Sunday, December 22, 2013

Almost 3 days

The wind forecast: 28 mph at 10, balmy 52ºF rising.

The smart plan: sail early, before the front is crosses overhead at 1 pm.

The meter readings for Kalmus:

Apparently, I needed my entire smartness to put both boots and the wetsuit in the car. Arriving at Kalmus, we saw Greg going out on a 4.7. Hardie and I started with a nice long walk along  the beach. We wanted to check how much time we'd have to spot the stone wall in the dense fog. Result: at least 3 seconds - plenty of time! Then, we looked at the merits of sailing a new spot (for Hardie) in dense fog with very limited visibility, and a ferry lane close by. Did not find any. Hardie is hardie-core, but not stupid. He bailed. But by then, Martin had arrived. More checking and walking.

Finally, we rigged. Meter readings were still around 30. By the time we hit the water, they had dropped to 26. 5 minutes later, they had dropped to 15. Our 4.7 and 5.5 meter sails and 96-99 l boards were not cutting it anymore. Visibility was perhaps 50 meters, so who knew where we were sailing? We did not. But we have fast reactions times. Turned around as soon as we saw the stone wall. Well done!

Then, a multiple choice question:
  1. Try to schlog upwind with small gear in big chop and little wind, or
  2. Carry the gear back.
We picked #2. Yes, #2. At least it was exercise.

It probably was my fault. I think the front was supposed to stay far away, which would have given us wind all day. But I had to give Martin the boom cam. Every time I give someone else one of my electronic gadgets, something bad happens. Usually, that involves the wind going away. Today, I think the front wanted to check out what Martin had at the end of his boom, and came by to check. That was the end of the wind.

But I am not complaining - at least I got wet. Nicely so, when I got stuffed head over heals into the water. But it was all good - I was getting hot, anyway. And after 10 minutes of windsurfing, 20 minutes of carrying gear, and 30 minutes of rigging and de-rigging, we had earned our beers. Off to the BBC!

Martin was thirsty. The bartender was very attentive. When Marty smiled at the thought of a 3rd beer, it materialized in front of him the moment he looked away. It was good beer - Cape Cod Weizenbock. It would have been a sin to send it back! Martin had to drink it. So what it the alcohol content is 7.8%? That's one of the reasons it was so good!

After that, I could not let Martin drive all the way home through the fog. We decided to put him into the jacuzzi the leach the alcohol out of his pores. It was a very slow process, but Martin was brave, despite the 103ºF hot water. I had to sit outside a few times to cool down, but he hung in there. After a couple of hours, I gave up.

We went inside and looked at movies from the last ABK camp in Hyannis to see why Marty can't loop.  In my case, the answer is easy: lack of cojones and trying. Not so for Martin - he tried, and tried, and tried. In the movie, his takeoff is perfect: the board vertical, the sail luffed and to windward, then turning downwind. But comparing stills with Josh Angulo loop pictures revealed what was missing: getting the body over the boom by pushing down with the front arm. Even if that does not lead to completed loops, at least the crashes are much nicer, a soft float under the sail. Although if Martin really pushes himself up and the nose down, I think he'll have to be more concerned about over-rotating. Especially if the is 6 or 8 feet above the water, as he often is.

Doing loop analysis with me will sober anyone up. Just ask Andy or Brendon! So Martin was finally ready to drive home. He only turned the GoPro on for one run, but of course, he showed a couple of nice chop hops and a sweet duck jibe in that minute. Here's a picture of one of the hops - you can't really tell how high off the water he is because it's too foggy:
Some might say the camera angle is less than perfect, but I think Martin wanted to show off his Skate.

Funny - not much sailing today, but still a great windsurfing day. Apparently, drinking beer and spending hours in the jacuzzi talking about windsurfing counts.

--

Today was the third day I sailed this week - not bad for mid-December. Yesterday was almost as warm, but not as windy, which meant the wind decoupled everywhere on the south side of Cape Cod. Hardie and I sailed in Skaket, where SW winds are side-shore, and side-off a bit upwind. I got a bunch of planing runs on my 7.0; Hardie planed a bit on his 6.3 on his WindSUP first, and later on his FSW board when the wind picked up. Warm and sunny, a nice day.

But the winner of the week was a short session last Thursday at the Kennedy Slicks. That also was a warm day; after a few days with below-freezing temps and snow, the warmup to 42ºF felt great. Once again it was 7.0 time, but the wind picked up for a while to let me sail my 90 l slalom board:
Nice and flat! I love slicks. Even when the wind drops..
Three days. Three spots. Three very different sets of conditions. Windsurfing on Cape Cod does not get boring. And for those of you who wonder: I was warm or hot the entire time, all three days. 

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