Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Catapult Gives Thanks for his Stuff

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to take stock in the intangible things that make your life good. The health of your family members, the happiness that the people in your life are bringing to you,the successes of your job. I'm not going to go into all that. I'm going to give thanks for my new windsurfing toy. A cargo van I bought last week. It's flippin' sweet!

The guy who had it before me was also a windsurfer and had spent a lot of time and money making it a near perfect windsurf-bum van. It has an elevated platform with enough room for a queen-sized inflatable mattress, a bunch of gear compartments below. It has special places to put sails, a well thought-out board rack, insulated walls, dark tinted windows, a boom rack. It has a bunch of nifty compartments above the driver's seat for various knick-knacks. This van is completely ready for me to some day slip off the map and spend a couple months someplace windy, just bumming around and sailing.

People who know me are aware that I'm not a very detail-oriented person. I don't particularly care to undertake large projects. I'm not terribly handy. Getting a windsurfing van where someone already thought through all the little details is HUGE. I probably would have bought a van, never installed racks and just shoved boards and gear in there forever.

So this Thanksgiving, I hope all of you get time with your families and eat a lot of food. I hope you take a moment to feel grateful for all the important things in life. But this year, maybe give thanks for all your cool toys too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fort Point Surfing Video

This is the first time I've ever filmed anything, so I apologize for any and all problems associated with motion sickness, or general nausea induced by a poorly edited video.

This is a break that works on a NW swell that's in a pretty amazing location right next to the Golden Gate Bridge. The views there are incredible, the surf is pretty nice, and the weather on this particular day was amazing. I've heard this spot is particularly "locals only" ish. Makes sense since there were like 30 surfers out there competing for not-that-many waves.>

Beautiful, but not windy weather here in the city this weekend. Hope everyone has a good one!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Last Sunday -- 5 days too late

Work has been hectic out here, which is good since the wind isn't great this time of year. So I can focus on making money when the wind is bad -- pretty ideal.

Last Sunday was like Christmas in November in the bay area. In the morning I got a nice hour sail in at Coyote Point with my 5.7 and 104L board. I was the only one on the water, and it was perfect ebbing conditions. I guess all the windsurfers out here are religious folk who were at church or alcoholics who couldn't recover from their hangovers fast enough. It was an awesome morning session that felt like a summer afternoon (albeit slightly colder).

I went home and took a short nap and woke up to find the wind meters up again! I drove down to 3rd avenue this time to find sweet 5.0/86L conditions on another nice ebb. Every time I've sailed here, I've been a little disappointed because normally the windline is a mile slog away, or I'm just not powered up enough. This was not the case on Sunday. I got a nice 2 hours sail in some chest-high swell with lots of backside chop rides and jumping ramps abound.

So a fun 2-session day in November (aka take-what-you-can-get-month). Where as multi-session days seem to be common on the east coast, they aren't as common in the bay area. Usually during windy season, you get one session a day in the afternoon. The exception to this rule is obviously the Sherman Island area that is about 1.5 hours away.

I hear mumbling about the cold, but I've been warm to hot in my 5/3 wetsuit with no gloves or booties.

Stay tuned... I think I'm buying a new toy to brag about here this weekend. :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Storm Sailing

Monday brought my first chance to sail a storm in the bay area. Actually, the Half Moon Bay Area to be exact. A southerly wind was coming, so this spot was the call. It's about 30 minutes south of San Francisco and the sailing area is protected by a jetty (the outside looked super super ugly, but I've heard people sail it). The wind was really gusty. One of those days when you know it's going to be good and bad, so you just rig your favorite sail. I went with my 4.4. It wasn't quite 3.8 weather, but a 4.0 or 4.2 would have been ideal.

I went from slightly-powered to butt-over-powered to oh-my-God-I-am-heartly-sorry-for-having-offended-thee-powered. It was a lot of fun, I got some good work in on practicing overpowered jibes. Also, the rain squalls were like needles on your face. Sailing with one eye is super difficult since you lose your depth perception, so I was forcing my front-hand-eye to open up every 3 seconds. It's a lot like sailing blind, you just have to trust your feel for the gusts rather than seeing them coming. The water was pretty choppy despite the jetty. Sometimes when the rain was really coming down, the water would flatten out because the rain would batter all the chop down. Really crazy.

The spot itself is kinda spooky to me. You sail through a mooring area full of sailboats that look like they're 50 years old and likely have crazy old fishermen living aboard. There's an old beat up dock with a building painted a color that could only be achieved through with the chemical properties of lead.

Oh and the drive between Half-Moon-Bay and Pacifica is probably the most beautiful I've ever been on... plus the rain had subsided and the sun was setting --a truly spectacular way to end the day.

I know, no pictures again. I suck.