|I just got back from D-Bay, disappointed.
I'm fortunate that the postings above have been made, as they somewhat vindicate my wimping-out of sailing this afternoon. I see that the wind at Boulmer is gusting to 52mph on XC just now.
I left Steve and Alistair battling in the chop and spray after deciding against it. Even getting to the water's edge looked like a very cold and energy-sapping chore, as I looked on from the comfort of my warm car.
There were a few thoughts of "if. . then" going through my mind. If it had been 5 degrees warmer then I'd have gone out. If I'd have brought smaller gear than 94/4.7m (hopelessly too big) then I may have gone out, etc.
True, Boydy offered me the loan of a small board and sail, but the 6 to 7 degrees temperature and the gusting wind made me decide against it. It's never the same sailing on borrowed gear at the best of times, never mind in survival conditions.
Terry watched with me and made the same decision.
The sand was blowing down the beach in a full layer of high speed white mist. The sea was covered in white caps.
Steve and Alistair were each on 4.7m and 87lt (I think). Alistair looked to be extremely overpowered, going more sideways than forwards on the first few runs. Boydy manfully blasted out and back, making dry gybes all the way until I left just a few minutes after they had launched.
Bring on the pisstaking.
Steve Boyd's report ~ Sunny D-bay 20th january- "The days of Supermen and mice"
Time for the true report. I of course give a true and accurate account of sailing conditions and in no way will lower myself to do any pisstaking as it is not my style of operation, but the circumstances deserved the real story as Alistair will confirmin in a court of humour.
I arranged to meet ross(as he was going away for the weekend and was desperate to sail, i say DESPERATE TO SAIL!) and alistair. Upon arrival it was quite obvious it was howling and Terry Mcgill had turned up.
Myself and Terry walked down to the waters edge as ross did not want to get sand on his workclothes......................................mouse no.1?! Upon arrival at the waters edge the wind was blowing SW-WSW about F7-F9(approx 1pm) with quite a severe wind chill and gusts. Terry said "4.0m for me but as its cold and i have to pick my wife up at 3pm i dont think i will bother." Yes, indeed....... At this point i was thinking i would be really hanging off my 4.2m myself. perfect!
Alistair was mad keen to get out on his little jp wave board and his new 4.7m sail. During this time the wind eased and we decided(thats me and alistair, not ross and terry (who could have still got an hour in, mouse no.2?)) to go for it with 4.7m as it had steadied out a lot more.
At this point i will say ross decided it was to cold(it was 7.5degrees and sunny) and as he only had 4.7m & 94litres and not 4.1m & 85litres (i reckon he did but had thrown his coat over them in the back of his car!), so not to see him left standing suffering from the comfort of his nice warm car, i offered him my 4.2m and my 87litre wave board and i would use my 4.7m on my 90litre wave slalom.
At this point let it also known for the record i tried my utmost to persuade him but could not, so left him to ponder his own "mbon-ness".
Ray robson turned up but was on baby sitting duites-understandably he can be excused(now that is what i call an excuse!). The wind had dropped quite nicely into a steady F6-F7 and my first runs were surprisingly quite easy, with lots of power and the gusts were not as bad as they looked. As alistair joined he strugggled a bit at first till we got his kit set up right and then he was blasting right out into the bay with me. I kept waving to ross to come and join the fun but i dont think he could see me for the red mist.
This continued for about 1 hour then the wind started to swing more westerly and off shore and perdictably that combined with the tide comiing in made the gusts suddenly quite severe and the lulls massive. before this as the wind had been more cross the gusts were quite predictable and in the lulls there was enough power to still keep planing quite comfortably. at this point i was starting to get tired as i had just come off night shift and i suggested we quit while we were ahead. This we did and probably just so as it swung offshore and dropped a little.
Epilogue: Alistair remarked qoite rightly how much easier it was on smaller kit in strong winds and it was not really that cold as when you are having a blast like this you keep quite warm. i managed to coincide with my last run with an ankle biting wave let and get a little bit of frontside riding- perfect to finish the day off. The conditons were not as bad as it first looked when we got there. I have heard and read a lot of excuses from a lot of experienced sailors who would have really enjoyed a welcome "winter blast" such as this one. Question:just powered on 6.2m and 100litres or fully powered on 4.7m on 85litres? the answer my friends is blowing in the wind- and there is plenty of hot wind going around here at the moment! do not forget to check your kit and and always take everything!.
I remeber just before ross left his blue VW was glowing bright red and made a loud wailing sound (was it the turbo or ross?)before leaving at very high speed.
D-bay was not really nuclear. just atomic.