Our CORPSE of Engineers also used to chase us off our local lake when it
got windy, but their attitude changed slowly as they saw these trends
1. We'd rescue other sailors, or at least go help them ashore, when
someone got blown away or broke down.
2. We've helped boaters in the same situations.
3. None of us died, even though we had to occasionally physically some
hypothermic sailors off the water despite their macho protests.
3. They saw more and more of us having a great, self-sufficient time in
extreme wind and cold, without requiring any organized rescues.
4. Our beach behavior was exemplary -- cleaning up the area, no noticeable
drinking, no rowdy behavior, respecting the rules -- as opposed to the
groups the were used to.
Windsurfers now have strong respect from the Corps and the state park
officials, and we thus have complete access, anywhere, any time, to any
water in the state where any boating is allowed. Even if the parks boat
launches for a rescue at our biggest lake, there's no charge unless we did
something really irresponsible like going out in a gale with beginner
Have the Nevada saiors shown windsurfing videos to the officials? How
about letters from the California lake officials that have "caught on" to
the safety of windsurfing since their early bans? High-wind demos didn't
overly impress the officials at Lopez, Elizabeth, the O'neil Forebay, etc,
but time and experience and organized efforts brought them around.
We were at Bird Island at Corpus Christi years ago watching a black (this
was way beyond blue) norther approach. It was a pitch black wall thousands
of feet high coming at us from the NW, and we could hear it long before we
could feel it. But WX Radio had alerted us: it was a 60 mph blast coming
right at us, and we were rigging 3.0s as fast as we could, looking forward
to our first good wind for days. In the midst of our exuberance a park
ranger skids his patrol car to a stop, and hollers to us, "You guys know
what that is coming at you? It's a wall of 60-knot wind. You'd better ..."
We were devastated. We just knew his next words would be "get off the
Instead, they were "rig your 3.0s!" And away he went, chuckling. It's all
a matter of experience and attitude. He knew from years of watching many
sailors of many skill levels in extremes of weather that Bird Island is
almost foolproof. When you can walk back from almost as far as the eye can
see, it's hard to get hurt.
And when the Nevada rangers observe more sailing with little danger
they'll come around. It's up to the rule-benders on one hand, and the
oprganized educators on the other to convince them of its safety.
Have the Nevada officials contact New Mexico's officials, and Utah's, and
California's, (I don't know about Arizona's attitude) and they might
rethink their paranoia.