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.................


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Early morning SUP before work yesterday to celebrate my 51st

A Fruit Tart to finish up the day