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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday Sale oops… Sail

Sorry but my retail roots from what seems like another life made me do it. This post isn’t about shopping.

We had nice conditions anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5 depending on the chosen venue to burn off the calorie OD’s from the Thanksgiving feasts. The day started off chilly and sunny with winds pushing into the low 20’s. As the day progressed the clouds slowly gathered the wind increased slightly and temp hovered in the low 50’s. The sailing was done at two venues Willoughby and Factory Point.

I hit Factory around 2:00 by then the clouds were darkening and the winds were fluctuating quite a bit. I checked on the guys already out on their 5.2’s and 5.3’s and it seemed like they were having on and off runs. I thought a 5.8 and 85l would do the trick, actually other than 140l that was my only choice as my good intermediate and small boards were damaged by a tree limb during Nor-Ida. I put on my wetsuit and started rigging when the first of two heavy squalls came through. The wind speed in the squall jumped up well over 40 and blew everyone off the water. There was a guy kiting with us fortunately he kept it under control till it backed off enough to land and secure the kite. Now we have been through squalls while out sailing but this one had a surprise for us in the form of sleet. The exposed skin took a painful pelting for a few minutes as the worst of it blew over.

After the squall the wind died and slowly started to rebuild as it usually does. About the time it became sailable again the next squall started bearing down on us. This squall came through with similar results 40+ mph wind, 40 degree air and sleet. This time we all rode it out inside our vehicles. Once it passed the sun came back out, the sky cleared but the wind didn’t return. Everyone else de-rigged I ended up pulling out the 140l and putted around with the 5.8. for a half hour or so. Normally I would have re-rigged but it was already getting late and the wind was even marginal for my largest sail.

When I returned home I read that the Willoughby crew battled the same sleet squall but also had to deal with a small waterspout. From the report it sounds like some of the guys were still out when it hit and had a close call with the spout.

I only took a couple photos because of the weather and desire to sail.

A little bit of carnage from Nor-Ida.

Nice way to end the day

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remnants of Ida bring epic conditions to Tidewater.

Today in the tidewater of Virginia we saw Epic conditions from what was left over from Hurricane Ida. These conditions will continue through Friday and possibly into Saturday morning. The day started out dreary and rainy with a 20 mph wind blowing out of the NE. I loaded up the small stuff and headed out to Factory point hoping to catch the early portion of this storm. When I got there conditions were perfect for rigging 4.5 and and 85l board the water was low so there wasn't a whole lot of chop. The only problem was that no one else was there Everyone had committed to sailing York point or Buckroe. I didn't even rig, there is no way I would go out in high winds without a sailing partner.

I rode over to Buckroe to find Glenn and Tom B. de-rigging they had been out on 3.7s and 80l boards and had already had enough Keith was still out so I snapped a couple shots then headed to York Point. When I arrived the wind was already up over 30 the tide was rolling in and the waves were in the 2 to 3 foot range surprisingly there wasn't much chop just smooth crumbly waves. I waited till a couple guys went out before deciding to rig. Everyone went out on 3.7 to 4.0 they all did well except for one guy who I will not mention by name so that he may save face. He had a hard time getting started and was rapidly drifting down wind and away from the launch. York point is just that a point and NE winds are side shore but they make you drift into deeper and more sheltered water. Once you are in there you are at the mercy of the current unless you can waterstart and get upwind. If you can't then you will eventually wash up on the other side about a mile away. The kicker is to get back to the launch you now have better than a 15 mile hike. I wasn't going to take that chance so my gear stayed on the truck. Eventually the guy previously not mentioned found his groove and was able to work back upwind of the launch.

Since I wasn't sailing I took hundreds of photos. It turned out to be a regular jump fest. There were people flying everywhere there was even a loop attempt. I was hoping to get a loop sequence on the camera but shortly after Rob threw the only attempt of the day he came in and ended up with a huge gash in his foot requiring 15 stitches. The wind steadily ramped up and the crew pulled out their pristine looking 3.3 and 3.5' s. There were only a few runs made on those sizes the previous several hours of sailing and the 45 mph gusts were taking their toll.

I've perused the photos and here are some of the shots. Some are good some are fuzzy but they depict the conditions quite well.

This is the actual wind from a sensor upwind of York Point.

Keith Knight at Buckroe around 11:00am

Dave Kashy and Rob Spurgeon

Rob and Carl


Bob R.

Rob Solly launching huge air all day.
And the loop attempt.


This is one of my favorite shots

Rob Solly


Spurgeon carving a wave. What a tiny sail.

Inspecting the pier.