The Reef Warriors invade the Outer Banks
During the week of April 2 thru April 10 the Reef Warriors of Lake Erie visited Cape Hatteras. We arrived full of promise and hope for a week of great weather and were not disappointed.
Upon arrival we immediately hit the ocean for some stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Caught waves big and small, got sent over the falls and swallowed seawater and some of us surfed with dolphins. What a great start.
Unloaded and upstairs for a tour of the huge house and a welcome rum.
The evening brought more fun: rum was drunk, pizza was consumed, and pool was played as old friends and new joined the party.
The Easter Bunny found us in Hatteras and brought loaded baskets for Ava, Savannah and all the big kids. Sunday brought a distance paddle followed by more surfing. Eight SUPs played in the waves and Amanda caught her first ride in the ocean as well as her last ride as a single woman. Easter dinner was the first of many feasts to be had this week. More rum was consumed.
Monday was greeted with more sunshine and a trip to the Canadian hole. Winds 15 to 25 mph much fun on 5.0 to 6.0 sails. Gail tried every board on the beach she could. Even got the 1st ride on Casey’s new global wave. A shopping trip followed as we needed to cook a rehearsal dinner. Lasagna was the main menu, 5 different all great, all gone. Hors d’ouvres, wine and a rum cake (what else) were enjoyed. Rum quest soared to new heights, as everyone got involved in the taste testing.
Oh yeah forgot to mention we were here for Casey and Amanda’s wedding. Thanks to the parents for supplying the two great kids so we could party all week.
Tuesday: wedding day. The groom arose with a bad back, nerves is my guess. Nothing a pre wedding ocean session could not cure. To insure his safe (well at least timely) return, Randy was sent along with a watch and time limit.
The ceremony started with the nervous groom waiting on the beach. His lovely bride was escorted by her father down the rose petal strewn boardwalk. A wonderful ceremony was highlighted by the Outer Banks tradition of mixing sand to represent the joining of the two lives.
After the hugs, toasts, congrats, more hugs, and photos, we headed to Dinky’s for dinner.
Great food was had by all. Wedding cake was waiting at the house, compliments of Amanda (not the bride). Delicious!!!
More photos, hugs, dancing and rum as the party went well into the early hours.
Wednesday was board shopping day for Gail, so off to Ride Hatteras to demo an Exocet Cross. Next stop the hole, rigged up a 5.0 and off went Gail. She was soon grinning ear to ear and I new my credit card would soon be pried from my wallet. After a few jibes and speed runs she came in to rig down to a 4.2. The bride and groom and the rest of the gang showed up to joined us. After lunch it was time to continue board shopping, a few more stops and we realized the Cross was the way to go. Back to see Charlie at Ride Hatteras and after some heavy handed negotiations (thanks to the threat of king cobras) out we walked with a new board.
Back to the house for rock band and rum.
Thursday, another great day dawned. We were up early to catch the wind before it got to crazy and Gail could officially sail her new board. 5.7 to 5.0 in a short time. And a tired but happy wife shortly after. We heard about some wooden surfboards so we went up to Duck Outfitters, checked out the C-4 waterman SUP boards and bought us an old woodie, thanks to Bob at DVO. Lunch at the Top Dog, cold beer, good food, what could be better.
Next stop at Wind NC, meet Andy and Ken. Picked up a couple life jackets and Gail got some good info on sails.
A late dinner at the Sand Bar with Randy & Sharon while the rest of the crew invaded Teaches.
Back home for more rock band (thanks Jamie & Aimee, you rock) Randy and I tackled the Stones, with Jamie on lead, Brian on bass, Gail on drums and Amanda, the bride, on vocals, we tore it up. More rum was poured, fun had by all.
Friday brought the beginning of the end as many of our crew started home, another good day, cooler due to t-storms through the night. We went searching in vain for a flat water SUP spot. Caught up with the gang in Avon spending again. Wendy & Roland bought a new Starboard SUP with all the fixings. And Randy & Sharon added a Starboard Kode to their growing board quiver. Obviously, Gail & I were not the only ones stimulating the economy. No shop was safe from Randy & Sharon, t-shirts, sailing gear, surf boards, I think it would be shorter if I listed what was not purchased.
We headed back to the house to pack up. With a long drive ahead we were planning to head out bright and early. After dinner, Casey decided to get in a SUP surf session in the ocean. Double head high, the lad from Lake Erie made us proud.
Just as were finished loading the last of the gear, Wendy & Roland asked if we wanted to join them for a sunset SUP on the sound. It seemed like the perfect ending to a great vacation, so off we went. A beautiful sunset awaited us and we paddled back and loaded up (again) in the twilight. A few more rums and goodbyes, followed by a good night’s sleep and we were headed home.
As we headed home the last of the gang got out for a SUP session at Southside. Amanda, the bride, got her first waves as a married woman, with many more to come. When last heard from Randy & Sharon were still shopping.
A couple of notes: we started with 25 un-opened bottles of rum. 10 returned ½ empty or less. 15 empty rum bottles were left as a challenge to the next renters at the house.
After 2 days home, Gail and I had water withdrawal and headed down to Lake Erie for an after work SUP session. It felt good to back on our home waters, can’t wait for the lake to warm up.
It was a wonderful week, great to see Roger Jr.; always fun with Wendy & Roland; getting to know Amanda’s family, Tim, Renee, Jamie, Aimee, Gary and Florence was a pleasure. Brian and Amanda, not the bride, thanks for the music talk and great cake. Brian, I still owe you a ladder golf game. Lauren it was nice to meet you, too bad you could not stay longer. Roger & Nancy can’t wait to see all the great video from that new camera. R&S, and C&A all I can add is hit the lip and remember it takes a red headed woman…
See you all at the next Rum Quest meeting!