Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ACA Surf Zone Class, Fire Island Inlet, 9/28/14

Pure luck!

At Sebago, we gather to set up the schedule early in the year, when the days are still short, dark and cold. TQ and I had volunteered to teach a pair of ACA Level 4 classes, Tidal Currents and Surf Zone, at the Fire Island Inlet on the last weekend in September. It had gotten to feeling sort of fallish in the last week or so of summer - in fact I'd rather unhappily dug out my wetsuit for this year's edition of the Sebago Cup back on September 13th - but this first weekend of Fall, the weather reverted to pure summer. Eighty degrees, blue sky, sparkly water -- and yet still a manageable number of motorboats (I think we were first introduced to Democrat Point by Elizabeth O'Connor of Changing Tides Paddlecraft, she'd mentioned that this wasn't a good location in the summer because of the sheer density of recreational boaters and we paid attention when she said that).

Things got a little crazier than usual at work and I was a bit stressed out about the class, but it ended up working out fine. These are fun classes to teach, we had a great bunch of students, and in addition to the weather being just spectacular, the surf ended up being just about perfect for the skill level we had - we had a group of paddlers with a fair amount of experience under their belts, but mostly in more protected water. Gentle little one to two foot waves were good ones to spend some time paddling around in, we saw people visibly going from slightly nervous on their first run into the beach to relaxed and having fun paddling back and forth through the surf zone. Reminded me of how back in small-kid time in Hawaii, I used to call the little waves that you could play in without getting too roughed-up "pony waves" - just big enough to ride without being scary.

And for the first day, the eddy around Sore Thumb wasn't quite working when we got there and I was having visions of having to give people refunds because the eddy was broken - but that's a nice spot for a lunch break and as we ate I watched my eddyline form and sharpen up nicely. Between that and the sent of standing waves that form at Democrat Point as the ebb flows across the sandbar that forms there, it's an excellent place to introduce people to moving water.

I didn't take my camera on the first day because I was in charge that day; the second day I did take it and did get some nice pictures of the day. And that's all she wrote today, so click on the first picture for a slideshow view!

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