Sunday, November 25, 2007

Deep Hole, Windsurfed, WSW, 12-25, solo, 6.2/Acid 94, temp 46 to 48 F. sailed from 1:00-4:15

Deep Hole- on fire.

Up and down winds, waves that were small to nonexistant, very low tide (full moon), and 2 kiters for company who stopped when I started. Oh well, at least it was good to be back at Deep Hole. It felt like I was visiting an old friend that I hadn't seen in a while. Too bad my old friend wasn't in a better mood. Maybe next time. It did give me a roaring sunset.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hardings, Windsurfed, W, 12-27, mostly solo, 5.2/RW85 then 5.7/Acid 94, on water from 9:30-3:00, temp 39-43.

Hardings Beach- Nice bumps.

Loop shenanigans; O.K. I had a good week and I still went for some loop attempts, just not as many as last week. I had one where I came all the way around, landed on my back, almost in a water start position. I thought hey, maybe I can really do this! Then I realized that my board didn't come with me. I guess I forgot to wear it like a glove. It was all pretty painless, once again, which means more attempts are probably in my future. Unless I come to my senses before then.
Hardings; There were some curvaceous little bumps at dead low tide, great for jumping and loop messing around. As the tide came in, the bumps flattened out, looked more like lumpy mashed potatoes with gravy. Decent ramps became hard to come by, although it was still bumpier than Kalmus. Lobster hands; I used the warm-water-in-the-cooler-trick for my hands. It kept them a nice pink color. White fingers aren't pretty. It's definitely the quickest way I've found to revive withering digits. Next time I'll bring a thermos with some hot water to replenish the cooler, (the warmer?), as needed.

Bottom Pictures; Entertainment in the parking lot provided by James Lamb- riding,

Jeff Brown- Remote sailing. I've been told that this model holds the surface record on ice, 39.3 MPH!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chapin Beach, NNE 15-30 building to NNW 20-38, 4.2,3.5/RW85, solo start, then with Gerry, Gary, Scott, others, solo end.

A proper state of mind for windsurfing? I had a lousy week at work. So when I heard the gale warning for this weekend I thought it could be just what I needed to take my mind off of it. If I sailed until I dropped I would have to feel better, in a way. I had the passing thought that this might not be the best state of mind for getting behind the wheel of a windsurfer. But then, I thought, I'll be fine, and I might be able to use this to my advantage. I've been toying with the idea of trying a forward loop for some time and I decided that this might be a perfect opportunity. All I'd have to do was to channel my weeks worth of pent up frustration into throwing myself into the loop. My natural fear of maiming myself would be no match for this powerful sense of release, I hoped. did it work? Yes and no. I didn't make any loops. I did make a lot of attempts, until the wind picked up. I didn't break any equipment or body parts. And I do feel a little more philosophical about my week now that I'm thoroughly wiped out. I may never actually complete a loop, of course, but I feel that I've done the hard part, conquering my fear of throwing myself over the handlebars. It will be interesting to see if I can throw attempts with such abandon after I've had a good week.
Boring details- Temp was in the low forties. I wore poly shirt, t-shirt and fleece under my drysuit. It was just right. Glacier gloves for my hands, pretty cold at times. Thick booties duct taped to my dry suit, was fine. Full hood, (also protected my eardrums on the loop attempts). I could feel some wind chill at the end with wind into the upper 30's. It was fine as long as I stayed active. Tide etc- I sailed from 9:30 to 3:15. Dead high was at 11:20. I don't know why it was still sailable 4 hours after high tide. Even when I stopped there was waist deep water in many places inside the sandbar. I could have sailed a little longer. 85 liters big- I started to feel a little overpowered just before I stopped for lunch. I was on the 3.5, which was O.K., but the board was flying off every little piece of chop. After lunch, the wind actually got a little stronger but the water flattened out, lower tide, and I felt better. The water was generally smoother out in the waves, except for the waves. Just goes to show that 85 liters is too big for gale winds with chop. Probably way too big. This is 2 weekends in a row in which I should have been on a smaller board than my smallest. Not sure what to do about it though.
Picture- Chapin receding tide, my board is wondering where all the other boards went.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Plymouth/ Nelson St., Windsurfed, NE, 28-55?, Gerry, Tony and a few others, 3.5/RW85

Too much of a good thing? When it comes to wind I'm almost always looking for more. I usually want it to blow stronger, last longer, more. Not this time. For once, I had plenty of wind and then some, thanks to the remnants of hurricane Noel. The wind built gradually through the morning, moderate in the beginning, to 55 MPH gusts by noon. I was the, "wind dummy", (first one on the water to test the conditions), but a small crew of hardy souls showed up not long afterwards. A few hours after we stopped there was a gust to 68 recorded at the Duxbury meter. This was not a day for casual sailing. This sailing involved adrenaline. Stranded upwind- Tony and I made the strategic error of being pretty far upwind when the wind cranked up a couple of notches, midmorning. We had a few very long power runs before we had to start heading off the wind to get back. That's when I started to feel that I might actually have more wind than I needed. It was kinda challenging to control my speed and keep my board down on the water, flying downwind over the chop, overpowered. I still had my 3.5 set for moderate conditions so that didn't help. It made for an exciting ride though, doing short runs off the wind, sometimes just sitting on my board to rest, letting the gale push me downwind. When I was sailing, I had the funny feeling that there was extra weight in the sail, but it wasn't weight that pulled down, it was weight that pulled horizontally. Tony seemed to be doing great. He attributed his smooth moves to being on a fiberglass board, which is heavier and rides a little lower in the water. Skill could have something to do with it too, Tony. More wind- After I got back, I had lunch and added that extra inch of downhaul the sail needed to get really floppy. What a difference! Unfortunately the wind was continuing to build so I was still overpowered in the gusts, which was most of the time. Everyone else took off by noon. Some were complaining about the 20 mph spread between gusts and lulls. Everyone was complaining about being overpowered. I sailed a little longer in the shallows mostly just working on jumps. I wasn't getting the huge floaty jumps that I knew were possible given the wind strength, but I was landing most of the jumps that I went for, and I didn't break anything. Any run is a good run- Overall I didn't feel like I was sailing at my best. I blew a lot of jibes, and I knew I was holding back a lot, trying to avoid the body-slam-catapult, but it was fun just being out in such strong winds. It would have been nice if the rain stopped for a while so I could have put my glasses on to really see what I was doing but you can't have everything. Any run without damage, in that much wind, is a good run. And next time I'll think twice about complaining that I don't have enough wind... Nah, probably not. I just need to get a smaller board.

Top Photo- I'm overpowered and hunkered down, trying to avoid catapults, Thanks Gerry for the pic.

Bottom photo- Gerry heading out, unknown sailor in the air. Click on the picture to see it large.