Thursday, August 27, 2015

Capers have more fun

Capers have more fun. It's true. Or is it Cape Codders? Well, anyway, I mean windsurfers living on Cape Cod. The last two days proved it. The wind forecast was dismal. The computers thought we might get 10 mph, maybe 12. Computers are stupid!

We got lovely sea breezes instead. Yesterday was the appetizer. Wind meters in Buzzards Bay showed mid-20s! Kalmus got up to 20. We expected the stronger wind from Buzzards Bay to come over, but it never did. It actually dropped a bit, to 18. But the Kalmus meter reads a bit low in SW, so we probably had 20. That would explain why Nina had fun on her 4.7 the entire afternoon.

Today was the main dish. Computer predictions were even lower than yesterday. But we already discussed the intelligence of computers. This is what we got:
Yes, that's 5 solid hours of wind. We started around 3, so we rigged big - 5.0 for Nina, 6.5 for me. Very nice at the start. Very well powered later. It was sunny. Air and water were around 75ºF (24ºC). Can you spell perfect? Purrfect?

I did not sail that much. It come out to about 110 km between yesterday and today. But that's ok. I tried to imitate Nina, and fooled around with things that made me fall. A lot. "Try" is the right word, too. Nina has the Duck Tack nailed now - light wind, fully powered, flat, chop - it does not matter much. She'll get more than 50%. She also gets the duck while planing switch in both straps a lot, although the usually jibes out. She needs some ABK help here. But pretty soon, she'll have the hardest part of the Funnel and Switch Kono. She also got another Shove It. I did not see it, but I saw some tries that she did not count, and they looked good.

When I said I tried to copy her, you did understand that I meant the falling part only, right? The stuff I am working on is easier. I tried a few Push Tacks, but I seem to be going backwards there, so I'll hold off a couple of weeks until someone can tell me what to change. I'm still working on 360s in the straps. I get about one per session (if I'm lucky), out of many tries. But I am not worried. Nina was at this stage with her Duck Tacks a few months ago. There is hope. Just got to keep trying. I feel I am getting close to exhausting all the things that I can do wrong. Sooner or later, I'll have to do the right thing on a regular basis.

One of the wrong things in a Carve 360 is fun: when you almost have it, but right at the end, the nose of the board goes way up in the air, and the board flips over. I'm good at that! Today, I managed to keep the sail above water while this happened, and water-started out of it clew first. Looked like the what the board does in a jump jibe, anyway, so I might as well use the jump jibe ending! I'll call it a wet carve 540. Or maybe a Carve 360 Jump Jibe? It's more of a Carve 360 fall jibe, but jump jibe sounds better.

Falling is funny. I'm good at doing it when I'm not supposed to, but I can't do it when I am. Seeing Nina's Shove It tries, I tried a few myself. Seeing the "Step-by-step tutorial" video before only encouraged me - I can do silly little things like backwinding the sail while sailing, and think I'm working on a cool trick. But hey, maybe it works! I can even carve and then backwind a little, and if a wave just happens to roll under my board at the right time, I might even get a bit of air. Freestylers told me the trick here: use a short fin! So much easier to get it out of the water! But when you are in the air, you are supposed to fall onto your sail. That looks really cool. It also looks like fun. I should be able to do this - I fall onto my sail all the time! But when I think "Shove It", I can't fall anymore. I can come to a complete stop. Maybe that's good? Probably. I get lots of practice starting to plane again, with both feet still in the straps. That's bound to be a useful skill, right?

Lest someone starts thinking about me as a freestyler, I must post my GPS tracks from today:
Sure looks like good old Back-And-Forth sailing to me! Indeed, lawn mowing was desperately needed today - very shortly after low tide, the small chop turned into sizable voodoo chop, coming at you from all direction at once. Kalmus at its finest! Even the kiter who joined us commented that it was "quite rough" today.

Well, I just wanted to tell you why I think Caper (or Cape Codders) have more fun. Yesterday, I counted 7 windsurfers on the water: the 4 usual locals from Centerville, ranging in age from the 30s to the 70s; one "permanent vacationer" who visits every summer; and two tourist from Quebec (for all lurking trolls: guess where they rigged!). Today, I saw 5 windsurfers out: the same 4 locals, plus a brave soul struggling a bit on old gear. Neither day did we see any of the usual suspects from Boston with a non-existing or "flexible" work schedule. So: Capers have more fun. Just don't call me a Caper to my face!

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