Saturday, February 18, 2006


Yesterday I saw a window of opportunity and I took it. I hadn't planned to surf because I knew I wouldn't be able to leave my house until 2 PM, which would get me to the beach very late. Probably too late for a good session. But: it was another sunny springlike 60-degree day in mid-winter, and I haven't taken advantage of any of them; the forecast for today was head-high waves; I'd been asked, unexpectedly, to look in on K.'s cat at the beach house. All these things added up to a decision to just go.

The subway gods were with me and I made it from my front door to suited up and in the water in two hours---a new world's record.

So the suit's been baptized by water and other liquids. It kept me toasty warm until it got dark.

I was fairly pleased with my performance. There were at least three waves that I stood up on, and if I didn't ride them all the way to the beach, it was more because the waves ran out of power than because of anything I did (I think). But there were also at least three waves that I took off perfectly on but couldn't get up on. I couldn't get my feet in the right spot. On one I did stand, and the nose went down (not under) and I fell off forwards. I don't know why that happened, but it must have been because I didn't have enough weight on the back of my board----right? Usually if I fall when I'm already standing up, I fall backwards.

Overnight the wind picked up so much I could feel it shaking the house. I know that sounds weird, but I swear I felt the house shake through the floorboards. But the morning was sunny and almost like summer, the waves were small, and I almost went out. It was windy and choppy, but there were definitely rideable waves. With the sun and the warmth it might have been OK---but the wind was 30-40 MPH. Even at nearly sixty degrees, I thought I'd get cold out there pretty quickly. It was blowing offshore and I couldn't see spending two hours with those winds in my face. No one else was out. I could've done it and it might have been OK, but I decided not to.

As has been pointed out by others, the Surfline forecaster for Rockaway seems to be on crack half the time. Or at least he's highly unreliable. The forecasted head high waves were only two feet.

The next day it turned back to winter.

Oh...the busted thing? On the way back from the beach house, a cop saw me carrying my dog on the subway. "Miss? Step out of the car please." "Who me?" For the first time in 15 1/2 years of taking my dog (who weighs ten pounds) on the train, I got busted. The fuzz wrote me up a ticket for not having my dog in a carrier. $25 fine. Yeah, I knew you're not allowed to bring dogs on the subway. But getting busted once in fifteen and a half years is pretty good odds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A blast of winter

After a warm January, we finally got winter here---about two feet of snow! It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's wonderful. People were snowboarding in Central Park, or trying to. I watched that for a while and then I couldn't take it anymore; I had to go skiing. So that's where I've been the past couple of days.

Skiing was great. It feels good to be an expert in a sport rather than a struggling beginner! Though I have to say that surfing, in ways I may not be able to define, has made me an even better skiier.

In my opinion, surfing is w-a-a-a-a-a-y harder than skiing.

I haven't been surfing for weeks because there just haven't been waves. Now the springlike weather is back, and I'm ready to go!

Unfortunately I had a stupid fall; not on the slopes, but when I was getting off the lift. With my mind on the next run, I fell off (I know, Duh) in such a way that my skis crossed and I twisted my knee. I think I have to wait at least a couple of days before trying to surf.