Monday, May 21, 2007

Saturday 19th May

Niton again. This time with 5.0 on the Guerilla. We sailed in the morning for 2 and a half hours leading up to high tide. The decent swell that had been forecast never really showed up, but the waves were still good fun, even though it was just windswell. I would love to sail this place in a proper groundswell.

The pic shows that the launch is a touch trickier on high tide, especially if a set comes in and there is a surge. Basically you walk your kit down the slipway in the pic, swim it round the corner and towards the post mid-right pic. That is when you find out if you have the right sail up. It's not that kit-threatening in the waves we were in - bit bigger today, some overhead, maybe even a few half-mast lumps out the back. Good for a few big backside hits on the way in, then a quite fast bottom turn on the inside hoping to find a peak to hit.

There were some surfers out where the wave was smaller, but a little cleaner, but it was difficult to get onto the point to drop-in without taking out the line out and the wave was not so peaky once you had done your bottom turn which meant a fairly lame top turn. It was actually more fun to leave that section to the surfers and ride in front of the channel where there was a little sandbar which meant the waves were breaking and you could get a couple of nice smacks in.

Strange local in the car park.

Heading back up the track, looking West to the lighthouse on St. Catherine's Point.

It is a very scenic place to sail, when you are heading in the lighthouse and cliffs make a wonderful vista. You are also quite aware that there is a lot of water moving around and you are that much further out in the channel. The rolling swell out the back gets big quite quickly. Coming back if you miss the channel, then you have another chance about 100 yds downwind, then there is a point, then who knows where you would end up - almost certainly with a hike of shame as the next road access is quite a way away.

Two good sessions in two days and with plenty to time to do family stuff on Saturday. The Isle of Wight is a great pace to take kids, there is an absolute stack of things to do.

Friday 18th May

From Boardhedz
Niton near St.Catherine's point on the Isle of Wight. Sailed with 5.4 on the Guerilla, well powered (although it didn't look it) and with some small waves around, although it actually looks quite good in the picture above.

Here is a view from the car park down towards the sailing area. You walk your kit (unrigged) down the path to where there is a small grass area where you can rig next to the harbour. There is no beach as such you have to swim your kit round a breakwater in no wind. Interesting, but then all the best spots are a pain in the arse to launch from.

J launching out through the channel - heading towards low tide - easy.

J on fun sized wave.

The view from Castlehaven caravan site looking towards the sailing area - you can just make out J and Clive in the background. This is an excellently located site, it is beautiful, and there is nice little cafe there. But - on a pretty good forecast there was noone staying there. The guy needs to work out a late deal offer including ferry then advertise it on the windsurfing forums.

A good day, but better was to come...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tuesday 8th May

Took the afternoon off and sailed at Littlehampton on the Guerrilla 78 and 4.2 Session. Having persuaded Bill and rod to come over, of course there wasn't much swell around. As the tide came in there were some decent sized lumps to do some onshore frontside 'riding' but it was all a bit short period and undynamic. Nice bit of wind though which meant you could go a long way downwind in search of a peak.

The picture above is of East Beach Cafe designed by Thomas Heatherwick, which is currently taking shape, it makes a great landmark when you are sailing against the backdrop of white Regency townhouses (when you are out at sea you can't see how rundown they are).

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Monday 7th May

Surprisingly good session at Pagham on the Session 4.2 and Guerrilla wave. Waves were coming in in waist-high sets with the occasional bigger shoulder-head high ones. They weren't in long lines but you could bash out a good top turn, as the shingle bar has moved around a fair bit and the waves seem a bit more 'hollow' and punchier - relatively speaking of course :). Sometimes you got lucky and could connect a couple of sections for a 4/5 bottom turn ride.

Wind was a touch offshore and a bit gusty, like F5-F7, but never too manic.