We just got another 2 Easterlies at Hekcscher. heckscher State Park closes to windurfing Oct. 31st, so I was stoked to get 2 more days there, and with my favorite Easterly direction. This time I was craving some super smooth water to work on some switch stance tricks. When I pulled into the parking lot, much to my surprise there was no one else there. I knew John Markwalter was on the way along with Big Rich. It was blowing a perfect 5.3 and I really wanted to head to the flats. For those who don't know about the flats, it's an area of 2 foot deep water that might be the smoothest water found on long Island. It's about 1/2 mile out from the Fire Island side and stretches for about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile. Plenty of room to throw trick after spinny trick. The only problem is that it's about 2 1/2 miles from our side of the bay where we launch at Heckscher. It's only really doable in a due East or Due west wind. It takes about 10 minutes planing on one tack to get there. Anyway, I rigged up my new 5.3 2010 NorthSails Ice. By the way, if there was ever a year to buy a new sail, the 2010 Ices and Dukes are it. I'll be doing a review of the new gear shortly.
So I headed out with my magical new sail and was in heaven, well almost heaven. Heaven was 2 1/2 miles across the bay. I really wanted to wait for the other guys to head over there, but I just couldn't wait. Off to the flats it was. I just hoped that none of the people parked in their cars watching were going to call the coast guard when I didn't return. When I got to the flats, it was full power on the 5.3. I was definitely a little rusty, but the new 5.3 handled even better than last years. I was banging out tricks left and right. There was definitely some issues with seaweed, so after about an hour of spinning my brains out all by myself, I decided to go se if John or Rich arrived yet and go grab a weedfin. I sailed back across the bay to the parking lot and as I was approaching I saw John pull in. It always takes a little arm twisting to get john to go over to the flats. (It dies EVERY SINGLE TIME John goes over there) I couldn't wait to get over there, so I told him I would meet him. He showed up about 5 minutes later and we were blasting around doing all sorts of tricks. John figured out the "pop" thing to initiate freestyle tricks without chop. I saw him practice that and then kick around a willie skipper. He didn't sail away but it was great to see him catching air without chop.
Then what John knew would happen, happened. The wind started dying and we were 2 1/2 mile from shore. Just as we decided to head back, Big Rich was finishing his shlog across the bay to meet us in the flats. Triumphant of his shlog he jumped off in the shallow water to prove he made it, then got back up and followed us home. And it was a looooong slooowwww trip home. As we got 1/2 way across the bay the wind started shifting to the north (offshore). So the 3 of us were now pinching upwind in the still dying breeze. As we approached the shore pointing as high into the wind as we could, the 2 Joes and Alison were hooting and hollering. Apparently they had taken bets on who would get back first. During the cheering, Big Rich went down. Luckily no one bet on Big Rich. John ended up setting foot on shore first as I did a tack or two to get back upwind a bit more. Big Rich ended up not being able to get back on the board in the now 2 or 3 mile per hour northerly winds. After we were all back in safely we were laughing and John and I agreed that it was well worth the shlog home to be able to sail those conditions. We just wished it had lasted longer.
Our wish was granted, because the following day it was blowing even harder straight out of the East. I couldn't get there until the afternoon. When I pulled in, George Pav just finished rigging his 4.7. He was planing really well, so 4.7 it was for me too. We stayed in the choppier Heckscher side of the bay to work on some bigger aerial moves. George was floating shuvits everywhere and coming so close on so many vulcans. The ramps for Shakas were incredible. It's been a while since I was able to get the amount of air I was getting for the shuvits and shakas. Our session only lasted about an hour before it totally crapped out, but it was good while it lasted. I still want more!!!!