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.

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Sunday sail of the summer at Mill creek and more....

Wow it's been a long time since I have posted anything. It's not like I haven't been sailing it's just that I've been to busy to post. Since I last posted there was a great weekend trip to Billy Mckendree's in Aydlett. A day trip to DR Bob's, a session at Dave Kashy's place, a nice high wind day at Factory Point and finally today a nice rare June NE day at Mill Creek.

Let's go in chronological order starting today.

6-14... Today was the first Sunday sail of the summer at Mill Creek. The Sunday sail is a planned sailing day sponsored by W.E.T. so the new sailors who have taken the Intro to Windsurfing Class can continue to practice the sport. It is set up so there is at least one instructor and a beginners board there for use by the students. Other Sailors are encouraged to show up and join in, give pointers and if they have extras, loan out gear. It is also helpful for the newbies to see experienced sailors out there doing their thing.

The wind was great it started NNE and light, built to @ 18 mph and ever so slowly backed off into the low teens. This allowed the students to get a real taste of what it is all about. I came out to loan out my gear and give pointers. I rigged up a 7.8 for me to use and a 4.0 and 5.8 to loan out. I brought the Hifly and my new acquisition an old circa 1990ish Fanatic 370 long board. Becky, visiting from Germany for the summer had her sight set on using the Hifly so I set her up with the 4.0 first then the 5.8. She has some experience sailing in the Canaries so the 4.o was just too small for her. The 5.8 worked much better, I still think she could have used a half meter more.

I sailed the 370 and 7.8 combo. I originally had a long board when I started sailing but I sold it to buy the Hifly because I thought it was limiting my progression. Turns out it was me limiting my progression. The 370 sailed quite nicely. I learned more about sailing a long board in those few hours than I had in the 6 years I owned the previous one. I had it flying across and down wind. Chugging upwind dagger board down and railed up I even tried to coax it through a few planing jibes. If it wasn't for the sail flip I would have nailed them. At the end of the session Bruce counted 5 students 4 instructors and a handful of experienced sailors.

Once the windsurf gear was stored Javier, Bruce, Pete, Becky and myself did a little bit of Stand up. Bruce had his RRD longrider and Javier had a Starboard SUP. I was able to ride both. the RRD was good but the SUP was smooth and stable. We finally called it a day and headed over to Marker 20 for dinner. Nothing better than ending great day with a cold beer excellent food and good company.

Remember to click the photos to enlarge.

A few shots of the WET hirarchy.

Are we having fun yet???

Javier and Pete making it look easy.

Becky cruising along.
What's this a rare photo of me!
I don't want any comments on my form

5-17... The Factory Point session was a strong north wind day in the 23 to 30mph range. It was supposed to be day 2 of the WET regatta but the high wind and frequent heavy rains canceled the competition. A group of about 9 diehards did sail, figured what the heck we were going to get wet anyway. Among those were John Q, Contos, Jack, Tom B, Chris L, Keith, D-man, there were a couple new faces to me as well. I can't for the life of me remember their names. I rode the Cross 102 and the 85l Fanatic with a 4.6m sail. I got plenty of jibe and waterstart practice the waterstarts are getting to be fairly easy now especially on the smaller gear and I made 3 or 4 jibes. No photos due to rain.

5-9.... The York point session at Kashy's was a late afternoon power hour session. I was on the 102 and a 5.8 and Dave rode his Formula to start with then then switched to his slalom gear, a 106l and 5.8. No photos.

5-3... This was a Sunday day trip to Dr Bobs. It was a classic Rodanthe type day just a nice steady SW wind that kept building throughout the day. I rigged 5.1 and 4.1. I made a couple runs on 5.1 and 102 liter, it was too much. Come to find out most were on 5.0 even the bigger guys. Bob was the only one on larger. Bob, you can hold down more sail than you think... Anyway, I went to the 4.1 and new to me 85l F2 style. I sailed that combo for about an hour till the wind got even stronger. My hand held anemometer was sustaining 29mph with gusts to upper 30's and lulls in the mid 20's. I decided I wanted to go again before I packed up. Most had pulled out their 3.7 and 4.0's, since I was already sailing my smallest combo I had to ride what I had.

I have sailed wind like this before but not in big water. The terrain is much different and the wind more steady so you really have to be on your game. There was no time to get comfortable and relax. Had to concentrate the whole time. Up wind was fine and I could stay in control. The off the wind runs were scary fast so I avoided it as much as possible. About every third or fourth reach you really didn't have a choice it was either a hair on fire down wind run or a reverse walk of shame. All in all I handled it pretty well got in a few small jumps and didn't hurt myself. Except for some non-skid burn on the shins. It was an incredible day, actually the wind blew like that for a better part of a week.

Look at everyone enjoying the 20 mph breeze.
About an hour later all but the best kiters were blown off the water

4-25/4-26..... The Weekend trip to Billy's place in Aydlett was a W.E.T event consisting of Fun races, camping, horse shoes, Foosball, a board toss, an excellent BBQ dinner and good company.

I arrived late on Saturday afternoon. The crew was out on the water running the fun race that was planned. I rigged up but by the time I finished the wind was all but gone. The social festivities commenced soon after the gear was stowed for the evening. John G, and I got spanked playing horse shoes. Food was ordered from Currituck BBQ and it was outstanding. The Mosquitoes starting getting pretty bad so the gathering moved inside it garage for more socializing and a game of darts the the Foosball tourney started. I thought I remembered being able to play a pretty mean game but I looked pitiful against everybody go I relegated myself to the gallery. The final event of the evening was the board toss. It was a heavy unbalanced old board but I held the mark for the longest throw through several rotations till John G. came out and managed to get it about a foot further.After a couple more attempts my shoulder let me know it was time to quit and John went down in the record books as the first Aydlett fun race board toss champion. John C, John Q, John G his sister and myself all set up our camping gear and turned in for the evening.

The sun rising over the sound was a beautiful. We were treated to a pancake sausage and fruit breakfast by our gracious hosts. The wind was squirrely and off shore most of the morning but it did finally get to where we could sail big floaty gear. I used my 7.8 sail and I took the opportunity to try out several different boards a Prodigy, Kona style and a Fanatic Ultra Cat. I spent most of the time of the prodigy and was able to get that thing moving at a pretty good clip I was even able to keep up with Mary on her S Cross. It certainly wasn't easy she is fast! The differences between the Kona and the Cat were numerous but each board worked as it was designed the Kona is more surfy and sticks to the water till it planes up. The Cat was light and stiff a bit harder to maneuver but much faster. Over all I think the Cat and the Prodigy were better for the conditions that day. John Q rode his formula and was flying all over the place Billy took us out on the boat and we followed behind John for a while and got a sense of just how fast he was moving. The day ended as the wind shifted and fell off.
There wasn't a whole lot of wind but there was enough to make the trip fun. I look forward to the next one. Billy, Mary, Barry, Robin and Steve thanks for the hospitality.

Hey Billy this is great

Cheering section
Robin giving it her all.
John accepting his prize

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