Today definately surpasses my previously heaviest day ever on the water, the epic New Years Eve Sesh from last year. My pal Stan and I sailed from about 11.45 to just after 2. Ironic that the meter went down almost for the entire sesh. You'll have to take my word for it, it was sick! In fact this storm is stronger than some of the tropical systems I've sailed.
When we pulled up, it looked reasonably sane. I mean look at this pic, you can't really tell its averaging in the 40s gusting into the 50s.
Its strange, I've seen much heavier shorebreak here, in much less wind. What made it difficult today was simply the wind strength and not having a sail small enough. Having said that, getting out wasn't that tough. What WAS tough was staying out. Just SOOO windy...
Here are some observations I’ve reflected on since coming off the water:
• Jumpin in conditions like this is a close as you can get to a zero gravity situation so close to the earth. In that much wind, you almost levitate in the air.
• Landings in that kind of wind is sooo soft. Its really amazing. I mean you’re up there, I don’t know how high, and you think oh boy, this isn’t gonna turn out good, and then the landing is so soft.
• When its averaging in the 40s, what ordinarily would be a 6-7 foot jump becomes a 15-20 footer, Wohoo!
• When its this windy, I think goggles would be extremely helpful. A lot of the time I could hardly see cuz the liquid smoke got into my eyes. Yeah, its disconcerting to have to let go of the boom to rub your eyes! I've seen those big 'ole goggles Dana wears, but i've never been able to find a similar pair. Dana, can you drop me an email and let me know where i can find a pair?
• When its blowing over 40, a 77ltr board, 8.25 cm fin, and 3.6 is way too big. We would have been powered on much smaller stuff.
• You can’t really wear winter time mittens in these conditions, you’ll fatigue in like five minutes. No worries, the water is still very warm.
• It IS possible to get comfortable out there in that kinda of wind and have fun. When I first hit the water, I thought there was no way I’d beable to keep the board on the water. But after getting out, I was able to get reasonably comfortable out there. Don’t get me wrong, it was very intense, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t have rather enjoyed a nice dialed 4.5 day. But its all good right, and was an experience I’ll never turn down. Good training as well, setting me up to really rip in the lighter 30-40 knot days.
After the sesh, I really kooked it up in the parking lot. I was unrigging on the leeward side of my truck. As I was sliding the mast out of the luff sleeve, the wind ripped the sail off the final 3 feet or so of the mast. The sail goes flying across the parking lot, and this fool all clad in rubber goes chasing after it. I’m sure the tourists who’d been watching thought I was a complete moron. Lol. I’m darn lucky I caught up with that sail. Phew. :)
Most of the ocean access spots were closed today. In fact, the ocean was breaching the dunes in several places along route one down by Key Box and Indian River Inlet, sand and foam blowing across the road. Wild stuff
ps-more on tap for tomorrow and saturday. Apparently this storm is just gonna park it self out there, extraordinary and not something that happens very often. Hopefully the ocean will calm down and we can get out in the ocean and ride some big waves. Assateague on satuday and sunday should still have pretty decent size surf, with a more manageable 20 knots. Niko, get your a$$ out here. On top of that, some of my Hatteras pose outta consider comin up this way. I've got lots of space and you can crash at my place. Bill? Andy? Keith? Come on man!
pss-watching the news, i love it how when the report on the storm, they warn you that its not a good day to go in the water. Hahahaha. riiiiiiiiiight.
cya out there..