’t mean you can stop writing letters to your local officials.] Go to LIBBA, MSA, NYCRF, or any of the Fishing Boards: STRIPERSONLINE, NOREAST.COM, etc and you will see that the very vocal fishing community want the beaches all to themselves.

Fortunately, none of that BS really matters right now. We have had more windy days than I can count. Great swell and waves. Ahhhh Fall.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Honestly, I don't know anyone who actually races a windsurfer more than once a year.

A decent forecast tool.

Thank goodness, the Lifeguards still let us surf, even though the beaches were technically closed to swimmers. I understand how hard it must be to tell the general public, "you can't go in the water...but they can, because they are surfers and know what they are doing"

Same story; different day. I live less than a block from the water. But I can't windsurf or swim there because it's too filthy with all the run off from your beautiful lawn.

Of course yesterday"s waves at Long Beach were the biggest and steepest I've ever ridden. So Yes, the waves were not as nice as last weeks surf but they were still big, and clean. I hardly think anyone would describe them as weak.

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.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One of the best surf days this year so of course...

Storm closes Robert Moses; parts of Jones Beach flooded

The effects of Hurricane Bill left Long Island's beaches soggy and flooded, although some that were closed are reopening today.

The Robert Moses State Park beach remains closed and underwater, said state parks spokesman George Gorman, Jr. Much of Jones Beach also is flooded, Gorman said, including the Pitch and Putt Course and many of the parking lots. Nevertheless, Jones Beach is open today, except for Field Six, and Robert Moses is expected to reopen later today.

Gorman said the flooding hasn't been this severe since 1985's Hurricane Gloria.

In Montauk, about 2,000 surfers hit the beach as waves reached peaks not seen in 17 years, Gorman said.

Nassau County beaches have reopened this morning, after being closed due to bacteria concerns.

All beaches in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens remain closed today.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2nd Friday

This is the second Friday that I have sailed with Kevin, only to be interrupted by thunderstorms.

Last time we sailed from Tanner. Just as I made it to the flats, a large anvil appeared. the wind switched from SW 15-20 to NW 5-6. So we slogged back to the beach for an hour.

Yesterday, I could barely work. Giddy with excitement on Bill's impending arrival. Low tide was 3pm at Fire Island inlet. We figured we would have slack till 4. The plan was to launch from Oak Beach. More than enough time to reach Demo before she switched to incoming.

We were a little off. I rigged a 6.0 and the JP 109. If we faced current, I knew I needed the extra power. I was fine sailing on Port, parallel to the shore. But when I switched to Starboard, to cross the inlet to Demo, the current dragged me back to the East. I could see it...super long pealing Lefts, but I never made it.

Just as I was about to clear the inlet from Sore Thumb, I was treated to a darkened wall. It's over. The wind switched from SE to NW and basically died. So I slogged the incoming current back to the Thumb. Hitched a ride to my truck to pack it in. Kevin ended up at Overlook with Dommer, Scott Jeff, Florian, and Joe.

Now it was 7ish and the tide was rising. The State Parks closed all the 4X4 beaches and were closing all of RM, and Jones. Thank God for the Town of Babylon. We went to Gilgo. The sky was dark, but the clouds were back lit with an orange, red glow. All the lifeguard stands were moved behind the dunes. A sand pile was bulldozed in front of the Tunnel. High tide was not until 9 and the big set's were already reaching the dunes.

I was too exhausted to even attempt to surf. If I had...I would have just taken out the boogie board. But it was great to watch; it was big. Plenty of double overhead sets barreling. Even more, crushing their riders in punishing close outs. Now the sun was a hazy red globe, setting behind another wall of thunderheads. The high clouds were lit from bellow. Purple, red, yellow... I called Lauralee on the cell. "look out the window; are you seeing this?, I wish you were here, It's like the hand of God just reaching down to remind us he still here."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I was finally able to get a decent windsurfing session in. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve been to the beach a lot. And surfed more in the last month, than the last 5 years. But sailing the ocean on a 7.0, or surfing, is just not windsurfing.

Last weekend I made a sacrifice to the Heckscher wind god. I cut a 17 inch weed fin down to 11 inches. I did this because the wind has been really light this summer. And when you have to rig a 7.0 in order to plane, you need a big fin. But in the weeds you find at Heckscher, a deep weed fin is useless. You might as well tie a sea drogue to your rear foot strap. I have an 11 inch weed fin; but there is not enough surface area to power up a 7.0 sail. Now the cord length on the 17” is about 30% greater than you would find on a normal 11”. So by cutting down the 17 inch fin you end up with a short fin with greater surface area. In theory anyway; I haven’t been able to test my new creation. And I really don’t care to. I am happy to have more days like yesterday. We started off with 5.0 to 6.0’s, and ended with 4.7’s to 5.5’s, on boards in the 100 ltr range.

So that’s what it is supposed to feel like…

I missed being able to sail Gilgo with Dommer. But Heckscher delivered the goods.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

“I am a terrible crew”

“I am a terrible crew”, “I am the last person you want on your boat”… “But you’re a good sailor” she said. “That’s why I’m the last person you want on your crew” “You don’t want someone like me. You want a team player, someone who follows directions; someone who is content tending the sheets”…

I usually don’t hang out at the club. But on Sunday a squall blew in just as I arrived to go sailing. So I sat on the deck and watched it go by before I went sailing.
All the racers had just come in. Some were soaking wet from the downpour; some had been in a while and were sharing in their post race glory. “How’d ja’ do today?”

First came the introductions…”What’s your name? and what kind of a boat do you sail? How long have you been a member?” He said. “I’m the Bla Bla Committee Chairman, and I don’t recall seeing you at any of our functions? You missed quite a party last weekend; you missed the Karaoke contest!” “And you missed logo high, side off surf” I muttered under my breath.

I really didn’t pay much attention for the next few minutes. My blackberry was vibrating wind alerts, and I was trying to decide whether to stay and sail here; or drive to Gilgo and go windsurfing. My eyes refocused from BB to world. “Oh come on Frank, it’s fun! “She said. “I’m sure it can be. But you really don’t want me as crew.” " Why?" She asked. . “Cause I’m not dependable. If it’s hot and fickle; I won’t show up. If it’s windy: I won’t show up. Rather be windsurfing. I just can’t commit the time necessary to be a good crew.” She persisted, “ But we have such fun, And you don’t have to sail by yourself.” “But I like to sail on my own” It’s sort’a why I sail in the first place. To get away…to lose myself.

I used to race. I was OK at it. I know what it takes. I just don't have it. I’m just not interested.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The fourth of July

Well, we made it to the Cape for the 4th. The drive was pretty good. We like to take the Ferry from Orient Point. This breaks the journey into two, three hour treks, surrounding a 1 ½ hour ferry ride. The alternative 6 ½+ hour drive is not fun.

I have mixed emotions about Chatham. Chatham has the largest percentage of public beach access than any other town on the Cape. Yet Chatham has a very Localism Vibe. It’s Tribe of Local Watermen brave Chatham’s Winter. They consider Summer their reward.
‘Summer Resident’s’ go to great lengths to display their creed; “I’m more local than you”.

The weather has been much the same as Long Island; foggy and rainy. Dad and I tried to sail on Friday. The wind was light, and visibility was about 20 feet. He and Mom were supposed to sail to Nantucket Thursday. But the weather has not been cooperative, so they have postponed their departure. My parents are 2 of the 6,625 people who live in Chatham year round. On the 4th of July weekend, Chatham’s population swells to between 30,000 or 40,000! And that is as good a reason as any, [if you are a Local] get out of town…

Later Friday afternoon, the sun came out. We tried to go to the beach. We took the Rent’s Jeep. Mass plates, and a town resident sticker would allow us entry to Cockle Cove.
That worked until the clouds came back, and made it cold again.

That evening we went into town for the Friday night concert at the Chatham bandstand. A little Norman Rockwell time capsule…God Bless America, Do the Hokey Poky, and Mayberry RFD, wrapped all into one. Four generations of one family, dancing and singing together. All this, on a blanket, preciously guarded, since 8 AM this morning. [Marking ones territory is terribly important.] As we drive home that evening, empty blankets and lawn chairs already line the parade route for tomorrow.

Saturday was a beautiful, breezy, sunny day. The first in weeks. Dad called me from points south of Monomoy. They were “beating to windward in 15 foot seas, and 20 to 25 knots”. LL and I wanted to go to Forest Beach. I figured it would be the best choice for windsurfing. There was no place to park. At all.

We tried Pleasant Beach, a few blocks east. I parked in one of the last spots. Got LL and Brielle settled in. Then rigged up the 6.0, and the JP. I should have been flying… but I wasn’t. The wind was lifting. You could see it was windy, south and west of us. Just not where we were. I slogged in, and called it a day. There were so many people on the beach by that time; there was no way I could have safely launched anyway.

After yesterday’s ‘failure to launch’, we delayed our ferry reservation till Sunday night. I knew it meant a tiring drive, but I desperately needed to sail. We arrived early [this time] at Forest Beach. I rigged big; a 7.0 and the Sumo. Even though I would be overpowered on the outside; I needed to plane. And it was glorious. Because it was early, you could see through the crystal clear water, and watch your shadow glide along with you. It’s a sensation I have not had since Aruba. I basically sailed alone. Just me and about 30 kiters. Windsurfing has definitely taken a back seat to kites on marginal days. I had a great two hours; fully powered to overpowered…At times, I wished I had rigged smaller. Nothing is perfect.

As I was packing up, some lady trolling for a parking spot ran over the clew of my sail. When I called her on it, she claimed that “she didn’t… and that “I shouldn’t have been there anyway.” I literally turned away from my sail for 30 seconds so I could put my boom in the car. How impatient do you have to be? “You people come up here…I own property…” She was obviously referring to my Van and its NY plates. I told her that I would send her a bill if I had to replace the batten she ran over. She sped off. But I had her plate number; from New Jersey…

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Finally, finally was able to windsurf tonight. The weeds at Heckscher were frustrating.. Felt like I had turrets, I was cursing so much. So I rigged a big board with the smallest weed fin I could find. Then I had a great session. Sailed way too much. Tore my hands to shreds. God to be plaining.
[yes I meant to say god; not good]

Monday, June 29, 2009

just do it

It's been so long since I last windsurfed, I don't think I remember how. Seriously; it's going on three weeks now. That's how we know that it's Summer. Maybe. We have had a very unusual weather pattern this Summer. The wind has been out of the East, or South East. The Striped Bass never really ran this year. We have Dolphins in Hemptstead Harbor, the murky runoff filled water has been attracting sharks in the line up, and, I surfed with Seals on Saturday, [you never see seals in the Summer ...only in the winter.] AND... It has been raining a lot. And that wouldn't be a big deal if it was at least windy. But it's not that either. The only nice thing is...there has been swell. Not huge; but surfable. And so I must thank Phil G. who made me understand that I was not too old to go through the geek stage of a whole new sport. I still am a terrible surfer. But I'm not the worst of kooks. Yesterday, I took my niece who has never been surfing, out boogie boarding. My god we had fun! Choppy, disorginized, on shore wind, surf. And I remembered Oh yea. The stoke has been re-stoked.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time for my yearly rant about seamanship, and water quality.

Time for my yearly rant about seamanship, and water quality.

Sunday, I spent the better part of my day, cleaning, and waxing my boat. I had to; because she had a red mustache above the waterline. This is because the bay is blood red from some sort of algae bloom. I believe that all this rain we are having is causing serious runoff. That magic mix of nitrogen fertilizer and poop is what is exacerbating the algae bloom. However, I don’t know that for sure. I do know that Nassau County has been closing the beaches for swimming. And that my telephone calls to Nassau Co, The North Hempstead Harbor Patrol, and the town of Port Washington, have all gone unanswered.

So I scrubed my waterline. As I was cleaning, I had to compound out some blue paint scratches where something had obviously scraped up against my hull. A buoy?; maybe? More likely another boats hull.

As I was working on my boat, I watched as 65+ foot yacht nearly ran down a yellow kayak. The boats bow wake thankfully pushed the little boat to the side. They didn’t even slow down. People were yelling and screaming from the dock. Three stories up, in their air conditioned cocoon, I don’t think anyone aboard the yacht even noticed.

After all the cleaning and waxing, the wind filled in. So I went for a sail. I was only out for three hours. As I approached my mooring, it became clear that some powerboat had run over my pennant; that it had wrapped around his prop, and he had cut my pick up lines to shreds. This would not bother me so much if it didn’t happen at least twice a season.
WHY ARE YOU ARE IN A MOORING FIELD WHEN THERE IS A PERFECTLY MARKED CHANNEL? And if you are in an obvious mooring field why don’t you turn down your music, put down your phone, and PAY THE F#@K ATTENTION!

OK Last one.

Saturday, I was on a starboard tack, pointing as high as I could, to clear Plum Point. [Note: Plum Pt is also were the 5MPH / no wake zone begins] There was another sailboat rounding the point on Port, just down wind of me. We had eye contact and I pinched a little higher so he could pass bellow me. Just as we were about to pass each other… some cigar chomping, Buda bellied, operator of a top heavy Clorox bottle, guns his engines and cuts right in-between us. It would have taken him no effort to slowly give way, as he is supposed to do. Instead he had to create wake that caused me to unintentionally tack, and almost ran the other sailboat aground. As the motor-head planed off into the sunset I doubt he was even aware of the damage his left in his wake.

I just don’t remember the big boats being run by A$$H0L#’s, who don’t care about anyone else but them selves. I guess that's changed.

Friday, June 12, 2009


So last weekend I didn't sail in the East Coast Windsurfing fest. Instead, I sailed the Northeaster Friday night at Crab. It wasn't the best session; it was raining, cold, and I broke the nose of my favorite board: but I sailed with my friends, we had it all to ourselves. I knew that if I sailed Friday night, odds were, my body wouldn't have been able to sail on Saturday as well. And I'm fine with that. I really don't enjoy racing, and competition, as much as I do free sailing.
I go out when the time is right. When the wind, waves, tides, and my body create the right conditions. That's when I go out. It's the pure joy that I crave.

I am truly impressed by all of the competitors last weekend. Waiting around all day for your assigned heat. All to test who was the best sailor, at that specific time, on that specific day, with that specific gear, given those specific conditions. That's hard.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer time

Well, it's summer. And although I'm not 100%, I have been doing my best to enjoy it. I caught a couple of good surfs at the Gilgo 4X4 beach. I can't begin to explain how good it feels to be able to take Lauralee with me to the beach and not have to worry about getting my permit pulled.

The southwesterly thermals have started. They're a little different this year. Not as predictable as past seasons. But they do provide for some nice after work sessions.

Last weekend was fun at Heckscher. We had some wind, and the Pro's are starting to show up for the East Coast Windsurfing Festival.
The pic's are by Blueharbor, May 31st, 2009.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

access season

So I understand that the season is in full swing. Thus far, Spring has welcomed a whole host of “incidents” that will continue to hinder our ability to increase access for all non-motorized water sports.
1- I understand that a few Windsurfers were warned that they were not allowed to windsurf from Robert Moses Beach X. Fortunately; they were warned after their session was over, as they were leaving the water. They were able to “play dumb”, and no incident was recorded.
2- Several Surfers had their trucks ticketed, and/or their permits pulled at Democrat.
Note: it is against the NYS Park rules to even carry a surfboard in your vehicle at Democrat.
3- At the April Surfrider meeting we heard from a man who had his ankle cut by a fallen Kiteboarders lines while he was in the line up at Gilgo.
4- Surfers were blamed for cutting across and damaging the dunes at the Gilgo 4X4 beach entrance.
5- A number of Kiteboarders were ejected at Zacks Bay in Jones Beach for attempting to launch their gear. A minor altercation with a Park Employee resulted in the Police being called in.
6- At Heckscher, two inexperienced windsurfers were rescued by a good Samaritan windsurfer. The two novices attempted to sail in an off shore wind, wearing nothing but a T-shirt and shorts. [I’m still wearing a 5/3 steamer!]. Both of the rescued were treated for hypothermia. One was taken away in an ambulance.

It only takes a second to make a bad impression. On the other hand, it takes decades of hard work to make a good one. Let’s self police our own ranks, before the authorities do it for us.

I was disappointed by the lack of attendance at the Jones Beach rally two weeks ago. We had a chance to show our support for the Lifeguards of the LI State Parks System. We had a chance to make our voices heard about the closing of beaches and reduction of access this summer. We had a chance to meet, talk with, and shake hands with the State Representatives that would be our champions, in the quest for beach access.

Thank you to everyone who came out. Your support is so important. It will go a long way in building the bridges we need to gain our objectives.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Surfrider Central Long Island Presents: Local Artists' Art Show Saturday, May 9, 2009 6:00 pm The Tiki Bar-832 W. Beech Street, Long Beach. $5 at the door to benefit Surfrider's continued fight against the proposed LNG Island.
Live Music By: The Sun Gets Down

Maybe I'll see you there?
Lauralee will be showing her jewelry. How cool is that?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jones Beach Lifgeuard Rally


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Well folks, it's been a while. My timing has been off the last few weeks. There have been windy days; just not when I go windsurfing. At least the freakishly warm weather has enabled me to sail sans hood and gloves. So maybe I'll get some calluses on my tender paws.

The teak on Segue looks like crap, but Lauralee and I have been enjoying life on the mooring. It is a welcome change after spending this winter at a slip.

Last Sunday was 90 degrees. The water is still in the low 50's. LL and I took our first trip to the Town of Babylon 4X4 beach. I was lucky enough to get one of the only 50 permits issued for this Pilot Program. This meant that for the first time ever; I was able to go surfing from my truck, on a Long Island beach with out breaking the law. I can't describe what that felt like...

Of course the State is still enforcing it's anti surfing policies. I understand that several surfers had their permits pulled, and/or were ticketed at Demo. So there is still work to be done.

Yesterday I attended the Jones Beach Lifeguard Rally. The State is closing beaches, and laying off guards this summer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I’ve been thinking about humility this week.

I’ve been thinking about humility this week.
I have been going through a very painful evaluation of my Business these last few months. I’m not as successful as I thought I was. It turns out that my loyal clientele, is not so loyal. Humility 101.

This weekend, Lauralee and I decided we would keep the boat at the dock a few more weeks. We would rather be at a mooring, because we prefer to sail on and off our mooring. But the evening Launch service won’t start till May; and I need access to the boat after work. So we will have to use the engine to get in our slip.

Now I’ve been getting pretty good at entering our slip. I did it all winter by myself. So of course, on this Saturday, a beautifully, warm, sunny day… The peanut gallery was out in full force. And I had great difficulty getting in my slip. I think it was because I didn’t want to mar my newly waxed hull. The bottom line is I slipped trying to fend off. Got one leg soaking wet, and had ten people shouting instructions at me from the dock. Humility 102.

Last night I sailed CIB on an Easterly. The wind was blowing side off 20 to 30, and the waves where pealing west to east. Deciding what to rig was just a guess. I rigged a 4.7 and the JP109. It looked really windy out there, but I was concerned about the long slog through the breakers to the wind line. I actually made it out OK. I was pretty proud of my self . There was the opportunity for massive air on the way out. One attempt was all I needed. I got so high I bailed and spent the next 10 minutes swimming after my gear. Once I settled in, the wave riding was “epic”. What a feeling! I was charging down 10 foot wave faces, getting 4 or 5 bottom turns and cutbacks out of a wave. I imagined what it must have looked like to the people watching from shore.

After 2 hours I was exhausted, so I sailed for home. As soon as I hit the wind line I went down. Instead of slogging for home, I was getting sucked out under the impact zone. Eventually I swam my gear in, only to get put through the rinse cycle in the shore break. More like stone washed. I got sand and pebbles in places… But I made it in; and tomorrow I will have to look over my gear very carefully to see how much damage I inflicted. As I took one last look out at the water I realized that you couldn’t see far enough through the rain to the overhead swell we had just reviled in. In fact from the beach it looked kinda’ small. In fact if anyone had actually tried to watch us, all they would have seen was a few guys bobbing around. Hardly epic. Humility 103: advanced placement…I know better.

Lesson learned…I didn’t go out last night for anyone else: I went out for me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Got gloves

Sailed CIB Sunday with Joe Elvis, Rich S, Lenny, & Peter L. 6.0 fully Powered against the tide.
Hit Heckscher last night [the 15th] on the Easterly with Rich, Dommer, Jill, Jane, and Billy T was finishing up. Sailed a 5.0 and the 109. 4.7 and the 90 ltr would have been the better call. By 7 it was full on 4.0.
I understand a few ventured out to Demo earlyer in the day, when the tide was right. By all accounts they were greeted with logo high sets, and body punishing hold downs. I tried to sail with these guys at RM5 once and never made it off the beach through the shore break. So if they used the term "Body Punishing Hold Downs" and "Logo High", I belive them.

Yesterday was the second day with open palm mitts. Hopefully the gloves will come off soon. The only drawback is that once it starts getting warm, it get's crowded.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring is finaly here.

Friday the 27-surf was great; I sucked.

Saturday the 28th- Lauralee and I were expecting a light, mellow sail... instead; We were right on the boundary layer of this front: thick cloud cover drawing a

line from Whitestone through city island up to Rye. Totally clear windy sky
above and to the east. Wind was East, with. Gusts out of the south east.

Monday the 30- sailed CIB with, Dommer, Brew, Mustang, DTL Pete, and Upwind Mike. We all rigged 5 something's; By the time we came off the water we should have been on 4.0. Swell was great till it was knocked down by the 35 mph gusts. Just a perfect after work session.

Wednesday the 1st- nice easterly with K'Dog, Air George, and Tanner Jim. Played in the flats over by Fire Island. Kinda' felt like Hatteras.

Saturday the 4th- 5.5 on the JP 109: sweet knee to shoulder high swell. This is the third day I have sailed this week! I feel like I'm on vacation....that is until I get home and realize I have work to do that will keep me up well past midnight. Ah balance; I will continue to search for you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's on.

The 2009 East Coast Windsurfing Festival will be held at Heckscher State Park on June 6th and 7th 2009. Competitors flock from all over the East Coast to compete in this huge competition. Racers and freestylers alike will have their chance to prove themselves as King of the East

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sounds like some of you scored!

I was out on the boat with my wife Lauralee, enjoying a
warm sunny 8-10 knot Southwesterly.

At about 3:30 the Northwesterly blew in, dropped the temperature a good ten degrees, and ramped the wind up to 15-20+. We reefed down, put on our foul weather gear and headed for home. Hope you went somewhere on the north shore.

Camp Mustang

Decent surf at Mustang's spot yesterday. I am still not surfing well. I have such a very long way to go.

You can really see the guys that always seem to take off in the right spot. Always manage a cutback or two. And always bail before the close out.
I never drop in at the right spot. I blow 90% of my pop up's. And, always stay on the wave too long; riding the crumbling white water almost to shore.

But I just love being out there. As long as I don't get in anyone's way.

I was very careful not to over use my shoulder yesterday. So of course I stepped in a hole and tweaked my back while ungracefully exiting the shore break. I'm not a kid anymore.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Manhasset Bay

Caught a few hours before dark on MB. Rigged a big 7.0 and 125ltrs. Used a 13" fin: it was fine in the gusts, but I spent a lot of time underpowered. I understand the wind was better at Tanner. I probably should have made that drive to the south shore. It was still nice to sail in my own back yard for a change. I'm sure the bay will be crowded and filthy soon enough.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Work is no fun right now. I just want to play.

I meant to clean, or wax Segue yesterday. I even put one coat of Seapower cleaning wax on the coach roof. The teak looks like crap, the varnish is all flaky and needs to come off before I can varnish again. OK, not realy varnish but Cetol. I know some of you think that's cheating; but it is so much easyer to maintain than actual varnish. The new Natural Teak color is less orange than the original tint. But I couldn't even do that yesterday. As soon as I felt the 10 knot breeze out of the WSW I went sailing.

One tack out on starboard, one back in to port. The fishermen are starting to hit the water, and I saw a few sailboats as well. Miews was out there trolling a few lines off his stern.

My shoulder is still locking up from last Sunday's session at Mustangs, so I'm glad I can at least go sailing.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

sunday night

Trying to fall asleap now that it is DLST. Great sail Saturday with Lauralee. Watched the funeral procession of boats from Kings Point Military Academy. Water was smooth as liquid mercury,but we still sailed at 2-4 knots.

Today I surfed Long Beach with the Mustang crew. My shoulder will hurt for days. So worth it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I woke this morning to 16 inches of snow. Spring may be around the corner, but winter Wants to make sure that I still respect her.

My timing was a little off this weekend. Saturday I took Segue out for a sail, [That's the third week in a row]. I expected a dieing Northerly, and that's just what I got. On my way out I cleared Plum Point with a 70% jib and a double reef in the main.

I went exploring around Hart and City Island. There where allot of boats still out on moorings there [curious]. After a few hours, the gusty breeze moderated. I shook out the reefs, and rolled out the jib to 135%. The angle of attack was perfect. Segue was fully powered up on a beam to broad reach, surfing the swell on her stern quarter. Her Speedo was reading 6.1 knots, but GPS had us at 7.0.
That's important because Segue has a displacement hull. She does not plane; so is bound by her Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed = 1.34 * LWL1/2 .
Segue's LWL is 19.5. But when she is heeled, her overhangs stretch her to a little over 20 feet, making her Maximum Hull Speed probably under 6.5 knots. That means that while she was moving through the water at a speed of 6 knots, she was also surfing the moving swell, bringing her total speed over ground of 7 knots! How cool is that?

Sunday, we waited around all day for this Nor Easter to materialize. We kept ourselves busy posting vintage windsurfing photos of ourselves at LIWindfuring. I probably should have gone surfing. From what I hear it was perfect clean longboard waves. But I Waited for the Mysto to make an appearance at CIB. I'm sure it did last night at about one in the morning. But I was sound asleep;
and it was snowing like hell.
Oh well... it's supposed to be in the 60's this weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I think Spring is coming

Had a nice sail yesterday. I actually couldn't make up my mind. I had to choose sailing vs. windsurfing."Well La De Da" I wish all of lifes choices were as difficult.

The wind; still out of the NW was about 10, but gusting to the high teens. Turns out that the boat was a better choice. I started out with 100% Jib, and the first reef in the Main; [that means I could have clearly been on my 6.5]. As the day progressed I ended up with the full Jenny and Main. It was just gusty, and that would have been frustrating on a board. I know Andrew sailed the ocean at Long Beach. I wonder how he did.

I saw someone horseback riding on Half Moon Beach. How cool is that? Sands Point is so built up, I didn't even think that people still kept horses there. 15+ years ago, when I used to ride my bike there, you would see people riding, but I haven't, in at least 5 years.

There must have been a dozen Frostbiter's out. Also saw a few sail and powerboats, in addition to Garry on Winds of Change. We shared a great broad reach, from the eastern tip of Kings Point, to the buoy in front of Louie's.

As I docked at Gulfway, I heard the telltale sounds of folks getting their boats ready for launching.
I think Spring is coming.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Segue is free

Light breeze. 8 mph from the NW, with gusts to 12.
42 degrees, partly cloudy. Sailed to Execut
ion Light and back. No pics. I was all alone. Saw one other sailboat, two duck hunters, and a barge.

Brook took some shots of Florian and Kevin at Towbay yesterday. Gusts were to 50. I'm kinda' glad I couldn't sneak out of work early. That surf looks pretty VAC.

The photo's below, are from last summer, on my parents boat, Malabar.
They blogged their sail down to Florida from Chatham last year.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feb 8
Sometimes a warm winters day isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's been pretty cold this winter. While that has been great for ice sailing; I still prefer soft water sailing. So when this weekends forecast was for the low 50's we couldn't help but get excited.

On Saturday I tried to take Segue for a sail, but could not get past the ice that blocked her path to the open water. Sunday the wind was expected to be NW, 15-20 with gusts to 25. So we were all pretty psyched. Kevin left me a voicemail the night before..."I'm going out early, and hitting this thing"
The problem as pointed out by Mustang Steve is that a cold north westerly might not touch down to sea level if it gets too warm. Too warm!

Well we did get to sail. But not all day. Early on site reports from Pete R. and Kevin O. on Gilgo, and West Meadow, were that both spots were not filling in. I received a call from Steve D reporting that Rich who was at CIB, was rigging a 5.0. But it didn't look hopeful. 20 minutes later he called again "I had to leave. My sailing window was only till noon, but now it looks like it's picking up again." “ I didn’t want you to miss a session because of me” The word was out. I headed for Centre Island Beach.
As I arrived I noticed I was driving behind Mustang, and Pete R. I didn't notice that Peter L, Florian and Brook were right behind me.

We all rigged 5 something’s and headed for the water. The first of us out had about a half hour to 45 minutes of sweet 5.5 wind, and hip high swell. Then it just stopped. You would not have been able to plane with a 7.0. Next the outgoing tide pulled all the water away. Since CIB is usually sailed on a Nor Easter, low tide is usually not a problem. The NE wind piles all the water up in the western sound. But now, with the wind shifted a little more west, the opposite was occurring. It looked like it just wasn’t going to happen. After a half hour of bullshitting on the beach, someone; I’m not sure who, made the call to go to Stehle.

Stehle doesn’t really have any waves. But it can be sailed in WSW through NE. Plus it has decent chop and swell. We all de-rigged as fast as we could,

It must have been quite a sight. A convoy of 10 trucks pull up. Out swarm 12 drysuit clad men. A mad rigging frenzy ensues. We are all rigged and out on the water, within 10 minutes. Blue Harbor Cat is snapping away to record the event. All is good. Until the wind starts to get sketchy again. It’s about 4:30 now so most of us pack up. It’s been a long day. For some of us, this is the third spot we have driven to in hopes of a session. As I get ready to leave I notice that Kevin is still out sailing. Sometimes on a Northwesterly, as the sun goes down, and cools the land you get a nice wind surge. And K dog is counting on that. But I never like to leave a man out solo. Especially in February.

I decide Kevin is competent enough to solo, and I start to leave. My cell phone rings, it’s Steve D. “Hey Frank, what size sail is Kevin on?”. “Where are you?” “You just drove right past me”. I turned back to find Steve hoping to get some sort of a session in before dark. I checked the back of Kevin’s car to confirm he was on a 5.8. Helped Steve rig his 5.6. and drove home knowing that they both would have a nice sunset session, and a full moon to de-rig by.

Here's one from BlueHarborCat.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Open Ice

I tried to take Segue out for a sail yesterday. Her hull is totally free from ice. Her engine started up on the second pull. So while the water around the docks of Gulfway Marine are flowing freely, there is still an ice bottleneck at Sheet Creek's narrowest point. As I was removing the cover over the cockpit, Gary C. came by. He wanted to go out as well, but his Commander; Winds of Change only has his small two point something outboard. My Merc is a nine horse two stroke. I was glad to have the company of another competent Alberg sailor. Gary worked the bow with a boat hook, as we attempted to break through the ice.

Like a mini Shackleton, we could not get through it. The ice was maybe three inches thick, and spanned the 70 foot creek, shore to shore. Open water was literally 100 feet away. It was clear we would not be sailing.

Today I am headed to CIB. It is supposed to hit 50 degrees this afternoon, so I wont have to worry about icing. Also the North Westerly is expected to be 15 to 25; perfect for windsurfing. Segue will have to wait.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

East meets west.

It was great to meet up with the Eastenders Saturday at Bellport. Some pic's by Steve D.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Finaly tested my new blades

The last time I followed Scott, Kevin, and Jeff, I ended up getting pounded in the shore break at RM5.

I was dying to try the new blades I had cut for my ice board. In fact I had already pulled into the parking lot at Lake Ronkonkoma when I read Scott's post that he was headed to Bellport with Kevin and Jeff. Bill was the only one out on the lake, and he was kiting. The surface didn't look that great.

After talking with Scott and Kev, I decided to drive the extra 25 minutes. And it was worth it. Best ice I've sailed in years. Ton's of people out. Skaters, South Bay Scooters, Skeeters, DN's, Freeskates, homebuilts, you name it. This was the place. Clean ice to Fire island and back. There were a few pressure ridges, and holes, but for the most part it was smooth sailing.

I've only seen those type of conditions maybe once every 5 years. So the aches and pains from all my wipeouts on the ice yesterday, are well worth it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How cold is too cold?

Both photos from yesterday, courtesy of Steve Domjan. Thank you Steve!

I missed all the ice sailing last week. It was cold enough, and those that hit the ice, said it was great. Ronkonkoma, as well as Bellport were sailable. Work, and the weather, kept me from any ice time. I did make a new set of blades though... My old set had about 8 inches of running surface. The new ones have about 12. I'll use them someday.

The ice really wasn't my friend this week. My way home from work found me stopping by Segue several times. While I would be chopping the ice that threatened to close her in... I would also be wishing that the ice out east was hard, thick and clean.

Yesterday, we had a nice warm and sunny day. Segue is free, in clean open water.
Today, we had a cold front zip in. The sun rose to 40 degrees, and 25 knots. As the day progressed, the mercury fell.

It is Saturday, so I was able to catch a nice session at CIB. I sailed a 5.0, and the JP 109 for roughly two hours. I'm glad I did. But I almost didn't. I had a hard time keeping my head clear. I was thinking too much. Did I make a big mistake at work? Should I have handled
it differently? Is it too cold to sail? The temperature was 39 when I left the house; but now it's reading 33. Should I throw my self into this gybe? What if I fall in? The window on my sail looks funny; is it going to shatter from the cold?

Finaly, Rich talked me into sailing. "Your already here". And Pete helped me to stop thinking. "If you have to think about jybing, youv'e already missed it". My hands were a little cold. But there is nothing like a good soft water session to set everything right. For awhile anyway...

CIB usualy isn't good on a North Westerly; today it was perfect. Nicely powered from the beach, with hip to shoulder high swell. Yes!

Of course, after a few hours, I worried that the ice on my Ezzy was going to break the window, or my knee that's been aching all week. So I called it quits. And by the way, what's that funny rash on my belly? Did I remember to rinse my rash guard last time? When is the last time I changed the oil on the truck?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Too cold for soft water sailing and too warm for ice.

Too cold for soft water sailing and too warm for ice.

It's 9 degrees out right now. The high for today is expected to be 21. Segue, still has ice on her deck, so it's to slippery for me to sail her.

As far as windsurfing goes...I pretty much draw the line at 35 degrees. Any colder and I break stuff: like my body, and gear. My sails are especially brittle in the cold.

So I'm trolling the ice reports this morning, looking for a spot with clean, sailable ice. I will probably have to travel a bit. The local waters are still liquid.

I'm getting antsy. I haven't sailed since January 3rd.
It's time to sharpen those blades!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

West Meadow

If I could have conditions like today just once a week, it would be amazing how much progress I could make . Nice floaty board, decent wind, predictable waves. It was so much fun. You have got to love WM at mid tide.

Great to see everyone today.

As Jill Said " I sailed with gloves, and I liked it!"