Wind Came Marching In
Spring! Didn't I tell 'ya last issue about that " whole
bucket-load of air swirling around -- restrained, held back,
under tension -- about to be let out upon the southern lakes"
? Yes, I did. Guess you'll believe me next time, huh?
last two weeks of March saw a couple of good days of 5.0
and below, wind-spanking days. Problem was, they were during
the week when few of us could squirm out of obligations
to authority figures like bosses, spouses, children, and
the IRS. BUT, then came April, the Masters, and on Saturday
the 8th, it was...it was...it was...very windy. I don't
have a word for that kind of wind and it still be actually
sailable. Nukin? Epic? Huge? Fahgidabadit. It was bigger
than that. Reports have come in from Lanier to Monticello,
from Clark Hill to Murray and points beyond: Patrick Jenkins,
alone on the water on a 3.7 at Clark Hill, pulling table
tops and moves Renee described as "unrecognizable". At Lanier,
3 large yacht-type sailboats broke masts and one "turtled"
, i.e., flipped over mast down, while several hard core,
adrenaline-crazed windsurfers (including three women, Elizabeth
Campbell among them) ripped nearby on that enticing edge
between fun and survival. Willian Fragakis of the Atlanta
Boardsailing Club reported that conditions were so weird
on Lanier that about a mile of water was just like ocean
shore break -- said he had never seen it like that before.
Station 29 on Sullivan's Island under brilliant clear skies
till late afternoon, it was huge waves, near mast high,
on the outside -- some beginning to break over in the open
ocean -- and strictly hero-jibe time on the inside. You
had to sail -- if you stayed on the beach, your mouth and
eyes got full of sand. A late squall chased all away till
it was just Jose', Matthew, Dave FIscher, and yours truly.
We chop-hopped and ripped till we wore out in the speed
run behind the low tide sand bars. The Columbia - Monticello
windsurfers I heard from were mostly truck-sittin' and watching
a few intrepid souls catapulting over the handlbars. They
refused to give me names to protect the guilty. So, other
than that, we've also had a lot of days with 5 to 15 mph
breezes lately -- just right for the less cazed, more peaceful
aspect of this sport. Don't YOU miss out on all that Universal
at Clark Hill
It's a great virtue. How 'bout loaning me some? The Corps
of Engineers has used up most of mine. The Corps decided
that, after all, they DID need a "license" for the National
Weather Service -- with Whitecap Windsurfing, Inc as private-sector
sponsor -- to install and hook up the telephone/internet
accessable wind information system on Thurmond Dam. Actually,
the Corps is very cooperative and willing. We'll have the
system in place this summer. Really. I'm sure. Trust me.
(The NWS has four more hardwar/software systems in their
grimey hands, ready to be installed on four more lakes.
All that is lacking is private sector sponsors. Anybody
out there listening?)
But absolutely URGENT —
Governor Barnes does not veto House Bill 1182, your windsurfing
lake WILL LIKELY be receiving poultry farm waste pollution
at potentially disastrous levels. The state Senate had originally
amended this bill to effectively place hog and poultry farmers
and processors under water quality regulations similar to
that in other states where environmental disasters have
occurred involving animal farming and processing waste.
bill was a direct response to what happened in North Carolina
after the hurricane last year. But, at the last minute,
the huge corporate hog and poultry integrator/processors
geared up the "machine", got a "conference committee" to
"fix" the bill in their favor. The result is the ability
of these huge corporations to continue avoiding responsibility
for safe disposal of wastes generated by the industry.
bill also allows the fox to guard the hen house -- agricultural
committee members get supervisory powers over all rules
passed by the Ga. Dept. Of Natural Resources. It's absurd!!
This bill is bitterly opposed by the likes of the Sierra
Club Georgia Chapter, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Ga.
Wildlife Federation, The Coastal Environmental Organization.
Garden Club of GA, Inc., Emory University School of Law,
U.S. Interest Public Research Group, and many more — even
including the Georgia Contract Poultry Growers Association
group is the resident "family farmer" who will be saddled
with all responsibility to meet the water regulations in
waste handling while the huge corporate processor slides
by. You know, we say we care about the environment. One
way to prove it to yourself is by sending a letter or simply
an e-mail. (The Surfriders Foundation reports that a California
state representative spoke to them about political strategies
and explained it takes as few as 30 letters on bills like
this that don't make the front pages to sway the politicians'
frame of mind.)
how you do it:
Honorable Roy E. Barnes
203 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334
e-mail form: http://www.ganet.org/governor/contact.html