Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doesn't get any better than this!

Sunday turned out to be the best day on the water. I arrived mid afternoon and rigged a 7.0 as Art was coming in to rig smaller. Ron had his family were there, his son learning on a windsurfer and his wife and daughter on an SUP. Larry was rigging and Brandon had just pulled up as I was heading out. Wind was SE, the sky and water was clear and tide was low. I felt a bit overpowered heading out and the heavy chop wasn't helping. I sailed out to the House of Refuge and as close to Hutchison Is as the sandbars would allow. Larry joined me out there and we had a great time blasting around. Water was flat and we had plenty of speed and then some gusts would come through and turn it up a few notches! Wish I had brought the GPS. I stayed out an hour and a half, it was hard to leave, jibing was sweet. Dino was rigging as I came in and the wind stayed up for him as well.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fridays track

Thanks T. S. Bonnie

Thursday I talked with Art as he was packing up. He said Dino and Ron were on 8.4's and it appeared they had sailed down towards the inlet. I was not thrilled with rigging an 8.5 but Art said he was well powered on his 7.5 and indicated I might make out alright on a 7.0. Shortly after Art left Ron and Dino came blasting up the channel and under the bridge (see photos below). Dino came in and said I should do OK on the 7.0. So I rigged and went out on the north side and after some pumping got going and had 45 minutes of some decent sailing.
All day Friday I checked the weather links and saw the average wind speed hit 36mph and could only hope it would be that way when I arrived. When I got to the causeway Bill was out on a 94L board and a 5.8 sail. I rigged a 6.0 and went out on an axxis 258. The current was strong and I couldn't get up wind and was happy just to make it back to the east island. This rig didn't seem to be the sharpest tool in the box. I put the 6.0 on the 118L bic and I was able to cruise way down the channel. After a few tacks I was between the spoil islands and it was unbeliveable. Strong wind blowing through and the sandbar cutting down all the chop. When you sailed north along the edge of the bar you could really get powered up and make some nice jibes in fairly flat water. There was some big rafts of seaweed coming up the channel and from a distance it looked like a sandbar. Occasionaly I would go between the spoil islands and head towards Indian River Plantation but it was to choppy for that board (see track above). Dino made his way down and we sailed around for awhile. I was out over two hours and had a great time.
Saturday at 6:30 am the wind was still blowing SE 18-23, so I was at the causeway at 8:00. The wind seemed light but wind line indicated 17-21. I rigged a 7.0 and schlogged for an hour and a half. I couldn't get up to the House of Refuge because of the current. I was derigging and the wind came up some so I went out on an 8.5 on the formula board. I had a good half hour sail and the seaweed was almost completely gone. Then the wind came up even more, I was overpowered and fatigued so I called it quits.
Dino planes through
Dino approaches causeway
Larry searching for a gust 7/17/10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SE winds continue to blow

Saturday morning I was out at 9:30 am and sailed the 10.5 just north of the spoil island. It was good, I was nicely powered and the water was flat.
Sunday Dino and I waited for the wind to build and showed up in the afternoon just to watch it fade out completely.
Monday evening when I showed up Dino was out on a 7.2 and the wind was backing off so I rigged the 8.5 and by the time I got out the wind was done.
Tuesday the wind had been blowing steady all day. Dino was out midday on a 7.2 so I was hoping for a good evening sail. When I arrived it didn't look that good. With binoculars I could see good wind at the House of Refuge so I rigged a 10.5. Ernesto showed up and rigged the same. The wind was ESE so we sailed the channel. It was great, water was flat with light boat traffic. By 7:00 the wind was back up and we were ripping up and down the channel.
Looks like higher winds are coming. A tropical wave is over Hispaniola, development is expected with a forecast track straight towards us. Check out the magic seaweed link.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday I was finally able to get out on the water, it had been almost two weeks. Art was packing up when I got there. He said Dick, Roger and Dino had been out earlier. I always know when Dino is out and if you see his cell phone laying around while he is rigging please hide it. I was going to rig a 7.0 and use a big fin but while I was talking to Art the wind seemed to be backing down. So I rigged an 8.5 and used the formula board. It was a good choice because the wind was trending downward. Ron showed up and we sailed for almost an hour. The wind has been blowing out of the SE courtesy of a tropical wave passing to our south and its supposed to continue through Saturday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday - ENE Wind - Perfect for Causeway to Causeway runs

Wednesday winds were ENE around 17-22mph, perfect for sailing the north side of the East, or West Island as another sailor preferred. I arrived around 11 something and Art was rigging his 7.5m sail which is his biggest sail I believe, so I kind of wondered what to make of it since the Jensen web site and the wind line indicated 19+mph of wind and Art sails it when winds are mediocre for the rest of us.
The water looked incredibly clear and flat with some small whitecaps forming in the distance. There is usually a wind shadow on this direction for few hundred yards, so it can be deceiving. All my uncertainty was blown away as soon as Art sheeted his sail in, and took off planing toward the Jensen Causeway. I quickly, (some might argue that:) rigged my 7.2m sail/92l JP board. Ron T. showed up and was trying to decide what to rig. I convinced him there was enough wind out there for the 7 something sail, so he rigged the 7.4m and 145l JP. I sailed off first and was able to stay planing up to the J.C. where I met up with Art. Followed him back thru some shallow looking water, but Art has a keen sense of water depth, so I tried not to worry although I did at times close my eyes and prepared for the worst.
Ron joined us and we sailed all over the place with some other sailboats and beach cats enjoying the windy day. Ron switched to a smaller board later which worked for him. He even tried my 92l board and was able to get it moving quite well. When I purchased this board I was expecting it to be primarily for the higher wind days (6.2m and smaller), but it turns out the board is fantastic at planing out with my 7.2m sail which makes it my go to board when not on the Formula gear. I am convinced that the new short and wide designs are the way to go.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Friday was the end of that ESE wind. After work Ron, Dino, and I buzzed up and down the channel on formula gear. Mike was out on his Mistral Pacifica with a 7.5 sail. I was trying to film our session with my helmet cam but got real frustrated. I had to sail back to the causeway three times to get batteries and at one point deleted all the video I had shot. On my last attempt I was able to shoot this video. It turned out well despite the sun setting behind some.