Odds and Deep Ends No. 25

It's been a slow summer. Some of us have been lucky enough to get out in the occasional breeze with large sails or long boards but, by and large, it has been quiet. When it's quiet, we have way too much time on our hands and, instead of getting out on the equipment we have, we spend hours reading web pages about places we will never go and justify purchasing equipment we'd use if we ever got there - which we won't. Not the least because we've spent our money on gear that will get wet maybe three times in the next decade.

How bad is the summer? Even youtube knows it's pretty bad.

recommended for no wind
Recommended for us? Thanks, youtube. Now you are just being mean.

While we desperately try to find a way to pay for this gear, we thought you might enjoy the following tidbits.

Better get the Carfax

We love trolling Craig's List for windsurfing gear. Once every five years we come across something worthwhile. The rest of the time, we realize that along with cockroaches the only other thing to survive a nuclear war will be crappy, heavy plastic boards from 1986. Craigs List has an endless supply of them. If we could convert them to biofuel, we could drive our windsurfmobiles to Hatteras every weekend.

The descriptions are humorous as are the asking prices. This board, however, really caught our interest. It's an old Mistral with a decidedly unique set of graphics. According to our CSI: Flowery Branch lab, the graphics appear to be from Michelins on a late model SUV or light truck. But, until we get the DNA test, that's only a preliminary finding.

mistral board needing carfax

We can't identify the model, though. It's not a Pandera, nor a Competition. Maybe, it's the Mistral Possum.

Miss Understood

The Misunderstood Shark
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 8, 2015

With Mary Lee now swimming off the coast of Georgia, the public’s fear of sharks has returned. In case you’ve forgotten, Mary Lee is the radio-tagged Great White Shark with 88,000 Twitter followers. We’ve learned a lot from tagging sharks. Great Whites are estimated to live 70 years or longer, and reproduce slowly. No one has observed females giving birth, but they are thought to have a gestation period longer than humans. Because great whites are responsible for more attacks than any other species of shark, they have been labeled as cold-blooded killers. In reality, great whites are warm blooded. And to put your risk of a shark attack in perspective, coastal residents are far more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by all species of sharks combined.

Every year we travel to the Outer Banks to windsurf and I’ve always been wary of sharks. The recent spate of shark attacks in North Carolina makes this fear seem perfectly rational. With eight victims in less than a month the risk seems overwhelming. What’s to blame for the surge in shark attacks? Biologists tell us the reason is more people in the water, not more sharks.

Our worst nightmare

A windsurfer’s worst nightmare

Odds and Deep Ends No. 24

It's summer. There isn't much wind and it's too hot to do a lot of stuff outside, comfortably. We think maybe we'll garden but the mosquitoes and the humidity send us scurrying back inside. We flip on the screen and find ourselves disappointed that Randy hasn't posted a new cat or SUP/kite video yet. But, the kids are home so we have that going for us, which is nice.

Go home, forecast. You're drunk.

We were looking at the forecast the other day (Friday the 17th) and noticed something peculiar:

Crappy summer forecast.

Not only was it almost depressing how little wind there was but we realized something else: it was like the wind wasn't even trying. It looked like it intended to blow that day. It got up that morning, thought about it, gave it a go and then just gave up. Or, maybe the forecast has a bit of an afternoon drinking problem. We're not sure.

Forecast when the wind doesn't even try.
Really forecast? Zero? The forecast is for zero miles per hour from the northeast? Are you even trying?

Dots and Punch

Dots. They are a good thing for us windsurfers and kiters (we're too lazy to have to add the "boarders" every time we type it out). On our wind graphs of current or forecast conditions, dots represent wind gusts. On the forecast graph on the front page, dots usually don't appear until gusts are forecast to be around 15 mph or more - enough for many of us to plane.

Dots are less frequent in the summer time since, for a number of reasons, summer is less windy. Recently, we went a few weeks without seeing dots. And, when we did, they were more indicators of thunderstorms rather than sailable wind. Each day, we'd scan the forecast graphs for dots to no avail. Even looking forward through the week showed not much more than a bunch of sixes and sevens. But, no dots.

bad dots
Bad dots, bad. These dots didn't predict sailable wind but rather the likely chance of thunderstorms.

It's all about the dots

Yes, it is; yes, it is. (On Roswell Rd. in Sandy Springs.)

In the last week, the dots reappeared and even gave a few good sailing sessions over the July 4 holiday. Welcome back, dots. We missed you.


There have been various characters over time named Punch. In England, they've long had Mr. Punch, who for 450 years has been knocking the missus, Judy, around (to be fair, she gets in her licks, too).

Punch and Judy
"Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular, and usually very violent puppet show featuring Mr Punch and his wife, Judy."
- Wikipedia
(Mr. Punch is on the left.)

The Hawaiian version of Punch is no less violent, either.


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