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Surf's Up! And Down, and over, and up and down again


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Nahant, Saturday the 11th, an incredibly beautiful day and there were some great waves. I'm not great at judging wave height but I'd say 2 to 4 footers - I definitely had "air boat" going out through the surf a number of times (which by the way is a lot of fun) so I know they had to be at least 3 feet. This was my first time surfing the explorer and in general surfing much at all . . . maybe 4 or 5 times in the Aquanaut over the summer. The waves on Saturday were bigger than I'd been in but there was almost no wind and luckily Long Beach is a nice sandy beach so when you get flipped and rolled as much as I do it doesn't hurt too much :)

Suz was out in the surf ski and I started my day off with Joe who I hadn't paddled with in awhile who was great in the surf. Rick showed up next and just wanted to say thank you for the help and the tips . . . next time I'm out I'm going to focus on just the stern rudder to try to keep the boat from broaching. You guys just rock.

My best ride of the day was a wave Billy picked out for me which I finally managed to keep the boat straight instead of broaching and coming off the wave . . . I rode it about half way in smiling and turned around to see Billy about 4 ft above and behind me (just barely) laughing as he got off the wave he'd caught just after mine. Before I could even mutter "oh fu&!*" I closed my eyes low braced and had a great bongo slide all the way in. I managed somehow to hold it and never realized how bounced around you get in the white water . . . now THAT was fun.

I will say surfing is the most physically challenging especially when your roll (and when I say "your" i mean "mine") sucks and you have to punch out and empty your boat and get back out there.

My last ride of the day was the funniest . . . in my infinite surf experience now, I decided I'd try an expertly performed 4* surf landing gently gliding in on the back of each wave. I eased my way in on the first one happy with it and figured I'd have just one more to make it to the beach . . . as I sat there in my boat (not looking behind me) contemplating the gentle back paddle on the next nice swell I decided to turn around to find my next wave only to see it crashing over me at about 4 feet above. Barely able to mutter another "oh fuc*!@$" I saw my bow sink, felt my stern rise, muttered a more urgent "oh fuc*&" and then just got flipped over (no impressive endo even!) and rolled VERY un 4* like and very unceremoniously into the beach. I am one hell of a wet-exiter though, I'll have you all know that. :)

Maybe we'll all get lucky enough to have another sunny warm day with great waves this year.

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Great fun!!! Gillian I think you're probably right on with wave height. Everyone's head was disappearing behind the waves. I measured myself at a little under 2.5 feet from mid-hip to the top of the noggin so using that as a gauge I'd say we were at minimum of 2.5 feet.

Early in the day I caught an incredible ride all the way to the beach. I'm sure it was quite short in reality but it seemed to last forever. I paddled back out punching through a few larger waves from a big set and at some point half of my spare paddle went missing. I scanned the waves as they were breaking to see if I could spot a black paddle-like outline against the bubbly white water but alas it was nowhere to be found. I had arrived early and nobody else was there so I figured I'd paddle out past the breakers and practice until someone else showed up. When Gillian arrived I knew I should have put the spares back in the car but I must have taken a stupid pill that morning. Fortunately my lost half washed ashore about an hour later. Gillian and Suz have a beer comin' their way for its safe recovery.

Finally... I really need to get a waterproof housing for my point and shoot as there were plenty of opportunities to get some killer shots of folks surfing by as I was paddling back out.

Can't wait to do it again!

Cheers, Joe

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