Monday, November 11, 2013

30 great minutes

I wanted fall to come. October is good, November is better, December great. I remember many wonderful sessions where the wind blew all day, three days in a row.

Fall came. It's getting colder. Some friends stopped sailing on the colder days, and talk about stopping for the season soon. We should get our first snow tonight or tomorrow. Days are short - it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.

But it seems nobody told the wind. Maybe the wind is exhausted, after blowing a lot during the summer. It has lost its stamina - on a good day, we may get a few hours of wind before it drops. Then nothing the next day. Or maybe the wind has developed a sun allergy - it's windy a lot at night. When we see wind during the day, it usually rains.

I have perfected mistiming the wind. It started on November 1st, when I missed most of the wonderful warm 35 mph winds. After that, I had three more similar sessions. Twice, the forecast was fantastic for the entire day, but the wind got tired after an hour or two. Of course, I started sailing as soon as the wind got tired. All that schlogging made me tired, too. The third time, the wind picked up earlier and faster than predicted. I went from underpowered on my 6.5 m sailed to fighting for control in overpowered conditions. With less than an hour left in the day, and Nina reading in the van instead of sailing, I did not rig down, but called it at day. Well, at least I got some planing that day. Yesterday was a different story...

But windsurfers must be optimists. So when the forecast predicted 16 mph WSW at 4 pm this afternoon, I kept my eyes on the wind meter readings. On sunny days, we often get a few miles more than forecast, so I kept dreaming of 20. At 3:10 pm, the meter readings hit 17 mph, gusting to 20. A bit more than an hour of daylight left - was it worth going? Sure it was!

I made it onto the water at 4:15. The wind had picked up a bit, at times gusting into high 20s. In the happy zone between powered and slightly overpowered, I had 30 minutes of fun as the sun went down. I had the water all to myself. No other windsurfers of kiters to create chop - the little wind swell was all mine to play with. One half hour of bliss. It's great to live on the Cape!

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