Monday, April 20, 2009

SF heat wave

I'm getting to indulge in the geek's dream this week, attending the MySQL conference in Santa Clara - which just so happens to be conveniently located in the Bay Area, home to some of the most reliably windy conditions anywhere on the US Mainland, as well as what has to be one of the most competitive local racing fleets anywhere. Of course, the Bay Area is having a bit of a heat wave right now, so when I rolled into town on Sunday, Crissy Field looked more like a Mediterranean beach than its usual wind-battered, fog-covered, self. The Bay, meanwhile, was far from displaying the usual voodoo chop, and thousands of people were roasting in the sun as temps reached the high 80's.

Today, after a long day of tutorials on data warehousing in the morning and scale-out/scale-up of transaction systems in the afternoon (yes, Karryn, I took copious notes...), I escaped the Silicon Valley heat sink and made it to Crissy Field. At that point, a wee bit of sea breeze was starting to build, and a lone kite racer got some rides. Soheil was there as well, and we both rigged 10.8's.

It took a bit of slogging, but I finally found a patch of breeze and a rip that went against the massive flood to get me towards the South Tower; Soheil went in to wait for a bit more breeze (hey, he gets to sail here every day if he wants to, so his sense of urgency is probably a little less than mine...). I was rewarded for the slogging and the pumping with a glorious sunset session close to the Bridge - nice steady sea breeze, glassy water, not a whitecap in sight, and tons of porpoises feeding on the rip lines. After 45 minutes of bliss, the breeze started to fade, so I started the journey back.

I got to shore just in time before the breeze died totally; Soheil (who had come back out when the breeze filled in a wee bit) actually had to paddle back the last 100m or so. Forecast for tomorrow is for more of the same (but a bit stronger), with the marine layer coming back on Wednesday, which should produce some solid breeze. I hope that comes true, as I've got a brand new Exocet WSl71 to dial in, along with a new set of Sailworks slalom sails.

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