Saturday, June 23, 2018

Twister and Shout

6/23/18  Pleasure Bay, NE Wind, 11-16 MPH, Foiling, 10.4 Cloud Kite

I get lofted.

I'm foiling in light winds. A big lull hits and I'm working the kite to keep it up and stay on the board. I pull hard on the bar and I'm up about 20' in the air before I can blink. It's like I'm just ripped out of the water, right off my board, by some large invisible hand.

By the time I can think about punching out I've leveled off so I sine the kite to try to keep from plummeting. I drift for a second before dropping. I hit pretty hard but I'm in deep water and far enough from the beach. I'm O.K. just a little shocked and dazed by what could have happened.

Earlier in the day I had seen a mini twister of sand spin across the beach down near the lifeguard chairs. I'm guessing that what's picked me up. I was kiting down in that area when it hit.

Scuttlebutt says these mini cyclones are caused by planes that are routed low over P Bay in a NE wind coming in to land at Logan Airport. They're known as wake turbulence or wingtip vortices and have caused following planes to crash. They can last for up to 3 minutes before dissipating.

What scares me is that if I was launching or landing at the moment that it hit I would have landed hard on the concrete wall, steps, flagpoles, sidewalk, or parking lot. None of those surfaces would feel soft and cushy from a 20' drop. It could be unpleasant. We'd have to change the name of the bay.

I kite for another 15 minutes but I can't get it out of my head. Every time I approach the rock wall or the beach I think about how I don't want to be a bug on that windshield. P Bay in NE is off my list. Sorry P Bay. I know it not your fault.