Sometimes a warm winters day isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's been pretty cold this winter. While that has been great for ice sailing; I still prefer soft water sailing. So when this weekends forecast was for the low 50's we couldn't help but get excited.
On Saturday I tried to take Segue for a sail, but could not get past the ice that blocked her path to the open water. Sunday the wind was expected to be NW, 15-20 with gusts to 25. So we were all pretty psyched. Kevin left me a voicemail the night before..."I'm going out early, and hitting this thing"
The problem as pointed out by Mustang Steve is that a cold north westerly might not touch down to sea level if it gets too warm. Too warm!
Well we did get to sail. But not all day. Early on site reports from Pete R. and Kevin O. on Gilgo, and West Meadow, were that both spots were not filling in. I received a call from Steve D reporting that Rich who was at CIB, was rigging a 5.0. But it didn't look hopeful. 20 minutes later he called again "I had to leave. My sailing window was only till noon, but now it looks like it's picking up again." “ I didn’t want you to miss a session because of me” The word was out. I headed for Centre Island Beach.
As I arrived I noticed I was driving behind Mustang, and Pete R. I didn't notice that Peter L, Florian and Brook were right behind me.
We all rigged 5 something’s and headed for the water. The first of us out had about a half hour to 45 minutes of sweet 5.5 wind, and hip high swell. Then it just stopped. You would not have been able to plane with a 7.0. Next the outgoing tide pulled all the water away. Since CIB is usually sailed on a Nor Easter, low tide is usually not a problem. The NE wind piles all the water up in the western sound. But now, with the wind shifted a little more west, the opposite was occurring. It looked like it just wasn’t going to happen. After a half hour of bullshitting on the beach, someone; I’m not sure who, made the call to go to Stehle.
Stehle doesn’t really have any waves. But it can be sailed in WSW through NE. Plus it has decent chop and swell. We all de-rigged as fast as we could,
It must have been quite a sight. A convoy of 10 trucks pull up. Out swarm 12 drysuit clad men. A mad rigging frenzy ensues. We are all rigged and out on the water, within 10 minutes. Blue Harbor Cat is snapping away to record the event. All is good. Until the wind starts to get sketchy again. It’s about 4:30 now so most of us pack up. It’s been a long day. For some of us, this is the third spot we have driven to in hopes of a session. As I get ready to leave I notice that Kevin is still out sailing. Sometimes on a Northwesterly, as the sun goes down, and cools the land you get a nice wind surge. And K dog is counting on that. But I never like to leave a man out solo. Especially in February.
I decide Kevin is competent enough to solo, and I start to leave. My cell phone rings, it’s Steve D. “Hey Frank, what size sail is Kevin on?”. “Where are you?” “You just drove right past me”. I turned back to find Steve hoping to get some sort of a session in before dark. I checked the back of Kevin’s car to confirm he was on a 5.8. Helped Steve rig his 5.6. and drove home knowing that they both would have a nice sunset session, and a full moon to de-rig by.
Here's one from BlueHarborCat.