Thursday, December 3, 2009

ben kicked out

Sarah kicked me out of the house this morning! She made me go paddle. Damn. Calm winds, 60 degrees. The sun coming up on one side of the bay, and the full moon was still over town. Pretty sweet morning. Hopefully Sarah will let me back home after work.

sunrise 12/03/2009

December Moon

City Dock, Annapolis

Another bonus day on the water!

Monday, November 30, 2009

ben on the bay

Not many days left. Maybe none at all. Every day on the water might just be the last one 'til spring. You never know.

Thanksgiving Day, Sarah and I usually go for either a mountain bike or road ride so as not to feel too guilty before the holiday feast. We awoke to fog and drizzle, so rather than climb into bike clothes, we opted for wetsuits and paddled the SUP's around Annapolis. There was not a breath of wind and the water was total glass. Not exactly the workout I needed, but it was fun to be on the boards. We came home and I made Oyster Stew to warm our toes and begin the excess calorie loading. Several hours later I served up a apple wood smoked turkey and all the fix'ns. Thankful for everything we have, and all of our friends. Thankful my shorts had an elastic waist. Too much food, but.....yummm.

Fast forward to Sunday. I started my day out with a 38 mile road ride in hopes of burning off some of those Thanksgiving calories. I came home, grabbed Sarah and took off to the boat for what was our last sail of the season. We had more wind than I expected, but it wasn't too cold and we had a couple of nice hours on the Bay before getting back to the slip just before dark. Other than some trips back over to winterize the boat, I guess we are done with her for the season.

Awoke Monday to the forecast of rain. I had thought about going to the beach, but I just couldn't motivate. I climbed into the wetsuit and paddled the SUP ( in the rain) for an hour and a half. I paddled up the creek across the street from the house and looked at all the boats tied up in their slips. I thought about how I was surrounded by literally thousands of boats, yet I had the Bay completely to myself. Pretty cool.

Before long, I will be playing in the frozen snow, but in the meantime, there might just be another session on the unfrozen snow. Just maybe.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ben to hatteras

Cape Hatteras Light

Sarah and I returned last week from our annual fall Hatteras trip. We were joined by house regulars John and Dorothy. Mike and Jen Wazenski stayed for a few nights, and we had Bill Gassaway and Mark Ingino in the bunk room. Long time regular on the trip, Fred Hyla didn't make the trip this year due to a injury. Fred is always good company, and we missed him.

We were treated to good 5.5 and 5.0 conditions on Sunday and Monday. Mike and I had a nice session on the reef Monday. Mike launched (and landed) a bunch of big jumps. Me....I launched and then proceed to explode most of my landings. Still we had a good time playing on the reef before making the speed run back to the house. We spent Tuesday morning on slalom gear and 7.5's and 6.5's. In the afternoon, Sarah and I drove to the lighthouse for walk on the beach and to snap some pics.

My shoulder is messed up and was killing me, so I took a breather on Wednesday. Sarah got a nice morning session on the the 6.5. Wednesday afternoon we drove south to the Indian Town Art Gallery in Frisco , where I bought a couple of cool photos from long time windsurfer turned photographer Don Bowers. We drove over to the Frsico bath house and ran into Jim and Elisa, who we know from cross country skiing at White Grass in West Va. They were staying up in Rodanthe and invited us to have dinner with them later in the week. We talked to them for a while before another nice sunset walk on the beach.

Frisco Pier, Golden Sunset

No wind on Thursday, so Sarah I packed up the beach chairs and took the SUP's down to Frisco and played in some nice small waves.

Surf's Sup

Friday was a bit of a disappointment. Forecast was upper 20's to low 30's. Bad shoulder and all,I was was pumped to try out my new 80 liter Naish wave board and some small Ezzy Wave Panthers. We got up early, but the wind never really happened. I got a couple hours on my 5.5 Naish All Terrain Sail the the 95 liter Naish AT board. It is a sweet combo, so I really shouldn't complain. The wind backed off and Sarah stole the 5.5 from me. I was too lazy to rig another sail, so I organized some of my gear and headed for the hot tub.

Mark on the 5.5, The Quiver, Sarah rock'n the 5.5

Le Spot

We had to check out of Le Spot on Saturday morning. Sarah and I checked into the Light House View Motel in Buxton, and then headed back down to Frisco for another great day on the beach and more SUP fun. Waves were huge, almost double over ankle. The water was clear and we could see all sorts of sea life swimming around as we paddled up and down the beach. Lots of bait fish and I paddled over a little ray. Nothing too big, but a reminder that when you leave the beach that you are stepping into the food chain! Sarah had a posse of dolphins swim close by, so that was cool. I'm a big fan of fins that go up and down and not side to side!

Double Ankle High!

Maybe if I get real low, I can get tubed! NOT!!

Sunday morning we caught sunrise on the beach in front of the motel and then went down the street to the Orange Blossom Bakery for coffee and Apple Uglies. Nothing like a big wad of fried dough and apples covered with sugar to start the day. Once again, we spent the afternoon on the beach in Frisco playing with the SUP boards. We drove up to Rodanthe and had a delightful dinner with Jim, Elisa, and their friend Lisa.

Sunday Sunrise Service

Monday was another beautiful day of hanging on the beach and playing in the waves before heading home to Annapolis.

Sarah gets air!

Hatteras is one of my favorite places in the world. It is a special place. I'm blessed to have been there, and even more blessed that I been able to go back many times. For the most part, we had beautiful weather and a great time. Less than three days after we left the Outer Banks, the East Coast was pounded by the remains of Tropical Storm Ida. Buxton, Hatteras Village, and Rodanthe all suffered a lot of damage. From what I understand Hwy 12 has just reopened in Rodanthe. Several houses were lost further up the road in Nags Head. It will be interesting to hear Jim and Elisa's tales. Part of my heart lives down there, and I wish the locals many alohas and a speedy recovery.

Official End of Summer 2009!

Friday, October 30, 2009

ben on the bay

I can't believe October has come and gone. Not much bike riding, but some windsurfing, stand up paddling, and sailing. These were some shots from a sunset sail last Sunday.

Not many days left to play in the un-frozen snow. Before we know it winter will be here. Bring it on!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

good in the hood

The Columbia River

I spent last week in Hood River, Oregon at the Starboard dealer meeting and the AWSI demo.

I thought about naming this post " The Agony of Da Feet", but the bumper sticker proclaims that it is "Good in the Hood", so I will roll with that.

I woke up early on Tuesday and met the guys from Starboard for a SUP dawn patrol from the Event Site. After spending the day Monday traveling, the morning Sup session was a great way to start the day. In keeping with my "play then eat" program, I returned to my hotel and had "Coastal Eggs Benedict". Instead of the usual Canadian bacon, the poached egg was served on top on a piece of local smoked salmon. YUM!

Morning SUP

Hood River Hotel

After breakfast and a shower, it was back down to the river for the Starboard product presentation and an afternoon of product testing. Not much wind but we spent the afternoon hanging out at the Event Site and playing with the big boards and big sails. The Event Site in Hood River is a beautiful grassy area, and one of the most user friendly launches on the river. However, to get from the grassy area to the water you still need to cross a very rocky beach and then wade out on an equally rocky bottom before getting on the board. Tough on the tootsies.

Starboards Everywhere!
Most Excellent

On the way back to the Hood River Hotel, I got a wild hair up my butt and decided it would be cool to catch sunset up on Mount Hood. Bypass hotel, proceed directly to mountain, do not pick up shoes. Upon arriving at Timberline Lodge, I took off on a two hour hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in my flip flops. I got incredible views and some cool pictures for my effort, but between the rocky beach, and a rocky hike, I put a serious hurting on my feet. It probably didn't help playing in the snow barefooted either!

Mount Hood

Wednesday started with another early SUP session. We paddled up the Hood River a bit before being denied by shallow water and rapids. More product presentations followed by some wind and a good afternoon of sailing.

Up The Creek (the Hood River)

Thursday morning, myself and several other dealers were treated to breakfast and a tour of the Chinook factory. It was cool to watch them mold and assemble carbon booms, and some of the other windsurfing products they make. It makes the made in America sticker really mean something when you actually see it being done.

We returned to the Event Site for the AWSI demo where I was greeted with hugs and kisses from my friends Rebecca and Jane from San Francisco. Windsurfing and pretty girls always makes for a good day! Not necessarily in that order. I spent the afternoon sailing several of the new 2010 Naish boards and sails. Awesome! More foot abuse carrying gear back and forth on the beach.

& Rebecca

Friday was a beautiful day in the Hood, unfortunately there was absolutely no wind. Great day to demo SUP boards. I paddled from the Event site to the Hood River bridge a couple of times on different boards. A whole bunch of short spins (more foot abuse) , and then a long late afternoon paddle across the Columbia River to the White Salmon River. All in all, I paddled for more than 4 hours and I was a pooped paddler! I tried a lot of really good boards, but when all said and done, I really liked the Naish 12' Glide, but I still like my own 11'6 Naish better than anything. Cool! There was a big industry party Saturday night, but after a hot tub and a big bowl of pasta I was toast and crashed.


Sweetheart MJ w/Ashlee

Nick Stuart lays one out

Saturday the wind was back, and I spent the final day of the demo re-riding the Naish and Starboard boards with a bunch of different sails. I met Rebecca and Jane, two of their instructors, Nick (from Naish) and his girlfriend Emma downtown for pizza Saturday night. Good pie, good friends, good day!

Sunday dawned windy, so I grabbed some rental gear from Big Winds and went to the Hatchery with my friend David Kao. The wind punted and Dave and I got skunked. We grabbed lunch together and then I spent the afternoon cruising around Hood River.


My trip home started with a flight from Portland to SF. Turns out Rebecca and Jane were on the same flight, but we were several rows apart and couldn't chat. I was treated to a spectacular sunset over the Pacific as we few down the coast. Quick good byes at the airport, and I was off to Charlotte. I finally arrived in Baltimore around 9:30 Monday morning. LONG TRIP HOME.
I met Sarah at the boat and we had a sunset sail on the Chesapeake. Can't really think of a better way to end a great week. Sarah, the boat, and the Chesapeake Bay. Things are good in my hood!

Capt. Sarah
Sunset Sail

Until next time.................