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Well let's see.......
It all started a couple of weeks ago when there was an apparent shortage of Bay Area wind. Days of sitting around reminiscing of days gone by, and 4.5's and 5.0s dancing through my head. Ahh weren't those the days. All there was to have was flat calm water with only the slight possibility of moving faster than the tide if only I had a 7.5 or 8.0. 6.4's missing whole panels, 7.4's who's mast makes even the most crooked pool stick frown with envy, there wasn't much to do but sit and remember. Moral at this time is running pretty low. Natives were about talking of The End. "The End?" I said to myself. "When did it every really Begin?" "El Nino screwing up the weather patterns for the year." Talk of parking meters, and possible concession projects demanding money to sail Third Ave. Talk of loosing our parking lot for Wetlands Beautification Project. Temperatures were rising, and wind speed was declining at a rate faster than my attitude. It wasn't looking to good so I broke into the six pack hours early and decided to count the golf balls which I could hear hitting just above my head.
Following two days of crushing losses on the V-ball court, Thursday finally rolled about. I proceeded to waste half the day looking out the window trying to remember what it would be like to sail again. Would I have to go on Vacation again just to get some sailing time? Looking at the amount of billable time I had for the day, Vacation was ruled out. Not like there was a lack of work just lack of desire to work. My head was filled with steady breezes that seemed to keep clear all thoughts of work. So I left work early, bought the customary six pack for which I have become accustom to purchasing before a day of sailing or counting golf balls. Loaded up the boards, questioned the reason for this action, and drove over to the not so famous Third Avenue Sailing Site for which I so affectionately call home.
And then it happened. Just like that. There it was right in front of me in all of its glory! Not a single god dam spot in the parking lot. So I temporarily parked illegally, as many have done already, and unloaded my gear. And parked my car in the boonies. Not many people in the water but a whole bunch standing around in the rigging area with bay water dripping from their wet suits telling tall tales of awesome chop hoppin and speed runs galore. I noticed blood running from a cut on a sailors nose. The sun and saltwater giving it that extra blood red glow that it always does. It didn't seem to faze him though. He just grinned and talked of the awesome chop for which he encountered in the channel. Giving my usual greetings to the few people I know, I noticed The Post Orgasmic Glow on there faces. "You should have been hear earlier! It was going off!" is what they told me. It was like hearing a woman tell you "You were really close that time. It's not you, Really, It's me." Thinking of how many Golf balls I would count today someone said "Rig up quick there still may be some out there for you." I grinned and maintained my sceptacizim.
I set up the biggest sail I had. (6.0) Can't remember where I acquired this sail. I seem to recall it being a gift from a fellow sailor with whom I once sailed with. Not the greatest sail In the world, but a pretty dam good one for me. I've had my best days on that sail. I remembered back to old days of speed runs at Candle Stick fumbling with foot straps and harness lines, looking at the traffic on 101 regretting my drive home to Foster City. I remember thinking some day I'll be able to sail Third Avenue. It wasn't long and Ole Faithful ( my 6.0 ) was all set up. Receiving many strange looks and hearing the occasional whispering, I checked Ole Faithful's boom height and basked in all its blue and pink glory. Grabbing the other faithful piece of equipment I own, Astro Rock, Vintage 1988-89, I did my check list, Booties, Shorty, Life Jacket, Piece of shit 4 dollar that not even a German Shepard could hear on a good day Whistle, Harness, and one chilled six pack. All is good! Locked the car, stowed away the keys, grabbed my rig and headed for the ramp. Got up to my knees in water and noticed "Dammit forgot my gloves!". "Screw it", I thought to myself, "Theres more holes in those things then there is fabric." The wind blew ever so smoothly through my Sun Bleached Hair coaxing me to get on. Then he, the Wind God, reached down with his gentle hand and placed me ever so carefully onto my relic. Feet now firmly wedged into the new footstraps that had been installed the prior week, I noticed how out of place they looked on that board. But what the hell this was no fashion contest and they felt much better than the duct tape they had replaced. It was then I realized the Wind God must have woke from a long drunken sleep, not realizing just how many days had gone by, walked over to the big switch in the sky, and in one ever so careful swoop flipped the switch back on. It was the most beautiful sight I'd seen in a long time. Or a least in the last 6 days. "Thank you Wind God, Thank you.", I said to myself.
There I was, zooming along, zig zagging through the chop. Subtle adjustments to the harness lines proved ever so helpful. Screaming along and then it happened, as if it were an accident. But hell no it was no accident I did it on purpose, and dammit I did it with as much style as I could. Screaming along at top speed there it was the perfect ramp. There's no turning down this one, Just Do It! Just like in the Nike commercial, and just like that I flew off the top of that chop like there was no tomorrow. Tucking up my back foot there I was flying through the air. Fin Completely out of the water, even if it was only a couple of feet, I was flying not sailing. Eyes wide open, and as if were in slow motion, my mind was taking careful notes, feels no different then sailing the chop, just alot smoother. Then it was time, time to land. Closing my eyes preparing for the all to common crash which has become associated with just such an occurrence. Wham! I Hit with a big loud smack! And there I was in the straps sailing along. Wait a minute? I'm still going. Something can't be right. Oh yeah hook in! And in one smooth motion there I was sailing along like it never happened. But Wait! It did happen, I just landed my first real jump. Yahooooo..... "Thank you Wind God, Thank you." It was all coming together like pages in a book, Life was grand.
Sailing along deciding which anchored barge to avoid I realized it was time. As if I'd been there and done that, with jumping chop. After one jump it was time. Time to stop jumping, time to stop sailing long distances, time to stop dreaming of doing it, time to stop wanting to do it. It was time! Time to jibe! There I was, fully powered, I choose my section of water, rode up the nearest swell, carved down and initiated my jibe. Ok un hook, step out of the straps, bend the knees, pressure down the mast, try too keep your speed up, ok ok I think its happening. What next? Oh shit, hey wait a minute, I think I can flip the sail. Ok here goes, get ready to fall, you know it will happen as it always does. Flip the sail, board stalls, and in the drink you go... But no! Speed is still there, flip the sail, like magic my hands land on the boom and Holy Shit! I'm still going. Switch my feet, sheet in, hook in, in the straps I go, and low and behold I'm still planning and picking up speed. "Thank you Wind God, Thank you."
Slowly but surely one by one all the sailors had left our little pond, and like a lone lost duckling searching frantically for it mother, I sailed back and forth, in search of more jibes, more chop hops and anything else I could do. Numerous times I sailed by the ramp, thinking its time to get out. It just kept blowing and I just kept sailing. Attempting jibe after jibe, with a better than 50% average I just couldn't leave. My hands began to swell with pain. The fingers in a permanent curl from clutching to the boom for so long I just couldn't leave. Not even the thought of the chilled six pack waiting in the car was enough to draw me out of the water.
After noticing the color games the sun plays with the clouds during sunset I noticed the sun now firmly set beyond the horizon. It was now time leave. One last reach, a jibe, and I'll shoot straight for the ramp for my final exit. Ok zooming along heading for the channel marker, chop getting slightly bigger, ahh what the hell go for it!. Off the top of the chop I go, land it, Yes! I knew I could do it. Look there's a big one over there, go for it dude! Straight up the chop I go, Yahhhooooo........ Text book jump, feet tucked, and grin from ear to ear. Then like a sack of brick exploding on impact I hit the water. Whamm. You could of heard it miles away. After creating a little of my own swell after impact I swam for my gear. Realizing how low the tide was I stood up humbled once again, still bearing that same grin. "Thank you Wind God, Thank you."
Up I go, water starting, picking up speed initiating another jibe, good speed, unhook, out of the straps, bent knees, start carving that turn and then just like magic... I buried a rail and slammed myself into the water. Yup just like magic I thought. No worries though. Sail was in the water set up perfect for a water start. Off I go again picking up good speed. It must be near 8:30pm, I thought to myself and It's still blowin. Screaming for the shore I sailed in awe. In awe of the Wind God, in awe of just how awesome Third Avenue really was. Simple, nothing exotic, just a small parking lot north of the San Mateo Bridge. A small area to set up next to a small golf course adding a nice landmark with some of the best windsurfing in the country. All this five minutes from home. "Damm," I said to myself "This place kicks ass." I sailed back to shore like it was the Last Sailing Day of the year. Planned all the way to the ramp. I carried my rig up the ramp cursing myself for leaving the water when there was still wind. But hoped for another good day tomorrow, thinking, "Cold six pack, truck, YES! Thank you Wind God, Thank you."
The weekend only got better. Plenty of wind to be had for all. Wind blowing from the mid teens to mid twenties all weekend long. Lots of Post Orgasmic Glow to be had for all. People came from as far away as Sacramento to sail here at Little Ole Third Avenue. Before you knew it the weekend was gone. Monday had arrived the hustle and bustle of work and the commute was back. My body was battered and torn. Muscles were bruised and ached all over, yet I just had to go back for more. Last I looked it was still blowin. All this sailing puts me to sleep at an early hour, rising at yet an earlier hour ready to work but all I can think about is how much earlier I can leave to go sailing.
For as long as I live here I will return again six pack in hand and gear ready to go at the mercy of the Wind God.
Hopefully we will have an extended season of sailing, and the City of Foster City won't take our parking lot too soon for their Wetlands Beautification Project. Because the way I see it the "Third Avenue Sailing Site" is already the most beautiful wetland site in the world. How could you possible make it any more beautiful?
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