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.


PeconicPuffin said...

It sounds like you had a great session! I don't think anybody is truly comfortable on three-meter sails (well maybe some old-school Gorge sailors). I considered every jibe I was dry on a triumph during Noel.

Pray for wind (perhaps not as much, though!)

Robert Bruce said...

Since I lost my Windsurfing vehicle, I called it an end to the season. I don't envy you for sailing in that storm, though. I've done it before and hurricane sailing really isn't a lot of fun.