I traveled with all my gear down to Hatteras for BABA's semiannual windsurfing sojourn. Although it was October, the air and water temperature was summer-like.
We've had a LOT of rain (the lake had risen to 18 feet above normal summer level) and not much wind, so now the water is back down, it's warm, and there were tornado watches. It thought it was breezy, but the wind was actually very light. Still, every day o' sailin' is a great day.
There was a fairly strong breeze, but it was coming right over Bald Eagle Ridge to the south of the lake, a somewhat unusual direction. As a consequence, there were many gusts strong enough for me to get my front foot in the strap but which didn't last long enough for me to also get my back foot in. The video below doesn't really show that; it just gives an intimate view of the board on the water during a sub-planing tack. (The GoPro got aimed low in one of the many times I crashed in the water as a consequence of sudden loss of wind.)
The last couple of times I've been out on the water I wore my shorty wetsuit, but not today! It was HOT. Had a nice, very consistent light breeze from the southwest. No planing, but hey, every day o' sailing is a great day.
Candace, who had been wanting for years to try windsurfing, and her husband Randall came up from Gettysburg for a lesson. They had a great time and now are looking into buying their own gear. Apologies: 1) the only photography was by my GoPro, mounted on Candy's clew, so Randy is imaged here only incidentally. 2) I carelessly let Candy use a poorly rigged sail with the boom a bit too high. But it didn't seem to impair her in the least. A couple of weeks later they bought a Bic Techno 240 board and a 5.0 square meter rig to use on a lake near where they live.
The day had dawned downright chilly, and it didn't warm up enough to dissuade me from wearing my shorty wetsuit, which turned out to be only a little too warm. There was a pleasant (but not planable) breeze, and coming from the north-northeast, so I decided to sail "upstream" (i.e., southwest) and check out the old railroad bed. See video.
Then Susan and her husband Chris showed up, which is always nice. Susan had windsurfed for years while on vacation at non-windsurfing resorts. Then she took her first ever lesson from me and soon she had bought her own gear. Now she is my most frequent windsurfing buddy.
I got to the lake a bit after the best wind, got to sail a little before the major thunderstorm and rain hit. Very close to shore I encountered a sudden wind shift which led to my 270-degree turn.
These high school students from State College came out for an introduction to windsurfing. At first there was a lot of falling in the water, but by the end of the afternoon they were able to sail around , in control. The still photos were taken by Sarah's mother -- thanks! The fee went to Meals on Wheels.
Sayers Lake exists for flood control as well as for recreation, so when it rains a LOT the Corps of Engineers uses it to store excess water. On August 5 the lake level peaked at about 9.5 feet above normal summer level, with quite a lot of floating debris in it. On August 7 most of the debris had blown off the water and a light breeze came up, so I went for a sail -- while it was still 7.5 feet up. It was interesting to sail OVER the Howard Boat Club jetty, and to look DOWN on the sign that says "NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES ALLOWED IN PARK".
We haven't had a lot of wind around here lately, but it has been warm and just breezy enough to learn the basics of this great sport. But it's nice to dream a little of perfect places with perfect conditions, like this island in the Indian Ocean. To see awesome video of this race, click here. (The picture below is NOT the video.)
This is Bill vdB, sharing little vignettes of windsurfing on Sayers Lake, in Howard PA. and sometimes elsewhere.