Monday, September 29, 2008

Finally, some clean, windless surf!!

Well, the wind finally died. The final count was 16 sessions in 12 straight days! What a solid batch of NE wind! The last session took place in the Cove, as the wind backed off and started to veer more East. It was super light out there. I had to throw my gear over the shore break and swim out past the inside section. A sketchy uphaul feet from the impact zone got me moving and out past the break. Once out there it was pretty easy to position myself for the sets. Stuart was the only other guy to make it out. We both caught a few waves and called it a day as the tide filled in.

All that wind left us with one heck of a swell! It finally started to clean up after two days of light wind. Drew, Kevin, George and I surfed down in Frisco Saturday evening. There were some macking sets rolling through, doubling up and exploding on the bar. It was tricky, to say the least, and my confidence wasn't very high after a seemingly endless 20 minute paddle out. But the sunset was awesome, the water was glassy, and the waves were firing so it was a great session.

All photos by Anne:

Old Lighthouse Beach Overwash

The 20 minute, 30 yard paddle out...


Perfect Sunset

And last night, Sunday, we all went and surfed up north in Rodanthe with the light SW wind being offshore up there. It was one heck of a session, with these huge sneaker sets rolling through. One set in particular, we were all grouped up, saw it on the horizon and started scratching for the outside. The first one wasn't excessively huge, so we all made it under just fine. The next one, though, was just this huge macker! The lip started to fire off just to the left of me, and as I duck dove, the whole thing just exploded on my heel. I was far enough under to get pulled through to the outside just fine, though. Drew, on the other hand, had the lip land basically square on his back. He lost hold of his board while getting thrashed around under water, and there was so much tension that it ripped his leash right off his ankle! I've never seen that happen before... To say the least, his eyes were HUGE when he finally surfaced! All's well that ends well, though...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Feeling Worked!

15 windsurfing sessions in 11 straight days has me just about worn out!! We've seen everything from 5.7m wave schlogs to holding on for dear life on a 4.2m at the Hole. Cloudless sunshine, to dumping rain with lightning and thunder. We've seen clear roads turn to rivers of saltwater and sand gushing across the Route 12 lifeline. At the moment, we're stranded by overwash at Pea Island, and high winds have shut the ferries down. The only way off the island is to windsurf across the Pamlico Sound to Stumpy Point : )

Here's a few pictures from the other day, down on the South side. George took a few minutes out of the action to snap 'em off! Thanks, George! For more complete, day by day reports of the Hatteras Wave Fest action, check out George's blog, live2sail.

I'm driving down the line

Under the lip

Stuart smacking one

and sneaking out past a meaty one!

Ken on a nice one!

Gouge!

Stuart lining up on a nice one!

More action to come, I'm sure! There's more wind in the forecast (although it's not the most trustworthy direction). If we can get to the Cove, and if the East wind materializes, we'll have unreal conditions to run the Wave Fest contest!! But that's a lot of "ifs"........

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hatteras Wave Fest Perfection!

The whole idea of the Hatteras Wave Fest is to get newbies out into the Atlantic Ocean, pushing their windsurfing limits. The last few days have provided perfect conditions for these guys and gals. We've been sailing down on the south side, in moderate side-offshore winds, and clean, crumbly, long wrap around swell. The better waves have been about shoulder or head high, and peeling left down the beach, providing two or three good sections for a few turns. They've been really crumbly off the top, making for a good confidence boosting experience.

Long, Crumbly Lines (Anne Photo)

Wave Fest participants Anne, Bill, George, Keith, and Ken have been taking advantage of the prime conditions the last few days. We've all been sailing our butts off, so I don't have too many pictures to share. Anne snapped off a few photos yesterday morning. Enjoy!

Ken lining one up!

I'm dropping in...

and cutting back!


Bill on a nice one!

Some of them linked up all the way in to the shorebreak. Don't forget to kick out!

George has a great report, with more pics and some video here.

I'm also happy to report that the Wave Fest Clinic, hosted by Sailworld Cape Hatteras went very well on Saturday night. We had a decent turnout, with over 20 attendees. I'm very grateful to Bill, Keith, and Donny for all their input during the clinic! You guys made my life a lot easier! And everyone was stoked for the swag from our sponsors: Dakine, Maui Sails, Quatro, and Go-Pro! Gooood stuff!!

Looking ahead, our forecast is OFF THE CHARTS!! It'll either be insanely epic conditions, or completely un-sailable. Take your pick, based on your own sense of rational thought... I will say that if you want to be here, you better come now, because the road will probably get washed out in a few days!! Good thing I don't have to go anywhere : )

Friday, September 19, 2008

Solid Northerlies are Barraging the Beach!!!

Wave Fest is HERE!!! And we are scoring some awesome conditions! Today is the 4th day in a row of solid Northerlies. 5.0 every day, maybe 4.2 for this evening's session!

The wind direction makes a huge difference around here. The first three days of the blow were basically due North, which is side/side off on the East facing beaches, and straight offshore on the South beaches. With no tropical swell affecting us at the moment, the ocean remained relatively flat. Which is great for the beginner wave sailors that Wave Fest was designed for!

The East Point Scene (photo Anne)

We all sailed at East Point on Thursday afternoon. It was solid 4.5 to 5.0 conditions, with about a waist high windswell to contend with. For as much wind as there was, this was about as easy as it gets around here! Perfect for the Newbies! There was a bit of current to contend with, but nothing terrible. Keith did a great job making sure everyone knew what to look out for, and we all worked together to get everyone in the water ripping. It was a great session that produced a lot of very happy windsurfers!! Good confidence booster for everyone.

George put up a bunch of great pictures of this session here!!

Keith gives a few pointers to Dale and Ken

Straight from 1st Grade to the Beach!! Anne gets ready to rig up!

The East Point session was Anne's first real ocean sailing experience, which is the whole point of Wave Fest. She did great out there, sailed with confidence, and got completely worked by the one big set of the whole day! But she came up smiling, didn't break anything, and made it back to the beach in one piece! Nice job!! Other Wave Fest sailors included Keith, Bill, George, Ken, Dale, Donny, Martine, Dave, and me. You can learn who all these people are here.

Today, on the other hand, has switched just touch more NE. Suddenly, the East beaches are huge and out of control, which means that it's time for the South side! Aww yeah! NE is about off-side-offshore down at Isabel's. The waves were wrapping around from the East beaches, with a very defined swell, about chest to head high on the good ones. Very fun swell size! It was classic Isabel's, with virtually no wind on the inside, a bit of current to contend with, and the reward being 3, 4, 5 bottom turn reeling left handers. Frisco George, Live2Sail George, and Ken K met me down there and rigged up for a fairly challenging session. I'm happy to report that everyone made it out (eventually) and back in to the beach in one piece and without breaking anything, which is just about all you can ask for in those conditions! Great stuff, and smiles all around, again!!

Regular Hatteras visitor John Reid came out to the beach this morning and shot off a few pictures of me sailing Isabel's. Thanks so much John!!

It wasn't all peaches and cream...

But sometimes it was : )

Fun fun fun!

Throwing some spray, only a little bit out of control!!

Right now, most everyone headed down to Ocracoke for the afternoon to catch the mellower wave rides the North end provides. I'm sure they're having the time of their lives, in what could be considered some halfway epic conditions!! Suuhweeet!

There's still time to sign up for Wave Fest, if you've been procrastinating. The forecast looks unreal, with 20 to 30+ mph NE winds forecasted for the next 7 days!!! Unreal!! The clinic is tomorrow night (Saturday), 7PM, at Sailworld Hatteras. Come on down and join us!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finally...

The wind has returned! Apparently, the whole East Coast was hit with a few days worth of breeze. Nice, it's finally starting to feel a bit like Fall!

I got out for a dawn session Monday morning. Perfect freestyle conditions, on a lightly powered 5.7 and 108 liter board. Those are very fun, mellow conditions to throw your rig around in. The crashes aren't too nasty (usually), as opposed to trying stuff when it's blowing 4.2... That was lucky for me, too, because I was feeling RUSTY! It's been awhile!!

Anyway, I propped a video camera up on my tailgate and hit "record." This is what I came up with:

Enjoy!




As I wait for this video to upload, I'm noticing that the wind meters are boosting! Solid Northerlies are starting to blow, gusting up to about 30.... We're forecasted to have a very windy week, so come on down!! If you can't make it, then tune in for the reports in a few days!

Alright, this thing is taking forever to upload... so here are some pictures that I took last night, down at the Canadian Hole:




Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pier Walk, and the August Wrap-Up

Anne and I spent some time on the Avon Pier last night. There were lots of fishermen out there, pulling in bluefish and spanish mackerel. I was pretty mesmerized by the (almost) full moon rising, and the little swell lines coming across the ocean. It was a great place to catch the sunset and chill out for an hour. I took a few pictures, so enjoy!

Full(ish) Moon


Yes, I can levitate.


For my Patriotic Readers


Flashlight Wars


Looks like I haven't done a August Wrap-Up yet. So here it is, by the numbers:

5 windsurfing sessions (5.7 x4, 5.0 x1)
32 surf sessions!! (2 SUP, the rest prone)
4 rest days
0 days in a wetsuit!

So, August sucked for wind (but it always does, so that's no surprise). More importantly, we had waves! And LOTS of them!!! Gooood stuff!! Now that September's rolling by, I'm really looking forward to Fall. The water stays warm, the waves only get better, and we should start seeing some fronts pushing through any day now, signaling the return of the wind!!

I wonder if I'll remember how to windsurf by the time WaveFest rolls around?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Out of the Army, and In to the Atlantic!!

There hasn't been too much going on the last few days. We've had a fun little longboard wave to play with, and virtually no wind to speak of, so it's been pretty glassy and clean. My buddy Alex just got out of the Army, so he decided to come down to the beach and hang out for a few days. He's just getting into surfing, so the conditions suited him just fine!

Alex and Anne, waiting for a set

Alex has this funny hybrid board. It looks like a rockered out mini longboard, with a thruster fin set up. It's really wide, but very thin. Odd duck. Looks like it'd be fun on a bigger wave than we had... So I put him on the Kalama 11'6" SUP. It took him about 5 minutes to get the thing dialed in. By the end of the sesh, he was connecting rides all the way to the inside shorebreak section! Sweet!

Alex Getting his "Sea Legs"

And driving down the line, 5 minutes later!

We had the beach all to ourselves, until this big group of people on horses came trotting on by. I thought it was interesting to see the two modes of transportation side by side. I'm pretty darned sure the environmental footprint of a truck is bigger than that of a horse. But my truck didn't leave any huge piles of steaming crap on the beach, like the horses did!

Centuries old vs one month old transportation!

In other news, the Hatteras WaveFest 2008 starts in just about a week, with a clinic being held at Sailworld Cape Hatteras. We've got tons of swag to give away, and a brand new sail to raffle off at the clinic (not to mention the invaluable techniques and advice you'll learn)! So sign up, and swing on by the shop!!

Speaking of the shop, it's getting on towards closeout time of the year!! If you're coming down to Hatteras this fall, and have any specific items on your wish list, give us a call {(252)995-5441} to make sure we've got what you're looking for. We can get virtually anything under the sun, as long as you give us enough lead time (at least 2 weeks is preferable). See ya soon, I'll have your new stick waiting for you when you arrive!! : )

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ra-chesta, Noo Yawuk

This has been the summer of committed weekends for me. I've been off-island for more weekend trips this summer than in the last 8 years combined. Not that I'm complaining, because every one of those events has been well worth the effort of getting there. Including this last weekend, which I spent in Rochester, NY for my friend Chad's wedding. He's also known as "Chaeyud" in the local dialect.

This ain't Hatteras! The View from our 25th story hotel room! My ears popped on exiting the elevator...

It was an all out affair, so I did some self grooming, and put on a tuxedo for the first time in almost a decade! We had a blast, dining, dancing, and generally partying it up for a few days with some buddies from the good ol' days! It was a really fun weekend!

All Cleaned Up, and ready to rock and roll!

While driving home, Anne and I noticed these huge ugly wind mills on a hill top. I can't believe how much they disrupted the otherwise pristine view. Doesn't whoever put them up know that there's probably at least a few weeks worth of coal underneath that mountain? If they were to cut that hill top wide open and pull out all the natural resources, the local kids would end up with a sweet swimming hole to cliff jump into.


Sometimes sarcasm is hard to infer in print form, so I'll just go ahead and tell ya: The last paragraph was meant to be sarcastic. I actually enjoy seeing wind farms. I think they're a relatively clean, low impact energy source. Concerning the manipulation of the landscape "argument", well, I think they're majestic looking. I'd much rather see a wind farm than a huge steam cloud pouring out of a monstrous nuclear reactor, or smoke puffing out of a coal or wood powered energy plant. Seriously, smoke and steam are visible from dozens of miles away, even over the horizon from the original source. Wind farms, on the other hand, well, you pretty much have to squint to see a windmill from more than 2 miles away, even on a clear day...

Anyway, Pete DeKay nailed it perfectly with his Summer 2008 Windsport editorial. The first sentence reads: "Don't you love it when your best friend schedules his wedding for "Big Saturday," the windiest day of the summer?" I'm sure you've all seen the local Hatteras coverage of Tropical Storm Hanna, but if you haven't, check out Bill and George's reports. Looks like I missed a pretty sweet Cove day, some high wind Canadian Hole blasting, and a meaty Lifeguard Beach session... So, if you were here and caught it, I'm currently accepting Thank You notes for being the official Tropical Storm Hanna Hatteras Wind Sacrifice...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hanna, Days 3 and 4

Long, clean lines! (Anne pic)

Surf, surf, and more surf! Nothing huge the last few days, but a whole lot of fun. Light north winds created offshore and clean wave conditions across the South side of Hatteras Island all day Tuesday! I was lucky enough to snag two solid sessions, one at dawn and another at dusk. I used my 5'8" fish in the morning. Drew called in a report of longboard conditions for the evening sesh, so I grabbed a 10'2" from the shop. Funny to be on such different boards, all in the same day! Funny thing is, they both work great in similar conditions...

That 10'2" drives pretty well (Anne pic)

What a way to end the day!

Unfortunately, Drew got injured out there. He took a 25 pound SUP to the groin. Yikes!! The impact was about 3" to the left of being DEVASTATING... So it's good and bad at the same time. He chilled on the beach and shot some pics and video while the rest of us enjoyed the evening. Here's a short clip of one of my waves from last night:

video

This morning, Wednesday, the wind switched to a very light west. That's side shore on the south side, and straight offshore on the East beaches. Stuart called and said the Buxton beaches were looking a little weak, so we decided to hit the south beaches up for a dawn sesh. It was a little choppy, but there were some great waves rolling in, setting up for some really long rides. Good stuff!!

Stuart setting up for a long left!

We also surfed in Buxton, super clean, but a bit warbly. We've got a bunch of video and more pictures to sort through, so check back in a few days for the meat and potatoes of the story!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Love Hurricane Hanna

...at least for now. We'll see how I feel about her in a few days when she makes landfall... In the meantime, she's been pumping us some really fun waves! The South side has been lit up with overhead sets for the last 2 days. I got some great surfing in yesterday, including one of the longest lefts of my life! This thing just kept opening up for me, section after section after section... This, however, is what most of 'em looked like:

Unknown on a sectiony one

This morning (Monday), the wind picked up just enough to do a schlog session. I caught up with Stuart just as he set out at the Lighthouse. It was chock full of lumpy bombs that were basically breaking right up onto the beach. Gnarly, especially for how light the wind was. But he made it out (eventually), and caught one good wave. Here's the sequence in it's entirety:Shorebreak? Nah, whatever...

Looked a little like death on a stick to me, so Keith, Martine and I started a South Side reconnaissance mission. We ended up down on Ocracoke, after seeing reeling left hand barrels and NO wind at Isabels. Somehow, we lucked out and jumped right on the ferry, with no wait whatsoever (which is pretty much the only reason we went. A long line is a major deterrent for me).


I'm always amazed at how playful the Ocracoke wave is, no matter how big it gets. Today, the sets were a bit overhead, and standing up way outside, with a tiny bit of fizzle off the top all the way in to the inside section, where they would detonate. Super fun, and lined up for 5, 6, 7 bottom turns on the good ones! Very fun schlog sesh!

Keith lining one upLong Lines (Keith pic)No Wind (Keith Pic)

Bill showed up just as the wind really lightened up, he took a few passes, and then we all went surfing for the rest of the afternoon. Killer day down in Ocracoke! I'm exhausted right now, with more surf on the horizon, pretty much indefinitely at this point! Awww yeah! See ya out there!!