Sunday, July 30, 2017

Surfing in the Northeast

Hang loose, man.  That is what I expected to hear when DLG got her surf board for her 11th birthday.  It was a long board and that is about all I know about the style.  I am not a surfer of oceans. 

After watching Soul Surfer with the family, it's probably better that I don't learn how to surf, anywhere.  I have sweet blood that sharks would love.

DLG had been going to surf camp for a couple of years now on Nantasket Beach in Hull with East Coast Hui, and she always seemed to enjoy it.  The beach always got crowded, so the breaks were a little tough.  Notice the surfing lingo.  But she always had to borrow a surf board.  Some times she would go out and just miss a wave with the board that she borrowed and would often blame it.  I think she also blamed the board for a lot of things at home too.

So when she got her first board, it was University of Hawaii dreaming that we were doing.    We would go to meet with her every winter (and stay with her since it was too expensive to stay anywhere else).  It would be a lot of fun to visit her.  Yes, she still has trouble on 3 foot waves, but so what?

The surfing in the South Shore is not great, not like California or Hawaii.  Nantasket is OK and seems to be for everyone.  The surfing in our town is a little rougher.  Peggotty and Egypt beach always seems to have some surfing but we were always told that these places were not as safe as Nantasket because of rip currents and rocky shores.  I guess we'll have to wait for the outer cape and Nantucket until those three foot waves above turn into six foot waves.

Any way, her surfing is a hit and when she tells anyone her favorite sports it is always basketball, volleyball and surfing now.  Now I guess I just have to check to see if there are any surfing scholarships anywhere.  You never know.  University of Hawaii doesn't have them...I already checked.

But we'll have to tackle the tougher waves first.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

You Mean Castle Island isn't an Island?

"You mean Castle Island isn't an island?" Was one of the first things DLG said when we drove by Day Boulevard into the parking lot. Good question when you think about it.  Why still call it an island when it isn't an island anymore?  Seems kind of silly.  Rhode Islanders are writing mean emails to me right now.  But Castle Island is its name; Castle Peninsula does not have the same ring to it, especially for the drunks walking up and down the beach.

View from one of the Walls?
After 12 long years - C was in a stroller last time we were here - we made our way back to Castle Island in South Boston.  A former fort to protect Boston proper during the wars hundreds of years ago, Castle Island is now a big giant playground with a great ice cream and hot dog shop (Sullivans).  My how things have changed. 

Some things have not changed though.  Anything historical and C, G and DLG all roll their eyes and complain.  Like I am torturing them with the things that I like to do, because I am "old" and "out of touch."  I admit that sometimes I think that I am alone in my love for American history, but today's trip wasn't my idea, it was LC's.  Now who's "old" and "out of touch" kids?  To Mom's credit, it was a beautiful day, the kids had been sitting around the house for days on end watching (TV) the Summer pass them by and we were thinking about getting a beer afterward.  I was in, at least.

After hemming and hawing about doing something else, and driving through West Roxbury, Dorchester and all of the other dangerous villages to get to South Boston, we finally arrive.  Storms were brewing, but the weather was pleasant and it wasn't TOO crowded.  When we got onto the grounds, we walked around the fort and actually went inside.  Last time I was there, I didn't remember a guided tour, I just remembered walking in and walking around the grounds.  But this time were met at the entrance to the inside by a guide, literally stopping us in our tracks.  Scott, I think his name was, showed our group around and talked quite a bit about how he was a volunteer for some group that maintains the fort.  I just wanted to get on with it, at this point.

No idea what this statue was commemorating
We were guided up the walls and inside the fortress walls. to look at the cannon, cannonballs and flags that were used (in replica) during the wars.  While Scott's information was more about what was around the fort (Deer Island, Quincy Shipyard, Spectacle Island), some of his information was new to me. 

It was interesting hearing about the history of the fort and the fact that soldiers were stationed inside for months at a time with only slivers of sunlight as their actual view of the outside.  We saw some cannons - fake of course. all lined up facing the harbor.  And we felt the walls since we were told that the farther inside you went the more likely the walls were to "sweat."  I started to sweat too since it was getting humid.  Unfortunately, the tour was cur short a little since the storm clouds got closer and closer.  No sense getting any wetter than we already were.

The kids still complained as we got into the car about being hungry this time.  Yes, I though to myself, a beer would taste good right now.  Sadly, the rains came right afterward.