Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brush with Bonnie

Tropical storm Bonnie was pretty mellow as far as tropical storms go, but it brought some fun windsurfing conditions to Fort Pierce, Florida yesterday. I caught a session in the morning when the wind was from the Northeast. It was averaging 20-25 mph, but there were some serious ups and down associated with squalls passing through, as you can see in the wind record from the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant, about 10 miles South of where I was riding.


A bunch of kiters were out but I was the only guy windsurfing. I used my small 83 liter waveboard and a 5.5 sail rigged with plenty of downhaul. I would have preferred a smaller sail in the puffs, but the 5.5 handled them ok and was nice to have in the lulls. I wasn't quite feeling my sea legs so I didn't try any big jumps or tricks, but the scary looking clouds and rain and a leaping shark added a bit of drama to the helmet camera video. The music is "My Electric Eye" by the Chemical Brothers.

Windsurfing Wind from TS Bonnie from James Douglass on Vimeo.


Snowy Guy said...

Thanks for the report. I like your blog. How can you find so much time to write up good reports there, hold down a full time job and windsurf/kite is beyond me.

Catapulting Aaron said...

20-25 seems like 4.7 would have worked. I thought you loved the 4.7?

And Snowy, James is a scientist, so he can just claim all this blogging stuff is research.

James Douglass said...

Snowy- Thanks. I'm efficient.

Aaron- I do love the 4.7. But it was onshore and flukey with lulls below 20 so 5.5 was the call. Also, somehow I don't think overcooked Florida wind packs the same punch per mph that cooler wind does. Seems like I read that somewhere and there was a sciency reason for it.

Snowy Guy said...

A kite instructor once told me that cold, heavy air makes for a more power packed wind than hot. The theory is based on the density of the air, but I just can't accept it. I don't think the differences are that dramatic.