Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope you have a great day today. Can't wait to see you guys over Thanksgiving dinner!

I can't let you get away unscathed, Dad, so I'm going to show everyone a short video of you and Mom tearing up the dance floor last spring. Looks like you've still got it!


video

While that's loading up, let me tell y'all about how good the surf has been the last few days! We've had pretty glassy conditions out there, and two straight days of perfect longboard waves. Think Malibu, but going left. Super fun (Thanks for the call, Dan)! This morning, everything switched around and intensified a bit, so we took out the shortboards and caught some really long, fun rights. The lefts were still working, too, but they were a lot shorter and steeper. Drew and I just finished up a drift session, we went from the Motels down to about D's Spot, and caught countless waves. What a way to start the day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saving a Sailboat. Take 2.

So, pulling the beached 50' sailboat back into the water didn't work. It survived the last batch of NW wind and solid NE swell, but got pushed another 20 feet up towards the dunes. The steering mechanisms are now completely shot, so now the plan is to tow it off the beach on dry land. Apparently, the owner can't afford the process, so he had to sign ownership of the boat over to the towing company. Kind of a bummer, but hey, it's a lesson learned. They don't call it the Graveyard of the Atlantic for nothing... I'd say he got off pretty easy, as he's still living...

They brought out the big rigs

And Mr Fixit showed up to help!

They created an I-Beam frame

Luckily the beach is wide and flat right now!

It's still on the beach, but down towards Ramp 38 now. I guess they have to step the masts and get it "road ready" before they tow it down the highway. Hopefully they can get her seaworthy again, and maybe she'll have better luck the next time around!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chilly Wave Sailing...

A bit of a chill has set over Hatteras Island the last few days! Not to worry though, it looks like mid 60s again by Monday afternoon... A little cold snap has never kept me from having fun, though, so it's been a heck of a few days!! Thursday was decision day, the question being between windsurfing perfect 5.7 slick conditions, or surfing super clean head high groundswell... Considering how much windsurfing we've been doing, the surf conditions won the battle for my limited amount of free time... Man, it felt good to paddle around for a bit! There's nothing quite like laying into a bottom turn in silky smooth water! Sorry, no pictures, but it was very pretty out there!

The wind kicked back in, NW all day Friday and this morning. I broke out the thick suit and DaKine mittens again to fend off the chill. Oh, and the portable hot tub, too : ) The puddles were frozen this morning, and the thermometers were reading 33 Fahrenheit... Perfect windsurfing weather! Anne came out to Ramp 34 with me, mostly I think to make sure I didn't kill myself... She's the voice of reason balancing out my inner windsurfing demon : )

It ended up being a killer session (but short, about 30 minutes before the wind backed off). The waves were perfect, peeling left at waist to shoulder high, and super easy to read. If we had conditions like this during Wavefest, but 30 degrees warmer, everyone would have gone pro by the end of the festival! Every pass offered up a great ramp on the way out, and a 3 to 4 bottom turn wave on the way in. I got in one of my best port tack forwards yet, virtually planed out of the thing with a totally dry landing! The very next run out, a perfect backloop ramp popped up in front of me, and I took it for all it was worth! Before I left the house this morning, I was looking at Jonas Cebalos' page. He just posted up a huge backloop sequence, where he apexes, and then floats down and at the very last second completes the rotation and noses in. Lately, I've been trying to rotate at the apex, and usually over-rotate on the way down, so this morning I tried to change it up a bit, Jonas Style! What a difference! I nosed in and landed standing, but couldn't hold onto the boom with my cold hands! Stoked on the progress!

Anyway, Anne snapped off a few pictures before her fingers got too cold to hold the camera! Thanks for keeping an eye on me!!

She thought my pre-game get up was humourous, mainly the socks...

Powered up right off the beach

Long shoulder high waves... FUN!

Well, if you've read this far, you deserve to know that we're jumpstarting the Black Friday Thanksgiving Sale at Sailworld! Killer prices are available on anything left in the shop, starting today! Availability is very limited, so if you're looking for anything, give us a call or swing on by! Actually, the Thanksgiving week forecast looks incredible right now, with 20+ knot winds every day starting Monday, and ending... well, never... So jump in the car and come on down!! : )

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Slick, slick, slickety slick!!

**Update** Please answer the new poll, in the right hand column. Thanks, hope to see you!!

Oh, I'm stoked right now! We've had a ton of wind over the last few days! I took a rest day on Monday, but could have surfed some really fun waist to chest high, super clean waves. Then the NW wind hit on Tuesday... Stuart and I have been hitting up the Buxton Slick, every free moment! And I'll tell you what, the confidence is building fast!! Stuart's starting to sail out of clean Spock 540s, and I nailed my first Grubby yesterday!! It's amazing what consistent, clean conditions do for your progression!

The other thing I'm amped up about is getting to wear my thick wetsuit! Man I love that thing! It's a 6/5/4 Billabong surf suit with a built in hood. Even though the temps were in the 40s yesterday, and 35 this morning, the suit felt a bit like overkill... but it's sooo comfortable... It feels like a giant, supportive but stretchy Ace bandage wrapped around my whole body. It's probably what gave me the confidence to hit the Grubby!!

Shot some more video... Enjoy!!



Oh yeah: Wind wise, it's been cranking! Sailed 5.0 yesterday AM, then lit up 4.2 in the evening! And more 5.0 this morning, but it's been slowly fading all day here. Tomorrow looks like another perfect slick day, more westerly and a bit warmer, and then it's supposed to light up again this weekend!!! Unbelievable this Fall!! You've got to get here, if you're thinking about calling it quits for the season!! Actually, this morning was by far the coldest it gets here, all winter long, so if you sailed today, you can make it all year here!

Anyway, this picture was taken after derigging my 4.2 last night. Gotta love it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Beached Boats and Blustery Breeze

***Update*** I just uploaded the Buxton Slick video, it's at the bottom of this post...

****Update #2**** The Island Free Press has posted an informative news item about the beached sailboat, here. Apparently, this isn't the first time this boat has been in trouble...

Big news in Avon this weekend! Some fella from up North ran his 50 foot sailboat aground across the street from the Food Lion. Rumor is, he went below deck and mistakenly fell asleep while underway... Doh! No one got hurt, and his boat seems kinda OK, so everyone's just laughing about the whole thing. He's pretty lucky that the swell isn't very big right now, and that he missed the Pier (by about a half a mile). Word is, they're going to try to pull him out tomorrow morning at high tide. I wish them luck, because if they fail, there's another big blow forecasted for Tuesday and Wednesday.... Drew has some great pics from last night's rescue mission here.

Nino's delivered a Pizza to him!

High and Dry!

Might as well clean the hull while she's dry docked...?!?!

It's been a super windy weekend! It cranked out of the South all day yesterday, with temps in the 70s and occasional showers. I snagged a dawn and sunset session, both of which were kinda lame performances on my part. I was up way too late Friday night, so my energy level was terrible for the dawn sesh. I still had a great time, and nailed a few loops and spocks and stuff, but was definitely dragging out there. Then, at work, Drew brought in a bunch of leftover brownies, and then Anne showed up with a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts that she bought for a fundraiser... So all I ate all day was sweets, and then I tried for the sunset sesh... Needless to say, I had ZERO energy... I'm usually pretty careful about what I eat, but man, yesterday was just terrible...

From what I hear, Ego Beach lit up pretty well in the afternoon, about chest high on the newly formed outer bar. Hope fully that sandbar stays put for a few swells, because it looks pretty well shaped. This was the scene when I showed up:

Whole lotta standing around going on

So yeah, the wind died off, and the tide got too high. Luckily, the sound is right across the street! There were quite a few people out there, who had come down for the weekend forecast. They definitely scored a sweet day!

This morning was cranking NW and a bit chillier. Anne, Stuart and I sailed down in the Buxton Slicks. Anne tried out her new 3.7 World Sail Surge, and claims "It's GREAT!" Stuart was on fire this morning, nailing spocks on BOTH tacks now!! Solid performance! And I, well, yeah... I wasn't really feeling it this morning... Oh well, it was still super fun! I took the camera out there again and shot some video. Enjoy!!



The forecast for this coming week looks INSANE, AGAIN! This Fall has just been incredible! If you're not here, GET here, 'cuz it's gonna be good!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Mega-Update

Sorry to keep y'all hanging...

Here goes:

Veteran's Day: Obviously: Thanks to anyone who has ever selflessly served this country!! After thanking our "Silent Heroes," you all must thank Anne and me for sacrificing to the wind gods. We spent the day on Ocracoke being tourists. We brought beach chairs, bicycles, books, and booze. We did not bring windsurfing gear... So of course, the sunny part of the forecast came true, but the windless part did not...

Riding bikes around the village

They have trees in Ocracoke!!

But they don't make such a big deal about the Lighthouse...

Congratulations! You are 88.5 miles away from anything!

The fishing boats were out in force

The beach is firm enough to ride a beach cruiser!

Even though we missed a solidly good 5.5 day, we definitely had some fun. It was good to get off hectic Hatteras Island for a day, get a change of pace, yada yada yada... Looking at my logs, that was my first, true, full day off from the shop since September 7th! That's over two months straight! How's that for being a dedicated employee? In any case, I can think of no way better to spend the day than hanging out with my lady.

Wednesday was a bit lighter for wind, but still sailable. I got stuck in the shop, catching up on everything from the day before... And with the super short days this time of year, the sun was pretty much gone by the time I got out of work. Not to worry, though, with the full moon and some parking lot lights, Drew and I snagged a sweet skate sesh. What a great option for these lighter wind or shorter day sessions! Drew learned how to sail clew first, and dialed in his duck jibes and heli-tacks, while I worked out some kinks in the spocks and grubbys.

Speedy gonzales, aka Drew

Full Moon, helping us out in the visibility department

And yesterday, Thursday, was just plain old wicked!! It was pretty stormy all day, with gusty SE winds and rain squalls pushing through. By early afternoon, we couldn't take it anymore and headed to the Cove. Stuart, Keith, Chad, Rick, Mike Burns and his NY crew, and Lane, Jay, and a few others hit it up, despite the inclement "coastal" weather. It was perfect 5.0 with chest to overhead set waves, slightly onshore conditions. It was pretty much impossible to not go huge on the jumps. Almost landed a few back loops... but not quite there yet... I just can't stick the darned landings...

Thursday, November 13th, Frisco Pier Meter (courtesy iWindsurf.com)

There was one squall that blew through, that actually had me a bit nervous for a minute. The wind went from 22-27 mph (perfect 5.0), to 27 gusting to 40 mph almost instantly, with basically no warning... Tailwalking, barely under control, I got completely worked by one of the outside bombs. Man, I've never held on to my boom so tightly! No way was I letting go of my kit, way outside, in such a strong squall with building seas (The buoy jumped from 7 feet to 13 feet over the course of a few hours)! Once I surfaced, the gusts were so intense, I could only clear my sail during the lulls, try to waterstart, and basically get immediately ragdolled... Eventually, I scored a lull long enough to get my feet in the straps and the harness on, and then I was finally able to make it back to shore, tailwalking and avoiding waves the whole way in... I was stoked to touch dry land, that's for sure!

After the squall, Stuart and Keith relaunched.

And the sun appeared as the wind crapped out!

Overall, it was a killer session in the Cove! Stuart and I were commenting that this Fall has seen quite a few sailable days out in the Cove/Hook area... Pretty unusual, but we're certainly not going to complain about that!

And a final piece of visual entertainment for ya:

I finally got around to editing some footage that Ace took out at the Reef, from about a month ago... There's some slightly bouncy helmet cam footage in there, but I think it came out pretty well overall! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ego Beach and the OBX Marathon!

Ego Beach served up the first starboard tack wavesailing we've seen in months on Saturday afternoon! Temps in the 70s, sunshine, and SW winds in the 20s made for an awesome afternoon! The waves were pretty weak, but every now and then something with a little punch and size would roll in. It sure wasn't epic, but I'm sure not complaining! There were lots of people out on the water, and smiles all around.

Olaf on a nice one!

Roland checking out the scene


This morning (Sunday), Anne woke me up ULTRA early to bring her up the beach, so that she could run the OBX 1/2 Marathon!! It was the perfect day, cloudless and about 60 degrees, with just a touch of breeze to keep it cool. There were about 2700 contestants for the 1/2 marathon, and another 1200 full marathon runners! Quite a turnout, if you ask me! Anne had a great race, finishing 13.1 miles in 2:05:35, placing 93rd out of 314 in her age/gender bracket, and 424th out of 1748 females!

The race ended down near the Manteo Waterfront

The road to the finish, before the crowds showed up

Final Stretch!!

She made it!!

The crowd at the Finish Line

Anne, still standing!

It was a great event to see, and the party was just getting started when we left at 10 am! Other Hatteras Island runners included Grace Souter (1:50:45, 29/314!!!), Kristi Davidson (2:01:23, 48/171), and I'm sure many others that I missed! Nice job, everyone! Go ahead and take tomorrow off, then start training for the St Patty's Day Marathon on Tuesday : ) All of the results can be viewed here, for anyone interested.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sunset Surf Sessions

Following the two days of insane-o winds, the surf has been absolutely firing. Thursday's winds were still moderately strong out of the West, in the 10-20 mph range. That's straight offshore on the East facing beaches, so it was grooming and holding up those wave faces really well. I'm sure some people went sailing and kiting, but man, it's been so long since we've had good waves... so I ditched the windsurfing gear to go surf. No pictures from Thursday, because no-one wanted to miss a single minute out there...

Last night (Friday) we went back out there, and the swell had dropped substantially but it was still really fun. I met up with Drew, Kevin, Anne, and NJ Josh for the sunset sesh. I took my little waterproof cam out into the lineup and came up with some pretty cool shots! Enjoy!

There were a few local boys cruising around

Anne on a nice, clean right

Drew gets the shot of the day!

Josh caught a bunch of great waves on his Starboard 9'8" SUP, but this is the only pic that came out... Sorry, man! Trust me, he was ripping!

Anne

There's still some swell in the water, and the wind is ramping up SW right now. Sunny skies and temps about 70 Fahrenheit, to boot! So yeah, if you wanna buy anything, better call or swing by the shop soon, because I might not stick around too much longer...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jim!

First and foremost:

Happy Birthday to my brother, Jim! Here we are, hanging out last April in the Caribbean:

That's Jim on the left. As you can see, he got hooked up with the "handsome" genes. Jerk.

His birthday was actually yesterday, and I had meant to post this last night, but I fell asleep at about 8:30. Too much intense windsurfing knocked me flat on my back, and it was lights out before most 1st graders hit the sack!

Speaking of intense windsurfing, yesterday lined up for another super fun 4.2 day at the Hole. I've been rigging that sail on a 400, and it always felt pretty good but a bit twitchy. Yesterday, I grabbed the top half of Anne's 370 when she wasn't looking and used that with my 400 bottom. What a difference!! Man that sail felt great! The shorter, softer top allowed the leach to open just a little bit easier, while the stiffer bottom section kept a little more shape in the main panels. Good stuff! Try it out the next time your sail feels pitchy, or if the wind is super gusty. You just might like it!

Anyway, me, Stuart, Keith, Jim K, Billy D, and a few others hit up some solid bump and jump conditions, straight west winds, gusty and fun. The chop was just about perfect for big jumps. Stuart and I had a little loopfest out there, chucking forwards left and right, on virtually every tack. We even got off a few back and push loop attempts when the right piece of chop popped up in front of us! Super fun to be chucking yourself around out there! I saw Keith throw a few perfect forwards, too, and Jim K bail out of a MONSTER air! I love seeing people go huge, it gets me amped up to push it even more! No photos, due to the overcast, spitting rain conditions. Definitely "coastal" weather.

So yeah, I was exhausted, and I fell asleep at 8:30 and shirked all brotherly birthday blog responsibilities. Sorry, Bro! But late is better than never, right?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tropical Depression?

My oh my, it feels mighty tropical out there today... The roads are flooded, and it's super windy out of the North, veering NW (look out for some big soundside flooding when that happens!). Rainfall yesterday was just under 3", and it poured all night, I'm sure just about doubling the totals. I'm hoping the rain clears out this afternoon for some open eyed sailing!

**update** We received another 5.88" of rain on Wednesday!


Here are a few pictures from my commute this morning. I probably could have walked faster...

RT 12 is not only flooded, it's whitecapping...

Uh-huh : )

Suddenly, the fake dolphin and dock to nowhere seem to make sense

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Speed Sailing at Kite Point!

Crrrrrrankin'! There's a big ol' coastal low sitting just a bit south of us. It sent us intensely gusty East-ish winds and tropical like rain squalls all day long. Both the Frisco Pier and Oregon Inlet iWindsurf meters registered gusts up to 60 mph, but the majority of the day saw 30 to 45ish mph winds. When I pulled in to the Hole this morning, the wind literally whipped 2 of my masts right out of the back of my truck and sent them careening down the beach. Luckily, no one was standing out there! Crankin'!

All day long, we've been about 100 yards away from clear skies

The recconaissance mission this morning left me empty handed. All of the South facing beaches looked sailable, but kind of pointless. There was a visible 2 foot windchop rolling across all the wave faces (which were probably a bit overhead in the sets). The fun factor just wasn't there... I did hear a report from Rick, who sailed near the Billy Mitchell Airstrip. I think he said he was on a 3.2 (?), and was getting bounced all over the place, but it sounds like every now and then a nice shoulder high wave lined up for a down the line ride.

**Update** A visiting sailor said he watched about 5 guys sail the Cove in the afternoon, powered up on 3.5 and down, in about logo high sets, and peeling down the line rides! Suhweet!!

So instead of chasing it all day, most of us just sailed at the Hole (the only soundside launch with any water left). It was blowing straight offshore, just howling across the highway and over the super flat water. Keith cruised down to Kite Point and came back with reports of a perfect slick, angled about 15 degrees off the wind and deep water 8 inches from shore! Time to go speed sailing!! Unfortunately, I don't have access to any (small enough) speed gear at the moment, so I rigged up my trusty 4.2 world sail surge and 85 liter RRD FSW, with an 8.25" wave fin. According to my GPS, I got up to a max 35.4 mph. Not too bad for a wave kit! And I wasn't afraid to chuck a few loops off the chop at the end of the run, either. Try that on a speed needle! Ha!

It looks like the next few days are going to be unbelievable!! Probably a sharp veer to the NW sometime tonight or tomorrow morning, so keep an eye out for soundside flooding, and don't leave those rigged sails lying around!! The swell is going to be out of hand, too, so we'll have to see what we get....

See ya out there!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lighthouse Video, and the October Wrap-Up!

Alright, we finally had a little break in the action over the last day or two. I took advantage of the time off and put together a video of the Lighthouse session from a week ago (see the bottom half of this post for a recap). Thanks for filming, Ace! Enjoy, everyone!!




Even though the waves are basically flat and the wind hasn't puffed over 8 mph in 2 days, I think everyone's glad to have a bit of a break... I know I was just about worn out after the last 2 weeks of insanity... It's good to get a break! Which leads me into the October Wrap-Up:

18 sessions windsurfing (5.7 x5, 5.0 x11, 4.2 x2)
10 sessions surfing (3 SUP, the rest prone)
9 sessions in a 4/3 wetsuit, 12 in a 3/2, 7 in a shorty, 0 in trunks...
10 rest days.... 7 of which I could have sailed or surfed, but got scammed by a hectic work schedule and short days :(

So October pretty much ruled for satiating the 'ol surfing and sailing habits. It did, however, get cold quickly when we basically went from end of summer temps to full on winter for the last few days of Westerlies... Luckily it warmed up again, and is sunny and 68 Fahrenheit at the moment! Can't wait to sneak out for a sunset SUP after work!

Looks like plenty of action on the way this week, with some forecasts calling for multiple days of 30+ mph winds again!! See ya out there!