Surfin' dudes at Sakonnet 27th Aug 2014

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Surfin' dudes at Sakonnet 27th Aug 2014

Post by Briggsy »

Norm and I decided to paddle out of Sakonnet Harbor to find surf and play in the rocks as I had just done a rock gardening lesson with John Carmody up in Boothbay Harbor.I have not paddled this area so wasn't sure what to expect. We met about 9 ish at Sakonnet Harbor and headed out. I was in my P&H Delphin and Norm was borrowing a Delphin Surf. The calm of the harbor soon changed as we rounded the corner and paddled south towards the mouth of the Sakonnet River. The Hurricane hundreds of miles offshore had produced some nice swell which was smashing up against the small islands just offshore. All the forecasts were for 3 - 6ft swells but the wind forecasts varied from 5-10 kts to gusts to 25kts. It was surely breezy enough and was fun paddling in the lively ocean. We tried to surf a few small areas where the swell was cutting round the islands but without too much success. The ocean side of the islands was very rough and a little too much for novice rock gardeners.
We headed east along the coast and I was beginning to lose hope of a decent surf as the smooth swell was just too blown out by the wind and was quite choppy. I was thinking it would be very hard to land anywhere but Norm suggested we continue to a point ahead and see if it was any better round there. We had to stay offshore a ways to avoid the waves that were breaking on the various rocks and ledges close to shore.
Sure enough round the point was the well named Briggs Beach and some less bumpy water. We tried surfing a few places but the waves died too quickly. We stopped in the middle of the beach for an early lunch and while we were eating noticed some nice waves starting to form about 100yds off the beach. After lunch we managed to get a few good rides and the waves got better and better and more frequent. I think we ended up spending a couple of hours surfing some excellent waves much to the amusement of the folks sun bathing on the beach. Norm is now officially a "Surfer Dude".
It was a workout for sure and we eventually decided to paddle back. The conditions were the same for the return jouney only we were now paddling slightly into the wind. All was calm in Sakonnet harbor when we arrived. Two guys in a canoe were just heading out for a spot of fishing, we told them it was rough but they went out anyway, sure enough 10 minutes later they were back !
I checked the distance from Sakonnet to Briggs Beach and it is 4 miles each way, Norm recorded somewhere around 13 miles on his GPS so thats 5 miles of surfing by my reckoning !
I didn't take my camera and I only saw Norm with his camera out twice so not sure if he has any pics.
All in all a great day out in the swell and quite a workout.
Thanks for coming out for the fun Norm.

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Re: Surfin' dudes at Sakonnet 27th Aug 2014

Post by noseykate »

Well done, you two! With a forecast of 3-6 feet, that area would give me pause. Best spot for clean waves is where you looked, on the inside of the island where the waves wrap around. Every now and then they are just right at that spot. Elsewhere it can be pretty rough and rocky. I wouldn't have thought to look beyond the point for something more amenable, but I will do so in the future. I hope there are a few photos. Surely Norm wouldn't let the day pass without documentation!
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Re: Surfin' dudes at Sakonnet 27th Aug 2014

Post by norm »

Thanks for all the surfing lessons Briggsy. And especially thanks for all the rescues. I've never done that much unintentional swimming on a trip before. I'm a slow learner but I gave it my best try yesterday. Surfing is exhausting! Then the 4 mile slog into the wind on the way back to the harbor was a real endurance test.

Thank you to Tracey for letting me use her boat. Those Delphins are a lot of fun to surf in.

I only took 22 pictures and when I started trying to ride waves, I zippered up the pocket my camera was in and didn't bother taking it out again.

Here are 5 pictures from early in the day.

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P1210719.jpg (47.63 KiB) Viewed 13327 times

P1210722.jpg (42.8 KiB) Viewed 13327 times
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