Sunday, December 18, 2016

Foggy Goggles

According to the forecast, almost the entire USA was frozen this morning:
Even Texas got some sub-freezing temperatures. But the right coast got lucky: we had the warmest day in weeks, with temperatures in the mid-50s. And wind! So of course we had to go windsurfing.

SSW, wind around 30 mph, air temps at the water around 50ºF (10ºC), low tide - fun! No sun but also no rain, and the fog was weak enough to be ignored - we could see the shore almost the whole time. The water, though was cold. That could have been a good thing since I got quite warm in my Ianovated wetsuit whenever I managed not to fall for a while - except that my glasses completely fogged up every time I fell. "Completely" as in "I could not see a thing", which lasted for a couple of runs after each fall. Since I tend to fall every few runs, I had a problem! I actually saw a lot more when I took the glasses off, even though my prescription is not that weak (around -5).

I started wearing glasses or sunglasses when windsurfing earlier this year, after an eye doctor told me I have cataracts. Cataracts are strongly linked to UV exposure, of which we get plenty on the water, even on a cloudy day.  Sure, cataracts can easily be removed by surgery, but there's alway a remaining risk even in routine surgery; my grandmother actually died during cataract surgery. So I rather wear glasses with polycarbonate lenses that absorb more than 99% of the UV. But today, I discovered a new limit for glasses - once the water gets too cold, they become unusable. So I'll check out UV-absorbing contacts soon.

Back to contacts .. less than a year after not being able to use them (which led to the discovery of the cataracts). But the eye doctor had correctly diagnosed that the cause of my problems were dry eyes, a problem that I had not been aware of. I recently learned that dry eye problems are quite common if you work at a computer all day, since we blink a lot less when staring at a monitor. So I started using a little program that reminds me every few minutes, and my eyes have started to feel a lot better. The program I use is "Time Out", but there are many similar programs available.

But back to windsurfing. The lovely Nina was fully powered on her 4.2 m sail today, and worked on her Flakas. I saw one try that looked pretty good, but ended wet. Very wet, she said - lots of ice cold water got pushed into her hood, and did not want to come out again. After that, her tries were just a bit more hesitant. But it's just a few more weeks until she can practice in warm Texas waters!

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