Barrett's blog

Barrett's picture

100 Days Windsurfing/Foiling

At age 70, one of my goals was to enjoy life by windsurfing more, and although Atlanta is a great place to live, it's a long drive to the ocean and reliable wind. So getting out on more days seemed like an elusive goal. Then foiling came along with the promise of more days on the water. Thanks to William's advice, I bought a foil and quickly learned to sail on days so light there was hardly a whitecap in sight = more days on the water.

I began keeping a log on my phone of days sailed. One day at Van Pugh I told Rhett about my goal and we compared our numbers of days on the water. Rhett challenged me to a competition. It may have been for the most days sailed, but I set a personal goal of 100 days in a year.

Last year I came close. Despite all the suffering from the COVID pandemic, there was less traffic, and fewer work days, making it easier to get to the Lake. I started last year with far more days sailed at Lake Lanier, then came our Spring and Fall trips to the windy Outer Banks. I was getting so close to 100 it seemed that I would reach my goal, then a string of warm, windless sunny days followed. At year end, despite a favorable forecast, I got skunked three days in a row and only made it to Day 99.

This year my wonderful wife Peggy joined the effort and volunteered to be an enabler. My son and daughter signed on to the effort by joining us for a family vacation at Lac Bay in Bonaire. The Island delivered 10 days of steady trade winds out of a ten day vacation. My brother & his wife joined us on a trip to Spain that included four days at Tarifa. Although renowned for reliable wind, Tarifa only delivered one epic, high-wind day. Fortunately our Spring and Fall OBX trips to Nags Head closed the gap, with an amazing number of windy days. With five days on the water, this past week has been amazingly windy for Lake Lanier, allowing me to reach my 100 Day goal before Thanksgiving!

Having reached my goal, I can now reflect. There's no prize for sailing 100 days, just the satisfaction of setting a goal and achieving it. There are many benefits. The trips to the Outer Banks remind me of the movie "The Big Chill" where a gang of friends reunite after a funeral and share deep personal experiences. Why wait for tragedy to strike? Bonded together by a shared love of outdoor adventure, and the natural beauty of the coast, we meet in the Outer Banks to celebrate living life to the fullest. On our family windsurfing vacations, we couldn't wait to get on the water, and were so tired in a good way that we headed early to bed. As I turn 75, I feel very fortunate to enjoy a sport shared with friends, that keeps me in good physical health.


Barrett's picture

Spring OBX Get-Away Planned

We are now planning a two-week Spring Trip to the Outer Banks, and have a house reserved in Nags Head. Check out the photos posted to the Foto Gallery of our Fall Get-Away to see the location. (The Foto Gallery link is under the banner photo at the top of the page.)

Space is available the second week, May 4 - 11, 2024. The cost is $550 single, $600 couple, plus a food kitty based on shared grocery prices. Meals out are at individual expense.

We love Nags Head because conditions are great for both beginners and experienced sailors. It’s well known the Wright Brothers chose the Outer Banks for their first flight after searching Weather Service records for a location with frequent, steady wind. The Sound offers predictably flat water and small waves for improving skills, with much more challenging conditions in the open ocean. Although sailing is our main passion, there are many activities, enough to keep non-sailing spouses happy. You can text or call me at 404-394-2007


Barrett's picture

Atlanta Couples Learning to Windsurf in Nags Head

Hearing the Outer Banks is a great place to learn, we were thrilled to have new windsurfers join us this spring in Nags Head. We’ve reserved the same house again for May 2 - 23 next year, so let us know if you’re interested in coming.

Conditions for learning and improving skills are ideal. We rent a large house on the water. It’s shallow near shore with waist-deep water extending out as far as a beginner is likely to sail. The bottom is sandy, and the water is comfortably warm. We store sails in racks under the house, so gear only has to be rigged once. Such ideal conditions make leaning fun.

Here are brief vignettes of three Atlanta couples who joined us to learn and improve windsurfing skills.

Ed & Agata. Ed has been windsurfing in Atlanta for several years, and learned the hard way on Lake Lanier. Ed wanted to improve his own skills and his wife, Agata, was eager to learn. This was Agata’s birthday present and she loved it.

You can sign up for professional windsurfing lessons, but Ed proved to be a good, patient teacher. Usually the wind is light in the morning and picks up as the day goes on, but on the first morning of their vacation, brisk wind and waves made learning a challenge, so Ed stabilized the board so Agata could get started.

Marcel & Roxanna have been coming for years, and when they had children, began renting a house nearby and continued sailing from our house. In the photo Ed & Agata practice in the background while Marcel gets ready to sail, Roxanna watches their two boys, Joshua & Jeremiah. Peggy says she retired from windsurfing last year at age 70, but she’s been known to come out of retirement when conditions are just right.

After the first day, Agata decided she wanted her own wetsuit with a proper fit. So she and Ed went three miles down the road to Cavalier surf shop & picked up a nice flexible spring suit. Agata soon made rapid progress, heading out on her own and able to turn back to where she started.

Now it’s Roxanna’s turn to windsurf while Marcel & father, David watch on.

David & Mindy with their dog, Roxie. Dave found that getting back into windsurfing on Lake Lanier was a challenge, so he came to the Outer Banks hoping to improve his skills. For Mindy, It turned out to be a fun family vacation spot with lots to do, even for a non-windsurfer. Roxie found her moxie on the last evening.

Dave is having a blast getting up on a plane and hooked in with his harness.


Barrett's picture

Outer Banks Spring 2018

Outer Banks Spring 2018

Again this Spring we’ve rented a 5-bedroom house at the same great waterfront location. We have plenty of space because 4 of our regular guests have either moved out of area, or can’t come due to conditions of employment.

The price per week is - $400 single and $450 per couple. Call either Barrett or Peggy with questions. To reserve please send your check to Barrett & Peggy Walker. Our contact and address information is listed at the bottom of the flyer.

Gear Rentals:
Most guests bring their own gear, but you can conveniently rent from OceanAir (252) 995-5000). Brian, the shop owner, lives next door to our house. Ocean Air is a full service shop for windsurfing, kiting, and paddle boarding. In May Kitty Hawk Watersports opens one mile from our house. The second shop rents and gives beginner windsurfing and paddle board lessons. There are many rental locations for surfing, bicycles, kayaks, and other gear. Want to try surfing, but don’t have your own board? Rent from Cavalier Surf Shop, about a mile from the house. Kitty Hawk Kites gives hang gliding lessons nearby on the sand dunes were the Wright Brothers first flew.

Last Fall three guests successfully foiled from the house. The water is chest-deep if you walk your gear out and avoid sailing near the islands.

Information flyer attached below: