Small Town Life…

I had to ship a box via UPS today. I purchased the shipping label online, and since there’s only one road out here, I parked myself in a vacant lot and just waited for the UPS guy to drive by. When I saw him coming, I jumped out of the truck, grabbed the package, and stood in the middle of the highway and flagged him down. He happily slammed on his brakes and pulled off into the shoulder, popped the door open, grabbed the package and drove off. Does that happen in other places?

Sometimes, if I’m walking Banana (the dog), the UPS and FedEx guys will screech to a halt in the middle of the road and chuck dog bones out the window. Does that happen in other places?

Over the holidays, Anne, Banana, and I were in Brooklyn. When the FedEx lady come bursting through the crowd, Banana ran up to her, and sat down with puppy dog eyes, directly in front of her. Of the hundreds of New Yawkas that passed by on the street that morning, Banana only knew the FedEx lady, and tried to befriend her. Alas, she had no treats. New York is not a small town.


Man, I had been doing so well. I was relaxed, content, sleeping… Until now… now that my Maui vacation timeline has slowly crept into a forecast-able period… I’ve been clicking this damned link at least once an hour, even though it only updates 3 or 4 times per day. And it’s looking good… Very, very good…

Tonight has been exceptionally harsh. I’ve been awake since 3 AM, unable to take my mind off of the approaching adventure. My pulse is racing, just laying in bed… dreaming of lofty starboard jumps and some down the line wavesailing in tropical paradise…

The last time I felt like this was, ummm, about 9 years ago… Uh-huh, yup… Right before my first trip to Cape Hatteras : )

In all honesty, though, I feel this way pretty danged often. Every time the windows rattle in the breeze, the anticipation hits. We all feel it, as windsurfers. You can’t escape it. It’s not a bad thing… It’s just a little reminder that Yes, You Are Alive!! As GP likes to say: “What a life!”

Less than one week…

…until I visit Windsurfing Mecca for the first time : )

I just checked the Maui forecast. Looks like 14 foot seas and 20+ knot ENE winds the day I arrive… Perhaps I’ll start with the Da Curve 79 and a 4.7, going down the line at Ho’okipa? Nothing quite like throwing yourself right into the thick of it…….. Wish me luck (getting off the rocks in one piece)!!

Sunset Vid

The wind *finally* puffed up a notch just as the sun was setting last night. “Grab the kit and go go go!!” Luckily, I’m very practiced at rigging… otherwise, I would’ve missed the whole sesh… It’s pretty amazing how just 20 minutes in the water can reset the balance of your whole day!

Anyway- I set up another tailgate cam, with the intention of sharing this sunset with all of you (awwwwwww, isn’t that sweet). So pour yourself a spot of rum, sit back, and enjoy the high speed Hatteras Sunset!

Sunset Sesh from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Solo Sesh Tailgate Video

More North winds yesterday and this morning on Hatteras Island! It honestly seems as though the wind never ends out here… Check out the forecast for the next few days!!

I decided to sail the ocean just north of Avon yesterday. One truck drove by as I was rigging, but other than that I didn’t see one other person… Nobody at all as far as the eye could see… Just a few dolphin and seagulls…

I wouldn’t call it a wavesailing session, more like ocean bump and jump. There was the ubiquitous shorebreak, current, and light wind on the inside to deal with, but a easy, mushy wave was standing up on the sandbar, providing lots of ramps to jump!

Inspired by the parking lot webcasts coming from Ho’okipa the last few days, I setup a camera on the tailgate of my truck. The following short movie is what came out of the effort : ) Enjoy!

Solo Sesh from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

Slacking on the Blogging, Busy with the Sailing (video)

Man, if y’all were paying me for this whole blogging thing, I’d be fired right now! It’s been one full week since my last post… and I assure you, the lack of posting has not been due to a lack of post-ables. In fact, quite the opposite! So, let’s make up for it:

This morning was rad. Sailed at the Lighthouse, with one fisherman casting off the Jetty as an audience/Coast Guard Caller if need be. 5.0, mostly schlogging on the inside and juiced on the outside. Got a few great waves, a few great jumps, and was (mostly) able to stay upwind in all the current. Stoked!

Valentine’s day was rad. No conditions for windsurf or surf, so Anne and I spent the day on Ocracoke, chillin’ and picnicking. Hatteras always seems like a pretty removed place, until you hop on the ferry and go to Ocracoke…. Man, that place is in the middle of nowhere! We saw one other person, the whole day, which actually made it kinda romantic : )

We saw a harbor seal from the ferry

And a very rare sight, a seagull!

Anne and I, overlooking Hatteras Inlet





Other than that, I’ve been sailing my butt off! I received a few prototype World Sails in the mail last week, so I’ve been testing and providing as much feedback as I can before they go to production. I’ll tell ya, I’ve been on the World Sails for 8 years now, and they just keep getting better and better. This new batch has the potential to blow the doors off all of the previous ones, I’m really impressed!

I’ve given the 5.2 Surge prototype a solid work out- I sailed it all afternoon at Ego Beach the other day in some ridiculously up and down wind. We’re talking 8-30 mph. Yow, but this sail handled great, schlogging like a champ, and powering up smoothly and staying in control during the big gusts. Waves were waist to occasional shoulder or head high peaks, and breaking in about knee deep water. I got absolutely demolished a few times, fully expecting to have exploded a mast, or some sail panels, or a boom, or some thing… but everytime, my rig came up unscathed! Solid!

Stuart showed up the next day, all amped up to hit the Hatteras waters again. He’s been out of town, supposedly up in Edenton… but I think he’s secretly been flying down to Bonaire to train with Tonky and Kiri… He was on fire out there! Check out the video for some evidence. You’ll also see Lane, smoothly schralping; Brian going big; and me on that new prototype World Sail Surge… What do y’all think of the new color scheme?

Windsurf and Kiteboard Freestylin’ from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

I also had a chance to sail the new Blast 7.5. What a powerhouse! It was blowing 10-14 mph, and I had very little trouble planing on a 135 liter board. It pulls you into the jibes with ease, and the cams rotate like they’re not even there. It’s not quite as stable as a full on race sail, but it has low end grunt comparable to a 9.5 meter Formula rig. Again, very impressed, especially considering that the price is going DOWN this year! Check the ad for yourself, World Sails is keeping you HOOKED UP!!

The approaching week looks solidly windy, which is good because I need all the practice I can get…


my March 1st…

first ever…

trip to….

MAUI!!!! Wooooohoooooo!!

Sunny Weekend on the Beach

Before we start the weekend’s water time report, here’s a forwarded email, written by Buxton Jim. I think it’ll give you guys a feel for winter time life on Hatteras Island:

Dear Margaret: It snowed again today. In winter at The Point it is common for pelicans to hang out close to the fishermen or even to walk right up to the driver side door hoping for a meal. Now it is too cold. Nobody is at The Point. I biked to Conners to get groceries. A pelican found that by standing about ten feet away he could activate and open the sliding doors. The woman from the cash register was throwing him fish. Jim

Thanks for sending that, Margaret, and great account of life on Hatteras Island, Jim!

Onwards: Great weekend out here on Hatteras! The temps warmed up to “fun beach weather” levels, with lots of sunshine and light breezes. Anne and I did a lot of surfing, and generally hung out in the sun as much as possible!

Friday, I surfed with Chad and Shaun. We found a great longboard wave, crumbly on the outside, and then standing up really steep in the shorebreak section. Good fun, that’s for sure!

Chad, lining it up

Chad tucking in

I took out the Bonga Perkins 10′ SUP both on Friday, and Saturday again with Anne. What a great picture taking (and wave riding) platform! Check ’em out:

Anne making the drop

Local boys

Anne’s toes

Large file- new daydreaming wallpaper for y’all

Anne and her new friends

moi (photo: Anne)

Sunday was super windy in the morning, and I snagged a quick Slick Sesh on 5.0 before it faded out. Word is the southside offered up some fun side on conditions while the wind was up. So all in all, it was a killer weekend! I hope y’all had some fun out there, too!

Picture Fest!

Man, Hatteras cranks in the winter… If you can deal with the cold, you’re pretty much guaranteed some gnarly conditions. Sailed 4.2 again yesterday, lit up. I had been reading some shoveit suggestions Mike Burns had made on rec.windsurfing so I decided to give them a good whole hearted attempt. They made my abs hurt, but Mike’s suggestions helped the progress a lot! Thanks for the tips dude!

It was windy again this morning, but I was running around dealing with frozen pipe issues (don’t worry, not yours, Corey, or yours, MNOP)… So no water time for me today, but I did run down to Buxton just in time to see some guys catch some great waves. That water is cold- the sea surface temperature imagery has it pegged right about 40F. And the air was a balmy 25F… These guys were killin’ it out there!! Anyway, enjoy the pics.

Long, workable lefts

A few closeouts

His wetsuit isn’t normally blue, it was just really cold.

Take it easy? Nah…

#11 in a 15 photo sequence!

And, to keep you windurfing hyenas satiated, Pam Bailey sent a few pictures over, some more from that Marathon Ego Beach sesh last week! Nice work, Pam, thanks for shooting and sharing!

I’m getting ready for LoopFest 2009!

And Wavefest 2009 too!


Keith, all tied up


Lane’s Gouge


Lane drawing lines

Thanks for the pics, Pam!!

Looks like it’s going to warm up next week! Hope to see y’all out there!

The Tabou Meets The Slick (with video)

Had a sick-o slick session yesterday in Buxton! 4.2 on the Tabou 100, and life was good!! It was chilly (~36F, 2C), so I couldn’t get my camera batteries to hold a charge for more than about 45 minutes, but here’s what I came up with:

Tabou meets the Buxton Slick from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

That was my first good slick sesh with the Tabou 100. Man that thing is crazy! If you go into a trick fast and low, it spins around almost instantaneously, and I’m NOT used to that! A little slower entry and it spins with much more control, and if you go a bit higher and set the nose it gets a little more carvy than spinny. This board is so responsive to your input, it’s unbelievable… Next up on the trick list: controlling the fast and low insta-spins so that I can start attempting double spocks! Booyah!

Looks like more 4.2 today and probably tomorrow morning, as well! I Love Hatteras! See ya at The Slick!

Reader Contributions

Hey hey! We had a sweet day yesterday, warm SW winds in the 5.0 range all afternoon! Frisco George, Dale, Anne and I hit up the Canadian Hole for some fun afternoon action. Gotta love sailing in February!

Bill found a link to a bunch of great photos from the Marathon sesh the other day! Nice work, Yana! Rider key:
Green sail+blue board=Keith,
blue sail+yellow harness=Caleb,
green sail+orange board=me,
red and white “B” sail=Bill.

And here are a few emailed reader contributions to Lost In Hatteras! The first two are some pictures taken by sailor Dale B. The third and fourth images are GPS tracks submitted by VikingSail Tom of the ABC.

Iconic (Photo: Dale)

Buxton surfer Dave enjoying the warm January waters (photo: Dale)

Logging some miles with the Viking

Exploring Rodanthe with the Viking

Tom also sent in a link to a video of some of his crew, visible at the top of this page.

Thanks for adding to the stoke, fellas! Hope to see y’all soon (looks like some good wind over the next few days!!)