DelMarVa - May 25, 2002
"The Lefts Were Better Down the Beach"
Saturday, May 25, 2002 - early morning
Ocean City, Maryland, East Coast USA
Overcast with the air and water both in the upper 50s
Surf:  about as bad as it gets
Waves: waves a choppy knee to waist; high tide with strong onshore winds.
Who:  Alex Rodgers, Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson, Neal Carver and myself.
(Click on pics for larger view)
First wave check... at Fenwick Island, DE.  Snake leads the way as Neal Carver holds up an electronic device that is he wants to market.  The device is touted for it's abilities to modify the wind direction and intensity.  We need a working model today... with some offshore winds the waves could have been fun.

After a dismal look at the surf in Fenwick we head down the coast.  Snake tells the Electric Ham that we should have gone straight to 48th Street where the waves will be really big with offshore winds.

After several wave checks down the coast and a few pit stops we find ourselves back at a marginally better 65th Street.

The highlight of my session was talking some story with Randy, a local Surfrider Foundation activist. Amongst other things the local chapter is buying a GPS device that I can borrow for my next Beachscape project down in Puerto RIco.

Then I popped an ice cold Becks.  This beer has flavor just one notch up from your average domestic mass-produced golden hued beer.  But, it beats their dark stuff.  Make a note to restock some of the Guinness and local craft brews.  At least this stuff won't increase the risk of skin cancer.

A chick heard that a legend was down the beach surfing the larger, pounding lefts.  She can't wait to see him tuck into some grinders. She quickly dashes off without even saying good-bye.
The Snake hounds me into shame for not going south a few streets and surfing the bigger breakers. I told him that there's a need to pace oneself, that I am not sure if the preparation has been made to face such challenges.

The Electric Ham trudges his way north after a severe pounding.  When is he gonna learn to give up on that longboard? He struggles with his two boards on the trek back to the surf mobile as he bows his head in silent prayer... "This isn't what those priests promised me... but it did suck big time!"
This was Alex's first time in the water since our January trip to Puerto Rico.  To say the least, "It was bad." He chilled quickly without booties, gloves or hoodie.  Alex is still recovering from post final exam syndrome and suffers from him mom's wind induced sinus problems so he bugged out of the water early.  Hopefully we will catch some decent waves this coming week as a low pressure system forms down in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica region.

We had a good trip home talking story about the club's next year trip to Costa Rica, riding waves in Puerto Rico and Hawaii, shortboards and longboards, and about surfing The Hook next week if we encounter a combo of south swell and north winds.

Neal's Recollections:
Well, once again, I was stuck to a tight time line for surf.  I had to be back home around noon, so our departure time was 5:00 am sharp.  We hoped to miss the beach traffic and be in the water by 7:00 am.  Bruce and I met in Parole and loaded the boards at 4:45. Got a call from Rod and Alex.  They were almost there.  We loaded up and headed out. I kept the phone on hoping to get a call from the new member Russell Canard who was down for the weekend.  He probably woke up, heard the wind and went back to sleep (thats OK maybe next time).

We hit Fenwick Island beach at 7:10 only to find a strong north east wind and blown over surf.  Well we spent another 30 minutes before we found something to ride at 65th Street. We put our gear on and headed out. The surf had enough size but the tops were blowing over and made for ugly waves.  The lefts lined up a little better but they were still ugly. Anyway, I was bound and determined to down size my stick.  So I took out my 6'6" thruster fish with my longboard as a back up.  Well, I have allot of work to do to get back into the shortboard scene.  That thing felt squirrelly under my feet.  So I reverted back to my log.  I caught a few but nothing to speak of.  Rod and Alex stayed at the same peak I was at and Bruce went to the next peak down the beach.  After two hours, I was the only one left in the water...frustrated and disappointed with the conditions. I was ready to head home.

I would have liked to visit at the Bunker but was not in the best of spirits after the sesh.  We headed home and the guys in the car took turns nodding off.  We hit a Wawa and Rod bought me a cup of java and two Bagels. Yumm...Yumm.  The talked turned to travel and I came to the conclusion that bad days in the water are good training days for our trip to come.

Wishing for better surf,


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Rod having fun at GuidoPalooza 2000, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Sept 02