Monday, March 12, 2007

March madness weekend in Bellingham

This is the wind graph from the north end of the bay on Saturday. Temps were in the high fifties. I got to Post Pt. when it looked like powered 7.2 slalom sailing in the morning. As soon as I had rigged, it had picked up a few notches, so I switched to the 6.0. Then it really picked up a went more East than I really wanted to deal with at Post (huge wind shadow off shore, and lots of swirly gusts coming down and around the Chuckanuts), so I moved up north to Little Squalicum Beach, next to the Plywood plant. Things were kind of light on the beach, so I stuck with my 100 liter slalom board and the 6.0. Cleared the pier in two tacks, then found myself in head-high swell with the spray getting blown off the top. Hung on going out against the swell on port tack (which was hugely lifted due to the Easterly component), trying to keep from getting launched into the stratosphere on that big board. Had some really exciting rides back in on starboard, shooting at warp speed along the troughs. Would invariably get myself tripped up over stray chop coming the other way and had some big spills. Reason prevailed, and I packed it in.

Sunday was windy again. I didn't get out until later afternoon; most of the locals had already bagged it after hours spent on very flattened 4.2's. Since it was due South now (around 4:30), and the tide was way low, I could use my smaller slalom board and the 5.0 and launch from Post Pt. The tide was so low, in fact, that I could walk right out to the windline - no swimming required. Spray was still flying, and it was all I could do to keep the board on the water going out on port into the swell bending around the point (roughly shoulder high, with lots of freaky chop mixed in). The rides through the troughs on starboard were amazing. Bailed just in time before the big rain squall killed the wind (that's the sharp dropoff around 5:30). Not sure if that's the end of winter storm season or not - we sure had a lot of them this year, including the epic one on November 15 that gusted up to 82mph at the Cold Storage (I sat that one out...) Maybe it's time to reconsider the notion that a small B&J board doesn't pay since we only have a handful of really windy days each year anyway...

Sure nice to be sailing in warmer air temps again - no need for gloves.

1 comment:

bonnie said...

cripes. I gotta stop reading windsurfing blogs as of yesterday. Wandered over from the puffin o' the peconic. Boy that sounds like fun. Like I don't already have too many different things I like doing on the water to have time to do any of them as well as I'd like to. arrrrr!