Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Mosquito Fleet

My jaw just hit the floor. I try not to get too excited about forecasts... but we've got the potential for some seriously epic conditions... The latest update has Saturday blowing straight west at 5 to 10, with a southeast groundswell at 10 to 12 feet at 14 seconds. This is certainly subject to change- Heck, it could be blowing 130mph out of the Northeast if the system just tracks a tiny bit west of it's current path... But sheesh! That is going to end up being absolutely huge, clean, heavy surf. Methinks the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" will be collecting quite a few freshly broken surfboards this weekend...

Honestly, 12 feet at 14 seconds will probably be just plain old too big for the beach. The sandbars can only handle so much. Might be interesting to see what the tow kids get into, way out on that outer bar...

Sunday looks like the day for the rest of us, with light North winds and a fading swell. Well, fading to 6 feet at 12 seconds, which is still insanely huge for this beach.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think I'm going to bust out the Mosquito Fleet. At 7'3" and just a touch over 20" wide, the thing glides effortlessly. I usually surf my 6'2" up to a few feet overhead at 9 or 10 seconds, but when it's 12, 13, 14 seconds, the waves are just moving so much faster that they're very hard to catch on a shortboard. The Mosquito Fleet was my first board, and I'm super happy that I kept it around, especially when I see forecasts like this one!

Her hiding place, right where a TV would sit in a normal household...

Buzz buzz

Long, trim, parallel rails, and very little rocker=fast fast fast!

The responsible party and dims. I will never get rid of this board.

Redman is a local shaping legend, and I feel lucky to have one of his boards.

The "Mosquito Fleet" board is named after a Civil War conflict that took place on Hatteras Island in 1861. The Mosquito Fleet was a Confederate offensive fleet who left Roanoke on ships in the middle of the night to retake Chicamacomico from the Federals. Long story short, the Federals saw them coming and retreated to the more solid fort at Hatteras Inlet, and the Confederates had trouble with the shallows of the Pamlico Sound and most of the offensive couldn't get to land anyway, so no-one really got hurt and the Chicamacomico Fort was abandoned by both sides for the better strongholds of Hatteras Inlet (Federals) and Roanoke Island (Confederates).

I like the story of the Mosquito Fleet, because the Roanoke guys manned up and decided to take an offensive against rumors of an outpost of 2000 Federals. Translating this to surf culture, it relates to going against all odds and charging, whether you think you'll make the wave or not.

Whether I'll charge 12 feet at 14 seconds remains to be seen :) It's entirely possible that it'll be way bigger than that anyway, since Bill is now a category 4 Hurricane with 135 mph winds gusting to over 160... And some of the buoys have already recorded seas over 20 feet...

Definitely gonna keep the gas tank full for this one... "Retreat!!!"


PeconicPuffin said...

Thanks for the story on the Mosquito Fleet. Great looking board.

Strange bit of trivia...the first windsurfing board that the original Peconic Puffins learned to windsurf on (a Windsurfer with a tie-on aluminum boom) was named the Redman (we named our boards...I still do.)

Janis Markopoulos said...

rock and roll man!