Saturday, October 27, 2007

West Dennis, Windsurfed, S, 15-30, a few others, RW85/ 5.7, 4.2

Sooo Good! I've noticed lately that if the last part of a session is great the whole session seems great. That happened today. Things got off to a slow start, but who cares? It ended great. The start- I spent about 1 1/2 hours driving around Chatham looking at wave access sites- The Cut, Claflin, Scatteree, and waiting for the fog to thin and the wind to thicken. No one else was on the water. I finally gave up and went to West Dennis, put a 5.7 on 85 liters and got wet. The wind was switching off and on gradually, like a light switch with a dimmer. There were weed issues, fog issues, but I'll skip that and get to the good part. The end- The last hour or so was perfect! I was on my favorite kit- 4.2 with the RealWind85 with power to spare- no light switches now. The south wind was a ball. In one run I could sail all the way from the normal launch, to the Inn, and way past it to a RV park near the far point, experiencing a variety of conditions along the way, probably about 2 or 3 miles. It was knee to shin deep in front of the launch, mid tide, for super flat water speed runs. Little chop waves were breaking in front of the Lighthouse Inn and on various sandbars on the other side for practising wave moves and jumps. I was going too fast for the weeds to get hold of my wave fin. I was easily making moves that I sometimes struggle with. Everything just felt great- equipment, wind, tuning, warmth, my arms, my brain. So what that the day started a little less than stellar. In fact, maybe that made the end seem sweeter. Start to finish, it was a very, very good session. Picture- The Cut, looking in, with fog, marginal wind, better to go elsewhere.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kalmus, Windsurfed, WSW, 18-28, with others, 5.7/RW 85

Egg Island- Another sunset session, this time at Kalmus. It was pretty nice- well downhauled 5.7 with 85 liters, a little overpowered sometimes, a little underpowered sometimes. I sailed at, “egg island”, with the freestylers for awhile. That’s the flat water run that’s across the channel and just downwind of the little sand spit that sticks out from the other side in Lewis Bay. The wind was surprisingly clean coming across the sand spit. The water had the tiniest of ripples that made a fast washboard rhythm with the board. I felt like a beginner compared to those guys whipping off spocks etc. I guess that makes me the egg. I was working on my flat water jumps. I could get the board off the water but just barely. I'm not sure how to get more height without a ramp. Anyway, it was fun to try a new spot at an old familiar launch.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fogland, Windsurfed, NW, 10-22, 1 other, 6.2/Carve 123

Sunset session- I squeezed in a short session after Ben's Little League Fall playoff game. Ben had a good game, they won, and I had a good session, everyone's happy. I sailed in the shallows in the cove at Fogland. It's great for freestyle in a NW wind, mostly knee to waist deep. It was close to low tide. Next time I would park at the spaces at the bottom of the cove instead of driving around to the farthest point, which was a little upwind of the shallow part of the cove. This was the first day I needed my palmless mittens for my hands. Too bad. There was a beautiful sunset as I was packing up. I had that satisfied, recharged feeling that I get after a good session, even though it was only 2 hours in up and down winds. Must have been from the sunset.

Top photo- unknown windsurfer with sailboat.

Bottom photo- packing up in the sunset glow.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Block Island, Andy's Way, Wndsrfd, with Barbara, Tony, Margie, Michael, W 10-25, Carve123/ 6.2,

Gone fishing- Josh, Ben and I had the ambitious idea of getting up at 5:00 am to launch the boat and get out fishing before the 6:00 am sunrise. First problem was that the wind was kind of strong where we had the boat pulled up at Andy's way. We could see the foam blowing up on the beach with our flashlights and we didn't feel like getting soaked with spray in our pre-dawn sleepiness. So we drove to the Coast Guard Station and fished from the shore. Second problem, no fish, no bites, no sign of anything from pre-dawn to post-dawn. Third problem, we were all pretty tired for the rest of the morning. Josh was so exhausted and teenager-like that he stayed in the Hotel for the rest of the day, coding a computer program to calculate voltage, current and resistance for any given variable, and missed a good windsurfing day.
Flat water day- Barbara got out on the 5.2 but was a little underpowered. I think the wind was in a slump for a few hours during her session. I got out later, in about 10 MPH of wind, but got lucky when the wind cranked up to full-on planing for a while before dropping off again later in the afternoon. Ben was too tired to windsurf but we had a lot of fun tidal-pooling while Barbara sailed. The day started out with rain but turned into one of those beautiful, sunny, summery days when it feels like you're sailing in a postcard picture.
Fond farewell to the Surf- We were all very sad that this was the last weekend that the Surf Hotel will be open, at least in it's current state. Loraine and family are retiring and have the hotel up for sale. Most of us have been going on this trip, twice a year, for 15 or 20 years. The Surf, with its quirkiness, informality, and old Victorian charm, has been the perfect location for our motley crew of boardsailors, bikers, and birders. We have all become very attached to it and it's owners. There was a farewell party, put on by many long-time guests, with lots of joking, singing and picture taking. Renee wrote a lyric, (I contributed 1 verse), to the tune of, "Thanks for the Memory". All the AMCers sang it during the party. It got lots of laughs and a few tears. Two memories that sum it up for me; the luxurious feeling of a hot shower in the hotel right after a stormy, frigid NE'ster session in the Crescent Beach waves; listening to the howl and whine of a strengthening wind mingle with the sound of surf through the open window of our room during the night- it all sounds so loud when the waves are crashing on rocks almost directly beneath the window.
Top picture- Surf Hotel at low tide,
beachside- Crescent Beach.

Bottom picture- morning view from the
harborside porch.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Block Island with AMC, Crescent Beach, Windsurfed, with Tony & 1 other, NE 10-28?, Acid94/ 6.2

Rest Day, Saturday- The first day of our mini-vacation was a warm, light wind, heavy fog, biking, fishing, boating, playing on the beach kind of day. Kaz and Bob, from the AMC crew, got planing with sails in the 7.5 to 8 range but I held out for a better forecast on Sunday.

Wave Day, Sunday- The wind went from 5 to 25 in about 60 seconds. Tony and I had a great morning session in the suddenly fresh winds in front of the Surf Hotel. The water had been glassy smooth, but nice, although small, waves formed in just a few hours. Even in the sudden onset winds, the waves were nicer shaped here than at Chapin/ Mayflower. They are more of a surfing wave like Deep Hole, Horseneck, or The Cut. The wind was pretty up and down, with some light stretches, so I stayed on the Acid 94 and 6.2 for the slogs. The meter posted 15 to 30 for wind but I don't think it was that much. I'm sure my arms would have been creaking in their sockets with a 6.2 in 30. I did have to move my harness lines back at first, a sign that I was in the upper range of my sail in the gusts, although I didn't really feel overpowered. Picture- Tony, carving like a Ginsu knife, on the outside at Crescent Beach.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Freestyle Action from Kalmus C/O Chris Eldridge

Chris sent me these video clips taken at Kalmus on 9/25/07. Congratulations Chris, you make it look so easy! This could inspire me to try working on jump jibes and willy skippers again. It looks like Chris still has both of his ankles. From top to bottom the moves are spock, grubby, grubby 540.

Chris's lowdown on conditions and equipment- "I use the JP Freestyle 100 whenever possible for freestyle. I select the board based on the water conditions and not wind speed. For 2008 I will have the JP freestyle 90 and 99 so I can stay on the freestyle board even longer. It was a tad on the bouncy side getting over to the lagoon at lewis bay but once we got there the water was dead flat so all is well. I was on a 3.5 pryde zone which depowers very nicely and the wind was upper 30s to low 40s. Needless to say, the tricks I typically do effortlessly became much more challenging at those speeds. Once I got used to coming in that hot I was okay but it def took a while."