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October so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz
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Member#: 6644
Location:
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 2273

10th October 2016
Windsurfing: Gruissan
Wind Direction: NW
Wind Stength: 15/25
Surf / Sea State: flat
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: sunny and warm
Max Speed: 30.81 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 83.7 km (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Monday 10th October – Windsurf ***** Gruissan – sunny and warm :)

My best session of the year :)

30.81 kt max, 28.66 ave., 83.7 km, 26.46 n/mile ( 10 n/m over 24 kts) 20.64 Alpha, 21.38 kt hour (year PB) Second hour 19.12 kts :) Out 2hrs 15 mins non-stop.

F2 Ride 282 with Tushingham X-15 7m – wind NW 15/25

Another top night at our lovely spot at Port la Nautique woke to more sunshine with a light breeze but surrounded by flamingos, Mags back a fraction better so she did her exercises outside while I gave it a miss. With this being the fourth of four breezy days I was keen to try my favourite spot in the area – Gruissan but was nervous telling Mag my plan as she absolutely hates the tight concrete chicane you have to drive through to get on the beach as I caught our van on it when it was new :( Drove to the end where the windsurfing shop is arriving at eleven with light airs and not a windsurfer in sight, just a couple of stand up paddle boarders setting off from the canal half a mile towards Port la Nouvelle. We sat at the end watching crested larks, gold finches and sparrows before heading to the supermarket for milk and cake. We then had to bite the bullet and try the chicane, with Mag guiding we made it in safely but it was only then that our trouble began as the long track around the etangs to the beach is in a horrendous state with more potholes than road! A German towing a trailer over took us like a bullet out of a gun! Once on the beach the sand is really hard packed and great to drive on :) We usually park at the end of the etang fed canal near the sea but a large digger had just finished digging there and the smell was bad and there was mud everywhere so we reversed out and had to continue further and park on the beach. The locals, mainly towing trailers in cars and small vans, just drive across the sand even though it looks soft, and reverse right up to the water’s edge! We are way too heavy to try that and I have been stuck too many times to risk it so we parked by the road to the kiting spot about 400m from the sea way better to be safe than sorry. There were now 6 cars parked in a line but only talking going on as the only windsurfer out was floundering:( Mag and I walked down to the sea for amazing views for miles down the beach and enjoyed watching 3 what we think were Knots (small waders) feeding on the water’s edge running in and out of the water.
I checked with the locals about the wind which was gusting to 13 kts and asked what was going to happen, they were rigging 7.8’s and were optimistic that the wind would pick up in the afternoon. I returned to the van for some yummy French bread. At about two the wind was increasing so I took my board to the water’s edge with gusts now to 20 kts it was time to rig, I nearly went for 7.8 but was not keen to go this big so picked the 7m which works really well with the 282 and hopefully would be faster. It was lucky I rigged smaller as the wind had really picked up gusting easily over 25 kts!!! With the water being super flat close in the 7m can handle loads of wind, my plan was to try for an hour then have a break. I started off heading to the Gruissan breakwater before turning and flying 2/3 miles down to the kiters section where the etang enters the sea, my guess was that 8 runs down here would be an hour which wasn’t far out. I was holding my own against the other windsurfers, even passing a few - not bad for a board nearly 20 years old! The really floppy leached race sails and modern slalom boards might have been a bit slower to get going but were a few knots faster once up to speed. Considering their set-up £3000/4000 against my £500 I think I will stick to ebay and old kit:) I did have one panic when I again hit the bottom and crashed out about 3 miles from home but luckily my gear survived – I thought I had gone through the sail!!!
My first hour passed and I was having such a great time I stayed out, sailing in the end 2hrs 15 mins not bad for an old timer with a bad back with this being my third day on the water! I tried a few speed sling shots into the choppy water but was only going 30kts and it was faster for me heading down the coast towards Port la Nouvelle with a beat back. If you reached back you ended quite a way offshore once you reached Gruissan. But the 3 mile reach back in the rolling swells and sunshine is just the best thing – everyone should sail Gruissan at least once!
The two paddle boarders I mentioned earlier had gone all the way to the etang but the wind picked up as they returned and it took them a couple of hours to walk back:(
I called it a day and headed back to Mag, who had been for a walk over to the etang at the back of the beach and round by the canal. We had a cuppa and cake and packed up with only the journey off the beach to contemplate! We slowly bumped our way back to the chicane and with Mag guiding we got off the beach safe and sound but she showed me her hands which were shaking!!! She said although she loves the place she doesn’t want to go through that again!! If we come again perhaps I will have to park at the end and swim my kit across the canal (which I have done before) but we do love parking on the beach, perhaps a miracle will occur and the chicane will disappear and the track will be repaired but I think that is just too much to ask!
Back to our lovely space by the etang at Port la Nautique still surrounded by flamingos to de-sand the van ,wash and watch the most amazing sunset while Mag knocks up a top carbonara:) Top top day and we survived the chicane of death, the wind is supposed to drop tomorrow so might have a sail in the etang before we have to start thinking of heading home:( Still can’t complain as we have had the best time :)
PS would love to get the Felixstowe gang out here to enjoy a day like today – we would have a blast!!! You too of course Patrick Depoorter!!!



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Toys Used:
F2 Ride - Limited Edition 282
Tushingham x-15 7m
Mystic Yourizoon Shortie xl

 

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