Monday, June 29, 2015

Outbreak, the Rogue's notes.

8 a.m. Castles (38th). Plenty good clean fun to go 'round. 6/28/2015

   Finally happened. After weeks of small surf, a semi-strong front combined with fifteen knot southwesterlies brought an outbreak of waist to chest barrels that loaded the break up and down the O. City shore. Sunday AM (that's right, another early morning) saw me scoping the traffic jam at Castles. Sweet A-frames met my blurry eyed gaze, and it didn't take long to find myself set in the lineup staring at the horizon.
"What's so good about surfing? It provides an opportunity for people
 who have never met to talk to one another and share experiences"
  -Chris B., Florida
That many out there, it isn't hard to strike up conversations in between sets. Anywhere from a job managing a marina pumping gas, filling slips, catching the local fish tales, to "with the strong rips, why isn't it modified today?" to a sarcastic "sharks, everywhere sharks!" Yeah, days like yesterday come with rip currents that prove a convenient fast clip to the lineup. And, recently the Shore got a scare with a few shark sightings including a 10 foot hammerhead that cruised the surf and ended up in the bay. Add it all to the fresh attacks down in North Carolina, and everyone's a bit antsy. Didn't keep me (or the rest) from slicing across a few frontside walls. Didn't stop the Atlantic's hands from shaking the $hit outta me a couple of times either. I reckon it all goes with the territory. Oh, and the water's now in the low seventies. Less rubber. More flex. I like it. All of it. Good times.
Last week's remnants. Knee skinners at 47th. 6/25/2015
   A couple of badass brews to raise a toast with this time around. Baltimore's Raven Beer pulled over from Nagold (that would be Germany); Tell Tale Heart IPA. A citrus lovers beer full of the hoppy grapefruit notes that good IPAs are known for. Easy malt start and a better not bitter bite to the finish. 50 IBUs proves out the robust flavor. 7.25% ABV will cut your ass down if you don't pay says Edgar. Pours a deep red-amber with a finger and a half head. Thick lacing. Rated an A-.

 Michigan's Bells Brewery has an American Wheat well known during the Mid-West's summers. Oberon Ale. Aromas of lemon and oranges in a wheat field. Spicy, citrus- orange peel taste with a light hop re-fresh on the tail end. Pours a cloudy light orange with a white one-finger head. An excellent choice to finish the day's club battles with. Rated an A.
"All good things in life start with
's'...summer, sun, sex, beer..."
-J. Wisenhunt

Not a cool sight to paddle out to...10ft, 800lb. Hammerhead in
 OC's surf earlier this week.      -Dispatch photo.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Happy Joy Joy, notes from the Rogue

   Yes, yesterday I managed my first early morning session this year. Six-thirty in the AM is tough! But seriously, few times have conditions been able to beat the relaxation and Zen of a morning surf. Just gotta get my ass outta bed. Especially on the Solstice. And on ISD. And on Father's Day weekend. Trifecta! Surf report called for sloppy conditions, but the wind was next to nil.
"Slick cam" bay meant glassy, early AM rollers. 62nd Street
 bridge (above). Castles break (below) good enough for an
 early morning seafood breakfast.  6/20/2015
 While the waves were only about knee to thigh, they were glassy. Clean rights all morning. Smell of the ocean. Taste of the salty brine. Out 'bout 8-ish. Off to work. Then lunch with my son. Stoked day.
Hard to beat grilled anything. Corn 'n Old Bay...
 'Shore style.

   Sunday; my daughter, her boyfriend, and beautiful granddaughter brought over and grilled dinner. Steak and shrimp on the barbie, grilled cabbage and corn on the cob, salad. Wow! Everyone stuffed. Spent the evening with my daughter's incredible family. More stoke.


   Beer? Absolutely. The latest in canned offerings from Burley Oak. Sorry Chicky, a dry-hopped Sour that combines the tartness of a sour with hop aromas. Low IBUs at 4 and a 4.4% ABV makes this one refreshing and very "more than one" drinkable. Very post-surf, post-gym, post-mow, post BBQ type. Really developing a taste for these "lacto" brews. I keep coming back. Pale, straw-colored pour with a thin head that quickly dissipates. Light lacing with hints of sour lemon in both aroma and taste. Kinda in between on the rating: B-ish.
"Why limit 'Happy' to an hour?"
-W.C. Fields

Happy Father's Day!
The memories never fade: with Daughter and Son
behind Assateague on the Sinepuxent.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shedding, the Rogue's notes.

No more boots 'n gloves. 66F and chopped slop. 46th Street, 6/11/2015

  The Solstice is fast approaching. and with it I have finally got to shed some of this rubber. Slower than usual this year. Little cooler. Little slower to warm. Either way, I am grateful to get wet. Grateful to snag the sweet morsels I've ridden so far. Guess my point here is I'm doing the traditional misdirect from the sub par swell the O. City coast has experienced the last couple of weeks. Rephrase: for the opportunities I've been able to take advantage of so far, the swell has been pretty fu#king small. Like in the knee to thigh range...rarely more than waist. Yesterday's thigh high, squally backsides had no power, so I took advantage of the steeper near-waist faces to the right. Not extreme, but with high tide the break was so close to shore. Something to be said about the adrenaline rush associated with the shoreline rushing at you from a few yards out. The threat of a faceplant on the beach'll do that. On my piece of the right coast, I get used to this. However, I'm getting waves. Grateful.
Gettin' the shortie on; 69F water. Swingin' a hard bottom to avoid a smackdown- two yards from Holiday's shore. 66th St. 6/17/2015

   So far I've been shedding the heavier dark warmers as well. Couple more coolers extinguishing the sweat of summer workouts and lawn mowing. OC Brewing Company's Route 50 American Pale Ale. Kind of a malt forward, grainy pale ale with plenty of hoppiness in the finish. Strong malt aromas in this one, not too much of the citrus you usually get in pale ales. Pours a clear amber with a khaki two finger head. 5.5% alcohol means more than one. Rated it a B-. 
"I don't understand why so many of you are
unhappy.  They sell beer where you are, 
don't they?"                 -Anon.

Fordham Brewing's Sunseeker Wheat is a nice summer brew. Smells of light clove and orange with a semi-sweet taste that featured hints of banana. Pours a cloudy dark gold with a finger thick, white head. Lacing that lingers. Lighter beer at 5% ABV with little bitterness at 11 IBUs. Rated a B.