Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This made me laugh...

The Office Windsurfer Blues

Today it's blowing 25 out of the NW, and it's sunny with blue skies and little puffy clouds here and there.

I've got 30 emails in my inbox that need replies, 10 quotes to complete, a stack of expense reports to do and a phone that is ringing every few minutes with another detail for me to attend to. Granted I work from home, so it could be a lot worse... and I live >30 minutes from a spot that's even a little sailable for this direction. Oh well... I'll be in the OBX Friday morning for a week. Hope I don't get skunked, or I'll be forced to burn down the building...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Brief "Wind"fest recap

I like to look at the windsurfing year as a predetermined number of sailable and unsailable that you could potentially windsurf. The wind gods have their annual meeting and Parcheesi tournament shortly after Christmas and they sit down with the list of everyone who is going to windsurf and assign a ratio to those people of the number of planing days they'll be awarded, in terms of a ratio. So they pull my file and determine that I'm going to get about a 2/7 chance of planing every time I could windsurf. Since the ratio is fixed before the year starts, I'm not too upset when I drive 6 hours down to Avon to watch my reflection on the sound. It just means I'm going to get some REAL wind on another day.

To the point: Windfest 2008 in Hatteras wasn't real windy this year. I had one good morning of 7.5 sailing, and other than that... it was a great weekend of beer-drinking and general good-weather revelry. Here are some unorganized bullet point observations:

1. Today is James Douglass' birthday. Everyone run over to his blog and wish him happy birthday. While everyone else was complaining about the lack of wind, James brought real live human females along and taught them how to windsurf. (!!!)

2. I met Mac, the Water Turtle, super nice guy... and coincidentally we work for the same company. I heard the Peconic Puffin was there at the same time, but his publicist didn't think hanging out with the other bloggers would be beneficial for his image. He'll be known as "Hollywood Puffin" from here on for the purposes of this blog...

3. The surf was 8-10 feet easily by the lighthouse. Pretty awesome out there. I brought my body board but chickened out of swimming out and enjoyed watching the local badasses show us how it's done.

4. Paul Richardson is a cool dude despite the fact that a 12 year-old girl can out-drink him.

5. WET is probably one of the coolest and most cohesive windsurfing clubs I've been around, and I've been around quite a few.

6. Stand-Up-Paddle boarding is actually really cool. A super nice guy let me take his out when the wind was calm and the water was super clear. It was a great workout, and overall a great experience. I've been looking at it skeptically from the outside for about a year, and now that I've tried it I "get it".

7. Despite my efforts, I didn't get to demo a single board. I found that pretty disappointing.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Formula Sailing is Hard

Yesterday I went to an informal windsurfing event thrown by BABA known as "the Burnt Weenie Boogie" or some such. It was such an awesome day... actually in the 60s and sunny in the afternoon. Definitely a nice change of pace. I put together a 10.9m^2 formula sail and took the formula board out for a tuning session. It was an asskicking... so much so that I skipped today (windier than yesterday) out of sheer wimpiness and exhaustion. James and Farrah gave me some really great tuning tips, and the going definitely got easier as the day went on and I figured out where the harness lines belong...

Here are the lessons I learned:

1. BABA throws a good party. Nice folks with great senses of humor. It's a like a family reunion without the awkwardness of anyone being related to you.
2. James is a super-nice dude. He's just as funny in person and the windsurfing community is lucky to have him. If he decided to start kiting, it would likely break the sailboard industry's back and cause widespread bankruptcy. If he decided to start riding jetskis, an asteroid would hit the earth and we'd all be toast.
3. Farrah Hall is fast. Really fast.
4. My harness lines need to be shortened and I really need to set up an adjustable outhaul.
5. A smoker's lung looks like a coffee filter.
6. I'm out of shape.
7. Windsurfing is a fun. Windsurfing with friends is beyond fun.