How Cold is Too Cold?
Did I, Gary David Holbrook, blow off 2013 St. Patrick's weekend at the OBX?
Yes, yes I did! I confess to the world that, back in 2012, I started a thread on thesamba.com: throwing out the idea of a dune buggy gathering in the Nags Head/Kitty Hawk area of the Outer Banks NC, with thoughts of piggybacking off of existing events scheduled during the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Why in the heck would I "bail" on my own event; am I crazy? Am I afraid of “the cold”? Here's a summary; you be the judge.
Back in the fall of 2008 (3 years before the first "Manx on the Banx"), I proposed the idea of a dune buggy gathering on the OBX during early spring, to be associated with currently-scheduled events during the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day weekend. As you can see in the linked forum post just below, the overall interest was not exactly overwhelming:
Nags Head OBX Dune Buggy Cruise-In March 14, 2009
Despite the lack of responses/interest in those days, I drove to the OBX to check out the First Flight Cruisers Car Show (approx. 3.5 hours from my home); an event associated with the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities. I met Vince Simansky for the first time. Photos of that weekend are gladly available upon request, as long as you don’t mind if I publicly post your request (56 images in total; you can check out Vince's Meyers Manx Hardtop knock-off/copy. Shhhhhhhhh..... ).
Later on that year, during the fall of 2012, I (once again) threw out the idea of a dune buggy gathering on the OBX, to be coordinated with the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Even though Vince Simansky lived/lives right there in the area (he considers himself to be a "local"), he chose not to be listed with the 2013 event (there were no complaints from me, that's for sure). Despite my best efforts at the time, only one person (Paul Mabin / PONGOK910) even came close to making the commitment on trekking from his home to the OBX for that weekend. Once again and as you can see (read), this idea was not well-received by the masses:
Buggies at the Beach - OBX (CHANGE OF PLANS)
As you can read in the thread linked just above, and about a week out from the event, I made a command decision to “bail”. The weather forecast was not that good (yes Scott Jackle, the weather that weekend was actually much better than forecasted), only one person had even come close to making a public commitment to trek to the OBX, and (between you and me) the idea of hanging out with the 2 participating “locals” in question was about as attractive and exciting as watching gelcoat cure (I used to spray boat hull molds for North American Fiberglass, Greenville NC; I'm familiar with the process). As evidenced by photos posted by Scott Jackle; it appears that Vince Simansky did show up, but he may have left his dune buggy at home (you can draw your own conclusions as to why). If anyone on earth deserves even the remotest of apologies from me, it would be one single person; Paul Mabin (sorry Paul, I do apologize, seriously).
How much prior planning by me was involved prior to this event? You be the judge. In addition to the thread on thesamba.com, I personally created a webpage specifically for this event, which still can be seen here:
2013 Buggies at the Beach - OBX
Contrary to Scott Jackle’s past statements (un-truths, lies, whatever you want to call them), this was the one-and-only time that I “bailed” on any OBX/dune buggy related event that I had a hand in organizing. No regrets, not even for a second.
So, how cold is too cold?
Which still begs the question (for those of you that are still here and not completely bored out of your mind); am I afraid/scared/intimated by “the cold”? For the nth time, you can be the judge.
I have actively participated/driven my dune buggy in Christmas parades in both Wilmington (NC), and Atlantic Beach (NC). My dune buggy did not (and does not currently, as of 04/18/2019) have any sort of hard/enclosed roof or enclosed soft top, and/or heated seats; however I do have 2 wakeboards mounted just above to serve as a partial sun block.
I have windsurfed in winter conditions when the average person may have been bundled up in front of the fire (see photo below). I have jumped (skydiving) all through the winter months as my 4-way RW team (for the unwashed, this refers to Relative Work; creating a series of formations in freefall) prepared for the upcoming USPA (United States Parachute Association) national competition.
Let’s break down this skydiving stuff; shall we? Our competition training jumps were from 9000 feet (about 50 seconds freefall; give or take). Common knowledge is that there is approximately a 3 degree drop per 1000 feet in elevation (I’ll do the math for you, that approximately a -27 degree difference from the ground up, during any sort of weather condition). Our aircraft (Cessna 182) usually cruised at an airspeed on jump run, say, between 90mph and 100mph. During jump run, the jump door (hinged at the top, just below the wing) was open the entire time as we approached the exit point.
Let’s continue. One of the 4 of us jumpers had to be the one to repeatedly stick his head out the (open) door, in order to gauge our flightpath, and to give corrections to the pilot, as we approached our exit point. Actually, that fortunate person was me; I was our team's designated spotter. Based on what I have written above, what do you think the actual coldness/wind chill factor was, as I repeatedly stuck my head out the open door of a Cessna 182, at 9000 ft AGL, traveling at 90-100 mph, during the winter? Don’t forget to factor in our (approximately) 100+ mph freefall rate after exit, before we reached parachute-opening altitude of 2000-2500 ft, along with a couple of minutes under canopy until we landed, and just before we hauled our frozen butts over to the warm, on-site snack bar (Raeford NC Airport).
I had grown a beard during the winter; and there were occasions where, after landing, frozen snot was splattered throughout (apologies for the gross-out). My jump logs are available upon request, as long as you don’t mind if I publicly post your inquiry.
This is not bragging by any means; more than several of my friends (both in windsurfing and skydiving) were right there with me, either training/playing in the skies or in the water. Am afraid/scared/intimated by “the cold”? What do you think?
More photos/videos are publicly available on my Facebook page; Gary David Holbrook. Assorted videos can also be found on my YouTube channel, under Gary David Holbrook. Thank you for reading. This was fun, let’s do it again sometime. BSBD.
One quick skydive (during warmer weather) before the storm arrives. Ya'll have a nice day!
Any guess on the average water temps in the lakes of North Carolina during January?
I can tell you this; it's as cold as a.....