Tuesday, July 3, 2007

June 2007 Trip Review: Sunday

Sunday morning I drank coffee at Agua Java while waiting on the others to wake. I explored a bit downtown and watched some kids race sailboats in the marina.

This might sound boring. But consider what happens when you mix children with fast vehicles. I saw many different kinds of collisions. One sailor clipped a moored yacht. Another sailor came to an abrupt stop when he took a shortcut between a piling and a boat. His mast hit the dangling line connecting the two. I'm sure the kids also occasionally hit each other. Fun stuff!

Meanwhile Amy and Jason ran along the seawall. I believe Amy is training for a triathlon. Afterwards Amy, Jason, and I grabbed breakfast at Agua Java.

We all met down at Worldwinds. The weather at the beach was more pleasant today. The birds sang, the wind blew, and the sun felt warm. Amy took the beginner class while the rest of us rented boards.

I rented a JP X-cite Ride 145 and a 5.7 meter sail. I continue to dig the 145. It feels friskier than the other boards I've sailed, even if it is a little more tricky to operate. Tricky means learning, right?

The wind gusted nicely into the 20's, occasionally propelling me onto a plane. I still don't have much control on plane, but my trips are getting longer. It feels like I just need to get my feet and body into a better position to balance my weight on the board and pull the sail back.

After maybe fifteen minutes on the water, it became obvious that a storm was brewing. Occasional thunder rolled from a dark line of clouds on the horizon. Foreshadowing. I decided to keep an eye on Amy's class to see when Olivier would bring everyone in.

As the storm approached I got a few amazing blasts of air that threw me on plane. The wind was nice, but I could have done without the impending squall. Despite the awesome wind, I tacked back to shore as soon as I noticed the beginner class heading in. Everyone else on the water had the same idea. Except Jason.

As before, Jonathan refused to let the wind bully him around. Instead he tacked in like crazy until the water was too shallow to sail. I'm not sure he pulled a "walking tack" the whole weekend.

All of us minus Jason hit the shore and refueled/re-hydrated as necessary. Jason was still a speck on Laguna Madre as the storm moved closer. Later we learned that he was having too much fun to notice the approaching hurricane.

The storm opened events tropical style: a few big drops, a few tearing gusts. Warning shots across our bow. All the sailors took the hint and moved inside Worldwind's shelter. Don battened down the hatches. The wind felt freezing as it whipped through the structure. Warm day faded into a chilly faux night. The Laguna Madre and Jason vanished in a wall of downpour.

At this point, I think Jason finally realized that he should come ashore. Inside Worldwinds, Don put on an entertaining instructional DVD about carve jibes. We periodically stuck our heads outside to check on Jason's progress. He finally made it into shelter as the lightning homed in on us.

The wind found us too, blowing rain in under the roof and into the building. That was new. And by new I mean alarming. A few of us started wondering where exactly the Bird Island tornado shelter might be. When the clawing winds stopped scaring us so much, the lightning and thunder took over.

Amy pulled up a weather report on her cell phone. The forecast indicated nasty weather for the rest of the day. When the storm relaxed a bit we decided to retreat back to the mainland and possibly visit the Aquarium. There was concern over the lack of four-wheel-drive on my Jetta, but I assured everyone that I could and would drive safely in the rain. It was wet but we made it.

Back at the hotel we desalinated. Amy opted to stay in the hotel, hack my laptop, and work on a paper for school. The rest of us met at the aquarium. Just for reference: they have a parking lot. It seems to be free if you buy aquarium tickets. I dumbly parked in the street and pumped quarters into the meter. Jonathan followed my poor example and even got a broken meter for his trouble.

I found the Aquarium quite enjoyable. I wouldn't call it huge, but it has quite a lot of variety. The touch pool was fun. I pet a shark (rough) and some sting rays (slippery). Nobody lost fingers. Jason and I totally nerded out with our cameras. Good clean fun.

Jason made an amusing discovery on the beach behind the aquarium. He learned how to communicate with the crabs that burrowed there. He made the crabs dance by imitating their rapid sideways crabby movement. Dance, crabs, dance!

This is the sort of stuff that made the Croc Hunter so famous. Nobody really cares too much about the scientific name of a critter. They just want to see what happens when you poke it. I don't understand why Jason doesn't quit his job and become a TV naturalist -- I'd watch his show.

The aquarium was closing, so we returned downtown, grabbed Amy, and converged on the Executive Surf Club. There we ate hamburgers and beer. Mine had fritos and refried beans inside. No, not the beer.

Fueled up, we discovered a foosball table. So we played. I can't say if this was an official part of the game or simply a house rule advocated by Marty, but we all drank a sip of beer after each point scored. Depending on your outlook on life, this means either trouble or fun. Many many points were scored.

After a while, we even sipped beer when no points were scored. Was this allowed by the rules? I couldn't say. Regardless, the Corpus Christi Gross Domestic Product must have picked up a few points Sunday night.

I'm sure you remember what happened after we left the Executive Surf Club. If not, use your imagination. Was there square dancing in the streets? Was there intoxicated singing? Did we have a massive beer war that would eclipse any Gallagher concert? Maybe. Maybe not.

I will note that we did made it back to our hotels safely.

3 comments:

PeconicPuffin said...

Tricky=more responsive. As your windsurfing improves, you'll want to sail on boards that respond to more subtle technique. It sounds like you were on one!

All the little things you need to do to keep smaller and more responsive boards sailing in a straight line are learned through these experiences...enjoy, and look forward to the day when you're sailing an 85 liter "sinker" as easily as the bigger boards now!

Anonymous said...

HEy this is kinda cute! I am from the Corpus area.. Not born here but raised here all my life..and still here.. I enjoyed your articles about Corpus! I hope that you enjoy your trips down here. Corpus is on the verg of becoming something that it has needing to become a long time ago... Thanks so much for Making Corpus a Hot spot for your travels. Ohh yeah and you do some sailing?!?! My husband is a big time Surfer... Recentally my Daughter Who is 3 1/2 has asked to take some surfing lessons.. Which i think is kinda cute! So If you ever are out at JP Luby Or Bob Hall just look for a 3 year old little girl surfing and you will find us... Stop by and say hi! Well have a great day.

Thanks,
Kimmy
Kimmymurphy@hotmail.com

John said...

Peconicpuffin,

More responsive is probably the better word. As you point out, this helps learning. More exciting too -- the board definitely lets you know when you make a mistake. Hopefully next weekend I'll get a class to help me clean up my technique.

Kimmy,

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you enjoy my articles.

I agree with your opinion of Corpus. I discover cool new things every time I visit. I just hope that it doesn't get so popular that it's difficult to visit.

Three years old seems like a good age to start surfing. Who knows? In ten years perhaps she'll be a champion...