(Edit, video added 11/4)
Dr. Bob made his return to the water this weekend after spending the summer rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder. No one really expected to see him out there till next spring but the will to windsurf is strong with this one.
The forecast Sunday was perfect for him to ease back into the cool clear water of the Back River. The winds started out NE to ENE in the low teens and built to the upper teens as the day progressed. The venue was Factory Point. When I arrived there were several sailors there all in support of Dr. Bob's return. Javier had his video camera and recorded the days events for posterity. The fanfare created reminded me of a heroic Knight guiding his steed under the outstretched swords of his fellow warriors on his way out of the castle to slay the dragon. Alright, you will understand when you see Javier's video. Hopefully I'll be able to link to it.
Mid 6 to mid 7 meter sails and floaty boards were the call. Bob schlogged on out and found a gill net stretching across our path of travel. Of course nets and pointer fins don't play well together and he found himself in the drink. Fortunately he wasn't planning as that could have been bad for the arm. Beyond that incident he sailed quite well he looked very comfortable out there. I think it's safe to say he is back.
Here is the video. Thanks Javier.
Doctor Bob Returns! from Javier Garriz on Vimeo.
I think the 7.8 I was on was the largest on the water. So as the wind increased I was able to plane sooner than the others. I even set about chasing down John C on his Ultra Cat. That lasted all of about 30 seconds. He caught the gust I was in and worked ahead of me. I was able to keep up with him for a while and I was starting to feel pretty good about it till he yelled back over his shoulder that he was dragging on the bottom. Once he had enough depth he steadily pulled away. I cranked my board into my first gibe of the day. This one happened to be the opposite direction of the ones I was working on a couple weeks ago and to my surprise I pulled it off no problem, not even a bobble. I wish I could say every attempt felt that way but I was able to complete and sail away from quite a few. Going fast sure makes them easier.
Over the next hour the wind peaked and I was sailing overpowered on the 7.8 so much so that the sail felt really unstable. I went in and took a break and contemplated re-rigging. Instead I just added some downhaul and a little more outhaul and got back out on the water. After the adjustment the sail was perfect again. I lit out away from the launch and encountered the same gill net that Bob had previously warned us about. I too had pointers on so the board went from full speed planing to a dead stop in only a fraction of a second. Needless to say the resulting catapult was quite spectacular. I believe it would have made Catapulting Aaron quite proud.
Billy and Mary M., Tom B. and myself finished packing up just as it was getting too dark to see. We stood around and chatted for awhile Bill and Mary talked about their place in Aydlett, I'm really looking forward to trying it out. Mary also mentioned that it was the first time she has sailed Factory Pt. and now she might have to keep some of her gear on hand locally so she can sail there more often.
I think we ended up with about a dozen sailors out there Sunday. Even though the forecast was off by a couple hours and few mph on the low side, it still turned out to be great day. I think I'm going to have to join the Twelve Month Club just to give me motivation to get out at least one day a month over the winter and continue my progression.
I didn't take a bunch of photos because I spent most of the time on the water. Here are a couple. They are mostly of Mary, she happened to be the last and only one on the water when I finally got the camera out. They aren't very good due to the low light conditions and the long lens.
Wednesday 11 22 17 morning call
15 hours ago