Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mayflower, Windsurfed, with Gerry, NNW, Mostly18-28, Mostly 4.2/RealWind 85

A good workout- The wind started at 10-20,(5.7), built to 18-28, (4.2), blew hard for 3 or 4 hours, then dropped off just before my arms did. The stronger wind kicked up the waves a little. It was almost a straight onshore wind direction, starboard out. It made for some fun sailing, but tiring. At high tide there was even a little shorebreak developing. I really appreciated the RW 85 when I switched down to it. It's so much easier than the Acid 94 for quick steering around whitewater, over whitewater, and the frequent little hops and unplanned jumps on the way out. I was surprised how quickly the waves died after the wind exited. It just goes to show that these are chop waves not swell waves. Picture- Gerry, going up.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

AMC weekend with Petra Kanz day 2, Windsurfed, NNW, 5-15, Barbara, Josh, Ben & AMCer's, others,

Another Great Beach Day- The wind was stronger to start the day. The early birds got the planing. Josh, Barb and Ben got out there but josh was first so he got the best wind, although he reported that it was very gusty. Ben did great tacks and jibes. I think the follow the leader exercise that we did yesterday helped him. Petra held class both on and off the water at Ninigret. The water got glassy around noon so most of us packed up a little early. Ben and I went for another swim on the ocean side before departure. It was hard to leave the beach on such a sunny, warm, beautiful day, wind or no wind.

Top picture- Ben nails a tack, Ninigret.

Bottom picture- A slacker wind chases everyone in for lunch on the beach.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

AMC weekend at Camp Fuller with Petra Kanz, Windsurfed, SW, 3-10, Barbara, Josh, Ben & AMCer's, others, 5.2/white board

Nice day for a clinic. This was probably the warmest weather we've had on this trip in over 20 years attending- high in the low 80's, partly sunny/misty, warm water on the pond side at Ninigret, light wind, no neoprene. Ben and I swam on the ocean side to cool off! Petra Kanz worked her magic for the clinic. Josh, Ben, Barb and I all had some time on the water. Josh especially was craving more wind but we all had fun.

Poor man's tandem- I tried tying the tail of 1 white board to the nose of the other, leaving some space in between, to make a tandem substitute. I was on the lead board, with Ben following. It worked surprisingly well. We sailed, tacked, jibed, fell, no problem.

Top picture- misty sunrise at Camp Fuller.

Mid Picture- Follow the leader at Ninigret. You can't see the rope between the boards but it's there.

Bottom Picture- Dry land class at Ninigret.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Horseneck, Windsurfed, NW, 5-28?, Gerry, 5.2/Carve123

Side-off wavesailing without the waves- The wind did exactly as predicted, (thanks to IWindsurf for the accurate forecast), but the waves didn't hold up their end of the bargain. They were 1 to 2 feet in the morning, at high tide, and we expected them to increase as the tide went out. Instead, they completely disappeared. Oh, well. Gerry and I had some nice flat water side-offshore sailing. Going with the wind- we started at Horseneck State Beach. It was a little gusty at first, so we took a few runs then decided to move our cars to the causeway and do a downwinder. Jeff gave us a ride back to our gear but he decided not to sail due to the absent waves and a cold that he is trying to kick. The wind increased and filled in as we started downwind, so even where we started from was getting pretty good. Down at the end of Horseneck the NW wind was pretty much sideshore, maybe a little cleaner. Overall, I was surprised that once the wind filled in it was more steady then I would have expected for a side to side-off wind. I was planing about 80% of the time. It could be pretty nice here with a NW wind and a swell coming in but I'll bet it doesn't happen all that often. Waist harness fixes everything? for a change Gerry and I were on the same sail size, 5.2., and we both seemed happy with the size. He almost always sails 1 meter larger than I do. Maybe it has something to due with the fact that I used a waist harness and Gerry used a seat harness? I was a teency overpowered at times but it was fun in the relatively flat water. I used the Carve 123 to get through the lulls more easily. It was a perfect set up for the conditions. Picture- looking at the launch on Gooseberry Island, and "the big rock", from the end of Horseneck Beach where we ended up.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Kalmus, Windsurfed, WSW, 15-25 mostly, 5.7/RealWind85, with Josh, Gerry, others

Another beauty day! Warm & windy, no neoprene needed. Josh came along on this one. It was great to have him out on the water with me, although he didn't sail for too long. He was tired from excessive unicycling the previous day and staying up late at a friends house. He's a teenager. He seemed to have a good time anyway. I got a long session in. I think the waist harness really helped my endurance.

Top photo- Josh catches a rainbow in his sail.

Bottom photo- I almost get beached.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Horseneck/Gooseberry, Windsurfed, SW, 18-28, Jeff, Ron & a few others, 5.2/RealWind85

Waves Again! I finally got to try Jeff Bulls famous wave-sailing spot, sailing from Gooseberry Island out to the waves at Horseneck Beach. This is not a place I would want to sail without some local knowledge, of which Jeff, and his friend Ron, graciously shared. They really went out of their way to show me all the places to avoid. Thanks, guys! Nice, Nice Waves; These are real swell waves. None of the chop/wind-waves like at Mayflower, (although those are fun too). They are spaced far apart and when they get big enough the water smooths out in between them. The rocks are real too, and plentiful, but there were about 5 or 6 sailors out there avoiding the boulders.
New and improved wave-sailing stance; I think I had a breakthrough with my stance. It's as simple as this- use a waist harness, shorten the lines, maybe raise the boom a hair. The result is that I stand more upright and can hold my arms and legs straighter, keep my butt dryer and generally experience a lot less fatigue. By the end I had everything tuned perfectly and I just didn't want to stop, even though everyone else had left a while ago. I finally took a wave-ride that brought me well inside of a surfer, and I had to fight my out again through the waves. I decided I should quit while I was mostly together. Boring Launch Details; I parked in the lot on the island, even though it was full when I got there. I had to wait about 15 minutes for a space to open up. At high tide the preferred launch spot is- from the broken concrete slab near the lot, go to the water and launch between the 2 big rocks that are very close together. At low tide you can come and go a little downwind where the rocks are frequent but smaller. At low tide don't sail too deep into the cove towards the causeway, rocks may be shallow. The rocky causeway is the wash up spot in the cove. It looks bad but the word is that it has some backwash, so it isn't as dangerous as it looks. I still don't want to go there. One huge rock marks the end of the cove and the beginning of Horseneck Beach. It is all sand on the other side of that rock. Upwind of the rock is one more submerged rock which can be an unpleasant surprise at low tide for a long fin. You may not see the rock but you can probably see the waves breaking over it, although I sailed, (nervously), near there and didn't see it. Wind strength is often significantly less as you get close to shore at Horseneck. Rig a little big. Wind is usually the average of reports from Beavertail and Neds Point. Best in SW, S?
Top Picture- Taking a ramp in the cove.
Mid Picture- Same spot at low tide, bigger swell.
Bottom Picture- Jeff and Ron near the large rock at the end of the cove.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Mayflower, Windsurfed, N, 12-24, 5.7/Acid94

Fantastic Morning Session! Should I say that? I probably just jinxed the wind for the next month. The waves were small and mushy, onshore wind, but after an 8 month dry spell for waves, they seemed great to me. They were big enough to practice wave-riding technique. One thing that seemed to help with my turn attempts on the wave, to avoid bouncing out, was to really lean my sail to the inside of the turn. I think it helped pressure the inside rail. I guess that's pretty basic, but I seem to have to relearn it now and then. Mayflower was packed. Somebody said that they counted 45 kites in the air at one time. There were only a few of us old fashioned windsurfer types. You couldn't get a more beautiful day, sunny, dry, 70's. At low tide the ripple patterns in the sand stretched off endlessly towards the horizon, interrupted only by the occasional tidal pool. I'd like to hardwire a few mornings like this into my memory banks for when I need them.