This week, the last week of December has been a good one wind wise. Sunday we had warm SW winds blowing 25+ and yesterday we had a mix bag starting SW around 20 and clocking to NW with gusts approaching 50 by noon.
Sunday I decided I’d try to sail at my parent’s house because I would also get to see football on Sunday ticket. My team, the Cleveland Browns have pretty much stunk it up this year. Logic should have prevailed and I should have gone to one of the local launches to sail with other people. But we were playing the Steelers and that’s a rivalry game that is hard to miss. I figured if the game looked to be a blowout early on I would just head on over to either Messick point or Dave Kashy’s new place to sail his launch. Well wouldn’t you know the Browns defense kept the game close till late in the second quarter. So by the time it was absolutely certain that the Browns had no chance, it was already too late to make the hour drive and get any significant time on the water before dark. So at half time I went out to decide on rigging up and sailing or not. There was a bunch of white caps and good size swell rolling down the river, I’d estimate between 3 and 4 foot. My handheld wind meter showed gusts well over 30, that’s just too much for me to go out alone in the 48 degree water. Sailing my folks place can be convenient but with the tidal current and the ideal SW wind conditions it can get rather intimidating.
Tug making its way upriver in the swell just before kickoff.
Yesterday I was gung ho on sailing, the high temperature was going to be in the lower 50’s with wind in the mid to upper 20’s. I took all my small gear with me to work with the intention of getting some stuff done then sailing afterward. I got the message that people were going to sail Kashy’s place so I made my way over there. Unfortunately I took too long to get my work done and missed out on the warmer temps. Once the wind shifted NW the temp dropped, the most dramatic was during a 15 minute span where it seemed to drop 10 degrees.
Tom B., Jack, John C., Marcy and Keith showed to enjoy Dave's little slice of sailing heaven. The sails were sized 3.7 to 4.2 and the boards were 75 to 85l. The falling temps the wind strength and the offshore conditions were enough that Marcy and I decided against suiting up. Everyone else hit the water. It was simply a tough day of sailing the gusts and lulls were extreme. To sail comfortably one would have needed a sail that could instantly transform from a 6.5 to 3.0. It was wild just standing out on the pier taking pictures, within a matter of seconds the wind would go from 20 to 45. Several shots were lost to camera shake. The guys made the most of it though, there was a bit of schlogging, some nicely powered blasting and what I would only describe as overpowered mayhem. Each run out and back had at least one waterstart per sailor. I take that back I don't remember Dave falling in. They all sailed about an hour. Then the cold, the low dew point and the gusty wind finally took its toll shooing everyone off the water. All except John, he swapped his 85l for a 100l and went back out. The board change really helped him in the lulls but put him beyond control in the gusts.
I look forward to getting the next email announcing another session at Dave’s, hopefully in less chaotic wind conditions.
Tomorrow could be the first session of the New Year. It’s supposed to be a lighter SW day that might warrant another day trip down to the OBX.
Happy New Year!
As always click photos to enlarge.....
John heading back out on the bigger board
That explosion of spray was John.
Tom, Dave and Keith