Boat Club

We had a fun day on the bay Sunday. My friend from my high school days, Gary Stemple, invited me to go boating. He also said I could bring someone along, so I invited Sini to join us. Sini and I left Mission Bay RV Resort around 12:30pm and drove her car to the Dana Landing Marina which is centrally located on Mission Bay.

We went to the Freedom Boat Club where Gary has a membership. Freedom Boat Club is a boat sharing concept. To join, you pay a one-time membership fee and then pay monthly dues. They have a number of boats – fishing boats, ski boats, pleasure craft, etc. Members have unlimited access to their home fleet of boats – just reserve a boat and go. They have over a hundred locations in  24 states and British Columbia.

Gary and his friend Kirk, who is also a member of the boat club, met us there along with another friend, Howard. We took a boat designed for wake boarding and wake surfing out. Gary and Kirk are both experienced at wake surfing. The boat was an inboard design with a specially shaped hull and ballast tanks to enhance the wake it makes. There were two tanks, one on the starboard side and one on the port side.

Surfers use either a conventional stance with their left foot forward or what’s called a goofy foot stance with the right foot forward. Conventional surfers prefer to ride the wake on the left side of the boat. To enhance the left side wake, Kirk filled the left ballast tank with water as we cruised out on the bay. A pump filled the tank with bay water. This made the boat list to the left and created a wave-like wake on the left side. He also had us shift our positions in the boat to get the wake shape right.

The speed of the boat is a critical factor and the driver has to be precise with the speed. Kirk piloted the boat while Gary surfed and Gary drove while Kirk surfed. They set their speed to the tenth of a mile per hour – we usually ran around 10.5 to 10.9 mph.

Gary went first and started with the board on the fan tail of the boat. As we got up to speed, he put his weight to the rear of the board and slid off into the wake holding a short ski rope.

Gary getting started

Once the wake developed its shape, Gary shifted his weight on the board until he found the sweet spot, riding the wake and putting slack in the rope. Then he tossed the rope to me at the back of the boat and surfed the wake.

Surfing the wake

The water on the bay between Fiesta Island and Ski Island was choppy from all of the watercraft in the area. Gary was working hard to stay up on the board. After a while, we decided to move to another spot. We went to the area called Sail Bay and the water was smoother there. However, there were many sailboats, some participating in a race and we had to stay clear of them. The sailboats had the right of way.

Sailboats on the bay

They had an easier time wake surfing there and had some good rides. Sini and I passed on the opportunity to try out wake surfing – maybe if it was warmer and the water smoother we would give it a go. As it was, I was sure I would be cold and barely able to stay up on the board.

Kirk getting a good ride

Around 3:30pm, we quit wake surfing and took a leisurely cruise back to the marina. Boating is always a good time even if we’re just cruising the bay.

Sea World viewed from the water

Sini enjoying the sun and the boat ride

When I arrived back at home, I realized I was hungry. I ordered a pizza from Woodstock’s Pizza in Pacific Beach and it was delivered about half an hour later. I had an early dinner. I paired the pizza with an IPA from Stone that’s brewed with crushed tangerines and a touch of pineapple. It was tasty.

Stone Tangerine Express IPA

Yesterday’s high temperature only reached 71 degrees. The forecast calls for the upper 60s today. I’ll head over to the Ocean Beach Recreation Center and get some exercise on the pickleball courts.

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