Saturday, July 28, 2007

Duxbury, Windsurfed, SSW, 10-15, 6.8,5.2/Carve123

Mostly non-planing light wind stuff. It was a little choppy for such light winds, probably due to the outgoing tide, ingoing wind. I thought for sure that I would plane with the 6.8 but not quite. So I rigged the 5.2 and messed around with the usual moves. It was shallow and perfect for that. Picture- unknown sailor at Duxbury.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Plymouth/ Nelson St., Windsurfed, NNE, Marginal, solo, 6.8/Carve123

Light wind, sunny, beautiful morning on the water. Last time I was here the wind was ENE, almost directly onshore. This time, with NNE, it was side onshore. I'd love to be here for a strong N wind. It would be sideshore, probably take just one run to go straight out to the ocean side, maybe find some waves.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kalmus, Windsurfed, SSW, 18-30, with Gerry & crowd, 4.2,5.2/RealWind85

Southern Exposure; Long session going late in the day. Strong SSW wind coming almost directly onshore at the launch. Had to do a few runs upwind just to clear the lifeguard area. Gerry and I took a run over to Great Island looking for small waves but in the more southerly wind it was sideshore over there, no waves at all, nothing. I had an extra fin along in case we sailed upwind towards the rocks at the point but it wasn't worth it given the wind direction. I still managed to whack a rock, in front of the condos at high tide. Later, at dead low tide, when there are usually some small waves on the sandbar right in front of the launch, there wasn't much. The wind seemed strong enough but maybe the wind direction wasn't very good for building chop. Still, it was a good day, lots of small chop hops and it was fun to sail my smallest board. Picture- Chris Eldridge at Kalmus 7/15.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, SW, 13-18, 6.5/Carve122

Picture- Mike, from Framingham, racing against team Josh & Ben.

Last day; my back was pretty sore from all the windsurfing this week, so I took a few runs on a 6.5 and, when that wasn't big enough, I stopped. Josh was planing on an 8.0/ 133 liters but he couldn't quite get comfortable on a sail that big. Ben had a great time with a Starboard Start and a 2.1. He got his first light air jibes. He loved the stability of the board, and it turned well for him too. The 2 boards that he liked the best this vacation, the Start and the RRD Evolution 360, have center fins. Barbara was getting some good practice for non-planing jibes with a 5.5. In the afternoon Josh took an intro to scuba class. He was the only student and it turned out to be about 15 minutes of class time, no pool time, and a long reef dive in front of the hotel, 40 ft depth. He loved it. Barbara, Ben and I went to the National park but we got there a little after 3:00 and it closes at 2:45. I wish we had known. We still had fun driving around the north side of the island and looking at Indian inscriptions, small caves, lots of cactus and coral everywhere.

Travel Hell; Sunday 7/8, we got bumped from our first flight on American Eagle due to a, "weight restriction". I guess they had to bump somebody because they had too much weight on the plane, but if we were there earlier then it would have been somebody else. We checked in 1 hour before departure time, which is pretty late for an international flight. We ended up paying for tickets to Aruba on DAE, American Eagle gave us vouchers but we realized later that they are only good for a discount on future AA flights, essentially worthless to us. Then the flight that they promised would take us from Aruba to get home was overbooked. I think they had just made false promises to get us out of their hair. We ended up staying in San Juan at our expense. After 5 flights we got home Monday afternoon. It added close to $1000 to the cost of our vacation. Not fun.

Bottom Picture- High five for a successful tack, then fall.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, with family, 20 to 28, 4.8/Carve111, 5.0/RRD Freestyle Wave 90

Picture- Ben handles the strong winds.
Very windy Day! Probably mid to upper 20's. It was a little shifty and gusty at times so we used slightly larger sails than we might have otherwise, then it was great. With a 5.0 I had power in the lulls and tons of power in the gusts. With this much wind there was some decent chop-hopping out in the deep water. We spent almost the whole day at Lac Bay, 10:00 to 5:30. Everybody had a good time, windsurfing off and on, hanging out on the beach and in the water, the person in the water doing high 5's when Josh or I sailed by at speed. It's fun just hanging out in the sailing area, waist deep water, while family members are zipping by, stopping to rest and talk sometimes. Josh and I were on the exact same board and rig for most of the day again- 5.0, RRD freestyle 90. We both got a lot of sailing in. By the end of the day I noticed that I was no longer leaving Josh in my wake. Somehow, since yesterday, he increased his speed so that we were now just about matched. I gave him a waterstart lesson and he picked it up very fast. It was still hard for him to get the sail into position if it fell in just the wrong way, but that's tiring for anyone. Ben had some frustrations but there was one stretch when he was doing great, even with the stronger winds and more chop. Barbara was having a good time.
Hands; My hands were pretty calloused from windsurfing, work, exercising before the trip. I was starting to get a blister on my ring finger part way through the vacation but I took my ring off and it got better after a few days. Josh's hands were tough from flying on the trapeze. I think that Barbara and Ben sailed a little less so their hands were fine.

Bottom Picture- This is what a full day of windsurfing does to a teenager.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, with family, many boards and sails

Picture- Barbara blasting.

Lightwind start; Somewhat gusty winds in the A.M. We started at 10:00 opening time. Barbara had a good time, Josh was a little frustrated. Ben got frustrated to start but worked through it and started sailing great with a 2.1/ RRD Evolution 360. This board is excellent for him- padded, small center fin so it goes upwind well, very turny so he can steer it with his light bodyweight. I instructed Ben and then got out for a short session right before lunch, 8.0 a little overpowered.
Candyshop of boards; After lunch Barbara and Ben had some R & R back at the Bel Mar pool. Josh and I went back to the Bay because Wind Guru was forecasting strong winds. They had Wind Guru bookmarked on the internet in the hotel office, $2.50 per session. It turned out to be right on, best wind yet! I taste-tested a bunch of small boards while the wind was up. It was like having a candy shop of nice boards to try. Some of the fins were a little small for the boards, guess they were set up for freestyle.
RRD Avantride 105- O.K. a little big for the conditions,
Starboard Trance 74- didn't like,
RealWind 80- nice board but the little 7" wave fin made it too much work to get on plane and go upwind in these conditions.
RRD Freestyle 90- really liked this board, fun to jibe.
Windsurfing Surprise; I had a surprise when I was using the RW 80 liter with the mini fin. Josh asked me to take a run on his board to adjust the harness lines. He would wait and hold my board and rig until I sailed back. When I got back he was gone. I thought that I must have come back to the wrong spot but that didn't make sense. I was just starting to sail off looking for him when he sailed up on the little 80 liter board/mini fin combo. I couldn't believe it! The smallest board he had ever sailed on was 111 liters and that was just yesterday. He has mostly been on pretty big boards, like 180 liters. He learned right away how to put a foot on the front of the little board and push the nose off the wind, wait for a gust, and coax it up onto a plane. He loved sailing it in the little chop that was starting to form. Now he just needs his waterstart and jibe.
We both ended up on duplicate rigs, RRD Freestyle Wave 90/5.0 very powered up. The 6:00 closing time came much too soon!
Chef Surprise; We had dinner upstairs at Salsa's, good view, good food. Josh and I had the 3 course chef's surprise for 2. It was very unique and very good.
Picture- Bonaire has great cacti!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, with family, 6.0/Flare 111, RRD Freestyle Wave 105, Carve 121; 8.0/Carve 133

Picture- Josh Cruising in paradise.

Klein Bonaire, Fire Coral; Barbara and Ben took a water taxi over to Klien Bonaire to snorkle during the morning. Josh and I decided to skip the snorkeling to get some more windsurfing time in. Wrong decision. The wind was great when we arrived at Lac Bay but got flukey and started to drop off almost as soon as we hit the water. Barbara and Ben, B & B, found the best snorkeling so far. Barbara reports that there was a barrier reef around K Bonaire with breaks in it allowing them to snorkel through to the outside which had a reef wall shooting down to the depths. Sounds nice! Barbara brushed some coral with her arm and later developed an oozy, itchy rash, on a few small spots. It looks like a bad poison ivy. It turns out that it was fire coral.
Little boards & fins; In the morning Josh had the misfortune of taking out the smallest board he had ever been on, Carve 111/5.0, in the gusty dieing winds. Likewise, while the wind looked good I took out 2 freestyle boards that had the smallest freestyle fins I've ever seen. They must have been about 4 or 5 inches long. The fins looked like a joke but I wanted to try these boards. I discovered that when fully powered they work, and feel very slippery, but in marginal winds they are terrible, which is mostly what we had. Josh and I both struggeled and wished we had gone snorkeling. Oh well.
Windy Lunch; Josh and I picked B and B up from the water taxi and we had lunch nearby at Karel's Beach Bar. This is the prettiest part of town. It was a beautiful setting, out on a dock with thatched umbrellas over each table. We knew it was getting windy because Josh's salad kept blowing over to my plate and he had to eat his french fries to keep them from blowing away.
Windsurfing Afternoon; Back to windsurfing in the afternoon, 12 to 18 mph. The strong wind during lunch didn't seem to be here, on this side of the island. Ben had a long succesful session on a 1.8/RRD evolution 360, making some beach starts and tacks. Barbara took a rest day since the wind was marginal anyway. Josh took out a 6.5 and managed to plane for a long time when almost nobody else was. I ended up on a 8.0 but still was planing less than Josh until the end when it really filled in. That very last part of the day felt great, cruising full speed on the big sail.
Bottom Picture- Ben snorkeling.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, with family, 5.5/Carve111

Day 3, Setteled In; Snorkeled in the morning, again. The site was called Andrea 1, the best reef yet, beautiful! The winds were a little light mid-day and then it shifted slightly and picked up. The last hour of the day was the strongest wind yet, plenty of wind for the 5.5, really powered up. Josh and I sailed together a lot today, nice. Barbara instructed Ben for a long session, at least 1 1/2 hours. He was getting some great beach starts! Barbara seemed more dialed in with the equipment and conditions today. Pictures- Ben navigating thru the crowd, octupus with excellent camoflage.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, 5.5/RRD freestyle wave 100

Love that crystal water! Snorkeled in the morning. Drove around the southern tip of the island on the way to Lac Bay, very desolate and arid, impressive salt processing operation, salt pans, old slave huts for salt workers looked like small stucco dog houses. Nice wind today! I had plenty of power with the 5.5. Josh and I took long runs over to the mangroves and then sailed upwind near the reef. It was fun to sail together, over the white sand bars, with the beautiful turquoise water. Josh was on a 5.0 and Carve 133. I was a little faster but I just waited for him after my jibe. Ben took the day off from sailing. Barbara is still getting used to the equipment and conditions. Picture- Josh at Lac Bay.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bonaire, Windsurfed, with family, 6.5/Carve132

First Day; Still getting settled in. We did some snorkeling. Did some grocery shopping. We got over to Lac Bay late. Everyone got a chance to sail but the wind was a little light. Ben was on a Go 150 with a 2.7. He was having the usual trouble getting the board to turn all the way through the tack. He got a little frustrated but finally made a good tack and ended on a good note. I only got a few runs in but the wind was a little marginal anyway. Later, Ben practised snorkeling in the pool. He learned how to dive down and clear his snorkel without lifting his head. Pictures- We snorkeled off the dock at Bel Mar Apts. Ben conquers snorkel clearing.