Sunday, December 7, 2014

Time for speed

The forecast was right: it was windy all day today. North wind with 30-35 mph, and no rain. Temperatures started out around 42ºF (6ºC), but dropped to 36ºF (3ºC) in the early afternoon. Still above freezing, so not a problem - but cold enough to not windsurf alone.

The plan emerged to go sailing at Corporation Beach in Dennis around noon. Jerry and PK rigged in no time at all, and were first on the water. Hardie and I rigged, too, but decided to watch the masters go out first. It looked a bit intimidating:
Jerry going out. Picture by Eddie Devereaux
Jerry made it out without problems, and could be seen throwing loops a few minutes later. PK was not so lucky. Two logo-high waves broke in his path, right after each other. He made it over the first one, but the white water from the second wave cleanly separated him from his gear. It then proceeded do push his gear to the shore, giving PK a chance to practice his swimming skills. The way back to the start did not look easy, either, with a constant onslaught of white water trying to keep him in the beach.

PK is a much better sailor than I am; he is a wave sailor, I am not. Seeing him struggle made me think twice about going out. Seeing Matt (?) struggle even more than PK a few minutes later, and hearing Jerry state that it was really hard to get out in this wind direction (NNE), sealed it. My swimming is just fine - absolutely no need to practice it in near-freezing water and thick wet suits!

Jerry and PK came off the water shortly thereafter. They decided to drive a couple of miles to Mayflower Beach, where side-on winds made launching a bit easier. Judging by Eddie's pictures, they had more fun there:
Jerry flying at Mayflower. Perhaps he thought he was kiting.
Hardie and I decided to try for some smoother waters instead, so we went to Barnstable Harbor. Unfortunately, the high wind had pushed a lot of water into the harbor, so tide levels were higher than normal, and coming down very slowly. The little grass island that create perfectly flat water when the tide is right were still under two feet of water, and the chop was pretty steep. Between the chop and the potential to discover one of the hidden islands rather abruptly with his fin, Hardie's fun was limited, and he kept his session short. However, I had just seen the tops of the first islands emerging, and kept sailing for another hour. The GPS tracks show how the water got flatter, and speeds increased:
Being alone on the water, I played it safe. With the original plan to sail in waves, I had not brought the slalom gear, anyway, and used my 96 l Tabou 3S and a 4.7 m wave sail instead. Even when I stopped, water levels were still high, with only parts of the islands emerging. Water levels would have been perfect an hour later, but I decided to call it a day early. For all my fellow Fogland Speed Surfers (and Drew), here's a short video from one of the runs:

 That was fun! Falling when trying tricks? Not so much anymore. So it's time for speed! Next time, with cambered speed sails and a slalom board...

1 comment:

  1. Stopped by Barnstable Harbor on the way home from Mayflower both you and Hardie were gone.

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