As my regular readers have noticed already there has been a unique weather pattern in the north of Germany for the past 8 weeks. Constantly winds from the east veering to NE on some days. Strong winds, mostly between the 5 Bft mark, building up to 7 Bft over the day due to thermal effects on my home water. A heaven for the windsurfers.
Friday, the day after my last post I was blowing "like stink" again and I was bored not to abel to go sailing with the Moth. Do not want to frustrate myself and do not want to break something before Kieler Woche. Therefore I took my old windsurfing gear out. Used the Litewave 2,65 slalom board, made in Cornwall some 19 years or so ago. My biggest fin (35cm) to have some grip and pointing ability and the 4.7qm Gunsail. The locals had found a nice new spot, only a couple of days ago, just 2 minutes by car from my home. Awesome. I took a while to put the gear together. Way too many options in mast steps etc. It was a good evening out though a bit short as we expected guests and I had promised some BBQ work. There was only one guy who could beat me in speed and my jibes were smooth. But when we decided to round the red buoy, marking the shipping lane, I wiped out. I decided that I would go again. It is like bicycle riding or skating, you do not forget about how to do it.
Saturday, the day which made the difference: I decided to sail the Moth early in the day, before the thermal would start to become strong. Some maintenance work was necessary before going out. A shackle, which looked strong enough for the vang had bended beyond repair and the ropes were getting tired. The morning session on the water was good though I am still miles from doing a foiling jibe. I try to steer smooth into the jibe but ones dead downwind and stepping over, the boat heels a lot to the leeward side. I am just not quick enough or organized enough with my body movements. Old bones and weak muscles are not ideal for quick reactions. But I am still sure I am getting there. It was one of the reasons to buy a Moth to learn something new everyday. The first steps were easy, straight line foiling, but what you can see now from experts like Rohan, Simon, Bora or Chris on the internet (You Tube) is difficult and takes some time for a newbie like me. I was so motivated that I did put in another session late afternoon. I had learned a little bit about to use the "elevator". The rudder which can be adjusted, like a pilot does. I also trimmed the sail harder and better than any day before and I got good speed as a result. Forgot to switch on the Velocitek on the shore and did not want to destroy it in the water by opening it for the on/off switch. It was really good to put in some hours. It showed me where to improve not only in sailing but with the clothing before Kiel. Need higher neopren boots, long arm top and should wear gloves with long fingers. Lot´s of chafing on the body parts which had not been covered.
Sunday, K. and I first took the Bull for a nice cruise until we hit the ground (softly into the mud) and than we turned back home and gave the much abused boat a good wash and cleansing. She (the boat!) should be OK for the Wednesday night race. After that K. wanted to spend some time with her brother and the little one and I took the Moth for another ride. Wasn´t a real good one. Maybe too many onlookers or sore bones. Did capsize 3 or 4 times which normally shouldn´t happen anymore. Got a glimpse of how a good tack could be but always slow out of the maneuver, which costs dearly.
Monday there was a sign of a weather change. First day with the wind from the usual West quadrant. Gusty. I rigged the Moth again to improve in the changing modes, foiling and low riding. Young Adrian showed up with his Europe Dinghy. I was able to beat him to the weathermark but he beat me big time at the leeward finish. After that we changed boats. A little bit small this Europe Dinghy for me. Adrian enjoyed a couple of capsizes and a little fight with the Bladerider. He did not give up but was not rewarded with a flight. The wind had gone down further. Next time young chap. He told me that he now understands why I did spend so much time in the water the first days on the Moth. Good guy.
Tuesday, K. is running the Opti course at one of the local clubs but again today there is too much wind for the beginners. White caps all over the place. Wanted to meet a friend out on the water who has just finished work on his used Contender. Doubt that we are both able to show up with our dinghies.