Mark's WindLog for Tuesday January 29, 2008 , 11:30p - 3:30p

3rd session in 2008
Sailed at Black Rock Park, Lake Buchanan
Wind from the NW (mph)
        Lulls: 10
        Average: 23
        Gusts: 35
Rated a 9 of 10

Board: RRD FSW 110
Sail: 5.3 Severne Blade
Fin: MFC Freewave 31cm
Suit: O'Neill 3/2 Evolution
Water Temperature: 58 F
Air Temperature: 75 F

I couldn't decide whether to go to Lake Travis, or try something new. Forecast was 20-30mph from 11a-3p. I was leaving the driveway @ 10a and there wasn't any wind on Lake Travis. I decided to travel north to Lake Buchanan. When I arrived, a friendly older gentleman in a golf cart greeted me just past the entrance to the park. $3.00 to enter. He said, "there should be enough wind for you" which I took as a good sign. There were whitecaps on the lake already, but the peninsula created a wind shadow, so I parked at the end of it by the cabins. It was a very clean park, and I was the only person who entered all day, except park staff. Well, I was the only person on the lake all day too. More on that later. The cabins helped shield the increasingly strong winds while I rigged. There was a grassy area in front of them which was nice. I rigged conservatively, since I was not sure what the wind would be like getting out past the peninsula to the main part of the lake. I had my Cross 117/ Severne 6.2m2 rigged and a 36cm super cross fin. I went out and had no problem staying upwind. Winds were pretty strong. And when I got out to the main body of the lake, I started getting spanked. The water was cold! Good thing the air was warm. So, I decided to come in and put on my 10" Freeweed and max out my downhaul. Better, but, as I got near the center of the lake I was getting spanked again. Hard. The wind was building. So, I went in fueled up on half a sandwich and some Vitamin Water. I thought I forgot my 5.3m2, but luckily I did bring it. Rigged it up and went out. The chop was starting to get huge in the main part of the lake. My teeth were rattling with the landings, so after a little while I came in and switched out my board for my RRD 110 FSW. I was a little worried it would be sinky around the launch site, but it was fine. As I got out closer to the center of the lake the board/rig combo was perfect. I was dialed in, and in control. There were some great ramps, and there was what I would call summation swell. The were some swell-like chop that was at least 4 feet trough to crest. What fun it was to ride down it, or gybe on the bank of the face of those waves. I was having a great time in the center of the lake until a noticed a drop in the wind strength @ 3p. The chop was still fierce, but the wind was dropping by the minute. I headed back slogging and pointing as well as I could while the board was sinking under me during every lull. The were times where I submerged the whole board only to rodeo and have to fall in to windward on my way back to shore. It soon became clear I was going to be downwind of the launch site where I started. Sailed it parallel to the site, but I was still a good 200 yards downwind of the launch site. There was no one on the lake. Not one boat. No one in the park except the old guy in the golf cart. I decided to swim it in, but I was directly downwind. There was not enough wind to stay on the board for long (let alone point upwind), but it was strong enough to blow my rig and me downwind. After saying a few bad words, and making a few promises, the wind returned strong enough to waterstart and sail it back in, thankfully. I was pretty cold and tired. Shortly later, the wind shifted to a more northerly direction and was filling in a good 20-30mph, but I was not going to risk it again alone. It was getting later in the afternoon, and I was also tired of rig changes. I was glad I went today to check out Lake Buchanan. The swell was great, and I loved sailing my small gear... but you better have a floaty board or back up plan if the wind drops if you are alone.