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Sat 15th Jan 2005 - Shoulda bin a Painting Day ! - Gavin Duthie
Just for the record, there was a turnout at DBay/BR on Saturday. The wind WAS a blowin' on arrival but by the time we hit the water it wasn't, but the waves still thought it was. The combination of a SE cross-on , crumbling breakers outside, kelp beds and all this having to sail across Hadston Scaurs underpowered did wonders for any of the perennially constipated. Had we rigged 7 point something, instead of 5 point something it might have been ok, but the size of the sea prohibited this. Martin H and Raymond played a little longer in the surf working on waterstarts, but myself, Ross and the two Matt's retired in disgust , only to find Andy F (not sailing) wondering why we had been messing around, as the wind was still blowing up by the cars ! A strange day.

Sunday 16 January - Tdog’s Sunday - Tony Champion (Tdog)
I had given up all hope of wind by 12.30pm and together with my beloved wife had set about the gargantuan task of clearing out my shed (16’*8’) which had become clogged with the priceless treasures of 30 years. As you may imagine there was considerable pressure from the distaff side to consign many of these to landfill; thus having agreed that an old and ragged melamine 6.5 and some worn footstraps were unlikely to be used again I was in too weak a condition to argue about family heirlooms like an old chair that was my mother’s (or perhaps it was the next door neighbour’s, I can’t remember) and a spirit level with a broken bubble, some rusty old bolts and many other similar items of considerable sentimental value. Then – salvation! A ’phone call from Carragher to the effect that it had kicked in. Normally I would have taken such a claim with a few kilograms of salt but this was the key to escape from purgatory.

Within half an hour we were at Seaton Point – very mushy; Boulmer – nearly dry at extreme low tide and then Alnmouth – small but nicely formed waves, sun shining, sand blowing, cross shore potential bliss. A brief discussion on sail size followed: Steve (looking at the sand) arguing in favour of 4.7, me (looking at the sea) in favour of 6.3. We compromised on 5.7/5.8 rigged and walked half way to Norway to launch. After that it was all downhill. I don’t think either of us got more than a couple of good runs in an hour or maybe an hour and a half of wobbling and pumping. 6.5 was the size but I think we were fooled by the considerable Northerly tidal flow (I would hesitate to call it a rip because it extended so far out). Anyway it was hardly epic although if we had been on something bigger it could have been. Alnmouth in the conditions we found could have been perfect, it is a really nice place to sail in a Southerly.

Was it worth going? You bet it was even though I’d forgotten my boots and had to sail barefoot.

Was it better than cleaning the shed or painting the house Ross? What a silly question.

Sun 09 Jan - D-Bay North End - Ross Ketteridge
I got to D-Bay North End at 11.45am. Note I’m calling it “North End” as I think the previous faeces-related nickname does us no PR favours and anyway it is no worse, in this respect, than along the rest of this side of the bay. Also there was Andy, Adrian, Martin H, Gavin, Steve B, Ally and Bob.

The tide was in, the temperature was 9, the wind cross shore SSW F4. I rigged 6.3m/120lt and shot towards the horizon, nicely powered up. After 2 runs the wind died but half an hour later it was back, stronger, albeit with some refreshing rain. With a nice swell on the outside and small waves building on the retreating tide, I had a fantastic blast fest for about 2 hours. In the middle of this session the wind notched up to 5.5m strength. Gavin went to rig smaller at his point, and Martin called it a day, but I decided, as did Adrian, to pull some more downhaul on the 6.3. This worked a treat and with the wind resuming its solid F4 strength Adrian and I continued our extremely enjoyable burn and turn sesh. Gavin got cold and had to get changed at this point so it was a two man display from then on. In summary I had a superb sail, as did Adrian and have rarely experienced such steady wind at D-Bay. Even in the rain squalls it just held steady. Whether this is because there was more south in the wind than normal or a function of it being this part of the bay, I don’t know. But in the whole 2.5 hours I never experienced one gust, in the normal sense.

The only question is, “Why only 4 sailing?” As you can see from the roll-call there was a good turn out but very few sailing. The wind actually kept steady until it got dark, it was only tiredness that ended the session for me. I was even gybing well today. Marvellous.

Thu 06 Jan - D-Bay - Andy Freeman
A few of the classic Freeman superlatives would have been heard if you were at Duridge Bay today. "A bit cheeky" and "Fruity" were indeed good descriptions of the sailing today.

The combatants were Brian, Bob, myself and Adrian who was hot of the plane and not the plane it seems, from Moon Beach. He was also in THE VAN, it is very nice and after a quick spin I can say that it is faster than any van ought to be.

The sailing was lumpy, a bit gusty and hard work at times. Sail sizes were whatever the smallest you had brought with you. 4 metres would have been plenty.

Most of my sailing was done overpowered and so not a day for trying anything other than staying onboard.

Wind was SW, air temp 12 degrees and looking on XC there were gusts of up up to 55 mph.

Nuff said

Monday 3 January Poo corner again. - Andy Freeman
Ray, Brian, Matt NU and myself turned up for a sail today. Steve C attended in the guise of photographer.
WSW was the direction and everything from 4.5 to 7 meters would have been appropriate at times. Most people opted for sails about 5.5 and suffered the lulls.
There were some little ankle high waves to mess around on being easily accessible with the cross of wind. Hopefully the pictures Steve took will look ok and not like ripples in a bath.
Matt joined in the Vulcan attempts and has the first caught on camera attempt. I didn’t see it but Steve reckoned it was a good shot.
Personally I did not have a good sail as aches from the last couple of sails combined with my inability to rig my 5.8 correctly. Will have to look on the Gaastra web site for some rigging tips.
The surprising thing is that there were no more interested parties willing to have a go. It was really easy sailing compared to the last few sessions and not cold at all.

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