Saturday, August 22, 2009

No hurricane Bill for us...just beautiful sailing!

The weather report called for 60% chance of storms with an approaching front in the Gulf. I waited until late in the day to set sail from the launch at Bishop Harbor. It looked as though most of the bad weather would stay off shore, and it did. I sailed out into the bay with a light 8-10kts of wind from the WNW.
I found a few nice holes in the grass flats to try out my new fishing rod. I had a beautiful Red Fish follow the bait and just when he was about to strike, he spotted me and took off. I fished for a little while longer and then just spent the rest of the day sailing. I spotted a couple of bottle nose dolphin, a school of rays and followed a three foot shovel nose shark for a few minutes through the grass flats.

It was a nice relaxing day on the water.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Just a " Day Tripper"

After getting some things done around the house Saturday morning, I decided to take the Expedition Windsurfer out for a short trip. I headed to one of my favorite places to paddle and sail...Bishop Harbor on the east side of Tampa Bay. I was only on the water for a short time when a thunder storm started brewing in the east. You can see it in the background of this photo.

This portion of Bishop Harbor was at one time going to be a housing development. The developer had dredged up large amounts of bay bottom making dry ground to build on. The dredged ground looked like fingers sticking out into the water. This disrupted the natural tidal flow and also allowed for invasive exotic plants like the Brazilian Pepper and Australian pines to take over.

Recently the state of Florida bought the land and they have returned it to its natural form. They eradicated the exotic plants and replanted with natives making the area look as though it might have looked before the developer came along.
It appeared that the storm was going to hit hard but just at the last moment seemed to split apart right over my head. Here is a shot of a lightning bolt I was able to capture. It only took about 10 tries. This is why the Tampa Bay area is the lightning capital of North America.
This photo makes the storm look worse than it actually was.
I never did get to sail but the paddling was great.
Great Adventures,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Building Process

Yes, I should be much further along at this point, but I'm not.

Here is a photo of the board stitched together. I was actually at this point about a month ago, but decided to make some changes to the shape just before gluing. I discussed with Matt the changes and he felt that they would enhance the performance, both as a kayak and as a windsurfer, so we made the changes.

In the next step I will add a support form and the forward bulkhead and then glue the joints to keep the shape. Then next step will be to build the centerboard and fin trunk and install.
I just wish I had more energy at the end of the day to spend in the shop. It cant be old age setting in. NO WAY!
Great Adventures

Sunday, August 2, 2009

40mph on open water!

How would it feel to travel at speeds of over 40mph on a windsurfer? What would it feel like to crash at that speed? A friend of mine would know. I received an email with the results of the Maui V Max speed race. Here is the report and links to the official results.
Over 40mph on open water…WOW!

After a few days of light winds the speed gods blessed us with some nice moderate 25 knot tradewinds. As usual the wind was inconsistent coming and going as it pleased promply dropping as soon as the course opened. The Iwindsurf site kept showing gusts of over 30 mph, but these were not to be found on the speed course. Most sailors rigged something close to 6.5. Unfortunately at the most advantageous tide the wind was not co-opperating and when it did finnally fill in the tide had come up and the course started to get bumpy. The trick at that point was to find a stretch of flat water in amongst the lumps.
35 knots seemed to be the number of the day but then Erik Beale came in with a good run (wanting to get it logged in just in case of mishaps later). Eric's 37 knotter motivated the boys to get back out there and try a little harder. By 3:30pm the chop was getting quite bad and it seemed clear the best runs of the day were behind us. When Alex discovered Peter John had just beaten him by 1/10th of a knot he headed back to the water in a last ditch attempt to find a puff and velvet before the course closed at 4pm. Alex was unable to overcome the rough water and had to settle for his earlier 38.2 knot 100m run behind Peter John's 38.3 knot run despite having the highest peak speed of the day of 39.1. Erik held on to 3rd followed by John Smalley with another 0.1 knot margin over Tom Hammerton.
This was a very impressive day with the highest speeds of the year in all divisions. Carl Grundy put in an impressive 30.7 knots in the wave division and Tracey Harrap - the only womens competitor so far - just snuck over 30 with a 30.1 on some gear borrowed from Terry Alkemade. Chris Freeman competing in his first GPS contest in the wave division rewarded himself with a forward loop at the end of every run when he went faster. A good time was definately had by all.
It was a very international fleet with visiting sailors from the Southern Hemisphere Chris Adamson (AUS) and Terry Alkemade (NZ) as well as fellow Kiwi transplants Tracey Harrap and Peter John. The UK was well represented with 5 sailors, Erik Beale, Carl Grundy, Chris Freeman, Tom Hammerton and John Smalley. Olaf Sutor was the lone European competitor waving the flag for Germany. The fleet was completed with the two American sailors Matt Daniels and Alex "wear-a-hole-in-the-ocean" Aguera.
For full results go to:,july26clickforresults
Peter and Alex move to the top of the speed ladder bumping Pieter Bijl down to third in Open with Carl Grundy moving to the top of Wave:
Thanks to Dain, Marc, Ayesha, Chris, Liz and Anne for keeping an eye on things.