Monday, September 14, 2009

Trip Report 7-9 August 2009


Pern and AashishAashish, Gordon, and Pern took their beginner Worldwinds windsurfing class Friday morning. By the time Jennie and I arrived, the wind was gusty, but strong enough that I could plane 80% of the time on the one sail I own: a blue 6.5 Meter.

The Three Amigos got a solid three hours of surfing in their first day, maybe more. All three of the newbies successfully fought the wind to stay upwind without taking the "walk of shame", the dreaded upwind stroll while towing the board. Not bad.

For dinner, the five of us met Freddy and Pamela at the Ichiban Buffet. We ate a vast pile of sushi and seaweed salad. For a nightcap, I passed out a few bottles of my homebrew Texas Blonde Ale.


Saturday morning Jennie and I ate the complimentary Best Western breakfast before driving down to the beach. Aashish, Pern, and Gordon sipped coffee at Agua Java and ate at La Bahia.Gordon Windsurfs

The wind was strong and reasonably consistent at the beach. The beginner rigs were reserved for a new batch of beginners, so Aashish, Gordon, and Pern had to rent smaller boards with larger sails: two 4.1 meter sails, and one 4.3 meter sail. The Three Amigos took turns sailing with the larger sail, which felt a little out of control to them with 20 MPH winds.

Jay, Dana, Freddy, and Pamela rented boards too, and Jason arrived late in the afternoon to sail his personal rig.

All ten of us met downtown at the Waterstreet Oyster Bar for a huge dinner. This was our largest Windaddict crew to date.


In the morning Jay, Dana, Gordon, Aashish, Pern, Jennie, Jason, and I attacked La Bahia for Sunday breakfast. As usual, we ate large amounts of food for small amounts of money.

All of us except Jay and Dana returned to the beach for a few more sailing sessions. Like Saturday, the wind blew in the 20 MPH+ range. I felt lucky to have such strong wind three days in a row. I love planing!

I had noticed on Saturday that my downhaul line was getting frayed near the knot which holds it to the mast extension. Having heard rumors of Spectra line, I upgraded at Worldwinds. I'm not sure if it was just the newness of the line or the magical properties of Spectra, but the new line seemed to make downhauling much easier. The stuff just slithers and slides over the pulleys with no resistance. I'm going to claim that a Spectra downhaul is worth every penny of $6. Why wrestle with rigging to save $2?

I was on plane the entire day, sometimes even a bit overpowered on my 6.5 meter sail. At the peak of the wind, I didn't have to work hard to make the fin lose its grip in the water. The slipping fin was a new experience for me, so it was a bit fun, actually.

I attempted a few chop-hops with varying levels of success, and also tried a little down-wind sailing in preparation for eventually learning a real high-wind jibe. One or two of the chop hop tries seemed to work, I think. I'm sure I'll be looping in no time...

The kind folks at Worldwinds surprised me with a gift before I left: a Worldwinds gift certificate. They apparently wanted to thank me for getting so many people interested in the sport of windsurfing. Don, Angie, Olivier, and Randy are great. I feel undeserving: the Worldwinds folks are so generous with their time and knowledge. All I do is point my friends in the right direction (Worldwinds!) and tell them tall tales about my adventures sailboarding. Thanks guys!

After spending some quality time on the water, Jennie and I ate dinner at Island Italian. The life-size cutout of Elvis on the way to the restroom still startles me. If you ever visit, you'll get scared by Elvis too. The food tasted delightful and filled us right up, a perfect ending to another successful Corpus windsurfing trip.