Monthly Archives: November 2005

Sat 19 Nov 05

Surf Report # 9

Location: Ferrysburg, MI – North Shore Beach
Time: 11:00 am – 1:45 pm
Air Temp: 47° F
Water Temp: 50° F
Wind: From S 10 mph
Waves: 2-4 feet
Gear: 5/3 wetsuit, 5 mm boots, 3 mm gloves, .5 mm hood

Went out solo and mostly just played around and tried to practice getting up quicker and angling down the waves. Really choppy crazy waves bouncing off each other. A little after noon I thought I was in for a treat when the wind shifted a little and everything cleaned up. Caught a bunch of fun short rides in the shallows. A half an hour later though the waves shifted back and I couldn’t catch a thing. This is the first time I wore a hood for the duration. Must say it kept my skull mighty toasty except for the few occassions when I took a wave straight to the face and felt the hood balloon up with icy H2O.

Thu 17 Nov 05

Are we crazy? Yes. Yes we are. We have a new addition to the family. A new addition tentatively named Nora. See? See that that upper right picture? Now, of course the next question is, so did you walk into the house one day, see that bottle of Nora Ale and name your dog after it? Of course. And then did you prop your new dog up on the kitchen counter and snap countless pictures just to get a clever shot? Nope. Only three pictures. So there.

Mary and I drove out to Greenville yesterday afternoon to check out some boxer puppies listed in the Press. Which is pretty much a sure-fire guarentee to a new dog purchase. Scooped this little bugger up and drove home in a blizzard. She’s by far the sweetest puppy we’ve ever owed. Trammell so far has been getting along with her quite swimmingly, rolling on his back to play and being super gentle. Taylor hasn’t quite figured out what exactly Nora is yet though. Just bats at her and barks when she doesn’t get the desired response. I can’t get over how little she is.

Sun 13 Nov 05

Surf Report # 8

Location: Ferrysburg, MI – North Shore Beach
Time: 9:45 am – 11:00 am
Air Temp: 39 F
Water Temp: 52 F
Wind: From WSW 26-29 mph
Waves: 7-8 feet
Gear: 5/3 wetsuit, 5 mm boots, 3 mm gloves

Short day because Dan had to get back home by noon. Lots of fun during that hour though. Big waves breaking near shore. The wind was super strong and blowing directly into your face as you paddled out. Had some gusts lifting my longboard right off of the water a few times. Nearly got smacked in the face once. Wish I had had more time today, but glad to have even that hour anyway.

Sat 12 Nov 05

Surf Report # 7

Location: North Muskegon, MI – Muskegon State Park
Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Air Temp: 60 F
Water Temp: 52 F
Wind: From S 17-18 mph
Waves: 8-10 feet off the pier, 5 feet inside
Gear: 5/3 wetsuit, 5 mm boots, 3mm gloves

After cruising around on some local Great Lakes surfing forums, I got invited out to go surfing with a guy who said he grew up surfing in South Africa. After meeting up in GR, I followed him out to Muskegon State Park in my car and discovered a whole new kind of surfing. Leaping-from-a-pier kind of surfing.

North Muskegon has a neat boulder pier that extends perpendicular from the shore then bends off at a 45 degree angle. So the waves come in, smack into the bend, then kind of roll around the corner with some built up intensity, get big, steep, and rideable, then continue on their merry way.

There were about half a dozen other guys surfing out there when we pulled up, so everything was a little intimidating to me, trying not to ruin anyone’s day with my incompetence. Walked out onto the boulders, getting buffeted by the wind, with a leash around my ankle threatening to trip me up on every step. Said good morning to a few fishermen. Walked to the bend in the pier. Threw my board into the water as a wave crested nearby and jumped right in after it.

I paddled out to where it looked like most people were catching waves, then just sort of bobbed up and down for a while watching a couple of obviously very competent surfers swooping up and down the biggest, cleanest faces I’ve ever been close to.

I didn’t really catch much of anything myself. Stood up on two massive waves but promptly stumbled off my board and was buried under the whitewater. I came up laughing each time. Everything was so happy today. I loved the feel of a giant wave rolling underneath and through me. I loved that my feet were nowhere near touching the bottom. I loved the sixty degree weather and occasional bursts of sunshine in November. I loved trying not to smash by surf board as I jumped from the pier.

Eventually, just to get some reps in, I floated inside and goofed around in the shore break, before making my way back home.

Thu 10 Nov 05

Simply put, stunning. My Friend Leonard is easily the best book I’ve read since The Brothers K. It’s so good that there’s realy no excuse for waiting two weeks from the conclusion of the reading to the writing of this entry. Or maybe the distance is good.

It’s a book that so completely transports and moves you that it leaves your real world a little fuzzy, a little smoothed over around the edges. Leaves you a little shaken when it’s all over. Wondering why in the world you aren’t spending every moment of your life finding more of these shattering experiences. The author’s biographical character isn’t the world’s most sympathetic charmer, but the details and the emotion behind the words suck you in completely. And suddenly his friends are your friends. His joys and pains are your joys and pains. I laughed, I hoped, I even felt like crying a couple of times (which I never do). But, mostly I just read without stopping, absorbed and happy to have found this. So good.

Next up, A Million Little Pieces, which is the prequel to My Friend Leonard, which of course I should’ve read first. Too bad it has 631 holds on it right now at the local library. Guess I’ll be mooching off of Barnes and Noble.