Monday, May 28, 2007

Block Island, Andy's Way, Windsurfed, Boat-surfed, SW 10-22?, Carve123/5.7 & 6.2, Josh, Barbara, AMCers

Great wind in the morning; Bob and Sherry were the early birds, ripping it up, then Barbara and Josh, Tony and Margie, Dave and Renee, Constance. I was beaching with Ben and didn't get sailing until the afternoon when the wind had dropped off, more non-planing freestyle. The wind picked up towards the end of the day but we had 2 tons of equipment to carry up and derig before catching the ferry so I only squeezed in a few planing runs. Tony and Margie rode it right up to the bitter end. Good for them!
Picture; Barbara blasting at Andy's Way.

Boat-Surfing; O.K. here's a light wind alternative. In the afternoon, Josh, Ben and I took turns riding the Acid94 behind the inflatable like we were waterskiing. I bought a tow rope with a handle last year with hopes that this would work. It was fun! That little 8 horsepower motor was enough to get the boat and towee on plane. After a while, we were able to get up and stand on the board, at least until we fell.

Tug Boat; While we were boat-surfing we got flagged down from a much bigger boat with motor trouble. They asked us to tow them to their mooring at Andy's Way. It must have looked funny to see this large boat, full of people, being pulled by our tiny inflatable, like a massive barge being pulled by a mini tug. It worked surprisingly well and I think we built some good will for all crazed water sports enthusiasts.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Block Island, Light Wind, Alternative Activities

Not enough wind to plane anything without a motor
Fishing, boating, snorkeling,baseball, and enjoying the beautiful Block Island vistas. No windsurfing but life is still O.K.
Ben Baseball Champion! Ben had been off island, up to this point, because his baseball team qualified for a special, “City Series”, playoff. He got to stay with his coach’s family last night and then played the last game today. They won! Ben pitched in all 3 games, including the last 4 innings of today’s game, without letting in a single run. I drove back to catch the last half of the game and pick Ben up. We were back on the island by dinner time. Ben got hit on the cheek by a wild pitch in game 1, left a nasty bruise with cuts in the shape of the baseball seams. He got the game ball, for MVP, from 2 of the 3 games. He is a very excited boy!

Pictures; Ben pitching, Josh in inflatable, Josh unicycling.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Block Island, Andy's Way, Windsurfed, SW 10-18, with Josh, 6.2/Carve123

Beautiful warm sunny day: Temp close to 80 on the island. The 6.2 was a little too small to keep me on plane in the light winds, too big for some of the non-planning freestyle moves. I tried the loop exercise again but I couldn’t get around as far as last weekend. I think it was because of the 6.2/longer boom. I couldn’t reach as far back on the boom before jumping. I mostly stayed in the shallows over the sandbar.
Josh was on the 6.8. He was planing about half the time. He definitely has the footstraps down. He was having no trouble getting in and out of them even in the marginal winds. It was such a nice day on the water that Josh and I were both having a hard time stopping. Josh said, “Dad, there’s something wrong”! I asked what it was and he said, “windsurfing is too much fun, I can’t stop”. That’s one problem he’s inherited from his old man.
Seal; There was a dead seal washed up by the tidal pool at Andy’s Way. At first I thought it might be driftwood. I finally walked up to look. It was definitely a dead seal, minus its head.
Picture; Sometimes Josh forgets to use his hands.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

West Dennis, Windsurfed, SW, 15-20, 20-28, AMC trip/Petra Kanz Clinic, 5.2/Realwind85

Hopping Chop at West Dennis
Clinic & Unexpected Wind; The forecast only called for wind to the upper teens but it started there and built to the upper 20’s. We started with Petra's morning indoor clinic, mostly refinement of basic technique, then Barb, Josh and Ben got out sailing, wind in the upper teens. By the time I got on the water it was in the mid 20’s. By then it was a little strong for the on-the-water clinic, and it was getting late, so there were just a few of us left on the water. Josh was too tired to sail anymore so he took pictures.
The Clinic Overall; came off great for a cold, drizzly weekend. It could have been a little warmer for a few that didn’t have good suits or Nordic genes but there was something for everyone- lots of windsurfing talk, good food, good company, great instruction & sailing! The lighthouse Inn is a wonderful site for the trip. Barbara deserves a lot of credit for orginizing the trip, dealing with cancellations, complaints.
Ben; Ben sailed a transition board and 2.1. I stayed with him in the pond. He sailed for about 1 hour, had a great time. That big board was turning very slowly for him but he got 1 tack and 1 beach start. He really loved getting the beach start!
Josh Conquers the footstraps! Josh sailed a transition board, with the 5.2 and then 4.2, on the ocean side in the strengthening wind and chop. Getting into the straps just seemed to click for him today. He said he had to get into the straps just to stay on the board through the chop. By the end of the day it had gotten easy for him. I was impressed that he was out there in pretty strong winds, blasting along, and tacking that big old board. He's definately ready to start working on shortboard jibes.
2nd picture; Duck Practice

Saturday, May 19, 2007

West Dennis, Windsurfed, NW, 10-15, AMC trip/Petra Kanz Clinic, 5.2/Carve123

Cold, Rainy Clinic; Bad luck with the weather, again, 50/55 degrees high temp and light rain off and on for most of the weekend. Petra did indoor clinic Saturday morning, then light wind practice on the water, pond-side, during the afternoon. The indoor talk was aimed mostly at clinic newbies so I went out on the water by myself for awhile. Josh and Barbara got out sailing for a little while in the afternoon. It was too cold for Ben.

Petra, Indoors at the Lighthouse Inn.
Loops; I tried Royn Bartholdi’s looping exercise #1. It’s a jump and pivot with the sail, like a loop without bringing the board around with you. I may never try to do a real loop but this exercise was fun! I felt like I mostly had it down after 2 hours.
Freestyle; In the afternoon Petra showed me 3 new freestyle moves on the water, but I was getting pretty tired by then. I’ll have to work on these another time. It was fascinating to watch Petra pulling off these moves so smoothly and gracefully.
1; Clew-first heli-tack; sail clew-first into a heli-tack.
2; Sail 360; like a heli but done in one smooth motion and while sailing in
a straight line.
3; Leeside jibing; tack into leeside sailing then continue going down wind into a jibe. Try to sink the tail through all of this to help turning, very wide stance front to back. You mostly aren’t moving the sail just steering it through the wind and back.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pleasure Bay, Windsurfed, SSW, 10-15, a few others, 5.7/Carve123

80 Degrees! It was a beautifully warm evening for a quickie around sunset. Pleasure Bay was packed with people out walking and jogging. I was plenty warm in my wetsuit, no gloves or hood etc. I didn’t get on plane at all. I worked on freestyle stuff, heli-tacks and duck jibes.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Plymouth/ Nelson St., Windsurfed, ENE, 20-35, solo, 3.5/RealWind 85

Duck jibes; Great day! I sailed from 7:45 to 9:45. Short but sweet. It was an all duck jibe day. I didn’t do any regular jibes. I got a few planing and a few lay-down ducks. On the lay down ones the mast just about touched the water but I didn’t stay up on plane. I was a little underpowered in the lulls but it was fun to use the 3.5.
Nelson St Recreation Area; Fun place to sail in a NE! It was around dead low tide. There were lots of sandbars and channels but plenty of room to sail parallel to and just down-wind of a big sandbar shown as White Flat on my nautical map. It was a bit of a walk upwind to get there at dead low but not too bad. White flat was out of the water by a foot or 2. At mid tide it must create great speed sailing conditions. My old windsurfing guide to the U.S. says that this spot can get big waves in a NE but it was very flat at low tide. It was mostly shin to waist deep. I could see some enticing chop on the other side of White Flat but I didn’t have time to walk across the sandbar or sail up the channel to it. It might be a mile or 2 from the launch to get out there so I wouldn’t go without safety gear. I had my full safety/ self-rescue kit with me today. Thanks to Gene Harriman, from Plymouth, for sending pictures and video clips!!!
Picture; Launching at Nelson St., Low Tide, Flat Water.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pleasure Bay, Windsurfed, NW, 10-15, a few others, 6.8/Carve 123

More Night Sailing; 65 temp, I sailed from 7:30 to 8:30. The winds were light, sub-planing. IWindsurf reports showed winds about 5 to 10 MPH higher than they really were, must be due to the NW wind coming over Boston. Sunset was around 8:00. It was a beautiful sunset with the Boston skyline lit up in deep orange.