Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Optimistic Windsurfer gets the wind

"You gotta be an optimist to windsurf in New England!" This was parking lot wisdom from Juan. It's so true. What else would get us out to Chapin Beach before 9:00 AM on a grey Winter morning with almost no wind? Optimism. "It's gonna blow as soon as we rig and get out there." Igor rigged his 9.5.

Optimism. The belief that it will be worth it in the end. Is it going to be windy enough? Am I going to be warm enough. Can I hold my pee until the end of the session? Yes, yes, yes. So what that I left the house at 6:30 to drive to this frigid windless beach? It's all part of the adventure.

And on this particular Saturday morning optimism payed off. 30 minutes after we rigged, it was blowing up to the low 30's, the sun was sending shafts of light through the clouds on the horizon, and no one's hands were turning black from the cold, yet. We were 3 happy sailors, hooting it up like we had just won a presidential election. The wind had close to a 20 MPH spread between gusts and lulls but you can't expect everything to be perfect. Igor said it was his best windsurfing session ever, (his first time in waves), and I think he meant it.
Igor Gets The Wind, Rocks, Snow

I sailed 3 1/2 hours past high tide. 3 kiters kept me company at the end while I was scraping the edge off of my fin in shin to knee deep water.

Windsurfed, Chapin Beach, WNW 15-32 MPH, 6.2 & 4.2, Acid94 & RW85, air temp mid 30's to 40 F, with Igor, Juan, and kiters: Jeff, Holly, Dave.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Anything to beat The Skunks

I went to West Dennis. I got skunked, hung out with Igor, landboarded, splashed around on my 94 liter wave board with a kayak paddle, went home. You can't argue with mother nature.

I discovered that there is no possible way to stand up paddle a 94 liter wave board, even in shallow glassy water. And I'm not proud that I thought of trying it. I could kinda sit, kinda kneel, knees out to the side and paddle for an hour or so to say I got some exercise. I know this isn't how the pros do it.

Landboarded, sit down paddled, West Dennis, with Igor, air temp upper 30's.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sailing Solo in the Snow

New erosion fences in the path to Mayflower Beach encouraged me to go to Chapin

This is the fourth weekend in a row that I've had over 30 MPH winds for at least part of a session. You gotta love windsurfing in the Winter!

Or not. None of the usual lunatics wanted to sail today. I have no idea why. This was my first time sailing in a snow flurry. Who would want to miss a chance for that?! There was also some light rain and sleet but that was nothing new.

The surprising thing is that it was a really good session. Really good. I didn't even think that my twitchy little 3.5 sail had a sweet spot but today was its day. Having waist-deep-smooth-water-behind-a-sandbar might have helped.

I spent less time playing in the outside waves than usual. I was getting a little skittish about being out 1/2 mile or more from the launch, in the snow, mist, cold, gale, waves, knowing that there wasn't anyone else on the water, in the parking lot, or on the beach, not that I could really see the beach. It was beautiful on the outside, and the waves were mostly small, but I had the nagging feeling that I might not be exercising the best judgement.

Unusually high tide, Chapin marsh is completely covered. This is usually land.

The marsh returns as the tide recedes

I sailed 4 hours after high tide, no problem. The forecast called for minor flooding, north of plymouth from a slight storm surge. I guess it happened south of plymouth too.

Winsurfed, Chapin, NNW, 20-42, 3.5/RW85, Solo, Air Temp 38 to 32.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

FIRST BEACH of the New Year

First Beach, Small Waves, Big Gusts

The temp was only supposed to be in the 30's so the plan was to take it easy, meet Chris at Ninigret pond, sail in flat, shallow water. It didn't occur to this knucklehead that Ninigret might be too iced in to sail.

Ninigret Ice

We ended up at First Beach, Newport for some offshore-wind wave riding. So much for taking it easy. I was encouraged when I saw 2 swimmers there with just bathing suits. How cold could it be?

The wind was very up and down, gusty and shifty but it was fun playing in the waves. They were only in the 1 to 3 foot range, ankle biters mostly. Considering the cold temps I was happy just to be sailing. Sailing in waves made it even better. Click on pics to see large.

Better than sitting by a fire at home

Offshore Wave Riding at Deep Hole/ Horseneck/ First Beach in NW, WNW- This is just my impression from 1 time sailing at each site in NW to WNW (more times at Deep Hole). Deep hole- When the wind goes NW it gets very light in the waves, not worth the effort. First Beach- it's pretty offshore in NW but there's no wind line, it's sailable. Horseneck Public- Cleaner and more filled in than First Beach, sideshore in WNW, side off in NW.

Chris in Silhoutte

Windsurfed, First Beach- Newport, NW, WNW, 10-34, 5.2/ Acid94, air temp upper 30's, with Chris.