Monday, October 21, 2013

Fun at Skaket Beach

We scored a session yesterday at Skaket Beach in Orleans. My friend Martin asked how Skaket is, so here's a short movie to answer his question:

We had west wind with averages in the upper teens, just enough to be powered most of the time on my 6.5. Nina was planing a bit less on he 5.0, but still had a blast. The waves at Skaket are nice beginner waves - they come in nice and orderly, and break a little, but never get threatening or too challenging (at least not in wind below 30 mph). Here are a few facts about Skaket Beach:
  • Work well in SW, W, and NW.
  • Westerlies are less gusty than at most other places because the wind comes over 25 miles of water.
  • Good spot for SW (sideshore to side-off) when onshore places like Kalmus decouple (warm winds, cold water).
  • In NW (onshore) wind, you can sail along the beach and stay in waist-deep water.
  • Best time to sail is 2 hours after low tide until 2 hours before low tide. Low tide is doable, but may require a 1/2 mile walk to reach the water.
  • From the Boston area, driving time is about 15 minutes longer than to Kalmus (about the same as Chapin).
  • Plenty of parking, nice wide beach.
  • Uncrowded - kiters prefer First Encounter about 1 mile north.
  • The closest iWindsurf wind meter is "Hatch Beach". The meter is located at First Encounter, and reads about 3 mph high when the wind is around 20 mph. In stronger winds, the readings seem to be a bit closer to the real wind strength.
  • Mostly an off-season spot - the parking lot fills up quickly in the summer.
It's usually a good idea to sail early, since westerly winds tend to be strongest in the morning, and often drop more than predicted in the afternoon. But we have had great afternoon sessions at Skaket, too.

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