Friday, June 14, 2013

Chitter chatter

The rain came and brought the wind. For once, sleeping past sunrise was not an option - not even for the lovely Nina.  We drove 40 minutes through the rain and met Dean.

The rigging was wet, the start slow. I rigged the new Koncept 5.0 for the lovely Nina, but had forgotten the extension for it. Borrowed one from Dean, thanks. First try came out with too little downhaul. Cams back off, extension out, add 2 cms, repeat. At least by then, I had figured out how to pop the cams on and off easily (lots of outhaul, very little downhaul). Enough downhaul now, but the lines slip. Need to fix it before going .. here go the next 15 minutes. Finally, the sail is ready. I change out of my soaking wet clothes and into my 3mm wetsuit. Too chilly. I try to put on a crash vest, but I must have gained too much weight. After some acrobatics, I get out of it and put on a rigging jacket instead. Normally, rigging takes me less than 10 minutes, but it feels I've been here and hour already, and I'm just starting to rig my own sail. By now, Dean has rigged two sails, carried two boards to the water (a 10 minute trip), and is sailing already. He reports that the wind is not as good as expected, and that I should rig big. Too late - the 5.8 is finally ready, and I'm here to sail, not just to rig in the rain.

Finally on the water, I understand what Dean meant with "gusty". Averages are a bit below 25 mph, lulls around 15, gusts in the low 30s. Dean is on a 6.3 and not as powered as he prefers. I make do with the 5.8, which feels good in gusts. The 6.6 would have been a better size.

We sail for almost 3 hours, until wind and water levels drop. Dean hits 34 knots, nothing special for him. I see 32.2 knots on the dial and know I have a new personal best for 2 second speed. Gusts never were long enough to get a good 10 second speed. Nina looks good, but is struggling with gear she has rarely to never used before, including plastic harness lines she learns to hate. Still, she gets 27 knots, which is exactly her personal best that she set at the very same spot a few months earlier. 

After many days in a row in Kalmus chop, I love the chitter-chatter water: the "chop" is about 1 - 2 inches (2-5 cm) high for most of the speed strip. We did not get the 30 mph averages and 40+ mph gusts, and the wind quality was poor, with both longer-term up & downs and short-term gusts. But it was great fun, and in a perfectly safe environment, since the next spot where the water is shallow enough to stand is never far away. I can't wait to sail there with some real wind! 

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