$17.50+ Round Trip to Avon!

Well, as an OBX local residing in Nags Head, I determined that the round trip mileage from my house to the Canadian Hole/Ego Beach in Avon is exactly 100 miles. At around 20 mpg for the 4runner, and gas running $3.50+ per gallon...that puts me at or over $17.50 per trip. Likely the cost will be higher since gas prices continue to rise, and I believe is now above $3.60 per gallon in Nags Head. All in all, chasing the wind now has true fiscal ramifications! This Spring, we have had a number of windy days; however, most all have been "up and down" with short periods of strong wind followed by long periods of lull. I've experienced everything from remaining local and catching juiced 5.3m sessions at Jockey's Ridge (2 min from my house), to driving to Avon and getting skunked. The worst is when you leave wind to find wind, and where you left gets windier! This scenario happened last week when I was hoping to find some side-onshore waves/whitewater on the south side (east facing surf was non-existent) and made the drive to Buxton. The wind never happened on the southern OBX; however, Nags Head sites ripped with 30mph SW conditions! All in all, beyond the time spent driving around to find the perfect conditions, the fuel costs are now a real issue when making the trek. I can only imagine for the visiting crew who drive 100s of miles one way to catch an OBX weekend forecast; which either does not materialize, or is too crazy to enjoy.
I believe I may have to adopt a few road rules:
1) If SW wind is blowing, and the sky is cloudy, remain local.
2) If the ocean is completely flat, and winds are strong in Nags Head, remain local.
3) If strong SW wind but storms are approaching from the west, remain local.
4) If day 1 of a strong NE, remain local.
5) If day 3 of a strong NE and east facing ocean is all whitewater, head south for Izzys, Hatteras Inlet, or Ocracoke.

local = 20 mile radius, down to the Boiler

Well, these rules would be great if I could follow them, but...do I want to miss this...of course not!?! At least once June arrives and the consistent afternoon SW thermals return, Salvo Ramp will be back in the spotlight, and that site is about a 60 mile round trip for me, or somewhere over $10.00!

On the flip side, maybe I should invest in a kiteboard rig, and head south fully armed to catch any wind found!


At 12:21 AM, Blogger James Douglass said...

Wow, $17.50 is nothing to sniff at!

I try to follow rules of thumb like yours for when to stay local and when to drive, but sometimes I still get skunked. I reckon you have to gamble a bit to score big. :)

Sounds like a good idea to cart along some light wind / kite gear as insurance. Do you have any interest in longboard wavesailing like Stuart and Andy?

At 6:31 AM, Blogger Andy said...

James has got it right, dude! Spend $1500 on a board that'll last a decade (+), or $2000 on some lightweight nylon that'll bag out in 6 months and still NEEDS 12 mph to fly!

Ahh, who am I kidding, kiting is really fun, too, so get whatever you want! As long as you've got a smile on your face!

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Catapulting Aaron said...

Maybe it's time to move south? Or get a hybrid? (since the beach driving is going the way of the dinosaur anyway).

At 7:43 AM, Blogger PeconicPuffin said...

Yah man. It's 480 miles from my place to Avon...works out to about $170 round trip for gas. Must pick those trips carefully!

Come up our way and check out proper New York wavesailing (maybe not proper but this is what we get...12 miles from da crib.)

I want to get into longboard wavesailing myself!

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Right now, Rule 3 is coming into play. Lots of weather to the west heading this way, but super windy all over the OBX! Decisions....

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Andy said...

Another option is carpooling. Stuart and I have been rotating trucks even for quick jaunts up to 34 or down to the hole, and definitely when we head to the south side. I've had four people and a dog in my regular cab compact truck, with gear for everyone on the roof rack and piled high in the bed. You and Billy should work something out for the long hauls when you've both got the day off!

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Lano said...

Feel your pain Bill, we spend hours driving around some weekends, we have all our sailing spots within 100kms radius, so looking at the same dollars that you are talking about. The difference is that we have a cheaper car to run, L series Subaru and a trailer for all our gear now. We also have spots that we reckon have their own micro climate, windy on one side of the peninsula and still on the other....bloody frustrating!

PS: At least you have some wind, its been still for 5 weeks here in South Australia

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Only kooks stay local to become loco.
You're loco

I'm smart, i time my 700 miles r/t trip and catch awesome conditions, sometimes...

Loco means no balls, no gambling, no fun, no good windsurfing.

Get real, time it right and follow the gut feeling and when your buddies are mia and not answering their phone, something must be right somewhere....

Buenos Nachos LOCO

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, so last year it was costing you $13.50 to catch a session on the island. This year it's $17.50, that's an increase of $4.00 r/t or $2.00 each way. Wouldn't it be easier reduce the wifes allowance than miss awesome ocean sessions? How much were those chocolate covered cherries during your non-sailing B+B tour of the coast last year? OR maybe the chick surfing week? I would think with a little reduction in those expenses you could afford some $4.00/gal gas and still make lots of trips to Hatteras to sail.



Post a Comment

<< Home