This is a diary so to speak. Documenting the outdoor activities I enjoy. Currently I'm trying to master windsurfing so that subject will be covered extensively. If you read this don't expect award winning writing as it was never really a strong point for me. You may however find a cool photo or two.

Most photos can be enlarged by clicking and feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Awesome day at Factory Point and a First.....

for me.

(Edit...Content added Tue 12:40am)

Today a couple things happened. It was a Saturday, it was sunny, there was a breeze and I didn't have anything to do. Perfect day to go windsurfing!!!!!

I had decided against a weekend trip down to Hatteras where good wind was forecast, a swap meet was planned and Mr. Naish himself was due to make an appearance. Instead I headed over to Factory Point, the most Hatteras like venue in our area.

On the way there a guy in a Trailblazer SUV about 7 cars ahead of me must have decided some excitement was in order so he proceeded to run off the inside shoulder of the Interstate at 70 mph. If that wasn't enough he then over corrected and spun his car completely around in the middle of both lanes coming to a stop sideways in the middle of the road. Amazingly no one hit him as we all made very abrupt and evasive braking maneuvers. It took him a few seconds to get his senses together and pull his vehicle to the shoulder. I guess everything was alright because as we all started moving again he slowly came back up to speed and rejoined the flow of traffic.

Once I arrived at Factory Point I found a couple sailors already on the water most were on 6 to 7 meter sails. There were also a couple kiters. The forecast called for the wind to be in the 17 to 22 mph range so I rigged a KA 5.8 anticipating an increase in wind speed. I did pretty well on that sail considering I should have been on a 6.5 or better. Most were sailing gingerly as the tide was really low and this spot is notorious for catching fins on a low tide. I sailed along without any trouble on the twinser Hifly. A couple sailors found the ENE wind direction prefect for speed runs along an old boat channel that parallels the spit and island. Pete had his GPS and recorded a speed of 28 mph, pretty darn good considering the wind wasn't gusting over 17 at the time. I think these guys might have found a positive for sailing this spot when the tide is low on easterly winds.

The wind didn't build, it actually dropped into the 13 to 17 range so I went in and rigged up a 7.8. Most of the others had already packed it in, sail size and water depth were the issues. Three of us, Doug, Javier and I did stay and continued sailing. I had a blast I felt really comfortable planning in the straps so much so that I even tried a couple jibes near shore. Most of the attempts were terrible. Then Javier pulled out his camera and something weird happened. I almost made one. A few more tries while the camera was back safely in its bag ended badly. Then he pulled the camera out again and there it was.... my first completed jibe. I couldn't help but let out a "WooHoo" as I sailed away. Now mind you it wasn't pretty, not even in the realm of textbook, but it was successful. The best part is Javier snapped a photo sequence of it, the entry, mid jibe and the exit. I'm just so stoked that I got my first one and that it was documented.

Here is the sequence. Thanks Javier.

Man I need a hair cut!!

I also found that the sub planing sailing I did in Hatteras during vacation did pay off. I was able to optimize sail trim so I could get planning sooner and stay on plane when the wind would back off.I believe there is something to be said for sub planing sailing and using it to improve your skills.

Here is a little video of me doing just that

Here are a couple more photos I took.
Click to enlarge all photos

This one I noticed the broken boom

Photo by Javier....
Doug dialed-in on his 7.0 and mid-90's vintage 130-liter Mistral Explosion. This was after the rest of the crew left for the day.

Pete's GPS tracks. The tracks to the east were where the speed runs were occurring. The combination of the sandbar and low tide smoothed out the water. The small channel they were running provided enough depth for the fins.
Note the high upwind angle he was able to achieve from the launch at the bottom out to the island... on slalom gear!! Also note the course deflection on the long reach from the tidal current flowing through the main channel.

This used to be a nice sail boat. Obviously it still floats, it showed up here about a week ago. I wonder if this was the one stranded in the marsh after Hurricane Isabel? Could be they are using the inexpensive old time method of intentionally grounding the boat to do hull maintenance.

The social scene.

C-130 doing a grid pattern the earlier pass he went right over us.


James Douglass said...

Major kudos on the first jibe, Chris! The first of many, I'm sure.

PeconicPuffin said...

Congratulations! I'm sure your first jibe was brilliant. Peter Hart quote: "Which is your first GOOD jibe? The first one you sail away from dry."

Jibing gets better. It takes time. Don't worry if it takes awhile to get your second. Or if after awhile you find you can only jibe in one direction. Or on one board. etc etc. All those hurdles are normal.

Congratulations again!