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Author Topic: Spooky Session  (Read 436 times)

PonoBill

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Spooky Session
« on: September 18, 2020, 08:43:44 PM »
Is it Halloween yet? I was getting ready to go up to my shop when my phone rang--it was Admin telling me he and Chan were gonna do a session. We've been under a blanket of dense smoke, like smoking 30 packs of Camels a day if you go outside without an N95. For the last week and a half I've been using double cartridge P100's with charcoal inserts just to go to the grocery store. But with a west wind blowing it was clearing to something more like 5 packs of Camels a day, so doable!

I beelined for the event center, and with the wind picking up it was clearing out nicely. the gusts were kind of nutty but baseline a lot lower, so I put on my 1150 for cruisability and pumped up the 5.0. I was overpowered and way overfoiled in the gusts, but good in the lulls. The wingfoiling was fine, but the atmosphere was strange. It was dark and getting darker--and it wasn't even noon. We got about 30 minutes of nice foiling but it started getting darker and the wind was flukier. I looked upwind (downriver) and I could see a lot of white. Either a lot more smoke headed our way or rain. Given how dark it was getting, rain seemed likely. a solid band of rain in the Gorge kills the wind like flipping a swtch so I was a little nervous being all the way across the river and downriver a little past the White Salmon bridge. As I started to jibe a lightning bolt hit the water in front of the hatchery--at least thats what it looked like, though it must have been further. It took a couple of seconds to hear the thunderclap--which was super loud. I blew the jibe and fell in. Shitty timing.

I got back up and beelined for the event center and the lightning picked up nicely. Strange looking horizontal bolts, and a few hitting on the washington side. I got almost to the jetty and the wind died on me. I tried to pump in, but eventually touched down. Chan was swiming her board and wing in, Mark (thatspec) was walking his gear out of the water, and Admin landed over on the sandbar and was walking his gear over. There was one lone kiter down in the water about 50 yards out. The rest of them bailed before i figured out what was going on. Clever boy.

It was fun while it lasted. On the plus side the air is clear. The forecast for tomorrow looks good. 13 gusting to 20. I'll take it. Not only can we wing foil, it will also keep blowing the smoke out. It's a good thing--I've been getting on Diane's nerves.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 08:50:06 PM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Admin

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Re: Spooky Session
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2020, 03:44:42 AM »
How about that temperature drop?  I was pretty oblivious to the darkening sky with all of the smoke but it got cold fast.  That also didn't register immediately but that first clap sure did surprise me. 

Sunset last night was clear and beautiful Oregon again after a surprisingly good afternoon soak (maybe 1/2 inch of rain?).  So nice to have clean air back. 

Man, did it feel good to be back in the water!  It was great riding  just the 4 of us and I thought the condition was surprisingly good.  Chan and I had rigged 4.2 and 3.5 but it picked up and I grabbed the 3.5 and she pumped a 2.8.  Sweet.  Really fun direction to the far side swell.  Something oddly cool about winging around in the clearing, warm, smoky air with that amber glow. 

That will be a standout session in the memory of a standout summer.

Chan

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Re: Spooky Session
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2020, 08:32:05 AM »
That sure was fun!  I looked up lightening tips when I got home.  We missed on all counts but it was great to be flying again. 

Thatspec

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Re: Spooky Session
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2020, 08:46:17 AM »
After a week of zero visibility and no foiling, I was more than willing to risk air quality in the 150 range. That session was probably only like smoking two packs :o Promised myself I'd start heading back at the slightest hint of a wind drop and still had to paddle in 100 yards. Glad everybody made it back without too much drama.

Definitely feels a bit safer with a wing in a lightning storm than with a kite up ;)

 


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