Session 5 - Sailing Naked (well sort of)
Pacific Ocean Pistol River
The day started with a clear blue skies and a light breeze from the north. By 10 am the fog had rolled in, but was holding offshore and scudding south rather quickly. We arrived at the beach about 10:30 to see larger swell than yesterday (with some bone jarring closed out sections). The tide was super low and wind was building but held with a wind line just outside of the impact zone.
Then it happened - wind filled in and tide was high. The party started. I took to the water with the same set up as yesterday and was slightly underpowered. Then wind jacked a little and was perfectly powered on the inside and slightly overpowered on the outside. Nice to sail small gear three days in a row (with two coming on the coast).
With the waves being slightly larger I took off the PFD and sailed ‘naked’ the rest of the day. This was after getting surprised by the last wave jacking to over head high while I was moving out at half speed - at first I though I could punch out over the last set wave, but it jacked fast and high and at the last minute I through my gear and dove into the wave. After a very long and punishing swim chasing my gear all the way down to the river mouth I decided to leave the PDF in the truck and sail el fresco. I tested my floatation with just the 5/3 and harness and it was OK with some air in the lungs. Once going I was surprised at how much wind I felt on my chest and back - it really did feel a little like I was sailing naked! That wasn’t the only swim of the day - but the others were easier once the PFD was off.
Caught some rather large waves backside and a couple brief frontside.
Some nice jumps today - one fluttering loft that sticks in my mind! And a few others on higher speed outbound runs.
That day saw some rejections, saw some swimming, saw some air time, saw some overpowered sailing, saw some underpowered sailing, but overall it was 100% fun.
The day ended with Burrito Bombs and Dairy Queen – not quiet Hood River fare, but the company more than made up for it!
Quotes of the day:
2) Compliments from one of the BWD crew for charging outbound and some nice jumps.
3) Honking horn - after I cut off Kus entering the grocery store parking lot at the end of the day.
Me: "On a scale of one to ten for Pistol River how would you rate today?"
Wind was more on-shore than yesterday, a little variable at times (likely due to the fog) and had some shifts, but overall was really nice strong and solid.
Waves were bigger than yesterday. On the inside there were waves well over head high at times, with some breaking and closing out. On the outside the water had more wave to it and was larger. The lighting was a little eerie on the outside when you sailed out close to the fog bank. More challenging today for sure!
It seemed like the Big Wave Dave tour had booked Pistol River today as it was the BWD Oregon Coast Tour out in force - stoke was high!