Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hardie at Hardings

Hardings Beach today

Addicted I am. Not a problem as long as I get my wind fix a couple of times every week. This year has been good - 132 sessions so far.

But it's been 13 days since my last session. Too much! So when Hardie ask about going to Hardings today, it was a no-brainer. Who cares about the little bit of snow on the ground? Temperatures were above freezing! And it was sunny. The wind scared us for a few minutes when it dropped down to 15 just when we talked on the phone. But it recovered 10 minutes later. So grab a tube suit, jump into the van, and drive to Chatham.

Good to see Hardie again after a long time. He'll be here for 2 months! Nice to have someone to sail with in the winter. I have yet to get a "no" from Hardie if it's windy. He'll do 2 sessions at different spots on Cape Cod in the middle of winter just for fun.

We chat briefly, but we know the wind can be fickle, so we rig quickly - 5.8 and 6.5. As I try to put on my suit, I discover what I meant with "no-brainer": I brought Nina's Ianovated suit instead of mine. She is a lot smaller than I am. Perhaps I could manage to squeeze into her suit, but it's highly unlikely that I would be able to move without busting some seams. My suits are a 90 minute round-trip drive away, and days are short. Bummer! I slip into a depressive phase. I thought my hair was turning grey, but apparently, it is turning blonde.

I stick around a bit and take a few pictures of Hardie:
Hardie going out alone

Taking off
Yes, that's snow on the beach
It was warm enough to sail, but too cold to stand around on the beach and take pictures for too long, so I headed back home. When I got home, wind meter readings in Kalmus were around 20 mph, so I grabbed my suit and went for a session. I could not hear much in my big hood; not feel much in by fat winter boots and mitts; and not see much, since the wind was coming from the west, where the sun was going down. The bits I saw did not indicate a whole lot of wind, but I was planing the whole time. At times, the sail felt too big - had I rigged it wrong? I went to switch to a smaller board, but the wind used my brief absence to drop to non-planing levels.

When I got home and looked at the wind meter readings, things became a bit clearer. The graphs showed a brief spike with 27 mph averages and 31 mph gusts - a bit too much for my beloved 6.5 m  sail. Then it dropped to 14 in less than an hour. Funny how you miss things when you don't see, hear, or feel much!

So perhaps this was not the greatest day, but every day of sailing is a great day of sailing. Withdrawal symptoms are gone, and so are any remnants of hesitation to sail in 33ºF air temperatures - I was warm or hot the entire time. Maybe it was just all the blood rushing to my head for feeling so stupid...

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