This year’s Wind, Waves, and Wine event was moved to Lake Michigan Recreation Area north of Ludington. Blessed with fortune I left work on Friday to arrive at exactly the same time as Henry Davies. We drove over to the beach and quickly assessed that surfing was out, but paddling would happen. We set up camp and then did the monster carry to the beach. Henry and I paddled out into a good 20 knot headwind for over an hour. The wind was coming slightly off the land which made it a little hairy as we proceeded. I made sure to keep angling my bow in towards land as we went in order not to be blown to Wisconsin. After an hour or so of this, we turned around and sailed back with the wind. I caught several long rides with minimal effort. I flew along at a terrific pace spilling foam along either side of the kayak. I edged to control my direction as the Silhouette loves being edged I was having the time of my life. I tried filming a bit of Henry. It came out looking quite flat and not that windy. Justine Curgenven taught me this. It always looks flatter on TV!
The next morning after we figured out who arrived and who didn’t we piled down to the beach with a bunch of the Mega Surf Kayaks. The surf was 2 foot, but the water was too deep off shore for it to break further out. I hopped in the Maverick and caught two decent rides about 50 yards off shore. But the majority of the surfing was in 2 foot of water. I got hung up in two foot of water and had to ditch my paddle and hand roll up. Not pretty. Dotty Kasunic, Monnie Evans, Lori Stegmier, Barb Fishback, Paul Fishback, and Henry Davies all surfed in sea kayaks making runs off shore and riding waves in to the beach. Monnie, who is a beginner performed really well and caught a few rides in to the beach. Joe Deja and I held hope for bigger waves based on the wind direction. So we drove over to Ludington on the surf safari. Much to our displeasure it appeared that the wind was dropping and the waves were smaller. Upon our return we hopped in sea kayaks and went out to practice rescues. I taught the T rescue to Joe. He got back into his own boat pretty quickly. When it came time for Joe to rescue me he had a little difficulty with getting his paddle stowed quickly and holding onto everything. Because we had real conditions it was a great lesson. He let go of my boat for about two seconds to get his paddle stowed and it surfed off. He had to get his paddle un-stowed and paddle after it! From my tentative position of 50 degree Lake Michigan Water; I politely suggested to Joe that he not do that again.
That evening Lori and I whipped together a quesadilla cook-off which I think we will repeat for next year! Lori provided shrimp and a few different types of cheese. I brought up two different types of salsa, a green tomatillo, and a more traditional tomato salsa. Both meandering on the border between hot and medium hot. After dinner we were joined by Brad and Mike from Holland around the fire. Based on the days events most folks winked out early.
I started this event about four years ago never sure if anyone would come. Much to my surprise every year, there have been new people I didn’t know. But each year we keep saying we need to make it later in the year to get real surf. I think I may have to keep that in mind. I think late October may be the time for next year!