I was. Yesterday was just a warm up session. Today was the real deal.
I checked the wind meter that corresponds to the Factory point launch and it was reading a few miles per hour stronger than it was the day before. I knew it was going to be a good day.
I rounded the corner at the launch and water was covering the road. The little creeks that fan out through that area had overflowed due to the high tide. I popped out of the pine grove and caught my first glimpse of one of the small creeks. It had white caps so I knew it was on. I immediately called Billy to pass along the on site conditions and rally the troops. I think "honkin" was the word used to describe the conditions.
I was waffling on rigging a 4.1 or a 4.6. Finally I went with the 4.1, 85l combo. In hindsight I would have been happier on the 4.6 when it lulled but the 4.1 was more than sufficient in the gusts.
The water was rough, or chop-a-licous depending on how you look at it. It took me a while to get in tune with the board. I haven't sailed it since August so just getting to the straps was a challenge. I had one massive catapult as a result. It must be a sight. Here I am getting pitched over the bars, legs flailing skyward then crashing head first into the water with a massive explosion of spray and the first sound anyone can hear as I surface is laughter. Anyway, once I remembered how to sail it I started to make good use of the terrain. A small jump here, a slashing turn there, blown jibe after blown jibe after blown jibe. There were times that it got rough enough that I wished it were 70 liters. Thank god the water is shallow I would have worn myself out just getting going again.
A couple of the jumps I made felt pretty good. I was actually getting air measured in feet rather than the inches I typically feel like I'm getting when chop hopping the 102. I was starting to feel pretty good about them until I saw Billy clear what looked to be about 8 feet off the same little patch of chop I had been using. Amazing!!! How does he do it?
The cold finally took its toll and I had to call it quits for the day after a good 4 hours on the water. At least the next 45 degree day won't be as much of a shock to the system. A shout out goes to Billy, Vito, Keith, John Q, Matt Yvette and Peter for sharing the day. Unfortunately Yvette and Peter didn't get wet. The conditions were a little more then they could handle with their gear. I'm sure they will be ready for the next time.
Sorry no photos today.
SUP Race Report: Calusa Palooza 2017
1 day ago