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March so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member Details Session Description
Toys Used
Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1869

11th February 2018
Windsurfing: La Franqui
Wind Direction: NW
Wind Stength: 10/30
Surf / Sea State: flat
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: Mainly cloudy
Max Speed: 32.54 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 2 (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Sunday 11th February – walk **** windsurf * La Franqui – mainly cloudy. Wind NW 10/30 :(

32.54 kt max,. 18.61 kt ave., 1.94 kt hour, 0 mile, 3.60 km., 0 alpha :(

F2 Ride 282 + Tushingham Lightning 6.5 + Gull winter suit.

What a great night in the van, much milder too and peaceful as the wind had dropped only the sound of gulls and Flamingo’s. Mag looked out the window at 7.30 and despite the cloud the sun was just starting to come up, so I was out with the camera and tripod to try for some sunrise pics. My trusty Fuji X-S1 is playing up a bit not focusing sometimes, perhaps the dowsing in snow has buggered it up. Perhaps it’s time to bite the bullet and upgrade the bridge camera, I quite fancy the Fujifilm X-T1 a mirrorless camera, weatherproofed and made for travel but I would need a couple of lenses so would be expensive but I get my pension in October and its only money! After yesterday’s epic drive todays plan was to relax perhaps check out the beach at La Franqui and things started according to plan. Lazy start followed by breakfast, Mag even managed to mend the water pump yet another pesky fuse! Then after breakfast headed to a small supermarket for water, bread and pushing the boat out - a rotisserie chicken! A quick trip around Port La Nouvelle where there is a lot of work going on and the beach carpark is under water but did see a Ragadon (that’s a Coypu to me and you) in a canal:) It was then on to La Franqui speed strip by the wooden jetty, it always makes Mag nervous driving on the beach but we made it OK and had it all to ourselves apart from a couple of land yachts/kite buggies. Went for a lovely walk - me taking pics of the jetty and huge trees washed on the beach while Mag collected shells in a gentle onshore wind. Then on returning to the van for a chicken baguette the day started to go wrong the wind swung 180 degrees and picked up so sailing was on. I got a bit twitchy now, Mag knows what I am like when I have to get ready - rushed baguette, untie boards off roof get sails out of top box find wetsuits, fins extensions as all under ski stuff, always seems awkward the first time but Mag helped a lot:) With winds gusting 20/30 mph and being there by myself sail/board choice was a nightmare, I was going with the 5.8 on the 80lt but the wind dropped so went bigger my 6.5 and 115lt. Suit on, Mag had trouble getting the zip on my winter suit done up but I was ready to sail at 1.40 just as the sun was coming out and things were looking better despite some waves breaking up the beach so not ideal conditions. The wind was very up and down and I had a job to get going but sailed away in the end even if not comfortable. After planing for 500 metres I turned back but the wind seemed too north and was pushing me offshore which I am not keen on. I sailed quite a way past the jetty, turned and headed back making it to the jetty where you could bear off. Not sure of the depth and with waves breaking it was not great, then some big gusts hit and I soon hit 32 knots but it was a bumpy ride. Then things went really wrong, my mast snapped in a strong gust, when I bobbed back up my board was heading out to sea, luckily I managed to swim after it but it had been badly damaged with the mast foot ripping out and a large crease in the bottom, looks like the end of my favourite board:( I was also lucky that after only swimming a minute or so I could touch bottom as was able to walk ashore but a long way from the van! I derigged and started carrying the rig back which was hard going, I do hate it here at La Franqui, my gear’s just not up to these strong gusty winds! Mag came to meet me and carried the rig back to the van while I walked back to retrieve my board! A half a dozen cars/vans had arrived by this point being hoe/skippy/jumpers and foilers but they struggled in the up and down winds even the foilers were only going in patches. So, it was time to pack up. I managed to get everything back on the roof and we headed to Leucate in search of a windsurfers shop to see if I could get another 4.60 mast. This disaster has really put a damper on my further windsurfing, the 282 might hold out if not sailed in too extreme conditions but I definitely need a bigger mast. As it is Sunday the four big windsurfing shops are closed so we check the camper aire which had a few in and is right by the beach and hopefully free as the pay machine has been cling filmed up! After a quick spin along the seafront we park up, hang the wetsuits out to dry in the breezy night and have a cuppa and more chicken. Tomorrows supposed to be windy and sunny so will try La Franqui again, if the conditions are not too extreme I will have a go if not there is always the etang near Bages? Looking forward to getting back up the mountains much less stressful!

Photo Gallery Here

Toys Used:
F2 Ride - Limited Edition 282
Tushingham Lightning 6.5
Gull Delta L



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