Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Better late than never.

I've been back and forth to Sandbanks a number of times this fall hoping to score one of them gem sessions that the place CAN deliver. Unfortunately, amongst the bad calls on my part, bad forecasts and ultimately the lack of strong winds this fall, I've never managed to get it... until yesterday.

My cold weather tolerance is definitely on the decline. It was 5C and 25-30knots and had blown reasonably strong from the SW since a day before. Was it good? It was awesome!! Bummer about the cold and finger that seems to have frost damage...

It was a great time sharing waves with some mates from Montreal. Those guys have a ton of passion, will to drive for conditions and resilience to cold. We started at Outlet Beach and sailed in some side-on conditions for a while. The cold and gloves quickly sap the strength though... A couple hours later, we packed it up and went to MacDonald's farm.

Let me tell you about MacDonald's farm: We should have gone there right from the start. When its working, that place rocks - and it WAS working. Down-the-line bliss.

Geek Coastal Engineering talk:
Simply based on the size of the Great Lakes alone, it is actually impossible to find true side-shore conditions, since we actually don't get true 'swell', as it is often called by many. In engineering terms, 'swell' is a term to describe waves that result from distant storms that travel large distances to hit shore. The Lakes, while big, are not big enough to get swell, but we get 'locally generated seas', which are waves that result from storms/winds on the spot. Because 'seas' are created that way, the wind and waves go in the same direction, contrary to say Maui, where swell comes straight in from the north and winds come from the east = sideshore. The only way we can get sideshore conditions in Lake Ontario is with the added effect of wave diffraction (or wrapping), based on shoreline features and effect. This is what happens at MacD's.

So, yup, we arrive, rig and feast like pigs on probably one of the only front-side days any of us will get all year. It is a true shame it is such a rarity. Give me once a week on 4.7 at Mac's and shit - I'm picking up and moving right there.

OK, yeah I admit, it ain't Maui and not even close, but for a bunch of kooks from Ontario and Quebec, it feels pretty damn incredible.

Did I mention it was cold?

Props to the Montreal crew - Amine, Hugues, Ilan, Jean-Francois and Christian - for a great time.


James Court said...

nice one . . . 5 degrees C is not nice tho, I lasted a total of 30 mins last time I sailed 5 degrees.

Fish said...

I suppose my layer of blubber and thick pelt help a bit, but not as much as I would hope. There's gotta be some perks for the back hair dammit. ;)

Erick Gonzalez said...

Well the nice thing is that unlike Maui, you don't have to contend with 50 other windsurfers for the same wave... then again, 5 degrees... no surprise you have the place aaaaall to yourselves.
Once again, I salute you. But tell me you weren't one of these kooks crossing the open bay on a day like this.. or maybe I have to find out where they sell these invincibility rings. I guess like the one Gollito has (hey, the guy broke his shoulder in Jeri a couple of days ago btw, I hear)

Fish said...

Nope, not such a feller. It was the kiters doing that- and they were wearing full OR bag drysuits, so would have survived the long float in. The windsurfers were only going as far out as necessary to get back upwind to the waves after riding them in so far/downwind.

It looks like there is another strong wind day coming up on Sunday. This time 3C. I will have to pass on that!