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On the 28th we got a lot of rain, and the lake rose maybe 5 feet above normal summer level. The next day was gorgeous and fairly breezy. In the morning, walking along the levee I spotted a juvenile bald eagle and was able to video it as it flew away across the lake and then came back. In the afternoon I had a nice windsurfing session, a bit of which is shown in the second half of the video below.
Three Young Kids Try Windsurfing
I gave three neighborhood kids (ages 9 to 11) their first windsurfing lesson. I was thrilled that they all were able to sail and steer, and even to stay upwind.
During yesterday's lesson (June 20), we saw an immature bald eagle swoop down to the water and attempt (and fail) to snatch a fish. I'm guessing that's one of the young eagles raised here in the park this year.
The picture at left, taken with my camera on June 23 by Mike C. during his grandkids' windsurfing lesson, shows an adult bald eagle in the same area.
The lake was seriously whitecapping , so I brought out my smaller gear (108 L board, 6.2 m^2 rig). However, by the time I got on the water the wind had dropped off somewhat. Still, I got some long-needed practice doing light-air basics with the smaller gear (annotated on the video at right). Then I switched to my 148 L board and got some planing. The pics at left are still frames from the 2.5 minute edited video at right.
Micaiah and his mother Helen got extremely light wind for their lesson, but that didn't stop them from learning the basics. The pics at left are still frames from the short video at right.
I hadn't been on the water in over a week, so when it looked like there might be some planable wind it was an offer I couldn't refuse. It was NW and very gusty: lots of schlogging but also a lot of (mostly short) planing runs. One run was epic, really long and I had to hold on mightily (using 8.1 m^2 sail). You have to see the video to appreciate it at all. The video is seven & a half minutes of a 78 minute session.
(No, I didn't shoot these pics or video.) This is Andy Brandt, owner and head instructor of ABK Boardsports, the windsurfing school that has taught me all I know. He's playing around on June 9 in a very windy place in California, taking advantage of extreme conditions that probably would smack me down. Note the graph shows it was blowing about 35 mph while he was sailing. These pics are all stolen from this Vimeo video that you shouldn't miss http://vimeo.com/user16803862/review/68028521/336fa52500.
I took a 5-day ABK clinic there about 8 years ago; however, fortunately or unfortunately it was not windy then. (BTW, in case you were wondering, the ABK people travel around, doing clinics all around the USA and in the Caribbean. I have learned from them in NJ, NY, DE and CA, plus the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Margarita.)
I bought a GoPro wrist mount and tried it out on Sayers Lake 2 days ago. It's very awkward to aim, so the video is crazy because I ended up rotating parts of it 90 degrees and other parts not. Watch the video if you dare (it's under 5 minutes), and do look at the enormous flock of geese in the 2nd still frame photo.
This is Bill vdB, sharing little vignettes of windsurfing on Sayers Lake, in Howard PA. and sometimes elsewhere.