Monday, September 5, 2016

Scary

I like seals. Maybe not the same way a great white shark likes them, but I think they are cute. They make me smile when I see them.

But today, they scared me. We wanted to do speed runs in a marsh.  The seals just wanted to hang out. Lots of them - I saw at least 5 of them at one time. Once, one of them was about one meter away from me in the water. I started wondering if my fancy windsurf boots look like fish, and if they'd start nibbling soon. But the bigger worry was to run into one of them going almost 30 knots in a speed run. Not something I wanted to do. Nina actually did clip one of them, but it was not a full-speed hit.

Maybe I was too scared already. Wind averages were in the mid-30s (mph), gusts in the 40s. It did not help that I was on unfamiliar small gear (my 72 l speed board and a 5.0 m race sail), and that the wind had big holes that made me sink into the water to my knees. Half a second later a gust would come and rip the sail out of my hands. Ha! Very funny!

Nina was on a 4.2 m freestyle sail, and complained that it was extremely unstable. It was not. The wind was. But at least it was warm. Kind of. And it did not rain all the time. And the fog was there for only part of the time. There were only a few minutes the fog and rain were so dense that I could not see Nina, who was in the water maybe 100 feet from me. Both of us were body-dragging downwind to get back to the launch. I tried butt sailing instead, but it was too windy for that. I'd end up with an involuntary water start, followed by a 30-knot catapult. That was me being catapulted at 30 knots. The board was too slow to keep up with me.

Fun day. Did I mention Nina also beat me in every single one of the six speed categories we use ont he GPS Team Challenge? Girls rule. Boys ... well, Bart was there to represent boys properly. He sailed through the chop as if it was not there. Except when he exploded every now and then. But he had fun, and was smart enough not to follow us upwind to the speed strip. So he sailed back, instead of improving "being dragged" skills.

We windsurfers are a funny bunch. Yesterday, I felt like I knew stuff - giving a jibe lecture, planing for hours, getting a 1 hour average good enough for a top-10 ranking on GPS TC. Fun! Today, I got a swimming lesson, and was scared by friendly seals. Fortunately, I did not see the manatee (Seekuh) that Nina saw. If I had seen it, I'd probably have night mares about speed surfing into an endangered 1000 pound sea mammal!

The GPS tracks below are from yesterday. I am not going to show you today's tracks.

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