Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kalmus in NE

The picture above shows Kalmus on July 3rd. At times, there were close to 30 windsurfers on the water at the same time. Over the course of the day, more than 50 windsurfers sailed. Almost like old times.

Yesterday had good wind, too, but nobody sailed. Yes, it was Friday, instead of the middle of a long weekend. Yes, it was cloudy instead of sunny, and air temperatures where in the mid-60s instead of the mid-70s. But the bigger difference was the wind direction: north to northeast instead of the usual southwest. That's straight offshore at Kalmus. Even the iWindsurf meter readings looked gusty:
Lulls below 10, gusts in the mid-20s? That sounds like the Gorge, not like Kalmus!

But we know that wind meters can be deceitful. No way it would really be that bad! But gusts near 25 - there's a reason to go windsurfing! So we went.

The beach was almost empty - two or three vacationers braved the "cold", and no life guard was to be seen when we checked out the wind. Not many white caps to be seen, either, but my wind meter showed averages of 17, and gusts above 20 - good enough. By the time we had rigged, the life guards had shown up, and informed us that we absolutely could not launch on the Lewis Bay side. It did not matter that there were about 800 feet of completely empty beach next to the swimming area - "windsurfers must launch in front".  So we did, and sailed over to Egg Island. Here are my GPS tracks:
You may notice that I was planing the entire time. The lulls in Lewis Bay were nowhere near as bad as near the wind meter. The wind was a bit up and down, from just powered to slightly overpowered on my 6.5 - better than I had expected, and plenty of fun. The chop was small, mostly orderly, without any of the voodoo chop Kalmus is famous for.  The tide was high, so the inner sandbar was submerged completely, allowing runs that were the same length as typical runs in front of Kalmus beach. I played around with a few freestyle tricks, only to discover that the smaller (5.6) freestyle sails I have been able to use recently spoiled me a bit too much to enjoy wrestling the 6.5. Nor did it help that the chop was just big enough to keep the speed down a bit, and that gusts seemed to hit me every time I wanted to oversheet the sail. I kept thinking that slalom gear would have been the better choice for the conditions ... next time!

This weekend will see cloudy and colder weather with a chance of rain, but not much wind. But the forecast currently predicts a couple of nice southwest days for the middle of the week - see you on the water!

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