Big NW at the Boiler - DENIED!
It happens to all of us during the course of our wavesailing adventures. Whether a first timer or seasoned pro, everyone gets denied sooner or later when attempting to traverse out though the whitewater in the surf zone. Today at the Boiler was one of those times for me.
I received calls from Caleb and Charlie around 11:00am noting that the surf was pumping and the wind was up at Boiler. I decided to take an extended lunch break and head down to check it out. I arrived to find blowing sand with NW winds hovering in the mid 20s gusting well into the 30s. Charlie, Caleb, and Dana were the first ones on the water and conditions looked challenging yet fun with overhead to logo high sets on the outside bar and plenty of whitewater walls on the inside. Though, with the strong winds, timing, and a little luck, it did not look too bad to make it out.
Dan, Keith, and Chad were also there rigging when I arrived. They headed over the dune line to give it a shot as I was rigging my 4.7m. I contemplated rigging 4.2m, but figured the extra power would be nice for the inside. As I was suiting up, I saw Keith coming back over the dune with a broken mast. Ah, today was going to be fun!
I entered the water around 1:00pm and with welcomed with light air on the inside and a sloshing current generated by the large surf. I made it out to the middle bar but was denied by a head high wall of whitewater in a close-out section. Bad luck for me. I washed into the inside and was able to recover for another attempt, but winds were dropping. On the second attempt, again I was denied in the same section with no power to drive over the incoming froth. I could have caught the shoulder if there was more wind, but again my luck did not hold. Additionally, this second attempt floundered at the onset of a large wave set so I was separated from my gear and had to make the swim inside to recover again. By this time, I had drifted downwind from the launch, and decided to return to the beach and try again. However, when I reached the beach, there was no longer blowing sand and everyone started to come back in. The wind was dying for those even on the outside; therefore, this short session was coming to a close. I watched for a while, but as the wind continued to drop, I decided to pack it up. Its been a while since I have been denied, but...
Though, there is a "badge of honor" with making it out past the surf zone. Often, all you have to do is get out and you accomplished your session for the day. When the waves are big, the wind is light, and whitewater is everywhere, you do feel accomplished when you make it past the impact zone. Aloha Classic Hatteras Style!
Charlie did show his style by coming in to the beach and then successfully slogging back out at least three more times on a 5.0m Aerotech Charge and Exocet 95ltr wave stick, even after the wind died! A nice combination of skill, determination, and luck.
Some additional photos from today:
Dan ready to head out into the soup
Caleb and Charlie in the middle section
Caleb and Charlie sharing a nice logo high outside set wave with Dana on the far right heading out
Everyone watching Charlie go back out for another attempt after the wind had died
Dana ready for round two after rigging bigger!