8 Articles

Who Mastered Who?

Sometimes you master the wind…


And other times the wind masters you…

No victory for the underdog, the wind and the waves were a formidable foe that gave little and demanded much.



Just Like Riding a Bike…

… you may never forget how but your muscles may remind you how out of shape you are.

It is the first evening of vacation. The wind is acceptable and the sun is fading. Part of me wants to find all the parts to the windsurfer and get out on the lake for a ride. The other part of me tries to speak some sense into my brain, “You’re tired, it’s going to be aggravating to scrounging for the parts and then assembling them amongst the biting flies will be torture, why don’t you wait?” Considering all of the pro’s and then the con’s I decide to assemble the board, despite the pile of gear, biting flies, and a couple “ufff, forgot how bulky this was to carry” phrases.

Windsurfing Lake Superior

Enduring the effort and fly bites was worthwhile just to have such a great picture taken to commemorate such a wonderful first evening out on the lake. Perhaps even better is I managed to sail BACK to shore :)

As the blog title goes, I didn’t forget how to windsurf but my body sure reminded me of all the muscles I hadn’t used in the last year. On the bright side, I slept like a rock that night.

Counting down the final days of windsurfing

Yesterday I walked out of the office and realized that the wind was blowing and it was a beautiful fall day. The leaves were almost completely turned colors and the sun was out. As spontaneously as the wind blows I decided to cancel my plans and head off to Sunday Lake. By the time I arrived the wind was calming into a light breeze. Not knowing if this was the last hurrah of the summer I setup and went out anyway. The breeze was light and gusty but just enough to move me around. The sun slowly dipped behind the western hills and created a luscious orange sky for me to enjoy as the evening drew to a close.

The following day the same thing happened today, except this time I made a mad dash for the lake. Everything was ready from the day before so I just had to pack a few things and head for the lake. On the way I picked up some hamburger to cook after I finished wind surfing. I called RJ and asked if he wanted to join me. He didn’t windsurf with me but enjoyed watching as it brought back memories in his mind.

The wind was awesome. It was one of the better days for wind surfing. The wind was a tad gusty but there were plenty of moments for me to lean against the wind as the board skimmed across the water. The board moved just like a boat gaining speed to plane across the water. My arms were dead tired as evening drew near but I pushed, or rather pulled, as much as I could to enjoy the rush.

The evening was cloudy and not as picturesque as the previous night but I did share the lake with 50 or so geese who were flying south for the winter. After dusk started RJ and I made a fire and cooked the hamburger. While I was out on the lake he went and got some condiments to go along with them. It was a blustery but fun evening and we stayed well past dusk talking and enjoying each others company.

Windsurfing in a large puddle

Well, Sunday Lake in Wakefield, MI is more than just a large puddle but I had to have a sensational subject. I went windsurfing today on a spontaneous moment because the wind was blowing rather fiercely and it was too nice of a day to pass up.  I didn’t want to go alone but the harder I tried to find someone the more alone I became. So against better judgment I went by myself.

The lake was too small to generate any sizable waves but the wind was blowing fiercely. It was awesome because it was almost too windy to up haul the mast! My arms got tired in a hurry and I wished I had borrowed the harness to help support the sail. I hardly took the dagger board up because some of the wind gusts really pushed me off balance. I never thought of wind surfing as a high speed sport but there were a couple times where I was thrown hard off the board.

Note to self: Having the sail lower on the mast makes it easier to up haul.

After a couple trips back and forth across the lake I took a break, cooked some bratwurst, and had a short nap. The wind was so fierce cooking over the open fire was like forging metal in a blast furnace.

After a respite I headed out again. The wind was starting to become erratic with more lulls between the gusts. It gave me a chance to practice sailing with the wind. It was easier without the large waves of Lake Superior but the strong wind made it hard to control the sail when headed away from the wind. If the breeze was just right I could catch the wind and sail well but any sort of a gusty or strong wind made it very difficult.

Wave after wave after wave after wave….

This weekend afforded me the chance to go wind surfing. The wind was adequate but the waves were even higher than last time. Considering I didn’t want the waves to be any bigger than the last time I went this was going to be interesting. Windsurfing turned out well and helped build my dexterity on the board in rough water. I found that sailing with the wind was easier with the mast slid forward on the board but the waves caused me to sink when I went over a swell. Windsurfing in large swells with mediocre wind is doubly hard.

I finally have some pictures to show for the tired arms and achy back.

These were actually from the following day before the board was dismantled for the weekend. The waves weren’t quite as big and the lake was starting to settle down.