Sometimes the best part of a windsurfing trip isn't the windsurfing. I am thinking of a spring weekend at Pt. Judith, R.I. with the A.M.C. Our tent was set up near the launch site at Pt. Judith Pond, a long salt pond that leads out to the ocean. On Friday night the sky was crystal clear and filled with stars and a half moon that was so bright I could walk along the waters edge without a flashlight. My wife was getting our two boys ready for bed in the tent. From a distance I could hear the boys giggling and the whole tent glowed like a beacon from the flashlights inside. I walked past a pile of windsurfing gear leaning against a cabin. When I got to our tent I stood for a minute watching the scene inside. My wife was calmly reading a storybook out loud. The two boys seemed captivated, Josh (7 years old) laying snuggled in his sleeping bag, and Ben (2) sitting up in his P.J.'s, thumb in mouth. There was a satisfying warmth to the scene. I thought about getting a camera or videocam but dismissed the idea. I stood quietly outside the tent for a long while, feeling lucky to be there. A motorboat buzzed off in the distance. My wife finished reading. I finally went in and it signaled an end to the calm. The boys started bickering over space and pushing each other inside their sleeping bags. But I had my moment of peace to think about as I fell asleep amid the chatter.
Over the next two days there were distractions such as paddle-boating and canoeing around the pond and islands with the boys. Josh entertained us by sailing briefly on his Mini-Bic and by playing the guitar around the campfire on Saturday night. There were windsurfing videos, conversations with old friends, and of course I always had one eye on the wind. Once when a gust whipped up some whitecaps I rigged a 7.0 but the wind never did much more than tease us. We packed up our tent in the rain on Sunday and drove home. It was a good weekend. More than anything else, the scene outside the tent stayed with me. I went home feeling satisffied. Wind or no wind, I had gotten what I had come for.
The Boston chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club has a windsurfing committee that sponsors a weekend trip to Camp Fuller near Pt. Judith R.I. in the spring and fall. Participants can stay in cabins in the woods or pitch a tent near the salt pond. The trip includes all meals, instructional clinics, windsurfing videos, light-wind activities, and bragging rights to anyone who sails out to the ocean and back. It is open to non-members, all levels of ability. The fall date is Oct 1-3. And sometimes we get wind.