Friday, May 5, 2017

May May Be Good

Some will probably say I'm jinxing it. My answer? Listen to the great Stevie Wonder! Superstition ain't the way! So I'll just say it: May may be good.
The start has been very good - we have windsurfed 3 of the first 5 days. My kind of sailing, too: flat water! We started at Kalmus twice, but I escaped the bumps by sailing to the Kennedy Slicks one day, and to Egg Island the other day. Why, you ask? Check out this short movie from the Egg Island day:

There are very few things I like more than going full speed into a jibe on perfectly flat water. Amazingly enough, I'm still improving my jibes, even after tens of thousands of tries. Yes, that's right - tens of thousands. A good windsurf session has 50 to more than 100 jibes. Multiply that with 150 sessions per year. Repeat for a decade or three, and you might discover the actual number may be larger than 100,000. Do you need any further proof that I'm a slow learner? But it's fun!

The major thing I have been focusing on recently was to switch the feet as soon as the clew moves forward. It's only six years ago Matt Pritchard told me I should do: "imagine a line connecting your foot and the clew - when the clew moves, your foot moves". In my defense, I have been playing around with not switching the feet at all during the jibe as a way to get into switch stance. That's fun, but not the best way to cure "slow feet". Even in the first jibe in the video above, which is pretty decent, I'm still stepping just a little bit too late. But as the Beatles said - "it's getting better all the time".

The thing that made the recent flat water excursion real fun was that Nina joined me every time. When I sailed up to the Kennedy Slicks, she just followed. That confused the wind a bit, so it dropped soon after. But the next time at Kalmus, it was actually Nina who suggested that we'd sail to Egg Island. Twist my arm!  I got so excited that I did not even think of switching back to my slalom board that was on the beach, because the typical WSW bumps were a bit too large for this wannabe slalom sailor.

Today had some strong wind in the forecast - easterlies in the mid-20s. The rain that easterlies always brings even held of until after noon, so we set out early. After checking out West Dennis and finding it (a) empty and (b) not looking attractive at all, we drove back to East Bay. Nina almost jumped out of the van when we drove close to our home - a mix of temperatures near 50ºF (10ºC), no sun, and previous bad experiences at East Bay had reduced her motivation to windsurf today to almost zero. But somehow, we both ended up at East Bay, where not a single white cap was to be seen inside the bay. But there were some on the ocean, so we decided to rig, anyway - 6.0 for Nina and 7.8 for me, with 99 l and 117 l slalom boards.

To cut a long story (semi-)short, we had a blast. The wind started out good and got better. The water was flat in the middle, and near shore even flatter. So what if it started raining towards the end? We were getting tired, anyway. Thanks to the perfect conditions for laying down jibes, both Nina and I ended up with new personal bests for alpha 500 (that's a 500 m run with a jibe in the middle). Nice!

For the curious, here are my GPS tracks from today:

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