Monday, January 2, 2012

I needed that!

It was a lovely day at the beginning of January - lots of sun, and air temperatures in the low 40s (7 C). With no windsurfing for almost a month and a good wind forecast, I just had to get out today. Still on jet lag, I was up before 6, only to wait for the wind to come to Cape Cod. Yes, it was blowing upper 20s in Point Judith, and the forecast there was just as good, but that would have been too easy.

It's a long story of driving around that's not worth telling, but I eventually made it to Kalmus Beach in Hyannis around 10 am, just as the wind picked up to 30 mph averages. I took my time rigging, hoping someone else would show up, but ended up sailing alone for the first hour. With all the thick booties and gloves, I could not really tell if I was powered or overpowered - but I was nicely planing most of the time. Of course, I had my Hawk trimmed for speed, but ended up sailing in chop, since I wanted to stay closer to shore while sailing alone, instead of making a trip over to Egg Island. Together with lack of practice, jet lag, and at least 17 other excuses I can think of, this made jibing a difficult proposition. Here are pictures from two attempts:

If I had been going for jump jibes or Willy Skippers, that might have been decent attempts - but I was actually going for a simple step jibe. Oops! After a few slightly wet jibes, I decided to take advantage of the refreshing water temperatures (35F, 2C) instead, and practice new ways of falling in jibes. Except for my partially frozen brain, I was perfectly warm - and my brain thawed up a bit after I exchanged the thin hood for the big and tight hood (which I still think was originally developed for more devious purposes). Thanks to a Clew-View mounted GoPro HD, I can share some picture of these crashes with you:

Trying to prove that the earth is round.

Walking backwards off the tail

I like the way the water drops look on this one.

At some point, I forgot that I was going for new ways to crash, and thought I was actually trying turn around without falling. That did not work, which then in turn frustrated me. So I decided to let the board try to jibe without me:
Much to my surprise, that seemed to work better than when I stayed on the board. The only problem was that I was still swimming in the water when the board took of on the new reach. But while the board and sail may be able to turn ok without me, their straight line sailing (which happens to be one thing I am good at) sucks. So does the waterstart without me (that's another thing I'm good at, thanks to plenty of practice even when the water is almost freezing), so eventually, I caught up with the gear again, and sailed back in.

Well, I needed that. I am feeling a lot better now, and I'm sure the sea water that's still running out of my nose will stop within an hour or two (just kidding - I waited until the dripping had stopped before turning on my computer!). Next time when it's sunny and warmish, my lovely wife will (knock on wood) be with me again. It's only half the fun without her!

It was nice to see Jerry and a few other windsurfers show up around noon. I suspect a causal connection between them showing up kinda late and the wind dropping shortly thereafter. I can't really proof this, but I think the wind rewards those that show up early. Point Judith had much steadier wind the entire day, and I'm sure the Rhode Island windsurfers showed up bright and early again! Well, next time the wind is westerly, that's where you'll find me.
Disclaimer: It is by no means certain that my brain freeze has indeed ended, so (as always) read this at your own risk :-)

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