I guess it's still April, after all

Started by rfrance0718, Apr 24, 2024, 10:13 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


I had an interesting 5 days.
The kids sailed in an 14 team regatta across town at our sister club. They'd sailed there the week before with winds out of the WNW at 12 1 14 with gusts to 20. This time the wind was out of the exact same direction with winds at 16 with gusts to 28. The kids did fine. There were a few capsizes, but they're kids. One skipper did get a gash and a lump on his head, climbing back into the boat. I was happy that his father, a physician at Columbus Children's Hospital was there. He understands the concussion protocol and took care of the stitches. The temps were in the mid 50's.

I raced the Laser at our club. The temps were in the 40s with water temperature at 58. It was a predicted to be a moderate breeze and I left the wetsuit at home. It turned out that the puffs had a little more punch than expected and I death rolled before the race. It was a fairly long race, but I stayed upright and won. Unfortunately, my bare feet were turning blue and I started shivering the minute the race was over. No second race.

The kids practiced in a beautiful moderate Northerly, with sun, and temps near 70.

Laser racing. It was a bit breezy with a front predicted to roll thru at 7:30. We started at 6:00 with the idea of having a few races and getting off the water around, or a bit after 7:00. We were just starting the 3rd race, a bit before 7:00 when the front hit, hard. It was coming from the West, while our lake is a narrow North South arrangement. We had 30 mph gusts, which dove down over the trees and didn't allow anytime for planning. I made it to the weather mark in a huge gust, turned down with a couple of boats in front of me, and enjoyed an incredible downhill blast. I managed a good gybe at the leeward mark and got the horn. It seems that the boats in front had spun out or capsized on the way down. I had been a bit too busy to notice. I capsized shortly after the race. This time I was wearing the wet suit, but I was still shivering by the time the boat was put to bed. The temps were in the mid fifties, water still just below 60.

Temps at 50 when we started, down to 45 in the end. The breeze was a beautiful 12 - 14 right out of the North.  We did drills for 40 minute and then raced for an hour, plus. Funny thing how cold one can get sitting, doing pretty much nothing, in a 15 foot skiff for 2 hours. More shivering while we put the coach boats away. I'm sitting by the fire as I write.

The kids are racing in Detroit on Lake St. Clair. It may not be a Great Lake, but it's 26 miles wide, looks like the Western Basin of Lake Erie and acts like it as well. Breeze is predicted to be a 16 kt Southerly with gusts to 30. It will be a bit lighter on Sunday with temps in the high 60s and even the 70s on Sunday. Less cold, more wind, more waves.

May begins.


You may ask if they would actually sail if it's gusting to 30 kts in a big lake.  Good question. 420s are beamy little boats with small rigs and a high boom. All of the teams had to qualify to be there and all are really capable seamen. The club is a man made pennensula that juts out from the Western shore, so there is some protection just North.  With the Southerly they can sail there, perhaps. All the kids have to have dry suits and must wear them if mandated. I would hate to be the one sending kids out in that, but I never say never.


58F water temperature would nice.  Offshore a couple miles doubt if we will experience that water temp until July if at all.

Warm feet are important.  Couple decades ago in April it reached the mid to upper 70's with solid F6 winds.  Too tempting to pass up a high wind windsurfing session on L. Sup.  Unfortunately the smallest board owned was and still is my sweet 86L wave board. Not enough high wind days up here to justify a real high wind board. Grabbed the 4.2M sail and headed out to Thompson's in Washburn,WI. Onshore SE with some serious shore break. In the harbor the surface water temps was a balmy 39F.  All the warmer water pushed to this side of the Bay. 5/3 Steamer and 2mm full booties. Focused on the shore break didn't feel the cold.  Just the excitement. Epic, nukin L.Sup conditions. All was fine until I missed a jibe ~30 minutes into the session. Major cold water bootie flush and ice cold knife of water leaking through the zipper of the should have retired 5/3.  Body chill wasn't bad.  The feet went sort of numb. 2mm was too thin and now cold flushed. I don't windsurf very well when I loose board feel. Couple jibes later I crashed again. Common sense kicked in. Waterstarted and headed straight back to shore. Only a 45 minute session. Painful feet once the blood started to circulate. 

Captain Kidd

You guys astound me. 50 and sunny is my low end. As I get older the body doesn't seem to be tolerating the cold as well.


Quote from: Captain Kidd on Apr 26, 2024, 11:18 PMYou guys astound me. 50 and sunny is my low end. As I get older the body doesn't seem to be tolerating the cold as well.

My cold tolerance has dropped significantly. Days like today I sort of regret not moving to Maui in '02. It's the end of April and todays high looks to be 3.4C. Windchill knocking it down below freezing. Not sure if it is due to aging or wisdom with age or just too many cold discomfort moments experienced or all the above.  Definitely not wiser according my family members. I guess 2 of 3 v. all.


So they raced all day on Saturday. 8-10 for the first set, and then it came in. Solid 16 with gusts over 30 knts for the rest of the day. The RC reported regularly and later in the afternoon I heard 34! The top teams horsed the boats around like it was no big deal, All of the teams finished the day with only 3 DNFs for the afternoon with all teams finishing the last set. (nobody quit for the day) Our kids finished all of the races and didn't capsize. Great seamanship, but tail end finishes.

Today, racing was delayed for some lightning, then fog, and no wind. They sailed one set, 2 races each, medium wind, and they were right in the mix. Evelyn and Gavin took a 2nd in the last race of the series. (nosed out of first by inches)

Riley Smith

I agree with that sentiment Dale! I'm not into cold at all and anything below 70 OAT is usually OUT! If the water is too cold to get in with just shorts and tee, it's too cold LOL. Happily, the water is beginning to warm up nicely down here. The pool is beginning to feel GOOD, not freezing cold. Often on an excursion, swimming is a definite plan, so it won't be too much longer. (I was worried about working through another Dixie summer but just may take this one off) :)