March 2015

2015 Caribbean Cruise: Windsurfing & Paddleboarding

My wife, Peggy & I just returned from a Caribbean cruise with the cast of the Public Radio show “American Prairie Home Companion” by Garrison Keillor. The focus of the trip was on top-notch musical entertainment and interesting shore stops. We managed to paddle board, ride the surf, snorkel, and windsurf at the ports of call.

Foto Gallery: Caribbean Cruise: Windsurfing & Paddleboarding

Our first stop at Grand Turk Island was a complete surprise for fun paddleboarding & sea kayaking. My friend Donovan, & I rented gear at Bohio Dive Resort and paddled out to an offshore reef where we saw waves breaking. The ocean swell formed up into smooth, easy to ride surf. The rides were long, and after passing over the reef, the waves melted away without crashing on us. It was really fun surfing. As a bonus, the outside reef formed along a wall popular with SCUBA divers. I brought my mask on the paddleboard & was able to free-dive down to the drop-off from 30 ft. to 7,000 ft. deep - a really impressive sight in the clear water.

Costa Rica 2015

Trey, Voltar (Michel) and I made the trek again this year. Costa Rica was insane. Sun and lots of wind almost every day. On few days the swell was over 6ft tall once you got to the "hole" at the bottom of the lake. Scott Freeman, who owns the Gorge Surf Shop sails there every day in Jan-to early March. Couple times when we passed each other on bottoms of different waves you could not see the other guys mast.

Good practice to surf down waves without getting washed up on a beach at the Plus there are no sharks in the lake...just crocodiles, but I hear they don't have a taste windsurfer guys...yet. Keeps you from spending too much time in the water.

Foto Gallery: Costa Rica 2015

My *head Friends

B. explains the forecast
Our good friend B. explains the forecast and, by implication, why the grass can wait to be mowed another day.

We were going to title this something more entertaining like "My Crack Head Friends" but spending two minutes searching through Google Images of before and after pics of cocaine and meth addiction was profoundly distressing - thus, the simpler title.

One of the absolute joys of windsurfing in Atlanta are our friends. In our younger days, we used to arrive at Van Pugh and be on the water in minutes. Now, we chat, gossip and catch up so much that we sometimes don't notice that the wind has picked up. We aren't saying that our friends make up entirely for driving fifty minutes and finding the wind much less than predicted (they aren't THAT great) but sitting around and talking on a pleasant spring day comes pretty close.

However, some of our friendships have evolved into some less healthy relationships. We didn't notice it at first but several episodes over the last few months highlighted the issue. Some of you may have experienced the same thing.

Why we can't get stuff done during the day

We have one friend, B., who has a pretty flexible schedule during the day. Consequently, B. often can make mid-week sessions that most of us who have more conventional responsibilities must miss. B. isn't exactly starved for sailing time as he spends quite a lot of time in Nags Head and manages to squeeze in windsurfing on his frequent travels. For some, that would be enough but not for B. He loves windsurfing.

A Thousand Words No. 17

There is so much good photography and videography of windsurfing these days. It's fun to look at and it can be very useful in picking up tips on how the better sailors do things.

We came across the blog for IFJU Fins after following a serendipitous series of links from our own home page. IFJU is a title sponsor for the upcoming IFJU Fins / FORMULA US Eastern Championship to be held in Miami on March 20-22. The latest entry in their blog is an article about Loic Legallois, a French windsurfer who will be competing.

The blog has a pic of Loic sailing a Formula board. The picture is quite instructive of three things that apply not only to Formula boards but windsurfers in general. We could talk and wave our hands on the beach but having the picture here may help a lot more.

Loic Legallois
The board and sail might be bigger than anything you have but there's a lot to learn from this picture.

Three Reasons Your Parking Place is Endangered

Say hi to the guy next door
Hey, don't judge. He may be rigging next to you the next time you are at Van Pugh. Say hi to your new neighbor.

It gives us great pleasure to inform you that your parking place is endangered. We are so happy that we could barely sleep last night thinking about it. We are excited. Estatic. Pumped. No, the Corps hasn't changed anything at Lake. We still have the same access - well, better since they've done some improvements to the walkway and grass at Van Pugh. The reason your parking place is endangered is that someone else will be using it. And, that someone else will be a new windsurfer.

Windsurfing is back upfront. It's always been cool but it has both slipped to the back of the public consciousness and become a bit esoteric (we call it the "Soccer Syndrome", to be addressed in a future article). Here are three reasons that is about to change:

It's Preppy (or, at least Vineyards Vinesy)

We mention this one with some trepidation. Due to the spending habits of of someone in our household (lookin' at you, Princess), we've found ourselves on the Vineyard Vines mailing list. If you aren't familiar with the brand, it's the current generation's answer to L.L. Bean. They carry the same theme of khaki, plaid and madras that's been found in fraternities and sororities since Delta house was banned from campus.

Vineyard Vines Windsurfing Spring Break

The owners of the firm are a clever bunch, setting photo shoots in really swell places while their friends back in New England suffer from frost bite. We don't know what possessed us to thumb through the latest issue shot in St. Barths but we found a very welcome surprises: windsurfers, windsurfing, people learning to windsurf.