Friday, March 26, 2010
The Secret Spot's Secret Spot
Many of you guys have heard about "The Training Grounds", a flatwater freestyle paradise on the north shore of Long Island. The only problem was that it had to remain a secret spot because of the parking situation. The only parking at the launch site was illegal for anyone living outside the Village of Port Jefferson. Thanks to George Pav's inner need to continue sailing this spot he ended up finding a new secret spot that's better than the old one. And this one doesn't need to be a secret. It's a Brookhaven Town Park, and there's no booth at the entrance so all of you freestylers need to give this place a shot. There's plenty of parking, a nice grassy rigging area with some benches and more buttery smooth flat water than any place on Long Island.
As I was down hauling my 5.3 while I was sitting on a bench and the sail was laying on a nice soft lawn, I looked out at the little baby whitecaps blowing over the waist deep water. All I could think was,"this is the perfect spot." I stepped into the water and off I went. Perfect 5.3 conditions for freestyle. As I cruised in behind the first Island I headed off the wind the board rode so quiet in the glass flat water. I went switch stance at full speed for a perfect funnel. On the way back there were tiny little pieces of chop to hit some shakas off of. This place is by far my new favorite spot to sail. Shortly Eric pulled in. He's more of a wave guy so I could tell he was kinda bored just cruising back and forth, so he ended up packing up and heading to the outside to ride some decent swell. Right after Eric packed up, George Pav showed up. The only problem was the tide was VERY, VERY low. Much lower than I had ever seen it before, and the water was getting shallow even for our tiny little freestyle fins. After George's first run, he had the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face and he also proclaimed the spot to be "perfect." As the tide hit dead low, the water was about 3 inches too shallow to sail, so George had the grand idea to walk our gear over the now exposed mucky bottom to one of the channels that the boats moor in. Maybe 200 feet. Half way across we both started laughing thinking the same thing," That little channel better have some water in it." It took a bit of effort to make the walk straight upwind as we sank into the muck with every step. When we got to the channel, it reminded us of how we pictured the speed canal. And it turned into a perfect speed canal. It was plenty deep enough and plenty long enough. We sailed in and out of that channel to the other shore for a while. George was so close to landing some spocks and duck tacks. I was banging out all the flat water slidey stuff and came the closest I've ever came to making a double spock. Sailing one day here is like sailing 10 days anywhere else. It's incredible what a difference conditions can make.
So if you want to make a vulcan a few hundred attempts earlier, come on and sail "The Training Grounds."
Want to go, here are directions. Just turn left into the park where the marker is on the map:
I didn't bring the camera today, but here are some shots form the archive. That's George totally lit up on the 4.2. These pics are from the old launch. the new public launch has about 3 times the distance before you need to jibe.