Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy to be fooled

The wind fooled me today. But I'm happy. See, usually the wind drops as soon as I start sailing (or perhaps 30 minutes later, or after sailing upwind a mile to the slicks, or...). But today, it increased steadily. Here's what it did:
We left home when wind averages were around 20 mph. The forecast predicted a slight increase to 23. We arrived at the beach when readings were 21. So we rigged for freestyle - Nina her 5.3, I my magical 6.5. But when we hit the water, averages had already gone up to 24, and kept increasing. Nina quickly decided to rig down to a 4.7 North Ice, but I was stubborn. Or maybe just lazy. Or I had too much fine sailing in the light rain and chilly (48ºF, 9ºC) air.

Nina soon was happily working on Duck Tacks on her 4.7. I worked on adding outhaul and moving the boom down. Then I switched the 110 l freestyle board against a 90 l slalom board. Much better! Except that I still was using my freestyle / "entry level" sail. That's a wonderful sail in 17 mph. We had gusts twice that high. Should I be surprised the sail backwinded a bit in the gusts? You tell me.

I said "overpowered is much better than underpowered", and stuck to the flat water near the windward sand bar. Flat like in 3 inch chop - chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter. I love this sound! The wind angle allowed for runs at a 110 degree angle to the wind. Going deeper meant quickly increasing chop, so I went for long runs instead. I ended up with my 3rd-fastest nautical mile ever - not bad for a freestyle sail! even better, my average for the mile was less than 2 knots below my top speed for the day. Nice! Maybe I should have rigged a speed sail, but I was having too much fun.

For all my GPS-addicted speed friends, here are my GPS tracks for the day:

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