The Block Island Times

Getting back on the board

By Daniel West | Apr 18, 2011

Over the last month I started to feel the itch to get back in the water. With every sunny day, every wind-blown weekend I grew more and more stir crazy. Finally this past Saturday, with the air temperature in the upper 40s and plenty of wind in the forecast, it became unbearable. I gave in and rigged up my windsurfer for the first time this year at the cut on Coast Guard Beach.

It seemed like the perfect day to do it: there was a 25 mile-an-hour wind to blow the cobwebs off my equipment and considerably large chop to shake the rust off my skills. It had been five months since my last go and there was plenty of rust to shake off.

I struggled through the two-and-a half-hour session only getting a few long sustained rides. The first sail of the year is always going to be difficult. My equipment wasn’t rigged just right, making controlling the sail more difficult. I also seemed to have lost my sea legs sometime during the five-month lapse since my last excursion, which made controlling the board a challenge.

It was still an enjoyable afternoon, though. Due to the wind direction at the time I decided to sail from Coast Guard Beach across the mouth of Cormorant Cove, which I did not do at all last season. It’s always fun to get out on a different part of the pond.

This time of year Cormorant Cove is home to what seems to be a colony of seals and it was cool although slightly unnerving to see their small black heads peek out of the water as I sailed by. The seals kept their distance but, floating in the water with these animals, which in many cases are larger than I am, gave me the distinct feeling that I did not want to meet one up close.

As the hours past the wind started to pick up and the temperature dropped to the low 40s. The chop being blown across the pond got even bigger making it tougher to control the board.

With my hands and feet completely numb from the 42-degree water and all the strength sapped from my arms I decided to call it a day. It wasn’t a bad first session and though I was slightly disappointed with my performance I’ll get the hang of it again. As the water and air warms up in the coming weeks things will only get easier.

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