Ides of March and this time of day nearly a rainbow in every spray
Ides of March and this time of day nearly a rainbow in every spray
Long Beach can be a surf spot on Saturdays year round; yesterday was dotted.
They paddled beyond the breaking waves to stop and watch the sunrise.
Surf and awe (technically known as rapid peace- is a lifestyle doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power of appreciation, and spectacular displays of force and beauty in nature)
Good Harbor Beach Surfers
I headed out to capture some footage during the epic 40 degree heat wave on Sunday. I came across some guys who where also a little restless to get back to the great outdoors. I never met them, so I don’t have their names. I shot some pretty cool video, but I thought I would share some snap shots first. Now you have to have a very solid set of stones to paddle out in these waters this time of year. New England has some pretty decent waves in the off season, so it’s not really ever “off-season” for the surfers. If you know these kats, tell them to hit me up!
CLICK IMAGES FOR FULL SIZE SLIDES
I recently came across this old photo of me and my surfing buddy Karen. We were probably 15 or 16 at the time – wasn’t I cute back then! Obviously no surf that day, so we were coming in early. I used to spend 7-8 hours a day out on the water in Ogunquit, Maine when there were any kind of waves – only stopping for lunch and hot coffee to soothe my chattering teeth and blue lips, then going back out until my family stood on shore and waved me in because they wanted to go home. Now, almost 45 years later, I still don’t want to get off that board. Can’t wait for summer! Karen, Brenda, Margi, Becky, Violet, fellow SUP Gals and all lovers of being on the water, do you feel me?
I can only remember one bad experience on the water as a surfer. It was November and a hurricane had passed by leaving awesome waves in its wake. I begged my father (I didn’t yet have a driver’s license) to take me surfing. He took me to Safety Beach in Nahant and stayed in the car, watching me with binoculars.
Surf was running 10-12 feet; my norm was 3-5 on a good day. It took me a long time to make it out beyond the breakers. He says I was half way to Egg Rock (probably 1/2 a mile out). By the time I got out, I was exhausted and had to sit out the incoming set of monsters while I caught my breath, plus I was scared shitless, never having been out in surf that big before. Three or four big swells raised me high to their crest and then down into their trough. Then I made the near fatal mistake of turning my back to the sea. The next wave was huge, and when I looked back, it was preparing to break over me. There was nothing I could do. It crashed and sent me flying from my board, and sent my board careening to shore without me (they didn’t have tethers back in those days). After that, every wave crashed on me, pushing me far below the surface in a maelstrom of swirling water. I would reach the surface just in time to grab a breath of air, before the next wave crashed, pushing me into the depths. I was certain I would drown that day. Thank God it was cold so I was wearing a full wetsuit or I certainly would have. At the same time, the current was pushing me further down shore from where I had gone in.
I eventually made it to shore, collapsing exhausted at the water’s edge where my Dad arrived to help me back to the car.
That experience gave me the greatest respect for the ocean, which I still love passionately, but with the healthy modicum of fear, that we all should have.
As a start to a series highlighting local shops in Manchester, Christian del Rosario at Surfari agreed to be the first victim!
I have wondered for some time, how is it a surf shop can survive in New England, let alone Manchester by the Sea. What I have been learning is the incredible appeal of SUP or Stand Up Paddle boarding. As Christian says paddle boards have become the bicycles of water enthusiasts who can purchase racing models, cruising models and boards built for beginners. Manchester with it’s relatively flat waters, islands to visit and proximity to lakes has been perfect. The chances to exercise, explore hard to reach places, enjoy touring and for some explore yoga on a board and even fish are all around Manchester. Taken to the extreme there are organized races and SUP has even started to appear in rivers running rapids!
The surf market is also strong in the area and Christian says that the season is getting underway now. Storm waves that surfers pray for are stronger in the winter months and the season really extends from October to April.
Surfari sells surf boards, paddle boards, shoes, clothing, beach wear, water sport accessories, sunglasses and gifts. Many items are perfect as boating accessories as well. Boards can be rented and lessons can be scheduled. They have sun shirts (AKA “Rash guards” for those on boards), and other sun protection items. They also have cold weather equipment for those surfers braving the ocean at this time of year.
In addition to lessons and working with the Manchester Parks and Recreation department, Surfari provides programs for adults and children from May to October. Anyone, not just Manchester residents, can participate in these programs so there are many ways to learn and enjoy SUP boarding.
Christian, his wife Nicole and two daughters have returned to Christian’s home town of Manchester after 13 years away. He has specialized in surfing and paddle boards and most recently was in Nantucket where he sold boards and provided lessons. Opening a retail store in Manchester looked like a great opportunity to expand from selling boards to clothing, accessories and all the other items they now sell.
Surfari is located at 26 Central Street in Manchester. Their website is http://www.standuppaddlesurfari.com . Stop in and say “Hi” to Christian and Nicole.
Click images to view larger
I often see the surfers arriving en mass at daybreak and then departing around 8:30–I imagine heading off to work. What a terrific way to start the work day! For the daily New England surf forecast, visit New England Surf.
What kind of shape do you have to be in to not be smashed, crushed and torn to shreds after riding these waves?
Thanks Charlie for submitting this
Thanksgiving morning I took an early morning walk to relax before all the craziness started. It reminded me to be extra thankful for the wonderful place I live.
The light we have on Cape Ann is amazing and everyday it’s a little bit different. It was nice to have the Thanksgiving break, where I had time to enjoy the mornings a little more, rather than my usual rush to work and sitting in 128 traffic.
Photographs © Kathy Chapman 2011
A quick video of Mike and Pete – Gloucester Surfers and a great photo by Charlie Carroll