Newsflash: it's getting cold out.
While the Winter doesn't technically start until December 21st, Mother Nature held a dandy of a dress rehearsal last weekend. The temperature never broke 50° on Sunday and the wind gusts topped out over 30 knots. Now, I went to a public school, so I've never been really good with numbers, but I think that put the feel-like temperature somewhere around -79°.
Yeah, yeah... call these guys:
Anyways, Sunday's are a busy day on the water around here -- Annapolis Yacht Club runs a PHRF Frostbite Series with over 100 boats registered, Severn Sailing Assoc. runs a Laser Frostbite series with about 15-20 boats and AYC's Opti and 420 Teams are out practicing in the rare, but welcome, heavy air.
My place in all of this? I was out there coaching the Opti kids, starting at 10:00am. By the time 1:00pm rolled around and the two Frosbite series' were taking to the water, my hands were basically useless and I could neither confirm nor deny that I still had ears. Which is why I was truly grateful I had grabbed my all-time most favorite piece of gear before leaving my house that morning: socks.
That's right... socks.
Specifically, Rocky's Gore-Tex Socks.
These things are, for lack of a better word, awesome. For those of us that can't afford a pair of Dubarry or Musto boots, these socks turn any pair of boat shoes, sneakers or cheap ol' Chuck Taylor's into a waterproof, windproof haven for your feet that keep your socks dry and warm.
Now, try to get past the shock that a guy working in the marine industry doesn't have the money to buy Dubarry's, and focus back on the socks. Since they're made of Gore-Tex, these things also help to move sweat and moisture away from your feet if you pair them up with the right pair of socks (something that also moves moisture, like a Smartwool or CoolMax sock).
In my humble opinion, they're the best piece of gear that you can buy under $50.00. They are sized in whole shoe sizes (10, 11, etc.), but to ensure that you can get them on, I'd highly recommend going up a size. Unlike a normal cotton sock that has a bit of elasticity, Gore-Tex has almost no give at all, so it's much better to err a little bigger.
Check them out here:
Rocky Gore Tex Socks