Another installment from Nolan as he wanders around in the wilds of America's Eastern Seaboard. Part I here. More to follow.
Wednesday, May 19th
6:30am. The wind gusts were shaking the Pug so much it woke me up. I had nosed the pug into a corner of a fence at least 7 feet tall—stormy! Bad weather usually means waves. Eventually, Jamie, who owns Pump House Surf Shop with her husband Matt, pulled up to the shop and came over to the Pug. She asked how I was doing and invited me to get coffee with her.
9:30am. Matt arrived to open the shop. I helped him put some really nice boards out front. The rain had stopped so I decided to go check out the beach to see what the storm had cooked up. Walking along Nauset beach I spotted a washed-up 5 gallon bucket. I got excited because I was thinking I could use it to keep a wetsuit from dipping everywhere inside the pug. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a bottom. I moved it up above the tide line to get it on my way back. I was having a great time strolling the beach, picking up cool rocks and shells, and looking back at my wandering footsteps. When I got back to where I had left the bucket, it was gone! Somebody else had taken upon themselves to deal with the litter. I was pretty impressed by the cleanliness of the beach; there were even boxes to dispose of used fishing line.
Be nice if it could be so...11:30am. Test run of the 3-burner stove we rigged up to the inside of the back doors of the Pug (salvaged from the camper trailer our farmer-landlord junked). I made myself a delicious grilled cheese.
3:00pm. Showing boards at the Pump House was great. Good turnout and lots of people interested in building their own. Ryan from the October ’09 class came by after seeing my tweet and brought his custom 5’4” Waka that he uses mostly for kiteboarding. Michael Horgan was so stoked on building an 8’ Steamer I had to give him that card from one of our catalogs.
Ryan with his own 5'4" Waka (kiteboard!!?) 6:00pm. Matt and Jamie offered to put me up for the night and after helping Matt unload some new boards into his basement we had a best-out-of-three ping pong session. It took me a while to warm up as I hadn’t played in a good long while but I came back to beat him in the second game. My victory was short-lived, though, as he easily shut me down in the final game.
8:00pm. Fish tacos at the Salt Water Grill, mmmmm!
Thursday May 20th
6:30am. Matt and I woke up to check the surf. The camera on Coast Guard Beach looked good so off we went. After getting all suited up, we were choosing which boards we want to ride and Matt decides to take out an 8’. The Steamer didn’t have any wax so he decided to take my 8’2, the first Grain board I built. I remembered that my board needed a vent plug but couldn’t remember where I put mine. Through some kind of higher intervention, Bob Butcher showed up. He had built a 10’ Waterlog kit, and had once forgotten to put his vent screw in. So he always carries one around and lent me one for the day. What are the chances of that? So Matt got to take my 8’2 out, I grabbed the 5’10” Waka, and one of Matt’s friends claimed the 6’2 Biscuit.
12:00pm. We finally got out of the water as the tide was reaching dead low after a super fun, clean, chest-plus session. There were smiles all around; it had been a while for everyone. Matt caught wave after wave and couldn’t seem to get enough of the wood boards.
3:00pm. After a solid rest, I decided to take the five-fin Spray for a spin. The wind was blowing side shore but there was still some sets coming through with big drops and longer lines. Catching a few fun ones, the board would accelerate so fast off the bottom turn that I almost fell off the back as I would get to the top turns.
6:30pm. I hung out with a bunch of the people I met at Pump House on the beach. Talk started of an evening session when the winds died down. A half hour later I was heading out with the Steamer for some thigh-waist logging fun. A small group of friends and family were out all sharing waves and cheering each other on. It was one of the most genuinely fun sessions I can remember. As dusk settled in I started to feel weak and a little dizzy, and realized I hadn’t eaten very much and was insanely hungry. I struggled back to the truck and didn’t even take off my wetsuit before I raided my food supply.