Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hatteras Island Bliss

OK...I know some of you are wondering where the windsurfing stuff is these days on this blog...look no more. My friends Rob and Mark and I just enjoyed a long weekend on Hatteras Island Oct 19-21 and got some wind. What is it about this place that just makes you feel so relaxed as soon as you get on the island? As soon as I drive across the Alligator River Bridge still over an hour away, I can already feel it. Most of you reading this know exactly what I'm talking about. Its just a different feeling. Hatteras Island is a magical place indeed.

We lucked into a partial week soundfront house rental in Avon. The weather was beautiful....sunny and in the high 70s. The water was warm so we didn't have to wear wetsuits, unusual in late October. Fri Oct 19th gave us everything from 15 to 25 kts. We sailed our 8.0, 6.5, and 5.4 sails all day long. The day ended with us on our smaller sails, enjoying a beautiful sunset sail until it got dark. Saturday morning gave us 10-15kts which we enjoyed on our big sails (Mark on his 8.5, Rob & I on our 9.8 & 9.6, respectively). We used our adjustable outhauls, which worked great. We got some great helmetcam footage in the light winds. Watch the video and I bet you can hardly find any whitecaps on the water while we were fully powered up. While a lot of folks were either sitting on the beach or schlogging it, we were hooting and hollering as we raced each other (and passing the kiters). Who says you can't enjoy light winds?

This was also a great weekend with friends. We had a mini-HIHO reunion with Jim and Angela, who joined Rob and I for the HIHO race last July in the BVIs. It was great to hit the water with Jim again. We also had another mini-reunion with our friends, Don and Debbie, from the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area where both Rob and I used to live (and windsurf in the Triad Windsurfing Club). On top of that, we met new Charlotte area windsurfers, Donald along with his brother and sister in law...always great to meet new people in our area who share the same passion about windsurfing. We all shared some brews, the hottub, and dinners out...the Pickled Steamer and Mad Crabber are still great places to eat in Avon. And kudos to Oceana Bistro for the great breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Hatteras Island is still my favorite place in the world. Not that I've been to a lot of places around the world, but that's my point. This place is in my backyard...which makes it so much better. The old WindTracks Magazine had a phrase, "It's Best In Your Own Backyard". Believe it.

Enjoy the pics and the 9.5 minute video, Mac

If you can't watch the video by clicking on it, click here to view it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Meadows of Dan, VA

Kris and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary two weekends ago. I surprised her with a weekend trip to Meadows of Dan, VA for some relaxation and fun. Meadows of Dan is a very small town in southern Virginia right off the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 178) and Highway Business 58.

We stayed at a friend's log cabin and enjoyed a nice hike to the summit of Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Reserve (not very far away, located in southern Floyd County) and had dinner at Chateau Morrisette, the local winery.

The hike to the summit of Buffalo Mountain was 1 mile up approximately 400-500 vertical feet from the trailhead. Just getting to the trailhead was an adventure in itself since there are no road signs that point the way to the Reserve. Just follow the directions at the web site provided in the link above and just when you think you've gone too far and gone the wrong way, keep going, you'll get there. The view at the top is spectacular and we hit it on the right day as it was very clear.