I learned two lessons today. First…..Thermal winds will turn on and off like a light switch. Second….. always go through your mental checklist when hitting the water or else you will forget something.
I met James today over at York River Seafood. After spending the early afternoon checking the computer, watching the wind sensor nearest the launch, the wind finally started the shift from SW to SSE. In a span of 10 minutes it went from a fluctuating 5 to 8 mph to steady SE @ 18.
By the time I got to the launch James was in the water preparing for his first run on a 6.6. He recommended we get it while we could as a storm was brewing to the NW. I quickly rigged my 6.7, grabbed my harness, checked my lines, made sure my mast base was secure and double checked that my uphaul was attached at the mast base (I have forgotten that before). I made my way to the water as fast as possible, beach started and immediately something didn’t feel right. On the run out I could only plane down wind. If I turned upwind the board would immediately drop off plane though I could still make upwind progress. I ended up schlogging back in and started the ritual of making one adjustment at a time. Harness lines make a run, mast base make a run. It wasn’t till I completely spun out and fell in that I discovered the problem. As I was swimming the board into position to sail back in I hit my shin on one of the fins. The strange thing was the familiar sharp pain my brain was expecting a millisecond later never happened. The fin was soft. My very next thought….. Duhhhhh you forgot to remove the fin covers, Idiot!!! That solved the problem but by that time the wind was dying and the storm was getting pretty close. Once off the water and derigging the wind dropped back to around 5 mph and shifted 180 degrees, again in less than 10 minutes.
I should be angry with myself for spending the $22 in gas and tolls to get a frustrating 45 minutes on the water but just being out there after two weeks of no sailing was worth it.
2 foot swell to this in the time it took to derig.
Sun peeking through the storm
Wednesday 11 22 17 morning call
15 hours ago