Monday, February 23, 2015

Warm, warm, cold

We had a couple of nice warm sailing days last Friday and Saturday, with air temperatures around 70, and the water temperature steadily going up towards 70, too. The warmth brought quite a few windsurfers out of hibernation, especially on Saturday. It seems the locals anticipated to wind to come up above forecast, just like it did - the spring thermals are starting to kick in. When some clouds pulled in on Saturday, almost everyone left quickly, though. A bit to my surprise, I admit - I was still planing most of the time on 6.0, as long as I did not get to close to shore.

Once most sailors had derigged, the wind came back, and conditions were just about perfect. The water had warmed up a few more degrees, prompting even this old back-and-forth sailor to play around a bit with 360s and duck jibes. Near the spoil islands, the water was very flat. The water there is pretty shallow, between knee and waist deep depending on where exactly you are, with a soft muddy bottom. Perfect for falling! Here's a short video:

I made a couple of 360s towards the end, but my success rate was rather low. I'll just blame the warm water :-).

Today was a different affair. The wind had turned to the north, and temperatures had dropped 30ºF, to the low 40s (6ºC). Clouds and occasional light rain had replaced the sun - what a perfect opportunity to get used to cold weather windsurfing again! After all, we'll be back on Cape Cod very soon, and the ocean there is still frozen over.

Alas, we paid a price for this opportunity. For me, it was a small one - just tired arms from layering a long-sleeve neoprene shirt under my 4/3 wetsuit. Maybe we really should to bring our Ianovated wetsuits next time we come here. My 7.0 felt unusually heavy on the slalom board, and my search for flat water for speed runs proved unsuccessful. Don't get me wrong, though - I still had fun, especially after switching to my 3S 96, which was simply more fun in the light chop.

Nina, however, was not quite as lucky. We often sail in similar temperatures at home, and she rarely needs a hood or gloves. Since the water temperature here were still relatively high (near 60ºF/15ºC), she figured her semi-dry suit and 5 mm boots would be plenty warm, even without a hood. But she had forgotten that her body had gotten quite used to much warmer temperatures here, instead of gradually getting used to ever-cold Cape Cod temperatures over several months. So she was cold. Really cold. I would not have guessed, because her form on the water was as perfect as ever, and she kept sailing for almost two hours. But she later reported that nothing had worked today for her, not even duck jibes that she can usually do in her sleep (and probably with one hand tied to her back). She started sneezing as soon as she got into the van, and it has not stopped since then. Maybe that's what "catching a cold" means. Maybe that's why Texans don't windsurf when it's cold (although we did see 3 or 4 other windsurfers on the water today).

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