Saturday, March 29, 2008

Corporation Beach, NW 10-20 building to NNW 18-28, 6.2/Acid, 5.2/RW85, a few others

Winter/Summer confusion- You know, I don't really care if the weather ever warms up for spring. If we get a few more days just like today, it will be fine with me. We had lots of sunshine, lots of wind, lots of waves, temp 37 F. O.K. my hands got cold a few times, but other than that, (and the knowledge that I was wearing my drysuit with 4 layers underneath), it felt and looked like a summer day. There was bright sunshine glistening off the water, children flying kites, families strolling along the waters edge, and plenty of picture takers and dog walkers. Never mind that it was 14 degrees F. below average for the end of March, sand was blowing horizontally down the beach, and everyone had on jackets, hats and mittens. It was glorious! So I'm going out on a limb here, being brutally honest. I would be happy if it stays frigid as long as it stays windy, especially sunny and windy. Of course, if the weather really does refuse to warm up, everyone is going to blame me for writing this.

Corporation Beach- First impression, nice launch. Much shorter walk at low tide than Mayflower. I liked launching from the end of the breakwater, easier to get out thru the waves because you're halfway there. NNW wind was almost straight onshore, port tack out, not everyone's favorite direction for this spot, or so I hear. I know that NNW is also onshore at Mayflower, but starboard out, take your pick. There was a spot, out in the middle where I was jibing sometimes, where the waves seemed a little bigger and were sorta-breaking further out, fun. The waves were still very forgiving, wind waves, not very meaty or hollow.

Dialed in- I felt great on the 5.2 with the Realwind board today. For a while, the wind got lighter and I switched to the 6.2/ Acid. I just couldn't seem to get comfortable with that rig today. When I switched back to the 5.2/RW everything felt great, even as the wind and waves built, (I could have been on a 4.2 at the end). I wish I knew what it was that sometimes makes a rig and board feel perfect and sometimes awful. Harness lines slightly off? Too much/ not enough downhaul? Color of the sail clashes with my suit? This is a question for future exploration and discovery.

Hand Warmers- I put them on the back of my hands in my Glacier Gloves. They seemed to give a hint of warmth as long as I kept my hands above the waterline. Stopping to let a little air into the gloves excited them. I had a good dunking, about halfway through my session, that spelled their end. At least they didn't fall apart like my feet warmer experiment.

Click on pics to see large.
Pic 1, Kiter flying high at Corporation.
Pic 2, Tree serving Bud Light, across from The Chapin Restaurant.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

KALMUS, Windsurfed, W,WSW,WNW 10-24, 6.2/Carve 123, Solo

So-so session- Got 1 hour of solid planing on big gear, sailing out by the tip of Great Island. Then I chased gusts and practised light wind stuff for a few hours, closer in to Kalmus. The waves off of Great Island don't usually get very big, but today they were microscopic.

Kalmus, looking towards Great Island

Safety kit with spare fin

Kalmus vs Harding's- I had planned on going to Harding's Beach to catch the west wind but found myself at Kalmus, mostly because it's a shorter drive. Lousy choice. Harding's wind was much steadier and the wind lasted all morning & afternoon according to IWindsurf meters. I think that I'm going to take Kalmus off my list of preferred locations in a straight W.

Fin saver- I broke a fin, about a year ago, on the rocks around Great Island, (1 1/2 miles out), so I carried a spare mini-fin this time just in case. This mini-fin is just an old plastic fin that I cut down to fit in my safety kit. See, I'm not really as reckless and crazy as all my neighbors say.
Cold Feet- This is big news. I've been using my prolimit booties, with thick neoprene liners, for the last few sessions but my feet have been cold and the booties don't seem completely impervious to the duct taping. So I switched back to my O'Neill 7 mm with my thinner sealskin socks. My feet were a little warmer, I only gave them the warm-water-in-the-cooler-bath once, and the O'Neills are tough enough for taping. I want this day to be remembered in footwear history.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

THE CUT, SCATTEREE LANDING, windsurfed, NNE, 10-30+, mostly solo, 3.5,4.2/ Realwind 85, air temp upper 30's

2 Cuts- I sailed the old cut and the new cut. A local kiter, Barry, came out for a few runs at the old cut before the wind died. It went from 3.5 weather to 6.2 in a few minutes, not nice. When he packed up, I packed up too, and went to Scatteree landing to sail out to the new cut.

Barry, airborn

Maringue pie- The strong opposing wind and rushing tide put a cheese grater texture on the water. At the old cut, Barry complained that it was too rough to be really good for kiting. Even launching from in the harbor, at Scatteree, there were places that looked like the top of my mom's maringue pie from when I was kid. Of course, there were also places, around sandbars, that were almost as smooth as a babies butt, very nice.

Wind reading- The wind had come right back up at Scatteree. My 4.2 seemed pretty big at times, even with the downhaul cranked. I think the IWindsurf meter might read low in NE wind direction. Maybe by about 10mph? I know it was more than 15-21, at 6:30, when I was tail walking my 85 liter/4.2 across the harbor. Blowing sand was another indicator of wind strength.
Shred of sanity- I didn't venture out very far into the waves. I don't think they were any bigger than last weekend's waves at Deep Hole but being by myself, a half mile out or more, in the middle of nowhere, in Winter temps, in somewhat unfamiliar digs made me feel cautious. I may be nuts but I'm not crazy.
Sea of blowing sand

New Cut

Hello and goodbye to the camps-I pulled up on the North side of the new cut to take a look at the, "camps", that are being eroded by the tidal flow through the new opening. It looks like 3 or 4 of them don't have much longer to live in this world. The house closest to the water was half full of sand, windows and doors gone. It was a beautiful spot, wild as nature can be, with the wind howling, storm waves crashing, and the water racing through the new cut like a swollen river. The amount of water being pushed past the sandy point, where I stood, was amazing.

Backlash- Friends of ours recently had their family camp, "The Backlash", demolished and removed from here before the ocean could turn it into litter. I can imagine how sad that must have been for them to lose that special place.

End of, "The Backlash"

Thanks to Jim A. for the 2 bottom pictures.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More Deep Hole Pictures

Thanks to Carl T for sending these pictures of the carnage at Deep Hole on Sunday. The top 2 pics are pre-mast-breakage, bottom 2 pics after.

Heading out during a set


Don't Worry, Be Happy

In the washing machine, extra soap

Sunday, March 9, 2008

DEEP HOLE & REFUGE HARBOR, windsurfed, W, 15-40, 4.2, 5.2/ RW 85, Solo, Air Temp 35-42

I jinxed myself! This is an email I sent to a friend before I went windsurfing-

"Yeah, I don’t think I would go in without a good drysuit, especially with the west wind at Deep Hole. I figure that I need to be able to stay warm for about a 1/2 hour to an hour in the water if I have a problem and get blown away from the point. Lots of people say they’ve washed up on East Matunuck Beach for one reason or another. It’s probably just a matter of time until that happens to me."

This is what happened, on my second run-

From on top of the rock wall, looking back towards Deep Hole

A wave snapped my mast and I got washed away from the point. I didn't go all the way to East Matunuck Beach. I came ashore in the middle of the rock wall. It wasn't a very user friendly landing but it worked-

The base of the rock wall, nice landing

I got a ride back to the truck from a kayak surfer, Carl, that I had been chatting with in the parking lot before I took my long swim. Thanks for letting me in your new car, saltwater and all, (I sat on a dog blanket)!

After that I didn't want to risk damaging another rig, or anything else, so I packed up and went inside Refuge Harbor. I launched from Camp Cronin Fishing Area, near the lighthouse, and sailed upwind to the edge of a gentle, south-swell break that those-in-the-know call K59. I think it's closer to get there by sailing down from Roger Wheeler Park but I took a wrong turn, ended up at the lighthouse, and decided that I would be different, sail upwind instead of down.

Deep Hole Wave

How did this happen? Mast breakage I mean, besides the fact that I jinxed myself with my prophetic email. I was hit by a big, meaty wave when I was down in the water. I thought that I was outside the break so I was taking my sweet time, resting, thinking about how good it is to be alive, floating in waterstart position. Then this unfriendly wave jacked up, out of nowhere, with my mast's name written all over it. The swim/paddle in took about 30 minutes I guess. I actually made it in to the point, at first, but the current swept me off into the hole before I was shallow enough to get some traction. At least I learned that my drysuit will keep me toasty for a leisurely late-winter swim.

Waves- The waves were the biggest I've seen here for a west wind, (sideshore). The strong south wind overnight, (30-40 mph), and morning high tide created some big sets. Mitch said the buoy reports were 8 to 10 ft. From what I hear, they really died down at Deep Hole as the tide went out, although they stayed big at the lighthouse until dark.

Picture- Unknown surfer
at the lighthouse.

Sunset surfer at Pt. Judith lighthouse

click on pictures to see large.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This could be good!




My skiis are in the attic and the boards are in the truck. I'm ready to get back on soft water. I hope Deep Hole is friendly!