Day With Dan King
<<It's still a blank! What's in the juice? Not many pics. Where's the salt and the lime?>>
Was I at a premiere East Coast Surfing Party last night??? Only time will tell! But it did have a mild but definite groggy impact.
Thankfully, the car was preloaded for an early 5:15 a.m. departure, Beth was on schedule and Cooler had been excited about the trip ever since we had discussed it the night before--he was the first one out the door.
Loaded with a strong mug of expresso and a solid thermos of expresso grind drip brew we gunned it over to the luxury palace that alt.surfing's Dan King called home for 48 hours. Dan was visiting Balto prospecting for gold, so we thought we'd show him some of our fools' gold down at the DelMarVa.
The truth be known... he was mostly here to pile up some "Close Encounters of the alt.surfing kind" points! If Dan finds himself doing some IT hackwork in Btown this Fall, he plans to pile up points in joining us at this year's Guidopalooza. Then he's targeting ASers in Jersey and New England to stuff our (Foon and I) points totals back to oblivion. All I can say is that this is win-win! Dan would be a welcome addition to the GP. He's sure to have that special San Diego swell touch for the OBX like his cohort, Tom Keener, who killed swell everywhere he ventured during his Four Points tour of the USA.
P.S. See below for the really good reports (and a non-report by KC).
"One Carload Is a Crowd at NJs"
(Photo by: Kirk Mantay)
The Dan King Report: "Downie Shore"
I had a short business trip to Baltimore arriving, on Saturday the 10th for meetings on the morning of Monday the 12th, flying back Monday afternoon. It was set up on very short notice. Of course the first thing I did was to email alt.surfers Rod & Foon (on Tuesday, no less). Over the next couple of days, we watched Cristobal with hope, and then dismay.
I arrived at BWI at 1930 EDT on Saturday. Rod's cell phone was out of range, but I got a call from Rod's wife at 2230, saying they would pick me up at 0530. I did what I could to get to sleep early, but didn't manage it until 0030 on the 11th. I knew it would be painful, but it was the perfect way to jumpstart myself into EDT.
The alarm rang at 0430. Knowing we had a long ride ahead of us, I forced myself to get out of bed, showered and coffeed, and was waiting in front of the hotel when Rod drove up at 0528, sharp. We had a pleasant ride with enjoyable conversation (although I am sure that I was even less coherent than usual) through the Eastern Shore farm country of Maryland and Deleware, with a great sunrise over the marshes. We got to the beach sometime around 0800, and shortly afterward Foon Doggy Dogg arrived.
The coast is very beautiful, with the landscape consisting of rolling sand dunes, dune grass, and scrub pine, with an abundance of dune birds. This is a lot different than the coast of SoCal and Baja, which mostly consists of cliffs, canyons, cactus, and coyotes. It was a nice change, and reminded me of my old beach haunts in MA.
The surf was less aesthetically
pleasing. It was pretty inconsistent, with sets in the waste-chest
range. The short supply of surf did little to reduce the demand of
the local surfers, who were out in force. There was a pack of maybe
10-12 people, mostly
The setup is pretty good:
a jetty forms a mini-point break, with a well developed mini-cove on the
north (right) side. It had great
We met Kirk "Weekday" Mantay on the beach, he had already surfed for a couple of hours - he must have left Balmer at 0300 in order to do so. He was in between sessions and gave us the scoop on the lineup and hazards (stumps and rocks on the inside).
Water was warm (too warm for my preferences), clear, and glassy. We made the short paddle out on the south side of the jetty, utilizing a rip Tide that was surprisingly powerful considering the lack of surf. It was pretty difficult to maintain position in the very narrow takeoff zone, if you stopped paddling for 30 seconds, you'd inevitably end up 25 yards away.
The takeoff zone was right at the top of the jetty. The set waves would suck out and pitch onto dry rock, then peel and mush through a couple of sections into the shorebreak. The waves were pretty slow and weak. Even with the additional 30# of thrust produced through the use of paddling gloves, it was very difficult to get into waves: advantage longboarders.
Rod was taking off extremely deep, very close to dry rock, which was the only way to utilize the "power pit" of the wave. I was a little jet lagged, and not that comfortable with the crowd or hazards at the top of the jetty, so I joined the Foonster on the inside for a while. I eventually caught some insiders and even got a few turns in. After a couple of hours in the water, I caught my last wave, which was also the best: an insider with a shore-dump micro-barrel. I nearly got tubed a second time, as I ended my ride very close to the posterior anatomy of a bikini clad beach babe. 8-]
Although the surf wasn't
very good, I got some great paddling exercise and had an opportunity spent
some time in the water with
We packed up our gear and got back on the road, this time heading for that infamous den of iniquity: the Foon Bunker. I rode with Foon, who gave me the (well-scripted) Coast Highway Tour narrative. After maybe half an hour we got to the Bunker, which is directly overlooking the beach in the heart of downtown Ocean City. It is a sweeeeet setup! Foon has the ability to monitor surf conditions and beach activity for a couple of miles up and down the coast, all from the comfort of his balcony. His dawn surf check requires only that he sit up in bed. Rod, Mrs. Rodgers, and Kirk showed up shortly thereafter, food was procured and consumed with gusto, and much energetic conversation and hilarity ensued.
The surf in OC was somewhat larger and more consistent than we had found to the north. Shoulder-high shorebreak was dredging and thumping in inches of water, but there were some corners to be found. Tempting....but insanely crowded with tourists.
It was a great time, but all too soon we needed to head for town. On a Sunday afternoon, westbound traffic is a major consideration. Rod avoided the main routes, and wound our way though a somwhat bewildering maze of rural roads somewhere along the MD/DE border. I was definitely hitting the wall by this time, so my recollection of the ride is pretty fuzzy. Rod dropped me off at my hotel just before sunset. I had a quick bite to eat and a beer, and crashed hard.
I jumped out of bed early
and feeling great on Monday morning, feeling in top shape for my meetings.
A big breakfast and coffee,
This whirlwind trip was incredibly successful, thanks especially to the outstanding efforts and hospitality of Rod, Mrs. Rodgers, Foon Doggy Dogg, and Weekday Mantay. This trip absolutely highlighted what is far and away the best aspect of participation in alt.surfing: alt.surfers can go just about anywhere in the coastal US, and many places around the world, and know a local. That just can't be beat.
P.S. How about another crabcake,
The Weekday Report: "Surf Report Sunday---I Love a Crowd"
So I set off early to catch
the light SW winds and the incoming tide at NJs on saturday morning. I
arrived at 5:40am to find knee, knee, knee, waist, stomach!!!! waves, and
put the fins on my board and ran down for a surf. Paddling out 30 minutes
Oh my God though. The sky
was a beautiful pink and when the sun came up it was pink too. I actually
thanked God for the fun little morning of surf all to myself---for awhile.
It was knee-thigh ESE swell with a ENE waist-stomach occ. chest set about
every 8-9 minutes. Most of my waves had nice walls on outside and inside,
workable for (average) 3-4 good turns. Got one (cheater) coverup, and actually
rode out of it standing...well, squatting. At 6:30 2 carloads of dewey
surf and sport people showed up, of various skill levels. Some were clueless
and should NOT have been surfing at such a dangerous spot. Not a good place
to learn. I was way bummed out. A couple of the DS&S employees were
picking off almost all of the good waves, and the beginners were
Gradually the crowd thinned, and then got thicker--but with more beginners and less aggros! Crowd thinned to about 5 guys on the point (still too many) and 10 mixed-level surfers on the second point, which was breaking right and left. The small waves absolutely died for awhile and the sets got bigger and connected really well. Good day to be a longboarder. Got some good rides but had some close calls too.
About 830, the Mobile Geriatric Ward (Foon and Rod and the Cardiac Arrest First Alert Team: Cooler and Beth) showed up with Dan from alt.surfing San Diego. Rod, as usual, did his best to piss off everyone by sitting on THE OTHER SIDE of the jetty and riding the set waves across the rocks, where no longboarder dare tread! I took off at the point, only to be STUFFED into the rocks by some kook on a funboard who didn't even look to see if someone else was on the wave. I survived, but once again, the Jetties claimed a big ol' ding in my board (noticed it on the way home). At least this time no broken glass and/or stringer. It will stay dented until post Costa.
That guy (surprisingly?) left before I had a chance to have a one-to-one with his front teeth, and the waves again mellowed. Set waves shrank and became more scarce. Short period ESE swell picked back up and provided Foon and I with some super-fun waist+ dropins and lines. Some were smaller, I have to admit... My personal favorite was getting dropped in on by a kid whose board I had to hold in my hand as I surfed down the line, so it didn't spear me in the neck (he was standing on the board).
It would have been nice to
have Robb et al. present for these great events, but alas, our superhero
Mr. Smith was busy (insert
Winds started to switch to the south and pick up.....choppiness! and the old guys had to make it to town for their noon dialysis (aka gin&tonics), so we headed south to the foonbunker. got eats from island pizza or some place in southernmost fenwick. I have never eaten a cheesesteak so fast. The view from Foon's is lovely, even if he IS obsessed with watching the crippled woman with the glittery silver hat. You guys should all make it out there sometime if you haven't already. Thanks for the hospitality Foon!
My first day of clean, walled surf since late June. Not bad for a weekend!
- Weekday Warrior.
Words: The plan was to coordinate a session among several groups of people using modern cellphone technology. An advance team (Kirk "weekday" Mantay) volunteered to be the first one at the gate and arrived at 5:O-dark-30 am. He wasn't. I was up at dawn but don't function too well until fully caffeinated and fed. From the Bunker Balcony uptown OC still looked good if only a foot of height had not been subtracted from the previous days chesthigh waves. Still, had I not made commitments to surf Delaware I would have hit Midtown or Assateague Island for the incoming tide. Other people in our plan had made the same guess and did very well I'm told. I decided to call Rod on his new wizbang cellphone already in transit toting dog, wife and distinguished visiting ASer Dan King "downie shore". Dan had arrived the previous night and Rod thought it would be a "nice" thing to pick him up before dawn (the equivalent time for Dan of 2:30 am).
"Shit Rod, that must have been one hell of a party at Snake's last night. Burned so many braincells you forgot how to talk. What were you drinking?
"Either your phone sucks possum dicks or you're in a sketchy deadzone brah. Did Kirk call you about the surf?"
"Well I take it you're still going to Navel Jetties. Where are you now?"
"Well I'm taking off, I guess I'll see you guys up there."
"Uh, well fuck you to brah. Catcha later hun."
With travel mug of crappacino and gear in hand I stepped to the Mean Green FoonMachine to make the 30 mile trip North with only those gadddddamn early morning joggers in the road to get in my way. Forty minutes later I pulled into the NJs parking lot, surprisingly full, to find Rod and Sleepy Dan offloading their gear. A quick look at the break showed 7 guys clustered right on the tip of the jetty with a few well connected swells giving decent rides.
After kisses and hugs ;) we walked down to the beach to find Kirk who'd been in a few hours by then. He gave us a quick rundown of the setup and attitude and warned Rod this was a mellow crowd. We quickly dressed and jumped in riding a swift current out to the jetty point.
With the unwelcome arrival of we paipo/bodyboarders the LBers who owned the break had to give way to Rock Dance Rodgers whose primary objective was to see how sick a drop he could take onto the boulders of the jetty and still make the waves.
I tried to hang with him
but my long legs were already pinging the tops of the rocks. Inviting another
injury such as losing a kneecap would definitely alter my plans for healthy
GP2K2 in about a month. Rod relished taking the peak on the other side
of the jetty then slaloming his way through the pack on his little chip/paipo.
After three failures to score waves to myself, I moved in to a
From the inside I saw Kirk
and another guy lining up for a good size wall. Kirk had position and priority
and was taking off directly into the rocks, and he would have made it had
the guy on his right not stuffed him with out even a look. It looked worse
than it was I guess. I thought Kirk jumped right into the cluster of boulders
at the end of the jetty. The worst that happened was a
It was obvious to me there were too many guys and too few waves. I dialed back my expectations just happy to be in the water with friends and enjoying the beautiful day, and taking whatever happened to come my way. A decent wall snuck through the pack and bounced up behind me. I was on it but should have glanced a second time to my left to see if a LBer who was stroking hard had gotten it. As it was I paddled harder (the gloves I wore this time really helped for once) and popped into a nice long clean wall that had playable sections and a zippy coverup inside.
When I pulled out I turned and saw the LBer working the soup behind me. He'd ridden all the way in too. I felt bad at first but noticed later this same guy caught far more waves and rode them farther then anyone in the water. My little indiscretion was not that big a deal.
The tide and wind inevitably made the break unusable. The pack thinned, the floss thin beach disappeared to the incoming water and an endless convoy of SUVs riding on the beach. We decided to split for the Bunker for Lunch.
I drove back with Dan giving him the Foonseye perspective on the Delmarva Shore. It was nice to get to know him better and increase my encounter points in the process ;) Lunch on the Bunker Balcony was delish with subs and fresh fruit all around and a spectacular summer afternoon at the shore kept us there for hours.
With two days of surfing in the dead of August a rare thing without some kind of offshore storm, I felt lucky to have been "downie shore" this weekend. Thanks to Rod, Dan, and Kirk for making my weekend a lot of fun.
Despite the rumors spewed above there was a rather orderly crew of about three of us on the jetty point (the fourth one was another story - see Weekday's report). We basically rotated the inside position the only difference being that I usually took off deeper on the rocks than the other two guys. The swell had a bit too much north in it (ENE) to connect with the inside section on my board -- even the talented longboarder was frustrated in many of his attempts to connect for a longer point-like ride.
- Rahman (pronounced "rock-mawhn") Rodgers
on alt.surfing - Reply to "DelMarVa-The King's Arrival"
By the way Rod and Foon just for the record, I WAS the first one in the water that day (5:40, sunrise was 6:10) (half an hour before anyone else showed up), and I DID call Rod (okay, the Rod cell phone has now been downgraded to Rod's son, which I forgot). So when Rod's son woke out of his drunken slumber at about 2pm sunday, he got a message from me about the surf.
And I have 3 compression dings on the left bottom rail (all large), one crushed glass rail ding (small), and another compression ding along the stringer (small). F*ckin fabulous. I go through boards like I go through...umm...nevermind. :) Boards are replaceable. My skull is not. And I got barreled once that day, for the first time in easily 2+ months, so that's gotta be worth some dings.
--Weekday aka bull shark bait.
|The MIA Reports
We tried to catch up with you guys but we were unsuccessful. Next time we compromise on departure time (not 2:00am but not 7:00 am either) and we all go together.
We had fun and rode 64th
and Assateague - Assateague was tough for me on a 6'6". (should have rented
I was going left and it was
starting to line up like it was going to break ahead of me so I built a
little speed and took a real high line (not a floater, just a high line-
it hadn't broken yet) and this guy is walking out with his board and continues
I realize that if I continue
I am going to hit him dead on so a bring it down and wind up getting rolled
with the break. I wind up right next to him in the impact zone. He says,
"F*&$ you almost hit me!!" I was stunned! What I was expecting was
"F*&$, I am
But I didn't get that. It was funny how the only two people who listened to him gripe were two groms that were hooting me on when I caught the wave.
He may be the surf bongo boy.
I paddled away and let the local be- you have to give some room for that even if you feel he was in the wrong.
All in all, we had a good day.
Kevin Filer -- My Excuse
You are never going to believe this!!!
So I wake up at 10:30 this
morning...I can't believe how late it is!! I was supposed to meet Robb
Then all of a sudden my cat
belches so loud!! And I look down at him and there is a minute-hand in
Yep, that's right!
Oh, and my poor performance
had absolutely NOTHING to do with the tequila I consumed at Snake's luau.
Embarassed in Pasadena,
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