Sunday, August 10, 2008

Windsurfing on Eld Inlet

Well, I'm back at my folks' house in Olympia, Washington, enjoying cool but beautiful weather and satisfying my strong nostalgia for the lush nature and liberal culture here. Thursday I went windsurfing on Eld Inlet, a small finger of Puget Sound accessible from our neighborhood, with my dad and his friend Rob from work.


The wind was 5 - 15 knots and very gusty, as it always is here on account of all the hills and the tall Douglas Fir trees. But my dad's vintage Mistral longboards handled the conditions pretty well. Dad and Rob mostly rode a Mistral Superlight with a 5.0 sail.


And I mostly rode a Mistral Pandera with a 7.0, many-cambered, deep-drafted race sail.


This was the first time I have ever used the Pandera like it's supposed to be used- i.e. it's the first time I've ever gotten in the footstraps and made use the adjustable mast track and proper "railing" technique with the daggerboard. Wow! I was really impressed with how fast the board could zip with the daggerboard down and mast track forward. It felt almost as fast as a formula board on a plane. I think Rob might have gotten some video, so I'll see if I can post a youtube thing later. Anyway, it was a great way to start a vacation.


On Friday I couldn't get dad to sail with me, but it was quite windy by Olympia standards (10-20 knots) so I went on as long a cruise as I've ever made from our beach, all the way up past Cooper Point and into Budd Inlet. From there I could look south down Budd Inlet and see the Capitol Dome of downtown Olympia, which was cool.


Next stop, the Columbia River Gorge! I'll be there Tuesday through Thursday.


PeconicPuffin said...

James in the Gorge...can't wait to read about it!

Catapulting Aaron said...

hope it honks in the gorge!

Gorge Smurf said...

Looks like you'll be getting some wind tomorrow:


Outdrsmn said...

Gorge Report, Woohoo! I'm salavating. The wind has sucked since you left town. Actually, there have been one or two days but bad forcasts and bad timing has kept me off the water.

Paul said...

I was doing some searching and I came across you webpage. I am looking for parts for a windsurfing boards mastil Pandera.

Do you have any idea where I can find parts. I need a dagger board and fin. Also the fitting which connects the mast to the board.

Any help would be appreciated.

James Douglass said...

Hi Paul. The Pandera is definitely a good board worth keeping usable. I would contact windance in the Gorge to see about extra parts. The fin and mast base should be easy to find but the daggerboard might be difficult.

If that doesn't work, post your question on the forum.

Inflight said...

Old post, but very helpful. I'll be moving from Long Beach, CA to the Coopers Point area in the next couple months and I want to know what equipment to bring or trash. I'm a big guy (close to 275 lbs) and haven't sailed much in the last few years, but I have over 25 years of gear with boards ranging from 90L to 180L and sales from 3.5m up to 10m. My Formula board will probably end up in the trash along with some carbon masts that are well beyond their natural life.
That leaves me with some nice Transition and Longboards (Mistral Escape, Mistral Vison 150, JP 150, Starboard 135, etc) that might work well. I can handle gusty conditions, no problem, but I don't think my sinkers (anything less than 135L for my weight) will do well. I will probably never get back to the bump-n-jump wave sailing of my youth so I guess I should leave those behind.

Any advise on beach locations, sail & board sizes that are popular, etc. are appreciated.
(My house is very close to Evergreen College, but not directly on the water.)

James Douglass said...

Hi Inflight- Like most places in America there is woefully little public water access to Eld Inlet. The college has a spot called the Geoduck House at the end of Sunset Beach Dr. NW, but I'm not sure what the parking situation is there. There are a couple of spots on Budd Inlet that could work. Boston Harbor Marina is one. Hope you get some good sailing on those beautiful waters!