Boating News

Bon Voyage: I’m sailing from California to Cabo on a boat crewed exclusively by four-year-olds!

No fine print!

Honest to goodness guarantees are more and more rare in this modern life. Oh sure companies, schools, restaurants etc. still use the word “guarantee” but it is chased by so much fine print as to be rendered not a guarantee at all but rather a “hopeful outcome.”

Well, leave it to the fine state of New Jersey to bring heart back to the guarantee. You’ll hopefully recall that I fell in love with the home of Bruce Springsteen, Tony Soprano, Tommy Ihnken etc. when we filmed our Wetsuit Fairytale. It is an earthly paradise and you should book your trip today and if you love exotic diseases you are guaranteed one for a surf after a rain.

Oh of course you know that sickness is a possibility after a rain but nowhere but New Jersey adds that guarantee and let’s head straight to New Jersey’s Post Register to learn more.

Most surfers know it’s best to avoid surfing near pipes that dump storm water into the ocean soon after a storm, due to the increased chance of getting sick from bacteria that enter the surf.

Many do it anyway because the periods just after storms often bring bigger waves, prompting them to hold their nose and brave the so-called “chocolate tube” or the “root beer float.”

Although the relationship between heavy rain, outfall pipes and water-borne bacteria has been well established, it continues to be studied around the country and the world.

One such study is underway at New Jersey’s Monmouth University, where researchers are evaluating water quality at popular surfing beaches along the Jersey shore with an eye toward documenting higher levels of harmful, illness-causing bacteria in the water after storms.

The idea is to give surfers and others who use the water more information to make more informed decisions about when to surf and what might be in the water around them.

“It’s not a question of if you’re going to get sick, it’s when,” said Richard Lee, a surfer and executive director of the Surfers Environmental Alliance, which is funding the $30,000 yearlong study in New Jersey. “There have been ear infections, eye infections, respiratory infections, intestinal problems.

“The water is murkier; sometimes we call it the ‘root beer float,’” he said. “You get this orange-brown float on the surface.”

And there we have it. It’s not a question of if, it’s when.


And now let us sing together.