Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ben(burning dinosaurs)

Yesterday I loaded up the gas hog with board toys and drove to the beach. Hell, why not? The talking heads on the news are reporting gas prices are down, we can all get in our cars and drive again. Yeah right, like $3.79 is a deal.
Aside from feeling guilty about burning up dinosaurs, I had a great time at the beach. I got a late start and missed the 9:30 low tide at Tower Rd (Dewey Beach DE.) and the waves were all but non-existent.
I locked my 9'6" Robert August to the car and dragged the SUP down to the beach. I paddled out and headed down the beach to get away from the crowds. I had been on the water for about 2 minutes when the biggest dolphin I have ever seen, popped out of the water about 30' feet from me, man.... I about Sh!* myself. Glad it wasn't a shark. When you step off the beach you are entering the food chain! Something I try not to think about.
Mostly I just paddled up and down the coastline, but there were a few small sets and I got a couple of rides. It is a pretty wild feeling to have 11 1/2 feet of surfboard drop out from under your feet. It is also a pretty wild feeling to eat it, and have 11 1/2 feet of surfboard dragging you to the beach like a run away train. Just one of the many reasons to stay away from the crowds.

The beach was packed, and the people watching was great. Some of the kids were tearing it up on skimboards. Some of the adults looked like beached whales riding their bodyboards right up on the the sand. I expect some of them are still digging sand out of certain parts of their anatomies. Still everyone was having a great time, and it was fun to watch. Don't forget about all the young lovelies covered in oil. Me.....when I wasn't in the water, I was under my pink umbrella covered in #45 sunblock. a: I'm trying to make my dermatologist proud. b: I'm tired of her cutting those "little spots" off. Seriously too many years of playing in the sun, is catching up, and I'm trying to pay attention to sun care. Even so, I have been getting too much sun and the arms and legs are sporting a pretty good (ie:bad) tan.

I left the ocean side and drove up to Dewey. I stopped by H2Air to see Dave and Spunky. Dave was out running errands, and Spunky was holding down the fort. Although I had already paddled a ton, I sweet talked her in letting me take their Jimmy Lewis 12'6" Distance board for a spin. The boards that I currently own are designed for both wave riding and flat water. The Jimmy 12'6" is designed for cruising . It is super stable, and cuts through the chop with ease. Since I was by myself it was hard to judge speed, but I think it was pretty fast. The board turns like an aircraft carrier, and it is really too long to use in the surf, but for cruising around it was a sweet ride. Many thanks to Spunky and Dave for letting me steal their board. A quick stop at the East of Maui in Dewey , and it was homeward bound. Other than getting lost on Kent Island looking for gas, the trip home was uneventful. A hand full of Advil to take care of the aches and pains and it was off to bed and dreams of dinosaurs and dolphins. Good day off!

Speaking of aches and pains, my friend Sue Haywood broke her leg a couple weeks ago at a mountain bike race in VT. Not only Sue is great biker, she is a really cool person. I wish her the best with her recovery. Sue rides her bike really fast, hopefully she will heal really fast too!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

ben(to the beach)

I don't know why they call it surfing? It should be called paddling! Sarah and I got up at Oh Dark Thirty Sunday morning, and headed to Assateague National Seashore. We were joined by Mike and Christi, as well as Sam ("The Man") Teague and his wife Nan. When we arrived at 9, there were not many people on the beach, but there were already a ton of surfers in the water. Mike and I suited up and paddled out. I found Sam out in the line up and paddled over. He had already gotten some rides and was happy as a clam. The waves were good, but try as I might, I paddled like hell and didn't catch a single one. After about an hour, I paddled in to get something to drink and regroup.

After a little break, I headed back out. I got stuck in the whitewater, and I paddled, and I paddled, and I paddled some more, and I just couldn't get anywhere. I was just about to quit when I finally made it to the sand bar and was able to stand up catch my breath. Back on the board, paddle some more and I was out. Yeah! There were still some good sets rolling in, but once again I was denied. I paddled and had the waves mush out behind me. I paddled and had them break behind me. I paddled and had them break on top of me. I paddled until I pooped, but still no rides.

Another rest break and one more try. I managed to paddle out without too much of a problem. I actually caught a couple of waves, but got wiped out before I even came close to getting up. No hits, no runs, a bunch of errors. The ocean wins again!

It was frustrating not to get any rides, but I was great to be at the beach with friends. Assateague is a cool place. It is such a contrast to OC just a few miles to the north. Dunes and wild horses, instead of the boardwalk and hi-rise hotels . Hmmm..... some boardwalk fries or some ice cream would have been pretty tasty. Maybe next time I can have my Assateague and eat it too.

pic's: little horses, big horses, good surfboard(bad surfer), footprints

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

Not as good as it could be, but still the best country in the world.

feet, food (moo), firewworks

Thursday, July 3, 2008

ben(on the water)

Can't believe June has come and gone. Only five more months to go before we are playing in the frozen snow again . Yeah! This past week has found me playing in the unfrozen snow. Sarah and I went for a 35 mile road ride Sunday morning. The forecast was for strong thunder storms all afternoon, so we decided not to take the boat out. By late afternoon it was obvious that the weather man was wrong, so I busted the Kona out of the trailer and got an evening windsurfing session in. Nothing wild, just a nice 2 1/2 hour sail on the longboard.

Tuesday night was my turn to lead the weekly East of Maui Stand up Paddle Demo. It was a bit windy and it looked like it was going to storm, but I got in a two hour paddle with a couple of customers. We had a brief rain shower, and it looked like there was a good T-storm to our south. The sun popped back out and we were treated to several rainbows on the horizon. Pretty cool. My customers called it a night, and Sarah joined me for 45 minute sunset session. We paddled up into Annapolis Harbor, and then back out around Horn Point. After almost 3 hours of paddling, my arms were toast. I could barely carry the board back to the house!

I'm still without a mountain bike, and rather than ride the road, I blew off riding Wednesday night, and Sarah and I went out for an evening sail. When we first got out on the Bay it was blowing 18-20 and I was sort of bummed that I had not gone windsurfing. Within an hour the wind had backed off to 12-15, and we had a great sail into the harbor, then back out across the Bay, and then back to the slip in Whitehall. No rainbows , but we had a great sunset over Annapolis.

None of my adventures were epic, but it was great to be out. There is just something about being on the water, using the wind, your body or a combination of both that makes you feel good. Sarah and I are lucky to have such a great playground right in our back yard. We love the mountains and we love the snow, but for now, we will enjoy the bay, the beach, and the unfrozen snow.