Ok-we hate to kick dead horses around these parts but…….It’s been really windy. So windy in fact, we have had fairly consistent surf along the beach front and for late June…well, that is virtually unheard of. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are also aware of the lack of rain for months…and months. Wildfire advisories all around us. Water rationing…fines for watering your yard or washing your car. Mix wind with wildfires and no water…..well, you get the picture.
With thunderstorms and rain finally in the forecast and winds continuing to churn up windswell on the beach, a tanker surf charter would usually be last on a to do list. Enter Matt and Glen. Glenn saw Capt. Fulby and friends years ago on the big screen in Step Into Liquid and has been on a quest to tanker surf since. Only one problem. Glenn lives in Washington State and could not seem to find anyone with solid information about how to go about it. Matt “the mystery man” has lived in Mexico City for the past few years and had just relocated to Austin. After a little research, he finds tankersurfcharters.com online, books a charter a couple months out with his trusty surf bud from Washington State and waits…… Before they know it they suddenly end up in Galveston and the Commodore Hotel looking at choppy surf, craploads of wind, a very sketchy dude poolside (a whole ’nother story) and 3 days to make this a successful tanker surf adventure.
Day 1—20 knot onshore winds, sloppy surf and stealth nighttime missions to 10 story parking garages in downtown Houston on their longboard sk-8’s, preparing the legs for 2 mile waves.
Day2–20 knot winds, sloppy surf and more skateboard missions. What’s this? Forecasts call for a drop in winds. Capt. Fulby calls it a “go” for 5:30am the next morning. Ouch…grumble…skepticism…
Day 3—the fat lady’s singing. winds are lighter, but not by much aaaaaaaand thunderstorms are in the forecast. Why is Capt. Fulby sitting in front of their hotel at 5:30am? Because he has a plan. There is a place…leeward side of the mess…optimum and with the grain for all inbounds and most importantly, close to the launch in case of the need for a speedy exit. As luck would have it, 4 big inbounds back to back are needing a berth! I forgot to mention the tide was right.
The next 3 hours were spent chasing 4 ships and dodging thunderstorms, but the boys scored. There is always calm in the eye of the hurricane. At the end of the last ride of the last ship the skies went black and a very very unseasonal frontal boundary came bearing down on us, so we quickly made our final escape back to the launch. Almost to the second the boat was back on the trailer, we experienced an immediate 20 degree drop in temperature, a 180 degree shift in wind direction, a 15 knot increase in speed and the badly needed rain this area has been patiently awaiting for months. I would say Operation Dark Skies was a success. Mission accomplished. Wham bam thank ya mam. Even though the boys experienced volitile weather and imperfect conditions, they can claim the 2nd longest ride at the Infamous “Kiddie Pools” . Not bad.