Monday, February 23, 2015

The First Nice Sunday After the Last Freeze

Yesterday was a blast. I'm sore and limping, but the pix from the GoPro are a permanent reminder of the day. Coming right off of a couple of days of freezing weather and cabin fever, and we are on the beach! The wind had been cranking but both Hector and Carmen caught the forecast that predicted the wind would die on Sunday and they were right.
Was a paddleboard the right call for the day? We hit it at high tide, so the waves were a bit mushy, but the leftover chop in the water made it a serious core workout for paddleboarders. I can't remember the last time I fell off my board so often just from random bits of chop hitting me from behind. I'm getting so many good waves though, that I have to believe that the giant board and paddle are just my thing. If I can ever figure out how to handle the impact zone, I will have this thing wired. Right now, it is get out there fast, get some waves and get back out fast...but it doesn't always happen just like that and with yesterday's 5 second interval, I took some beatings on the inside.
Carmen, Sam, Miguel, and Hecti were a great bunch of friends to surf and go to lunch with...I don't have to relive the glory days...we have them now!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Florida Waves In February

Thursday, 2/12/2015 was a day that was well hyped in the local surfing predictions, so the water was full of surfers, even on a weekday. We have had lots of wind and swell and the prediction was that the wind would clock around offshore. It did and we had big, beautiful waves. This also meant an awesome day for the best surfers and lots of frustration for the rest of us. 15+ mph offshore wind meant the waves LOOKED like you could catch any of them, but most of the time you would get blown back off the face. It was more difficult than I thought it might be on the paddleboard, and that might be why I was the only paddleboarder out for a while. I probably caught more waves than I would have on my surfboard, but losing your board on a wave is way worse when you have to swim with a paddle in your hand. We surfed at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, plenty of surfers and plenty of waves to get. I was able to time the sets and get right outside, but after riding a few I got stuck on the inside and had to take my beating. It was tough enough that I couldn't hang onto my board on the inside. Bottom line, not a wussy day...more of an adrenaline rush!
Short video of waves on Thursday

Monday, February 9, 2015

As Florida Continues To Amaze me

I just came back from a camping trip with 'da boyz' in my family and my brother introduced me to Princess Place Preserve. He had spoken of it before, and I had figured it was just a bit of sawgrass on the side of the Indian River up near Saint Augustine. Every place else we looked was booked solid (damn Yankees), but Princess Place was wide open. It turned out to be the exact right place for us guys. The downside? no electricity, and no potable water anywhere. The upside? Giant campsites with more privacy than you could ever hope to find in Florida. Being that we went in February, we knew it was possible to have wind and freezing cold. We did get enough of that, but it kept the mosquitoes away, and made the campfire circle a lot more fun. My sleeping bag proved it's worth and I gladly spent the two days without a shower. There was a shower, but between the cold and the sulfur water, I decided to pass. The ranger was a great guy, and he gave us firewood and a tour of the Princess Lodge. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, then the Princess Lodge and it's history will intrigue you. This place has campsites that are very different, and one thing I noticed is that next trip, I will try a different one. We had Moody#3, beautiful and right on open water, with just enough trees to block the freezing cold wind. You can only tent camp here, but it is awesome for bicycles and kayaks. A really big deal is the horse section of the park, but I'm not a horse guy. If I ever did decide to try some horseback riding, this seems like the best place I've seen to do it. I will be back, and when I come, I will have gallons of water on board...oh yeah, Saturday night, I think my brothers and I were the only people around in the 1100 acre park! Try to do that somewhere else in Florida!