Sunday, October 28, 2012

I live in Lego land

I must evacuate if I am less than 15 feet below the high tide mark? But the map is in Category 1, 2, 3, etc. Hurricane flood zones. So what do I do?

I'm sure I'm not the only one scratching my head. This is the official map. Or I can order one from FEMA for $15 dollars. They will send it to me in the mail. I know I'm in the flood plane. Because I have National Flood Insurance. But at a time like this, don't you think they should be a little more definitive?

Which street is mine? Which house? Apparently I live in Lego land. Look at all the pretty colors. The problem is if I live in Tan...I'm screwed. But if I live in Yellow...I should be OK. For the time being; at least I have power, and internet access.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

So it looks like there is a rather sizable storm out there.

This year’s storm is probably being as heavily hyped by the media as last years. I keep hearing the terms “the Perfect Storm”, an obvious allusion to the Halloween storm or 1992 that Sebastian Junger made famous in his book by that name. And I am also hearing the term “Frankenstorm” used a great deal.

I’m sure these terms will sell advertising. But they won’t help you at all if the storm makes landfall anywhere near you, does damage to your property, and you lose power.

The truth is we have had several “no Name” storms effect the
Island this fall. The surfing has been great. Fall fishing; the same. And windsurfing, has also be great.

I returned my gas generator in August because I just couldn’t get it to run consistently enough. It would have been helpful just the same if we lose power. Now of course the only generators available, are thousands of dollars, and could power a small apartment building. I just need some thing that runs consistently for 12 hours, to power a bubbler for the boat if we get a hard freeze. Maybe I’ll get lucky, and buy some returns after this storm. Meanwhile, I took the roller furling Genny down last night, and added an extra mooring pennant where I had some chafe from the last few weeks.

So while that’s all taken care’s my ankle I’m not sure of. [I rolled it in the shore-break while windsurfing a little over a month ago] I have been able to surf on it. [That’s not too hard considering how little standing I actually do when surfing]; plus I have been out SUP’ing on flat water, and to the gym in efforts to strengthen it. So while I will probably surf today, before things get too out of hand...I may have to sit out the near perfect Windsurfing wind and waves we are expecting.

I will say this. If it doesn’t feel perfect...I won’t go. Playing in the front side of these storm events is one thing...but once the storm surge pulls all that debris back into the water. It becomes a minefield out there. Last year we lost the Mayor of Joe’s Beach when he hit a waterlogged tree. And he was only sailing the sound, not the ocean.

So let’s all have fun. Don’t give the authorities a hard time. Know your limitations. And look out for your fellow Waterman. This is not a contest, this is supposed to be fun.

Oh yea, and don’t forget to laugh at yourself when you get pummeled in the shore-break, or held down. It will help you remember why we enter the water when others run from it. It is our home, our love; it brings us peace, and calmness. Not an adrenaline rush.

Well it’s 7:30...I have to leave for the beach; sun’s up.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One step forward; two steps back,... again

Well I can say I surfed, and windsurfed this passed week’s hurricane swell.
Although, I can’t say I did either well. I could make up some amazing story about riding the 15 swells and 30 mph wind...But that never really happened. [Not in the way I wanted to, anyway.]

The last few weeks have been nice. Now that we have ”theoretical full access” to Long Island’s oceanfront...the difficult part has been deciding what beach to use when. And,  there are still some bugs to be worked out. Last Friday after work, Domer and I launched from RM 5. I used a big floaty 125 ltr board, a 10 inch weed/wave fin, and a 6.9 wave sail. We launched to the west of the swimmers and sailed east about a half mile to a nice stack if waves in front if the Fire Island Lighthouse. Epic, by no means; but fun; and nice to be able to do without breaking archaic some Park rule written 60 years ago. And that’s been nice; I am grateful that the NYS Parks Now consider Windsurfing, Surfing.

It’s been a hot, and mellow summer. The perfect opportunity to get my sea legs back; get strong again. That...has been a frustrating endeavor. As I enter my 50’s; I don’t bounce back from injuries as fast as I expect. My mind still thinks I’m in my 20’s.
When one injury starts to feel better, another old one re-emerges to remind me I am pushing too hard. It was a little over a year ago that I was in a coma for a few days. It is amazing to me how those few days are still effecting me.

Then the swell happens. All week I am being hit with relentless text messages. Overhead here, Mast high there.
What you have to understand is that Long island is usually frequented by short period sand bar swell. That is what most people think the surf is like here. But in the fall, tropical storms and hurricanes push huge volumes of water our way. So, when a 4 foot swell with a period of 10 seconds or more comes our way, we can’t sleep, we can’t work...We all know that when that little 4 foot bump in 100s of feet of water suddenly encounters an 8 foot deep sand bar or point break...Let’s just say the unsOund Right Coast Cup had great surf for the Pro’s.

I, on the other hand surfed very poorly on my 6'2"  this week. I have been spending most of my time on much bigger boards. But I could deal with that. It was the wind forecast for Saturday that did me in. See I am a pretty poor surfer; But I am at home in the Ocean on a Windsurfer. That doesn’t mean I did very well yesterday. The directly onshore wind made just getting off the beach an exercise in breaking stuff. K-Dawg, & Billing both broke a mast, Air George, a board; and I;  I twisted my ankle in the shore break. The same one I twisted last month on the boat, and the month before in the gym. As I sit here writing this, it is wrapped in ice. I understand it had not healed enough for 25 knot wind and 12 foot surf. I just hope I can support my weight enough on it tomorrow so I can drive to work.

And step forward; two steps back, again.

Would I have it any other way? Will my maturity have me learn from my mistakes?

Probably not...

Monday, August 27, 2012

thanks Ted

My friend Ted inspired me to do this post by asking what’s your favorite Vid clip. So here goes...

This one of Josh Angulo still does it for me. When I dream of windsurfing; this is what I dream.
I know this is surfing. But it is the most beautiful proof that waves are a living entity.

This one has put my little injuries in perspective for me.

Our Local crew “killin’” it in the OBX. Do we all understand what it means to be able to sail with these guys on a regular basis?

Our boy Iggy, back from 20+ years of hibernation. He may be on a new sail but that board under his feet is at least 20 years old. His multiple camera mounts are what do it for me.

And a new one from Ted. The best advice I ever received about windsurfing was “remember to laugh when you fall”

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Finaly Friday

I have been trying to leave the office early all week to go surfing.
The wind has been non-existent: and the surf has been about waist high.
I was not able to make my exit till about 2:30 yesterday. So I SUP'ed, the best I could, with some wind-blown slop at RM 3. I really have no idea what happened to my balance. So I knee paddled most of the time, [resulting in Waffle knees.]

Watching these guys is inspirational.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Missed again

I missed a good session yesterday. Why? Because I am NOT going in the bays or the sound. The only water clean enough for me is the ocean. We actually have less rain this summer than last. The problem is it has all been in the form of thunderstorms and downpours. That means everything is using our surrounding waters as a dumping ground.

I can usually spot the storms approaching. That tell tail "anvil" cloud, the wind starts blowing from the WNW instead of the prevailing SSW thermal we get in Summer, the temperature drops suddenly...
But none of those skills can protect me from the damage we have already done to Mother Ocean this year.

The tide to sail Democrat Point did not start to work until 5:00 yesterday afternoon.[Yes, I know know your tide table says 3:00PM. But Fire Island inlet is becoming so shoaled over, that true high tide was not until 5.] And we always sail Fire Island Inlet to Democrat in an opposing tide. One mistake and you are screwed. Unless you can suddenly swim at a 9 knot pace against the tide.

So since the wind forecast on the ocean was questionable...[BTW, it turned out that it did blow well enough to sail].
Since we couldn't start till 5 at slack tide, and sunset was about 7:50.
Since we had no plan B, [usually Joe's Beach at Heckscher State Park].
Or plan C:[usually to take out Segue. But Manhasset Bays was 90 degrees, and smells worse than a porta-potty, with out the deodorizer...

I opted for the Olympics. Thank god we had a nice Ocean session last Sunday. The last wave sailing I had was in June. And I was feeling it. The worst part was humping my gear a quarter mile each way in the deep sand. Don't get me wrong. This is better than humping your gear a mile and a half in the sand from RM2 out to Demo, But a pain in the ass when you watch some fisherman make that same drive to carry his 20 ounce rod and reel. Why it is against State Park rules to Wind surf or surf from my truck on the outer beaches, by just fine for fishing is beyond my scope or reasonable understanding,


Millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into Hudson River, threaten Ironman Championship 

Published: Friday, August 10, 2012, 8:00 AM
A sewer main break in Westchester County is sending millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Hudson River from the New York side, keeping summer vacationers and others away from the water and threatening to cancel the swimming competition for tomorrow’s Ironman U.S. Championship.
The break occurred Wednesday at Tarrytown, N.Y., prompting the Westchester County health department to issue an advisory warning against direct contact with the water anywhere south of Croton until further notice.
Officials said the advisory could be lifted by tomorrow, depending on the pace of repairs. But it could still be in effect at 7 a.m., the scheduled start time for the 2.4-mile swimming competition by 2,500 competitors along the Hudson River’s New Jersey bank, just north of the George Washington Bridge.
Environmentalists and public health officials are taking water samples to gauge levels of the enterococcus microbe in the water. They’re also using computer modeling to determine where and in what concentrations the waste water is likely to flow.
The break sent raw sewage flowing directly into the river at Yonkers, via the Croton Aqueduct, a defunct drinking water tunnel that serves as a right-of-way for the sewer main which runs into a Westchester County treatment plant along the river.
More raw sewage began flowing into the river Thursday morning at Sleepy Hollow, farther the north, where a bypass line is being used to divert the sewage from the broken main while repairs are under way, said Heather McGill, a Westchester County spokeswoman.
Repairs could be finished and the flow of untreated wastewater into the river shut down by this morning, McGill said. But even after that happens, she said, "it usually takes about 24 hours for an advisory to be lifted."
Westchester officials issued the advisory on Wednesday and immediately notified New York State, New York City and New Jersey environmental officials.
View full size
"We’re monitoring and we’ve contacted Bergen, Passaic and Hudson (counties) to make sure they’re aware," said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, who downplayed the health threat of the discharge. "Westchester has indicated that they are chlorinating the discharge, so we would expect that to kill any pathogens in the water. And we would expect the river to dilute the discharge."
Environmentalists said the forecast for heavy rains last night, today and tomorrow presents as big a threat to the triathletes’ health and safety as the main break. The New York side of the river has hundreds of combined storm water and sanitary sewer discharge points, where millions of gallons of untreated New York City sewage routinely drains into the river when sanitary sewers are flooded with storm water runoff, said John Lipscomb, manager of the water quality sampling program for the Hudson River Keeper, an environmental watchdog group.
Lipscomb said 13 percent of routine samples taken mid-channel at the George Washington Bridge exceed EPA standards for enterococus, the microbe tested for in brackish water.
"The organizers of the race have more to worry about from the rainfall that’s anticipated tonight and tomorrow, than this three-million gallons a day coming from Tarrytown," Lipscomb said.
Tomorrow’s triathlon begins with the swimming competition. It’s followed by a 112-mile bike race and then a standard 26.2-mile marathon. The competition is the biggest event of the year for American triathletes, who compete in eight other regional events around the country, said John Korff, the event’s local organizer.
Swimming competitions have been canceled before, though typically due to lightning. If the swim is canceled tomorrow, the other two events will determine the champion, Korff said.
Ironman Jeff Glasbrenner, a 39-year-old below-the-knee amputee from Little Rock, Ark., will be vying for his 18th victory in 20 competitions in the “physically challenged” division, and to be among 75 of Saturday's competitors qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii on Oct. 13.
Glasbrenner said he wasn’t all that concerned about the sewage hazard, and if Korff says the race is on, Glasbrenner will be in the water. He’s an Ironman, after all.
“If the race director’s good to go, I’m good to go,” he said.

Authorities Vexed as Hundreds of Dead Crabs Wash Up on Shores

 The Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating incidents on shores of Tiana and Shinnecock Bay shores; Baykeeper points finger at red tide or pesticides.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is trying to find out why hundreds of blue crabs and horseshoe crabs have washed up dead on the shores of Tiana and Shinnecock Bays — and so far, there are no answers.
DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino said that on Tuesday the department has fielded many reports of the crabs washing up near the shores of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation at the end of Corwin Lane in Hampton Bays.
"It's an ongoing investigation," she said.
Eric Shultz, the president of the Southampton Town Trustees, said he also received reports of dead crabs and conducted his own investigation. He believes the crabs simply shed their shells. To read his report, click here.
RELATED: Trustee Says Crabs on the Shoreline Is a Common Occurrence
However, Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister believes that the kill could be caused by one of two things — the red tide or algae that has recently returned to Southampton waters, or pesticides related to mosquito spraying.
"It's hard to say what the cause is without testing. Often times it is pesticides, but it could also be the red tide," he said, adding that whatever the cause, "It is not good news for the bays."
Just this this week, McAllister said, the red tide, which has reappeared in area bays for several years, is responsible for a fish kill in a creek off Flanders Bay.
Red and brown tides, McAllister said, have become a chronic problem.
"We can’t delay anymore," he said. "We can’t sit here and debate this and ignore it for another five or 10 years. The time to act is now."
McAllister has long-advocated for pollution reduction strategies, including a call on Suffolk County to take action when it comes to sewage. He also has fought for the DEC to set numeric quality standards for the bays.
In addition, McAllister said he thinks people should take a closer look at mosquito spraying by the county, to determine if it's both safe for the environment and entirely necessary.
Nancy McGrath of Hampton Bays, who spotted the crabs at the end of Corwin Lane on Thursday evening, said she was saddened by the site.
"In my 50-plus years of being on the water here in Southampton Town, I have never seen this kind of die-off before. I'm sure there are other areas of Shinnecock beaches where this is happening, unfortunately. It's a very sad day for our bays."
Related Topics: Blue crabs and fish kill

Dead Whale Washes Up in Hampton Bays

Coast Guard had received reports of a dead whale floating out in the ocean earlier in the day.

A dead whale washed up in Hampton Bays on Friday, after it was seen floating out in the Atlantic Ocean earlier in the day.
Kim Durham, the rescue program coordinator at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation, said the whale's body landed just east of Tiana Beach between 4:30 and 5 p.m.
The Coast Guard received calls on Friday afternoon that a whale was floating in the ocean, but officials weren't exactly sure if the carcass was headed east or west. The southwind pushed the whale toward Hampton Bays.
The whale was fairly decomposed, Durham said. While she hasn't examined it yet, she believes it is either a sei whale, which is an endangered species, or finback whale, which is a threatened species. Both are common in New York waters, she said.
It was estimated to be about 50 feet long and weigh 50 tons, Durham said.
The Riverhead Foundation will work with the county on Saturday in deciding what to do with the carcass. The biologists will have to be escorted to the area due to piping plovers nesting in the area.
Just this spring, an adult pygmy sperm whale was discovered dead on the shore in West Hampton Dunes.
In July 2011, an injured sperm whale calf washed up on the rocky shore in Montauk. It died several hours later. At one-year-and-a-half old calf, it weighed 2.5 tons and measured 18 feet long, making the task of removing it extremely difficult. An excavator hoisted the whale off the rocky shore and placing it in a large Dumpster, which was then carted away so that a necropsy could be conducted before it was buried.
In March 2010, a young humpback whale became stranded on an East Hampton beach. Despite attempts to save the animal, it was eventually euthanized.
Check back on Saturday for more information, as it becomes available.
Related Topics: Dead whales, East Hampton Village, Hampton Bays, Montauk, Riverhead Foundation, and Whales

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gasping for air?

This Summer has been freakishly warm. Especially the water. I went straight from wearing a drysuit to wearing a 3/2 or a rash guard in early June. As a result, we have not been enjoying our normal thermals each afternoon. Instead we have been enduring  90 degree air, and 71 degree water temperatures.
While Friday's rain kept me out of the's cool Easterly made for a wonderful sail with Lauralee on Saturday.
On Sunday the breeze was light but had switched to WSW. I left my mooring at high tide, so every thing seemed right with the world. As I was sailing I saw more Bunker schools than I had ever seen in one area. Giant bait balls with fish jumping everywhere.  I thought something is forcing these  fish to the surface, ( must be Blues). There were so many visible dorsal fins , the schools looked like cat paws on the water. What I didn't get, was why the fishermen where ignoring these giant bait balls.
It wasn't till I sailed back to the bay that I understood. The bay was back to smelling like a sewer. I'm no scientist; but I've seen this before...reports of whales beaching in the Sound: dead Bunker lining the shoreline...Hypoxia. These fish were desperately gasping for air.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I’m afraid of the water

No I’m not afraid of sharks; like the well publicized Great White sightings in Chatham.

In fact, I was in the water in Chatham [where my parents happen to live] just a few weeks ago. I mean “come on” we have plenty of sharks in sharks in Long Island’s waters. I was actually bumped by a Tiger Shark while fishing a few years back. I was wading in Fire Island Inlet up to my waist, trying to cast into a bait ball. The shark was slow and graceful. I initially thought it was the shadow of one of those slow flying airplanes that pull the banner ads at the beach. But when that shadow bumped, or investigated me, it felt like someone dragged 50 grit sandpaper across my thigh.

 We see sharks more often in the Fall through Spring months. Probably because the water visibility is better. But I have no doubt there are out there. It’s there territory; their home; we are the visitors. To be honest with you, I am more afraid of a school of Bluefish. Now those guys will do some damage; first you have that tell-tail smell, then you see the Blitz, as they swim, mouths open, and bite anything. When they blow through a lineup chasing bait fish, you do not want to be in the water.

So what am I afraid of? The rain. More specifically downpours. And that seems to be the norm this year.
So why is that bad? Storm Run off.
The past decade’s Mc-Mansion craze, all the new black-top, and
bulkhead-ing of our island is a bad thing. Every time is rains, all the nitrogen rich fertilizer from our artificially green lawns, along with anything else out there, goes straight into the water.

The loss of the natural marshland to land fill means we have nothing to filter all that crap. Oh yea and I mean CRAP literally. Our sewage treatment facilities were built when the population of Long Island was about a third of what it is today. And that is even if you have a sewage treatment plant. Many communities still rely on “theoretical’ septic systems and leaching fields.

Water at Long Island beaches is experiencing increased bacteria counts. In 2011 and the state as a whole dropped five spots in a nationwide ranking of beach-water cleanliness. Stormwater runoff and sewage spills have dropped New York’s  ranking to 24 out of 30 states in the "Testing the Waters" report issued by the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council.

I was able to leave work early on Friday, but I was afraid to go in the water. Even the Ocean smelled like poop. This is really becoming a health risk. Many Bunker, Blues, and Striped Bass I have caught this year are showing signs of parasites.
The scariest in my opinion is mycobacteriosis. It is so bad the DEC recommends you only handle these fish wearing rubber gloves!

For more information; or to report signs of a diseased fish visit...

At least Massachusetts has issued a warning. Most States are not. “I assume” they are afraid of losing the revenue fishermen bring.

So I didn’t go windsurfing Friday in the pouring rain. I did give a Kite-surfer who was separated from his kite a ride. But shampooed the passenger seat after realizing he soaked it to the cushion. And on Saturday I feel good about my choice.
Nassau County officials announced 14 North Shore beaches are closed to bathers Saturday after heavy rainfall. Suffolk County officials issued
A beach advisory, warning residents to avoid bathing at 60 Suffolk County beaches.

We just don’t get it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My head in the bilge

So I spent the morning on my roof, doing the things like cleaning my gutters, that I should have done last Fall.

It’s been that kind of a week…Theoretically, I’m on vacation. Yet I am still driving my Assistant crazy. I have been trying for the last week or so to fill a customer’s request. His parameters are so restrictive; I might as well be at the office. But I‘m not.

Yesterday was spent upside down with my head in the bilge of Segue. When you own a 27 year old boat; electrical gremlins are to be expected. Segue’s bilge pump has been haunting me for decades.

Today I expected a typical North Westerly. It would start out hard, then blow itself out by noon. Sounds like a great day to get some work done, then have a nice afternoon sail and get some sun.
Only that isn’t what happened. The wind reports kept teasing me. The breeze would moderate; then pick up again.
I had to go Windsurfing. By the time I decided where to sail from it was 2:00 PM. By the time I reached the beach, it was 3:30. So I rigged the biggest sail I have [a 6.9] and my biggest board [a 125 ltr Sumo] and hit the water. It was one of those gusty days that you where over, or under-powered no mater what you rigged.

So thanks to Jim, the BlueHarborCat we have proof that I wasn’t slogging the whole time. [Thanks Jim].

Thursday, June 21, 2012

100 degrees in the shade.

I guess it is the first day of summer. 7:15 PM on my way home from work.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It’s 1984 all over again.

It’s 1984 all over again.
No I am not talking about fashion; though that is true. Teal, fuchsia and neon green do not belong on the human body. And I’m not talking about music; but I guess if they’re making “Rock of Ages” into a movie, that is true too.
I’m talking about The George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 kind of 1984.
Most of America still doesn’t realize how much of their Freedom and rights they gave away in the wake of 9/11’s Patriot Act. And because I can now be held indefinitely, and not formally charged with anything, simply because of some anonymous suspicion…we’re not going to talk about that today.
‘So what are we gonna’ listen to you rant about today?’... “Well, I’m glad you asked.”
I’m concerned about my governments’ and all other well intentioned peoples’ obsession with trying to protect me from myself. What is with you people? Can’t you just live and let live?

Apparently not.  I’m not saying I’m the most careful person on the planet, or that I’ve never been injured. In fact last summer I managed to fall and hurt myself so silly I was actually in a coma for two and one half days. And I did that in my own house. It was simple really…all I had to do was fall. It is a wonder that I have survived these last 50 years of life. The thing is; I would like to enjoy the rest of my years.
So please, don’t tell me I’m not allowed to drink sugared soda. I can’t stand diet soda. It tastes awful, and is filled with poison as a sugar substitute. Remember Saccharine? And I’m pretty sure Aspartame was never meant for human ingestion. Plus didn’t we go down this whole road before with the Butter > Margarine >Palm oil, back to Butter thing. Or Lard/Butter > Trans Fat, back to Butter again. Yea and Olestra; that was a good idea… I’m guessing we could all loose weight if we drank motor oil. What ever happened to everything in moderation, or exercise? Do you want to help me? Then pay for my gym membership, Acupuncture, and deep tissue Massage.
Next; please stop issuing me tickets for not wearing my helmet: or not wearing my PFD, [now there are some occasions that I do wear these by choice: my choice!]
And what is with the tickets for Surfing when the waves are big? “Yes officer, I understand it is a Hurricane swell, that’s why I am here.” Have you ever seen Teahupoo, Jaws, or Pipeline? This is not that big.
Windsurfing on windy days is just as bad. Could be a Hurricane, a Nor’Easter, or a blizzard.  “No Officer it is not that windy; I’m not even on my smallest sail.” Maybe I just need to move to the Gorge, Hatteras, or Maui? Every time I enter the water after December 15th and before May 31st, I risk a ticket or arrest. Enough already.
Let’s just agree that I am an adult: Physically anyway; so as long as I am not hurting anyone else leave me alone!

I just read you want to track the prescription anti-inflammatory and Painkillers I take, just because someone else abused them? I can assure you I will not be on Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab any time ever. Isn’t it already bad enough you keep track of how much pseudoephedrine I take? If I ever start a Meth Lab, I’ll let you know. Isn’t this like telling me I can’t drive because someone else broke the speed limit.
I just don’t get it. Hydro Fracking is OK? Dumping raw sewage in the ocean because no one wants to upgrade our sewage treatment plants? So we don't have the money? Wait, Didn’t NY just rebuild 3 major sports stadiums in the last 5 years? So what’s the excuse?

Better yet; what’s your excuse? Get involved. Make your voice heard! Is there windsurfing at Gitmo?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today is Commissioning down at the Yacht Club

 Today is Commissioning down at the Yacht Club. I will be absent.

The Moth Class represents every thing the Yacht Club scene does not.
No design constraints. Just build the fastest most innovative boats you can.

Just like the windsurfing that still exists today, Change the shape; the design; keep tweaking it, and see what happens.

No tradition; no blue blazers, no pecking order in status; no pecking order in the line up.

Moves like this ...where unthinkable.....................................when our equipment looked like this...

Mike Burns
myself by Richard J in 1980 something

myself, shot by Steve
The conditions we sail in today,,, were unimaginable on the gear we sailed in 1979.
So while windsurfing continues to make great leaps forward for the regular guy like me.

We lose ground when we try to be the Yacht Club racers we are not.The greatest example being that Windsurfing is no longer an Olympic Sport. And why not? The boards they race bear no resemblance at all to the boards my friends and I sail. And we are just regular guys.
We have families, hold "Real Jobs", and we just love the water.

Interestingly, we are actually gaining ground in our little corner of the sailing world.

For example after 35 years of wave sailing in the Ocean against NY State Parks rules. Windsurfing is finally allowed in the Ocean.

See the link bellow for details. 
George shot by Ted

 Friday, May 18, 2012
Subject: RE: Governor  Cuomo's office in cooperation with the NYS Parks announces additional beach access.

Effective June 1st, NYS PRHP will permit stand-up paddle board and windsurfing in designated surfing zones. Incremental progress is still progress. The Commission will monitor the expansion program. A successful program provides a strong argument for further consideration of expansion.
SURFING, paddle boarding and wind surfing oceanfront locations
          Jones Beach
·        The surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing area is open year-round at West End 2.  The area is located on the west side of the beachfront, avoiding protected species.
·        Off-season surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are permitted at all open parking fields from October 16th thru May 14th
·        In-season surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are permitted west of Field 2 from June 1st thru October 15th.
·        Surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are permitted beyond 100 feet east of Field 6 picnic area year-round.
·        Surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are permitted at the west end boat basin.
·        Surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are permitted at Field 10.
Montauk State Parks Complex
·        Surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are open year-round from sunrise to sunset at Shadmoor and Hither Hills (outside bathing area).
·        Surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing area at Montauk Point State Park is open December 15th thru March 31st from sunrise to sunset.
Robert Moses
·        In-season, surfing, paddle boarding, and wind surfing area is located on the west side of each open field beyond the lifeguard protected bathing areas. (closed fields)  Including Democrat Point west of jetty.
·        During the off-season, surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are authorized within Fields 2, 3 and 4 by permit only when fields are closed.  Effective dates are September 15th thru December 31st daylight hours only.  Field 5 surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing are authorized year-round on the west side.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spring 2012

Let's start you off with Long Island's own Mike B. and Jon S! Watching these two sail almost makes me embarrassed to admit how long I have been sailing. If watching Mike and Jon sail doesn't create new Windsurfers...I don't what will.

Let me start this off by saying YES, I LOVE WINDSURFING.
But windsurfing suffered a few injuries this year…

First we lost the last US National Windsurfing magazine. [We still have Canadian, Windsport Magazine, and the newspaper like New EnglandWindsurfing Journal]
This week we lost the Olympics to Kite Boarding.

So there has been a lot of talk about bringing new people into the ranks of Windsurfing.
I don’t care how many friends you teach.
It will not work without the support of the windsurfing industry.

In the 80’s and early 90’s I worked at a local windsurfing shop. We taught roughly 20 people a week to windsurf. [Now we were talking light wind longboard windsurfing.] We sold at least 12 new board setups a month; sometimes 20 or more! All of them light wind Long Boards.

Then the industry shot itself in the foot. The manufacturers demanded retailers buy for inventory a certain number of shortboards for every Longboard they would ship us.
THEN THE INDUSTRY SHOT ITSELF IN THE HEAD, as it continues to do, even today.
They started coming out with model years. Just like cars.

I’m sorry; does anyone here know what year their kayak is? Their bicycle?  Golf Clubs? Baseball Bat, Mitt? Barbeque, lawn furniture, .bathing suit, skateboard, Sneakers? Their Surfboard? Does it mater?

Well I can sure tell you what year my Windsurfing gear is. Each Board; and each Sail.

Why don’t Manufactures just upgrade to new models as innovation dictates?
The way the industry is structured now; I pay $X if I buy a current years Board, or $X/2 [a 50% discount], if I buy last year’s version of the exact same thing.

Let’s use Randy French as an example; [And his gear was great!]  …why doesn’t he make windsurfers any more? Well if you just buy license to a number of successful surfboard shapes and make exact copies over and over again…well you do the math. No retooling every year, and you’re building something with a consistent demand.
Now your dealers can count on a consistent profit margin; and you can still build a small amount of cutting edge boards if you wish.

That troubles me is that a 16 year old has no way of getting his windsurfing gear to the beach; unless he has the equivalent of a “soccer Mom”. When I was that age, one of the boatyards on the bay kept a shipping container on the beach. We would pay modest rent to keep our boards there. Those type of properties no longer exist on my bay. It’s all McMansions, or high end Yacht Clubs. And forget the ocean; it’s a half hour drive. How do you do that  if you are 12?

So, how do we save our sport? It’s a tough question. Windsurfing has a steep learning curve, is not simple, and requires a ton of gear. [a van full of gear does NOT look inviting for someone just starting out.]
My prescriptions…

Range, and simplicity:  My sailboat was designed 150 years ago, and it sails well in 5 to 105 knots.

Then maybe we can create the next generation of wind junkies.

Meanwhile…I launched Segue yesterday. I have been sailing her since 1986.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy whatever it is you are celebrating!

We are all attracted to speed. At least initially, it is the sensation that draws us to Windsurfing. There was a time when my quiver was made up of  fast parallel railed speed boards, and  7 batten , 5 camber speed sails. It was fast, but virtually imposable to jibe.

My quiver is more geared towards control, and waves today. You could call it more user friendly. So while I might not search out flat water speed locations…speed has one thing going for it. Sustainability; While that wave ride might actually last a few seconds… you can go fast for minutes.

Next up; The King of Stoke Iggy is back. Launching from Da Bronx. To a song used about guys from Queens. I see he is on some new sails, but still using a 25 year old board, and making it look like it just came out of some Maui shaper’s room yesterday.
Plus, if you have seen my films; they are all from the same POV. Iggy has come up with some really cool and innovative GoPro mounts.

And last but not least... the former Whitbread now Volvo guys, It's amazing what a couple million Euros can buy ya'.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I am so glad that this kind of craftsmanship still is alive and well in the US.

 Please go to
Rockport Marine's blog for the full story.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Local boy does it again

Well done Mike.

nothing                            Photo by John Dunn

Source: Times Beacon Record Media

Part II: Hail Aeolus, Greek god of wind

by Eileen Gerle

March 08, 2012

In my last article, I wrote about the Aeolian forces that shape the shore and impact the maritime landscape, but I could not write an article about wind at West Meadow Beach without mention of the many windsurfers and kiteboarders who frequent here. So one windy morning I headed out to the parking lot where I found Mike Burns of Port Jefferson Station, suited up and getting ready to hit the surf. I asked Mike if he would mind being interviewed. He was not only agreeable, but a pleasure to talk with.

Mike started windsurfing at the age of 14 when his aunt and uncle taught him the ropes. Mike is now a pro windsurfer and has been an enthusiast of the sport for the last 20 years. He has windsurfed across the U.S. and the Caribbean, but his favorite place to do so is, you guessed it, West Meadow Beach. To be able to wind surf here is why Mike moved to the area from the South Shore. "Being in Oakdale just didn't allow me the time to make it to West Meadow as often as I can now," he said.

I learned from Mike that there are two methods of windsurfing: riding the waves and freestyle. The best conditions for riding the waves are high tide and winds of between 18 and 40 knots. Freestyle, or doing tricks, such as a funnel or shaka, are most easily performed at low tide. Spend several hours at West Meadow on a windy day and you can do both, since the many sandbars make for really shallow water at low tide. In addition, the winds here are typically onshore, another plus, as one doesn't have to worry about being pushed offshore and looking for a ride home from Connecticut.

Interested in taking advantage of this local natural recreational resource? For as little as $500 (or as much as ten times that), you can secure the equipment needed to get started. Beyond that, Mike had some valuable tips for newbies. First and foremost — get a lesson. Hampton Water Sports and the Smithtown Recreation Center offer lessons. Also, check out the local forum online: Additionally, be sure not to miss the annual East Coast Windsurfing Festival, held every June at Heckscher State Park, where you can meet some nice folks and maybe score some used gear. And girls, windsurfing may be a male dominated sport, by 10 to one according to Mike, but don't let that intimidate you. What women lack in muscle, they can make up for in technique. Mike has already had his 5-year-old daughter on a board.

I asked Mike if one day stands out in his mind as epic, and he said that any day windsurfing is a good day. However, being out there during recent Tropical Storm Irene stands out as being the most awesome day yet. I'm no windsurfer, but if you are just starting out, I would suggest leaving the stormy surf to the big guns like Mike. There are plenty of windy days here at West Meadow Beach.

Eileen Gerle is Brookhaven Town's ranger and environmental educator for West Meadow Beach.