When I arrived, there were three windsurfers and two kiters in the bay. The guy I talked to was on a 4.7, Igor was on a 5.3, so I rigged the 5.0. When I was done rigging, I discovered that I had forgotten my boots! I don't mind windsurfing when air and water are both around 50 Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celcius), but I like to have warm feet. I had brought my neoprene socks that I usually wear inside my booties, so I decided to go for it, anyway.
The wind had picked up by now, and I started with a nice catapult when the first gust hit (later learned that it was gusting up to 39 mph). The chop in the NNW wind was rather high for a flatwater surfer like me - quite different from the flat water I usually see in Fogland during SW winds. I did not really get comfortable, and slipped on the board a few times when turning and starting. With the added time in the water, I was not quite sure if my feet were painfully cold, or if I had lost feeling in my toes - maybe both.
After surfing back in and slipping some more on the next run, I decided to call it a day. Had I had my boots, I would have rigged the 4.2, and tried some more - the wind was still picking up, with gusts to 44 mph. Real bummer - I was hoping to set some personal speed records. Would have worked, too, despite the chop and a board that was too large for the conditions (Screamer 116): in the first run, my top speed was 45 km, even though I never really got dialed in! Barely hanging on is more a more accurate description. But after getting used to the conditions switching to a smaller sail, 55 or 60 kmh should have been possible .. oh well.
So I got home early, and decided to stow the gear away for the winter. This had been the second not-so-great windsurf day in a row - and we'll be in the Caribbean in a few weeks. Forgetting the shoes today was a Freudian slip that should not be ignored..
Here's a few things to-do things I put on my list for the next season:
- Bring your boots!
- If it's really windy, bring the trailer (or at least the small board).
- Surf more in chop! Bonaire, Fogland, and Duxbury are all very nice, but heavy chop is rather different, and requires some practice. We need to sail more in Kalmus, Ned's, Fogland during NW, and Duxbury during SW - or maybe go back to Cabarete for summer vacations.