Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh Come On!

It's been 3 weeks straight here on LI of teaser 5.9 conditions. Sure we can get out the big stuff (5.9 is my big stuff) a couple days a week and go blast around on warm sunny days. But it's been a while since we've had any real wind. A week ago I would have done anything to get a session on a 4.7. And I would have, the only problem was that I had weddings booked. Friday's forecast was for close to 30 mph winds, and it came true! I know this because the wedding I was shooting was on the water and the wind was blowing the bride's veil right off her head. Luckily it was also supposed to be windy for the next 4 days in a row. Unlucky for me, I had another wedding booked for the following day.

After shoting the 2 weddings and missing the first 2 days, Sunday morning I woke to a voicemail box full of "Where are you, it's blowing 4.2?" and "Mike, I'm at Heckscher, rigging 4.7, gotta go!" I had missed the first 2 days of wind but Sunday would be my day. I eagerly turned on my computer to see the latest forecast. "WHAT THE F@#K!" 5- 10 knots?!!!!!!! Another 5.9 day at Heckscher!!!!! It was nice being out on the 5.9 but my thoughts were still with those 2 great days I missed. When I got home from the beach after yet another good 5.9 session I checked the forecast for Monday, my last hope as the rest of the week looked pretty pathetic for wind. As the windfinder page loaded a huge smile grew on my face. It looked like I would finally get my 4.7 day. I would be able to work on those new moves I want oh so bad. Yes Monday would be the day.

Monday was right on track in the morning. SW wind was already in place and the thermals would only make it stronger. And it did. Monday was a great day! By 4:00 perfect 5.3 wind was in place and I was loving life. Sure it wasn't 4.7, but it sure as hell wasn't 5.9. I was able to work on a move called the bob and I'm able to get the sail duck part almost every time, but the chop was making it tough to pop and slide without digging in the tail. But progress was being made and I was a happy camper. Then around 6:00 a police car turned it's lights on and was driving around the parking lot. I went to check it out and it turns out the board of Health was closing the park 2 hours early because of freaking mosquitoes!!! What the hell mosquito can fly in 20 knots anyway? The cop was nice though and said he'd clear out the rest of the park fist, then come back to get us off the water around 7:00 so we could be out by 7:30. Not too bad considering the options.

So I went home Monday night glad that I finally got to sail something smaller than a 5.9 and was as content as could be. That is until Wed. Oh Wednesday. There wasn't any wind in the forecast for Wed. so the plan was to edit all day while Chrissy (my wife) took the kids to a pool party. She asked, "Do you mind if I take the kids to the party with the truck?" In my mind this could cause multiple problems, the foremost of which is the fact that I needed the Expedition to tow the windsurf trailer to the beach. But since the kids car seats were already in the truck and the forecast was crap, I told her she might as well take it.

Not 2 hours after she leaves for the party, the wind starts to build. I'm watch the wind climb for another hour as I start burning some Blu-Ray copies of one of the weddings I shot. Then at 3:00 I check again and the wind is already into the 20s. "Oh come on!!!," I shout out in the studio. Finally this is going to be the 4.7 day I need and she's got the f'ing truck! But wait, my wife's edge has a hitch! It's not the same size hitch though. It's got a smaller receiver for the hitch to plug into so I can't use the hitch from the Expedition. then I remembered that my old explorer had the smaller sized hitch and I would just have to find that one. I dug through the garage and after about 15 minutes of searching, I found it. I plugged it in and as good to go! This was one of the longest drives to Heckscher I've ever had. Along the way I kept checking the wind to look for signs of it dying, but it was just hovering right at 20. I couldn't wait to be fully powered on the 5.3 and maybe even get a few runs on the 4.7.

I pulled into heckscher at the same time as Ryan. We both jumped out of our cars with big smiles on. We both agreed 5.3 was the call for full power sailing and ran to the back of our vehicles to start rigging. Ryan with a big smile pulled his 5.4 out of its bag. I eagerly stuck the key into the lock on the trailer and, "Oh come on!!!!!"

Ryan looks over at me.

"It's the wrong F'ing Key!" I had changed the locks on the trailer during the spring trip to Hatteras and never put the new set of keys on the key ring to my wife's car. Ryan suggested finding a hardware store and cutting the locks. My first thought was "that's crazy" I turned towards the water, saw all the whitecaps and changed my mind. I knew of a hardware store about 10 minutes away. So I drove right over. I explained my situation to the guy behind the counter. He told me I should just drive home and wait for my wife with the keys. He obviously isn't a windsurfer or he had made it to the beach all of those windy days I missed. I bought a bolt cutter and new set of locks. About 25 minutes and $50.00 later I was back at the beach. I grabbed the bolt cutters and they cut that lock like butter. I was in! Ryan was lit up on his 5.4, and I on my 4.7. I was busting out huge shakas, ponches, air flakas, and Ryan even claims he saw a full rotation of an air Bob even though I didn't land it. Sure enough the only thing that could be the buzz kill happened. Phil the wind Killer showed up and like clockwork, just as I'm ready to break out the 4.2, the wind backs off to 18 to 20. I went and grabbed the 5.3 and sailed for another hour before the weeds started rolling in making it almost impossible to plane at full speed even with full power and a cut down 17 cm G-sport fin.

All in all, Wed. was the day I was waiting for. I had gotten my perfect 4.7 day and it was everything I hoped it would be. Next time I'll remember the new set of keys, or at least my new bolt cutter.


  1. Great written article! Fun story with keys :) It's good that you can fix this rather quickly. My other friends had to drive 100 miles from windsurf spot to home to get spare keys! And it was blowing on the beach.

  2. Those bolt cutters will come in handy.

    Unfortunately for us late shift guys the West Nile thing presents us with a real problem. The only reliable thermal is Heckscher; and it's been dying out around 6ish any way. I have rigged and sailed my 6.9, my last four sessions;[including last Saturday's Demo raid].

    Ironically it has been windy as hell out in the middle of the western sound. The problem is how do you get to the middle of the western sound?

    I've been out on my sailboat at least three nights a week in June and July. And I've had to reef for what would have been 5.5 conditions every time.

    I think I need a power boat outfitted with windsurfing racks.


  3. Frank, on Wed, they didn't say anything, so it might be a hit or miss thing. Also, you could try launching at East Islip Marina and sail right over. If the wind died, I'd be happy to drive you back to the car. It's an Islip town beach, but they have softball games every night there. I used to play. At the gate, just say you're there for softball and no-one will bother you. That's my plan if they start really busting chops at Heck about the West Nile. The funny thing is, they handed out some literature about west nile and it points out that mosquitoes can't fly when it's windy. It also says that like only a very small portion of the types of mosquitoes can cary it. On top of that, only 20% of the people will actually have a reaction and of the 20% of the people that will have a reaction only about 5% will have severe reactions. With all these percentages of percentages, I'd be perfectly willing to take a bite from an infected mosquito to be able to get a session. That is, if you can find one that can fly in 20 knots.

  4. Mike this is a hilarious story that only a windsurfer would understand. I hope to get out on the water soon. I have been in an office most of the summer. hope to see you soon


  5. Hey Jake! You gotta get out of the office and over to Heckscher, or even better, West Meadow in the fall.

  6. I heard the 2011 Rodeo will have a set of bolt cutters stored in a secret compartment under the deck. Just rumors, no facts to support this.

  7. Like anyone would need another reason to buy a F2 Rodeo.