Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finally fall is here!

This summer didn't provide much for windsurfing. I maybe went out once or twice a month chasing gusts on my isonic and an 8.5 sail. The water at the causeway still looks like coffee from all the water that is being dumped out of Lake Okeechobee. For what we didn't get in wind this summer we sure got in rain.

Friday we had a mild cool front push through and it provided a NE breeze. I got out on the water late in the afternoon and was well powered on my isonic and 8.5. I was up near the sailing center and enjoyed making long runs across the river. The air was dry and the sun showed itself frequently through the clouds, it was a pleasant evening sail.

Saturday I went down to the causeway in the afternoon. Some storm cells were coming on shore and stirring up the weather. Of course when I arrive the wind is barely blowing as I follow Ron out on a big board and sail. I was really second guessing what I was doing when all of a sudden the river goes white with chop and that big rig that barely got me moving was now blasting across the chop at white knuckle speed. Typically the wind generated during these cells doesn't last so if you stay out long enough at some point in time you will be rigged right. Not so in this case, we blasted around for about an hour and then disaster struck. Ron was coming up behind me and all of a sudden I hear this loud crack and I look around and Ron is going down in the water. I kept going looking for some flatter water where I could gybe and not get hurled off the board. When I got back to Ron he had crawled up on his board but he wasn't moving, not a good sign. His sail was crumpled up and I figured his mast had snapped. He said he was having a hard time breathing and was about a mile from the causeway. I took off and flagged down a boater who brought Ron and his gear back to the causeway.

After getting all his gear rolled up and stacked on the beach Ron sat back on the railing by the parking lot. He was still stoked over the wind and the ride it had provided but he was having some pain when breathing deeply. His main concern was his gear and he went through a check. "My fin sheared off but it didn't damage the board, sail wasn't damaged by the broken mast and my boom is OK."Then he let out a long sigh or maybe it was a groan and says, "it was worth it!"

Shortly after Art walks up and inspects the head of the boom and finds it is broken and Ron's response was, "well now I am pissed".

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