Burloak Park - First time out in 2015
Lake Ontario Burloak Park
Start to a 4 day weekend, forecast SSW 20kt+, air temperature 15C - First warm day of the year. What could go wrong? ICE!!!!!
I drove around all day in my local area looking for a spot. Hamilton Harbor has ice in all the wrong places, lots of open water but not accessible. I did find an open spot with a brutal launch with a step rock embankment on Hamilton Harbor that was ice free. A tiny parking lot called "Bayshore Park" in between the golf course and La Salle Marina. I've considered this spot before, but never had the need since CCIW is much better. As I rigged up I noticed a massive slab of ice (with all these birds on it) moving my way. After waiting about 20 minutes it made its way right in front of me and ground to a halt. I'm glad I didn't go out because it would have blocked my exit out of the water. On to the next spot...
I ended up going to Burloak Park between Burlington and Oakville on Lake O, I have been meaning to try this spot. Wind direction was SSW 18 gusting 25kt at its peak when I was there. The waves weren't huge but they were definitely bigger than what I'd normally get at CCIW. Wind direction was decent at cross-shore.. I rigged up and launched just to the left of the rock embankment with the lookout.
The bottom is mostly slab pieces of rock and is extremely slippery. I was a little cautious looking for rocks as I'm new here. I only saw one massive one about 10m off shore. There seem to be 3 sandbars here (rock slab bars?) and you can touch the bottom out a lot further than I thought. I headed out and started planing just after passing the embankment. Definitely have to keep upwind here as trying to exit the water further down the shore seems to have a lot of large sharp rocks to wash up against.
Had a slight mishap during an uphaul where my mast foot somehow slid out of the track and my rig became detached from my board. I've never had that happen before, maybe it wasn't tight enough... Of course this happens when I am as far as possible from shore, about 600m or so. I took it off the extension, screwed it back into the track, sat on board and muscled the rig back on. That was easier than I thought it would be. Kept sailing for a little while and had fun. I'm quite rusty after having a few months off and need to work on balance.
For SSW this was decent. I wonder how it would be on a straight SW. I will have to try it again. If sailing solo I would opt for Hamilton Harbour over this location. I'd rather not get blown down to Toronto if I run into trouble. However if sailing with a friend I would try this location again. Wind seemed less gusty than in Hamilton Harbour and I do love Lake Ontario.
Lesson learned: Ensure mast track is tight.