Goofy weather and surfing in January… which is goofier?

January 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Yeah, okay… so former Vice President Al Gore – self-stated inventor of the Internet and several other well-known academia, scientists of every known (and mostly unknown to the rest of us) persuasions have been jumping up and down for beaucoup (that’s one of the 3.5 words from the French language I can say without mangling it completely) years about ‘global warming’.  Okay, tell that to the folks in upstate New York, Minnesota, northern Maine, and other like places. The Weather Channel® gives us millisecond updates on the latest greatest named storms – another aside here… Since when did they start naming routine weather patterns that dump lots of the wet stuff in either liquid or solid form? Which part of Huh?!! do I need to amplify at this point?  Our youngest daughter and her husband are stationed in upstate NY – their chief specialty is “Lake Effect Snow”.  Truthfully, I think I’d rather stick to being the “Pothole Importation Control and Evaluation Point of the Free World” that Southeastern Virginia is known for, rather than the continuous bombardment of this “Lake Effect Snow”. Perhaps. To invoke the principles of “Diminishing Returns”, it would seem that “Diminishing Returns” when applied to NY State would translate to when the darn snow diminishes in returning to plague them on a daily basis – generally about half-past May. Okay, can the same be said of SE Virginia’s notorious reputation for potholes?  I have my doubts. Every sitting president who has visited Norfolk in the past 50 years has always commented on the overwhelming amount of front-end alignment destroying critters during their brief     stop-overs.  Point is, they’re actually right.  For once.  I have previously noted the discrepancies of pothole ratios with our neighbors across the line in North Carolina.  They are virtually pothole-free, whereas we have potholes in our potholes.    But I digress… we’ll continue this discussion next week after this “potentially historic storm” has gone it’s route through the North East.  Hope you guys have your nuclear-powered snow-blowers ready to rock… it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun is coming your way later today.

Benjamin busting through a 2ft. wave in mid-winter.

I’m now officially in my mid-50s – fair game for AARP (yeah, they got to me a couple of years ago) and all of the other trappings of becoming an older person.  The darn commercials on television purporting to restore certain functions while at the same time exhibiting side effects that will really make your day, NOT… pass.  Be it not having to visit the rest room, to many other ‘personal functions’, the ever-growing list of sponsors that will give you another chance continues to amuse me.  Think about it… why on earth would you want to endure all of that nonsense just to hopefully achieve/regain a micro snap-shot of youth that is now a part of fond memories.  There are other things you can still do, be proud of being able to do, and not have to endure the side effects that will give you serious pause for the cause as to why you actually fell for that nonsense.  The one that brings the most chuckles to my wife and I are the individual “his-and-her” bathtubs facing a sunset. Really?  If that’s ‘the thing to do’ – again, I’ll grab a book and brew and call it good.  Instead, I have more fun surfing with my son – yesterday was nice and sunny, air temp in the low 50s. Lots of people of all ages abilities and interests on the boardwalk, the beach… etc. Wind was shifting from the west to the south, which produces a clean left breaking wave.  If you are thinking “John – that water has gotta’ be freeeeezzzziiinnnggg” you would be quite right. More like 39-40. Wetsuits are great at trapping water that your body then heats up, providing a certain degree of tolerance to catch those decent waves in the middle of winter. The key point is tolerance.  Usually, I’m good for about 2 hours of floating, paddling, chasing and occasionally even catching a wave or three. Benjamin – my 6’5” “mini-me” had been out the day before when there were significantly larger swells, and he was hooting away with the rest of the 1st Street Surfers – we’re the ‘locals’ who do this stuff year-round, regardless of rain, sleet, snow, or tourists. His 4/3 wetsuit (actually my winter wetsuit that he needs far more than I do since he doesn’t have the built-in density that I do – which took years to acquire, courtesy of Moosehead, clams, pizza, and other highly nutritional sources that allows me to use my thinner and more flexible 3/2 wetsuit in the winter) still retained a significant amount of the Atlantic Ocean from the previous day. If you wonder why, please review the wet in wetsuit. Anyhoot, he fussed up a storm pulling his wetsuit on yesterday. He still ran circles around me in the water… I came up lame after an hour with muscle cramps that you do not want to have – most especially when you are 200 yards off-shore in deep water. I came in, pulled off my leash and waited. Ben caught his last wave of the day on a board that is older than he is in true fashion – down the line nice long carve, kicked it hard left leaving a rooster tail behind him as he came in to shore. Nice to know that he’s carrying on what I had done at his age… at best, I can ride on my knees these days due to my buddy Arthritis.  I'm fully defrosted from yesterday as of 6am; I’ll be stiff for most of today and part of tomorrow, but Sunday afternoon will be here… I’ll be able to get back in the water for another round… of fun.

Better to have these memories – and STILL be able to surf to a point, than to contemplate the meaning of life from a bathtub.

Cape Henry Lighthouses - Winter SunsetCape Henry Lighthouses - Winter SunsetAt the end of a long cold day, sunset descends upon Cape Henry.

Old and the New - Cape Henry Lighthouses, Virginia Beach.


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