Thursday, August 15, 2013

Win a free ABK clinic!

One of many things we loved at the East Coast Windsurfing Festival in Long Island in the past two years was the raffle, where every competitor had a chance to win windsurfing stuff - lots of cool stuff, from T-shirts to masts. So of course, we will have a raffle at the ECWF Cape Cod, too! A number of sponsors have promised to send us raffle items, including a number of high performance fins, a cold weather wetsuit, and a brand new sail. Yesterday, we learned that we will have another really cool giveaway: a free ABK clinic! The lucky winner will be able to choose one of the many ABK camps in the US or on Bonaire, and attend it for free. Thanks, Andy!

I am addicted to ABK camps, and our local ABK clinic in Hyannis is less than 4 weeks away. So I figured I really need to practice the tricks I learned in the past so I'm ready for new stuff, and went sailing yesterday and today. Yesterday's winds were really gusty and straight west winds, instead of the usual south, SW, or WSW winds. I did a long few long runs straight out, looking for steadier winds away from shore, but no luck. Perhaps I should say "bad luck" instead: when I fell on one of my first outside jibes, water starting took a while due to the fluky winds. At some point, I felt something slimy on me - too slimy to be sea grass. Instead, it was one of these lovely creatures:
I did not see it, but the pain started quickly on my right arm and both legs. I rushed to shore to rub the affected areas with sand, and then went back out, only to have the wind die on me shortly thereafter.

Today's forecast was better, with southwesterly winds that often get enhanced by sea breezes. For once, I timed the wind perfectly, and started sailing shortly after it had picked up enough to be nicely powered on 6.5. I played around with duck jibes, chop hops, jump jibes, and slam jibes. I got a few of nice slam jibes - up until today, I had some kind of mental block that kept me from getting them. I was wearing a full-body lycra to avoid further jellyfish stings. I did not see any jellyfish close to shore today; yesterday, I had only seen them in the deeper water half a mile out. Todays wind allowed me to stay in the shallows close to shore - but the one time I sailed a bit further towards the fishing channel, of course I fell when jibing, and of course there were jelly fish right there. Not that I saw them - but their tentacles sound the few square inches of uncovered skin around my ankles. That was about 4 hours ago, and the pain is finally going away...

So if you sail near Kalmus these days, watch out for the oldest multi-organ animal in the water! It's quite possible that there is a little bloom in Lewis Bay, and that the tidal currents carry them out - but that's just a guess. Maybe I'm just not very lucky these days - there were several other windsurfers out today, all of them in shorties, and nobody else seemed to be in pain.

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