>Well, Ken Poulton and I had our eyes opened the weekend of the fourth to
>the joys of Santa Cruz sailing near the Santa Cruz lighthouse on
>Saturday. I had the pleasure of sailing the Natural Bridges State Park
>on Sunday. Both days were light on the inside and massive on the
>outside. On Sunday, it was 3.5-4.2 on the outside. I tried to sail a
>5.5, on the theory that I could stay close to shore and not get caught
>far out. It was a bad theory, because in close the wind was more like
>6.5, and there was a distinct windline where 5.5 was only good for a 100
>yards or so before getting overpowered.
Glad you enjoyed it, it certainly is a joy to get away from the diluted
sewage in the Bay don't you think?
Also, the big chop is more fun don't you think.
>I also discovered that there is something far worse than the weeds of
>San Luis: kelp.
Aha! you didn't stay upwind!
> It stops your board dead in its tracks, wraps around
>your body and restricts movement, and it gives your imagination - if you
>tend toward the paranoid as I do - plenty of time to conjure up some
>Great White fish fantasies.
Don't even bother trying to water stsrt in the kelp unless you can find
a clear spot where you can get completely free of the kelp. It does however
offer a nice haven where you can rest awhile without being blown downwind.
By the way, with practice, you can power your way right through the kelp.
Go fast, stay in the straps, keep your weight on the back of the board,
and close your eyes.
If you get snagged with your weight too far forward, the board will slow,
the nose will dive, and you will sumbarine right under the kelp.
>that is 200 x 200 yards in size gave me some time to keep repeating to
>myself "Sharks don't like kelp. Sharks don't like kelp." :)
Well as a matter of fact, sharks do go in the kelp, but don't worry,
they havn't eaten a windsurfre yet (yet!)
>Finally, we gained plenty of respect for the surf. In what looked like
>baby-shorebreak, we saw two guys snap their masts in two on Saturday.
>If you are not at least an intermediate with rock solid beach and
>waterstarts, you don't belong anywhere near Santa Cruz, even on a day
>with very small waves.
Sure, you need to be able to waterstart and get back to the point you started
from. Getting blown downwind can turn into a big *** problem.
The key thing in getting through the surf without getting hurt is as follows:
1) Always stand to the side of your board. Don't get between your board
and the beach. A wave can easily smash your board, so don't ley your board smash
2) Keep the sail out of the water. Always keep the sail in the start position
and concentrate on keeping the nose pointed dead into teh waves. Waves will push
your board this way and that but concentrate *** keeping the board straight.
3) When you lose it (as you surely will), hold on to the boom, and/or the
end of the mast so that the waves pick up your board and slam it up the beack
board first, followed by the rig.
Rig first versions of this tend to break masts, booms, and sails, but
board first wipe outs have always been survived in my case.
4) GEt past the beack break before waterstqrting if possible. Only sail out
through the surf line if you have no alternative. At WAddel you have to sail
through but by the time you hit the waves, you should have good board speed.
5) When landing, it's easier to avaoid the waves than actually get on them!
I've found that I actually have to try pretty hard to get on a wave just as
it starts breaking. It's much easier to outrun them as you can easily sail
faster than a wave.
6) When reaching the beach, get out of the water FAST. hold on to the boom,
grab your back footstrap and pull out of the surf pronto. A nice big wave can
bury your sail in about half a ton of sand in about two seconds and it's
hell to extract it.
>Now, the questions:
>1) Are there some windtalker numbers for Santa Cruz locations?
No but Ski Shop Santa Cruz won't mind a call though they'd prefer a visit.
>2) Does anyone know of an Internet source for the Coast Guard buoy
>reports? Since both days the pattern we noticed was weak wind inside
>and incredible wind outside, this makes me think that the buoy reports
>off-shore are going to give much better indicators of sailing conditions
>than the on-shore windtalkers. True/false, in general?
The wind is generally from the N or NW and as you may noy have realized,
Santa CRuz faces south. Accordingly much of the bay is sheltered from the
ocean breeze. Lighthouse point gets the first breeze, Natural BRidges
generarally a bit more, and Davenport and Waddel get the full blast.
The inside sections at the first two locations are ALWAYS light and it is not
uncommon to have to swim out quite a way to waterstart a 4.7.