Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Tower Road Crew Hits Up Assateague

Friday-July 31st 2009
Assateague was firing. I knew the forecast looked good, but I'd choosen to take monday off that week, so I missed that Friday. I was stoked to hear that a couple of Tower Road regulars had experienced this fabulous venue for the first time.

Bob Ramsey (a.k.a The "Zamboni") and Andy Pierce are good friends of mine, and I've been encouraging them to come down to sail this spot. By all accounts, they were super stoked on the session! Congrats guys, hope to see ya'll there the next time it blows.

Here is the write up or the experience fron Andy:

Bob and I scored our first ever Assateague ocean session and it was incredible. After reading George's blog and viewing the awesome wave sailing pictures, we were inspired to try the island. We were greatly rewarded for expanding our normal sailing routine. We arrived in the AM to an overcast and humid ocean side with light SW side off conditions. We decided to try the bayside and found it was blowing a steady twenty onshore with whitecaps. My first inclination was to sail it immediately, remembering the old adage, never leave good wind. Just as we were getting ready to rig, we were attacked by mosquitos and had to leave the bay. Back at the ocean we waited for the ocean breeze to pick up.

Bob Ramsey heading out

Around noon it was still SW and appeared doable, so we rigged and waded into the shorebreak. I remembered George's advice to time the waves and get out as fast as possible. It was a challenge in the whitewater. Once up, we founded ourselves bobbing in huge swells with little wind. We keep going to the outside only to discover even less wind. We were glad we had taken floaty boards as we made slow motion jibes to return. On the return, my eyes were suddenly rewarded with the amazing view of the far away coastline and the rolling waves heading towards the shore.

Andy Pierce

All my life, I viewed the waves face on and never saw the waves and shore from this perspective. It was beautiful and I thought most people never get to see this. We soon realized we were in the midst of a big wind shift which were now going SE and freshening. We found the wind line and coupled with the extra push from the massive swells were able to get planning. Pure exhilaration now as we S-turned in the huge swells on our way back in. The ocean terrain was spectacular, best described as 3-dimensional. As we approached the beach and the breaking waves from behind, we suddenly realized you had to come up with a game plan to actually ride down a waveface and jibe on the smooth inside. We managed to pull this off and headed back out again. After conquering this fear, we began to get more comfortable and did this over and over again for several hours. The day only got sunnier and nicer as it went on and now we are hooked on ocean sailing. Glad those mosquitos chased us away to try the ocean.

The Zamboni in full glory

Thanks George, for encouraging us to push our sailing further.

Great job guys, very inspiring! Next step for you guys is to purchase and ORV pass so you can drive out onto the beach so as to avoid the crowds.

Cya in the straps.



Bill said...

Awesome post George! Great to see more newcomers experience the Atlantic side fun, especially in the relative calm of summer!

Janis Markopoulos said...

Bob and Andy! Woohoo! Welcome to Assateague!. Time to get your beach vehicle pass.

Ken K said...

Welcome to "3-D" sailing! It can be intimidating at times but the rewards are awesome.

See you out there!

George Markopoulos said...

hey guys, I honestly believe the weaker of our kind fall to tea bagging because they never push the envelope, in search of different venues, conditions. Now that you've been bitten, I don't think we need to worry about losing ya'll to kiting.

Andy said...

I love the description of looking back at the beach... True in so many ways... How many people purposely venture out into the ocean when it gets all gnarly? Not many... Little do they know, they're missing rainbows from spray off of waves, your buddy's fins breaking loose as he rips a top turn, the sound of rain as his spray splashes down... Can't even describe it...

Welcome to the club :)