"When in doubt, don't go out!" But we did... (35kt gusts)
Hamilton Harbour CCIW
I remember that line for "Beginner to Winner" DVD. Do I listen? no. Well that was smart. Fought traffic for 1 full hour just to make it from Oakville to Hamilton Harbour. When I arrived the smart sailor (Oliver) was packing it in while me and Chris decided to go out. Looked about 20-25kts SW so I rigged a loose 5.8m and headed out. Chris on 5.5.
RIPPED across the Harbour fully powered. Tacked and headed back. Having so much fun........ About 300meters or so from the launch things started getting sketchy. It begins to get really dark, rain started and we both got flattened by a 30kt wall of wind. Gusts read 35kts at the Burlington Piers, but had to be a bit more than that. OF COURSE the wind now shifts WNW so to sail back to the launch I must be sailing really far downwind... Impossible in this wind. My other option is to sail across the wind or slightly upwind but that will take me straight towards the breakwall (a dangerous spot even at the best of times). At this point I'm still super calm because I've already cleared the bird island and worst case scenario I'll just drift back to the launch. No lightning spotted so I'm safe and totally warm in my 6/5/4.
We floated around for a while, both pretty calm and just waiting it out. I see Oliver turn on the headlights for his vehicle... Ahhh the beacon of light to head back to!
Chris got in first. It took me about another 15mins. I was trying to waterstart but was getting launched every time. One time I got going, but lost control and my sail and board did a few flips through the air. Never front crawled so far to get to it!! Eventually I got back, everybody including myself laughing and smiling.
We stood on the shore and watched the madness for awhile. It died a bit so we flattened our sails and headed out again. We got some really good runs in for about 15mins then the wind totally died and we slogged back.
Cut my foot nicely on my fin when trying to waterstart. Then cut my other foot on a rock. Well, if my foot falls off due to the Harbour's water I'm sure another one will grow in it's place. I'm up to date with a tetanus shot - In late August I crashed on a catamaran while racing and got 4 stitches in my head, had to get a tetanus then which worked out well timing wise for today's fun
All in all a fun night. Just when I thought I owned this launch mother nature reminded me she's in control. Wish I had gopro on cause that would have been some gnarly footage.
I'll be back tomorrow night to battle the ever frustrating NW wind direction.
Big waves (for harbour), high and shifty winds, probably a squall.