Wing Surfing

Wing Surfing

Yesterday I went wing surfing for the second time with my friend Eddy in his boat. We were in Biscayne Bay, far out but in shallow water, virtually alone. I was using an inflatable paddle board and a 4.5 meter wing, which also had to be inflated (it’s a work-out). Despite my familiarity with wind surfing and kite surfing, it wasn’t easy, but definitely enjoyable. It provides an alternative to those other sports, which are equipment-heavy and in the case of kiting dangerous. I intend to persist with it. There was the usual struggle with the wind, getting blown downwind, falling off the board all the time, etc. But I did manage to stand up for a brief interval, instead of remaining on my chafed knees. It’s a good feeling. I like the feel of the wing, quite gentle compared to kiting, which is kind of violent. Eddy was learning to wing foil (he’s a good kite surfer) and became detached from his board, which entailed a strenuous swim back to the boat attached to the wing. We took the boat to retrieve it, successfully. All in a normal philosopher’s day. I slept soundly.

Let me add a couple of other things, also typical of a philosopher’s life. I’ve been learning the bass line to “I’ll Take You There” by the Staples Singers, a classic Stax track. The bass drives the whole song and is decidedly funky. Not easy to play, especially the quick part of it. I think I’ve got it down now after three days of practice (not all day!). Whoever came up with that line was a musical genius. I’ve also been singing “Nelly Was a Lady” (1849) by Stephen Foster, the saddest song ever written according to Bob Dylan. I recommend listening to it—the version by Tom Roush is I think the best. You might even try to sing it yourself. Meanwhile my knife throwing has been proceeding apace. I made a breakthrough when I discovered that sliding the tip of the index finger down the back of the knife (really a spike) as you throw enables you to control the knife and stop it from spinning, so now I’m sticking it nearly every time from 12 feet. I’ve been recommending the sport to my friends. All very philosophical.

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