Posts Tagged With: winter


Preparing for warmer days…

It’s January in Florida, and it’s been a mild one at that.  The water temp has fluctuated, but is hovering in the high 60’s.  If I had my way, that’s as cold as it would get, but I’m probably not that lucky.

Last season some of my friends acquired spring suits to deal with the days when the water is still cool, but the air is warm.  I held back, and wore my wetsuit all the way through the early spring. The last few wearings had me dumping water down the front on sunny days to keep from roasting.  I gradually moved to a board shorts and a thick rash guard, but there were a few breezy days when that wasn’t quite enough.

I looked at spring suits, but couldn’t justify the price for something I would only wear a few times a year.  But there’s a benefit to telling friends you surf.  I got a call last weekend from one who told me about a “wetsuit” he thought would fit me for $10 at a thrift store.  He’d actually gone to the trouble of moving it to the back of the rack to give me a chance to get there before someone else bought it.  I was skeptical, but headed out to see what he had found.  Wouldn’t you know, it was a spring suit in almost new condition. I was going to buy it regardless of fit, as surely someone I knew could use it.  But I decided to try it on anyway, and quickly found there’s no easy way to wiggle into one in a tiny dressing room.  I’m sure the other women waiting in line were wondering what I was doing as I bumped into the wall a couple of times getting it on and off. (My middle name is definitely not “Grace”.) Lucky for me, it was a perfect fit, and is now safe and sound in my closet waiting for those in-between days ahead.

Now if only this “winter” they speak of would hurry up…

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Gotta love the booties

My love of the outdoors, my continuing fight against aging, and my stubborn, competitive streak led me to take up surfing in my forties. Lucky for me, Florida is a fabulous place to learn, beaches are sandy with no rocks and the water is warm most of the year.

I say most, as the winter these past two years has been especially unfriendly to us kooks out there.  But if you would have told me two years ago I would willingly get up early on a weekend,  put on a thick form-fitting rubber suit and get into chilly water, I would have asked what you were smoking.

Early hours, cold, damp Florida weather and chilly water were not completely foreign to me.  My husband and I are avid fisherpeople, and he swears that the fish don’t bite, and the boat doesn’t run, unless you’re on the water before the sun comes up.  However, there’s a huge difference between flying along on top of cold water and actually immersing yourself into it.

I also learned quickly that surfing is a highly addictive sport.  One taste of standing atop a board riding a wave and I was hooked.  Two boards purchases later, I began to feel guilty about missing a third of the year in the water while my hardier friends were out chasing waves.

So this fall I made my most important surfing acquisition, a wetsuit.  Not just any wetsuit, a 4/3.  Thicker–and warmer.  With the addition of booties, I could brave the 50 to 60 degree water in comfort, if not necessarily in style.  The booties are probably the most expensive footwear I’ve ever purchased, and also the most ugly.  There’s nothing flattering about black rubber split-toe booties, but I wouldn’t trade them for ten pairs of summer sandals (and I do love my sandals).

Soon I will be able to shed the wetsuit, and those lovely booties, and enjoy warm sub-tropical water temps.  I won’t miss falling off my board and the slap of cold water to the face.  But I wouldn’t trade a thing.

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