Sunday, December 24, 2006

Deep Hole & Roger Wheeler State Park, Windsurfed, W,NW 5-32, 6.2,5.2,4.2/ Acid94, others

The best and worst of windsurfing in one day. The morning had just about perfect down the line conditions! I’ve never sailed in conditions like that. There was a nice left over south swell from the previous day’s strong south/southeast wind, (they were only listed as 2 to 3 ft but they were clean, well formed), moderate west wind, high tide,(dead high tide is great at Deep Hole- use the Ninigret tide chart on IWindsurf). The waves were in sets so it was easy to get out, by just waiting for a break, and the water outside wasn’t that choppy since it was 5.2 to 6.2 conditions- high teens/low 20’s mph. I was on the Acid94 with the 5.2 with just enough power. There actually seemed to be more power right in the waves, especially going down the line. I only got a few runs in before it switched to NW but I went completely down the line for the first time, feet in the straps. It seemed almost easy in these conditions!

Broken Board; There was a very good wave sailor there who was doing great bottom turns, cutbacks etc. He asked to borrow a bigger board just as I was going out. I let him use the RW 85, and we had a few nice runs together in the waves with the perfect conditions. I went back up to the launch to adjust harness lines just as he was walking out of the water with a broken board- the RW85. The nose of the board was smashed! He swore that he didn’t land on it, that it just got crunched by a big, heavy wave, and that the wave actually smashed the nose. He was very apologetic and offered to pay for it. My new beautiful board! I think I was in shock and denial. So I went back out sailing.

Nasty wind; After the nose smashing incident, the wind had shifted to WNW. It was really bad, offshore, light gusty, shifty wind. It seemed to fit my mood. I rigged a 6.2 but it just got lighter and shifted to NW sometimes, making it very hard just to get back to the launch. I had to uphaul and hold the sail up for as long as I could in the extreme lulls, then drop the sail, rest and uphaul again. I finally got back to the beach. After a few minutes of resting, the wind picked up a lot but with the offshore wind it was probably blowing from about 5 to 35. I went out and had a hard time getting back again but this time I was way over powered whenever I got a little offshore. I finally packed up and went over to Roger Wheeler for about ½ hour of very nice sailing on the 4.2 before it died again. What a crazy day!

Weather; I used the new O’Neill 7mm booties but my feet were still a little cold. My hands were also cold at times with my new glacier gloves. It was around 50 F. temp, sunny.

Picture; Dwight Lecomte at Deep Hole 12/24

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Deep Hole, Windsurfed, WSW 18-32, 5.2,4.2/ RWind85, others

Deep Hole, 12/17/06, unknown sailor

The Third great day in December! Temp was between 51-54, sunny, I was toasty. I used my glacier gloves, a Hot Chillies layer under my drysuit fleece, new O’Neill bootie liners with the Pro-Limit booties , helmet liner. I put the new bootie liners under my drysuit (they’re higher than the NRS bootie liners), booties went over drysuit, and my feet only got a little cold in the morning, then they were warm for the rest of day.

Long day; I sailed from 10-3. I was solo for the first hour and the last ½ hour. There were 4 or 5 sailors and 2 or 3 kiters. It seemed like they started late and left early. The conditions were fantastic. I sailed pretty hard and didn’t take very many rest breaks. I don’t know why I held up for 5 hours in the chop, building waves, and strong wind. Maybe it’s because I was pretty careful to take Advil and I mostly avoided being overpowered or underpowered. The RWind 85 probably helped too, in the rough water. Also, I’ve been sailing a lot this fall. Maybe I’m getting conditioned a little bit. There were tiny, nothing waves in the morning, during low tide, but they got pretty big in the afternoon as the tide came in. They were still floppy wind waves but big enough to start to require some care to get out, on occasion, with 1 or 2 scary high jumps, and some attempts at going down the line- I’m improving at it. I stuffed the board good into 1 wave on the way out. I knew I was going to get airborn when I saw the wave peaking right in front of me. I was fully powered, so I decided my only option was to unhook and go for a big jump. It broke a second too early and it grabbed the nose of the board as I was launching myself up. I left my board and continued going up, doing a nice loop, and landing hard, a little way off from my equipment. Someone was sailing in, right at that moment, and gave me a grin and a thumbs-up and I think he was laughing. The WSW wind direction was nice! It was almost side shore. In that wind direction, the waves change to more southerly right in the break. I alternated sailing right in front, and in the deep hole, (a little down wind of all the rocks). The waves were a little better right in front but down wind was good for a rest- smoother water on the inside. NOTE; I was talking to a local surfer who came to look at the conditions. He said Deep Hole never gets any swell in a W or SW wind direction because Long Island blocks the swell. He said it has to be S to really build up the good surfing waves.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Georges/PtJudith, Windsurfed, W 20-35, others, 4.2,3.5, RWind85

Weather; Temp was between 47-49, sunny, water temp 47. I used my glacier gloves, (palmless mittens weren’t quiet warm enough), and a poly layer under my drysuit fleece, bootie liners, helmet liner. The gloves, my new large ones, worked great.
Another great day in December; I stopped at Deep Hole first, at 11:30, but no one was there. Everyone was at Georges- 4 or 5 windsurfers and 4 or 5 kiters, although most packed up early. I sailed from 12:30 to 4:00 at Georges. For the last 1 ½ to 2 hours I sailed with no rests with one other guy just inside of the opening in the breakwater. There was a big swell coming in and the wind seemed strongest there. Sometimes the swell would rise up and crest. What a great place to sail in really strong winds! There is swell, chop, dead flat water inside the little breakwater at the launch, and small breaking waves with sideshore wind if you sail downwind on the beach- really nice in a west wind although a little gusty, very different at different tides. My hands got a tiny bit numb during that last long session, no warm up rests, and my feet got quiet numb. It took about an hour for my left foot to warm up afterward. At least it didn’t hurt when it warmed up. I should find a better system for keeping my feet warm, maybe really tall liners that I could put inside my drysuit leg. Once my feet get cold they don’t warm up quickly like my hands do so it can be a problem for the rest of the day. Just downwind from Georges Restaurant is a launch I’ve never tried- Roger Wheeler State Park, still inside the rocks. I should try it sometime. I’ve heard it’s also O.K. in a NW. I tried a few runs on the Acid 94/4.2. It was a rough ride in the chop sections and it made it feel like the wind had just increased by about half a sail size. The RWind85 planed up slower than a bigger board and dropped off of plane quicker but it handled the rough water better. Most guys were on bigger sails again. A couple of guys were on 5.0 when I was still on the 3.5. I wonder if I should be on a 75 liter board with a bigger sail on these big days.
NOTE; try Deep Hole in a west wind! It looked like the waves wrap around for down the line sailing on the inside but face more westerly on the outside so it isn’t constant jumps on the outside. Mitch said the wind is clean enough.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Chappy, Windsurfed, WNW 10-35, others, 6.2,5.2,4.2, RWind85

Great day! Temp was between 48-50, sunny, water temp 50. I used my palmless mittens and a poly layer under my drysuit fleece, bootie liners. It was just right. I started on the 6.2 for a little, and then swapped off between 5.2 and 4.2 for the rest of the day, mostly on the RealWind85. I sailed from 10-4, sunset was at 4:15. The wind had a spread between gusts/lulls of about 10 to 12 mph for most of the day but at times it was probably 20 mph difference, shifty direction too. It was challenging but I found that switching sails/boards when the wind changed helped me sail all day. I also took Advil at 7:30, 11:30, 2:30. I got some cramping in my arms in the afternoon but I stopped, ate, took Advil, and it never progressed to Charlie horse. I took lots of rests, often after just 1 run. Very challenging sailing- waves (often with lighter wind in the break), very confused chop on the outside with pretty strong gusty winds. I can’t believe I lasted all day in those conditions. I met Jeff from Boston who seems to be at a similar sailing level. We were comparing notes on our jumps. We both had some good ones. He said he sails at Pleasure Bay in Boston sometimes- it’s good on SW or any East, not very good on W or NW. He also said he has sailed there at night due to streetlights and light from Boston, moonlight can help too. I was surprised that for most of the day others were sailing bigger sails. Sometimes much bigger and they didn’t seem overpowered. I would be flying along with the 4.2 and Jeff was on his 5.5. He switched to a 4.7 for 1 run but he couldn’t plane and had to walk it upwind. All that time I was out there fully powered sailing right past him. He only weighs about 20 pounds more than me. Gary showed up, rigged a 4.6 and slogged and complained. I was blasting by him on my 4.2. Maybe I was just lucky, hitting the gusts and resting during the lulls? Maybe my seat harness, as opposed to waist harness, lets me weight the rig differently? That could be good and bad. Also, Jeff wasn’t resting as much as me and didn’t seem as tired. Can't figure it out.
Picture; Chappy with strong gusty winds, 12/2/06