Thursday, February 15, 2007

One of those sessions...

So today I had one of those sessions. Last time I went sailing (last week), it was sunny, low-to-mid 50's, and nice steady breeze. Mt. Baker loomed in the distance, the bay was sparkling, and I was perfectly powered on my 9.9 and FW board. Today, it was raining hard, the wind was a bit on the gusty side, and with all the snowmelt that's been coming down the rivers, the water was downright nippy even though the air was close to 50. Wind readings were all over the place - all I could tell from shore was that out in the channel, it was windy and there was some big swell.

I rigged my 6.0 and my slalom board, slogged out through the wind shadow (only two short swims until I reached the wind line - not too bad), and found myself massively overpowered. Spent an hour on the water doing survival sailing - a 4.8 or even a 4.2, and a smaller freeride board would have been the call, as things were getting furry and there was the occasional hint of liquid smoke. Held on for an hour, and when my hallpass was about to expire, I came back in on a long broad reach taking advantage of some rare smooth swell - until the off-shore gust from inside the Chuckanuts hit me head on, so I got to swim in the last 300 yards through the icy Padden Creek outflow. Brrr...

As I carried my stuff up on the beach, this guy on the beach asked me how it was out there. And reflexively, I said 'great.' After all, I'd just successfully ditched work for a couple of hours to log some TOW, so yes, it was great. Not sure if it was a whole lot of fun, though - between the numb toes and the hanging-on-for-dear-life bit, I'd describe it more as character-building. Or maybe life-affirmingly stupid... ;)

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