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West Dennis Beach yesterday
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Iceratz



Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: West Dennis Beach yesterday Reply with quote

West Dennis beach was a total zoo on Saturday, first weeknd post Labor Day, no fees, no Lifeguards, no swim area bouys.
Just like its suppose to be after Labor Day, free for all to enjoy! Cool

But that was not the case entirely.

I am rigged near chair 9, designated Summer launch area, from there and beyond west the lot was packed with wind & kite surfers. Must have been 100+ on the Water.

But just before I launch, I see several Police & Harbormaster boats, converging on the wind powered fleet offshore, blue lights flashing, bull horning and siren blasts followed by "stay out of the swim area" shouts.
What swim area? , I say to myself. Rolling Eyes

The scene was crazy. Next I see the Harbormaster himself walking the beach, VHF radio in hand and calling his offshore boat to chase down a few sailors who were blasting the beachline east. Normally during Summer this area is well marked for swimming and patrolled by lifeguards, but post Summer rules were in effect and all marks were gone.
Then a Police crusier comes in , parks at chair 9 and the officer begins patrolling the beach on foot. But I can't see exactly what he is accomplishing other than his presence of authority.

As far as swimmers go, I saw perhaps 20-30 people wading to about 10 yards off the beach. Sailors were maybe passing about 30 yards off beyond.
It seemed fairly controlled and safe for all.
BUT someone must have obviously created a stirr, as the law was called to duty.

After about an hour, I think the Harbormaster boat must have dropped a bouy upwind of Chair 9 and staked it out and continued his bull horning. The placement of the bouy and his position made it impossible sideshore launch from chair 9 and resulted in long beach walks with gear all the way to the west jetty, into the kite zone, to even make a launch.
Hassle to say the least.
I bailed. Too bad as the wind was truely fantastic.

Its obvious that the sailing sentiments in Dennis for kites & boards have deteriorated to the point of such harsh treatment by the town officials. I won't be surprised to see this situation esscalate into something more severe.

I guess I will go to other beaches this Fall either "off the radar" or to a place like Kalmus where the town has accepted & understands the needs of boards & kites.
Of course I could always take my chances with the sharks.... Shocked
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WaterKook



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 1395
Location: The Dude abides!!!!!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would much rather deal with the white sharks and have a groundswell.
So the question is what is going to happen at Corporation Beach tomorrow if I go? Rolling Eyes
I have an 8am job just down the street.

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shreddbob



Joined: 31 Mar 1987
Posts: 258
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: West Dennis Beach yesterday Reply with quote

Iceratz wrote:

Its obvious that the sailing sentiments in Dennis for kites & boards have deteriorated to the point of such harsh treatment by the town officials. I won't be surprised to see this situation esscalate into something more severe.


I guess we all get regulated down to the "lowest common denominator" of past transgressors. Used to be that post labor day was hassle free. After they take the swim buoys away, what is our responsibility, other than to use common sense? Perhaps they don't trust that any of us has common sense--whole thing seems bizarre. I saw the harbormaster boat out there and then I did notice some buoys marking the swim area which I made sure to keep clear of. Wasn't paying attention to know if sailors were endangering anyone. Once the buoys were in place, slogging off the beach wasn't too hard to get upwind of them. West Dennis has always been a bit of a difficult relations spot. Onshore winds particularly make it hard, (for beginners esp.) as do reduced launching options with birds that make it even harder to coexist with both birds and beachgoers. I remember one time I was swimming in from the rocks with my 3.7 and tiny board for 20 minutes after the wind died. The lifeguards were whistling at me like mad because I wasn't swimming in to the designated launch. I suppose they'd rather see me drown instead of slowly swim in to save myself.

On a related note I did go into a beach yesterday across the Bass River (Yarmouthport) to do a quick downhaul of my sail. I know that in season this is taboo and the lifeguards would be all over me. I exercised caution looking out for swimmers and landed at a sparsely populated section of beach. However I did receive some "looks" by a few people. And I noticed as I carefully slogged back out, again keeping away from the few swimmers, a guy jumped up and scouted the water around me, evidently in fear of what I might do. I gave him no reason to be fearful.
.
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chrissim



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: re: West Dennis Beach Yesterday Reply with quote

I was there as well and my understanding is that the police were initially summoned because a car was hit by a kite (somewhere near chair 6 btw) and I imagine that the harbormaster and additional law enforcement presence felt compelled to respond to a potentially dangerous situation for swimmers with the density of windsurfers and kiters that were near shore because of the wind direction.

Probably more of a response than what was necessary, but it was pretty nutty out there.
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kalmus parking lot was filled up yesterday due to the annual 2-day (or 3-day) walk, which may have sent some windsurfers to West Dennis. I decided to launch from the Sea Street Beach instead. Plenty of parking, just a few people on the beach and in the water. I stayed very far away from them. The wind was about perfect, and the swell was lovely until the water level got deep and some cross-chop developed. I saw maybe 5 kites and 5 surfers on the water in total.

Hope we get a big fat storm soon - it's time for the boats to vacate the Kennedy Slicks and leave them to speedsurfers.
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paulf.



Joined: 21 Mar 1996
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it was a zoo. the swim markers and stay west bouy were still out there in the usual summer locations, which in my opinion are too far offshore to create a safely guardable swim area if somebody really did swim out to the limits in the summer, but i am not a watersafety expert. i presume the intent is to keep the windsurfers and jetski rentals as far out as possible, and iceratz will recall when the town officials did not know the difference between the two. in any case, the unskilled pilots among the crowd were unable to get far enough offshore in the dead onshore wind to ensure the safety of the beach going public. i only saw about 6-8 "swimmers". the harbormaster was heard to say that as long as the bouys are out there they have to be enforced, although none of us can recall this being the case after labor day. just a "perfect storm" of onshore wind, many participants and many beachgoers on a nice day. enforcement was a bit zealous as i got herded out of the "swim area" at 4:50pm when there was no one in the water, and i was in the last 10 yards before the swim bouys and about 10 yards inside the stay west line, if you can picture this little corner about 1/4 mile out at high tide.
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inlandsea



Joined: 29 Sep 1996
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had the Perfect storm of Chaos at west dennis.
1. On Shore Wind.
2. Best Wind in a while.
3. Extra Folks in town.
4. No Parking Fees
5. Kalmus was apparently full

Why it was neccesary for anyone to Windsurf or Kite in the Swimming area is beyond me.
Just because it is "off" season doesn't mean we own the beach and all rules are out the window. The Town still has to patrol and respond to calls at the town beaches.

I was amaized at everyone sailing within 100 yrds of the beach.
there was so much open space just beyond the cluster. I rode with 3-4 Other people and we had nearly infinite space. Looking back at the beach it looked like there was some kind of course race going on.

While I didnt speak to the Harbor master (he looked in no mood to have a chat and I dont blame him). I do know the Police officer who was called down to patrol the beach. He is a super nice person and told me about all the people who questioned why sailing or kiting in the swimming area was not allowed as it was "after the season".
He told of one person who argued with him relentlessly and pulled the "You must feel like a big man, with your authority" Bull shit.
This is a guy who deals with people who are threatening to kill each other, spitting in his face and telling him they have HEP C, and Heroin addcits on a daily basis. Do we really need to behave in such a manor that he has to break from doing real work, to come tell us what is common sense?! Dont Blast around inside a swimming area!
Imagine your child swimming and because its the "off season" 4-5 dudes are blasting around on jet skis where your kids want to swim?
They may be very good jet skiers....You gonna let the kids swim?


Well......It is the season! and unless we want them to agree with us and close the beach to windsurfing and kiteboarding in the off season we should think before we decide we are the only ones who come to the beach in the late summer/Fall and that windy days are for US!

We have a responsibility to act in a manor that shows we can persure our sports responsibly. One person gets struck by a windsurfer/Kite and forget about it.

I will now get off my soapbox....... It was a great session as was this evening at Chapin!
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Iceratz



Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem developed as a result of no one realizing the town intended to uphold the access restrictions within the swim zone, with the bouys removed & lifeguard stations gone...who could have guessed?
Never happened before in the 20 years I have lived & sailed here.

Of course bathers have just as much right to enjoy the beaches as we do.
(So do fishermen)

All other Dennis beaches are no problem to sail from in off season.
West Dennis beach has a huge draw of attention. I say dispurse the fleets.

Yarmouth has excellent sailing locations , as does Harwich to Chatham.
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inlandsea



Joined: 29 Sep 1996
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bouys are still in.

Not sailing where people are swimming........ seems like common courtesy and common sense.
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WaterKook



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 1395
Location: The Dude abides!!!!!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iceratz wrote:

Yarmouth has excellent sailing locations , as does Harwich to Chatham.

The Chatham Lighthouse is a great place for beginners. Nice big sandy beach.
Very Happy

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