by Spennie the Destroyer
August 21, 2010
Man, am I having an expensive season! To wit:
Gorge trip, June 25, 2010: Met a friend of a friend, Elliot Solway, there, and he invites us down to use his private launch at “Club Shred”, about 1 1/2 miles east of Doug’s Beach. I’m having a hard time of it, due to the terrible gustiness of the Gorge winds, but was trying to make it work with our 5.6 Hucker. I had just jibed on the outside, and was trying to get going again when the wind shifted during a particularly vulnerable moment, swinging me into the sail with my knee, and popping right through it. Managed to limp back with the top 1/2 of the sail, and was only about 6 or 7 miles away from the Sailworks loft, where we picked up a new Hucker and got the old one repaired, then sold it the next day.
Gorge trip, July 1, 2010: Finally find some good wind at Roosevelt, and have gotten dialed on a 4.8 Hucker. The mighty Columbia is super-wide at Roosevelt, probably 3/4 of a mile across, with some nice rollers starting 1/3 of the way over. I’m on my second reach, on the way back and in the exact center of the river JSA (just sailing along) when SNAP! My mast breaks just above the boom. My good friend Dan Cole sails up & we spend the next 45 minutes taking turns towing each other back to shore, using either the body drag position or the waterstart position. It’s arm torture either way, and later I buy Dan a highly overpriced (Oregon) bottle of Macallan Scotch for his efforts.
Leo Carrillo, July 26, 2010: Went to Leo after work & met my friend Dave Freeman. Rigged a 6.5 Retro & went out. A beautiful day, sunny & clear, birds are singing –SNAP!– my mast breaks at the joint, about 3/4 of a mile from shore. Why I rigged with a 10+ year old mast I’ll never know, it just Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. You’ll have to ask Dave why we were sailing so far out, I was just following him. He helps me de-rig in the chop and takes my boom, and I spend the next 1 1/2 hours side-stroking back to shore while the Lifeguards spend that time getting a jet-ski there from Zuma Beach. One finally strokes out on a giant paddleboard and helps tow me in the last 75 yards or so, but I’m so exhausted the next day that I have to call in sick.
Leo Carrillo, July 21, 2010: Get to Leo & discover that a fairly decent swell has moved in overnight. Rig my 6.5 Retro, since the winds were very light again, what a surprize. Barely powered, but just enough, and most of the other guys had gone in already, so when I’m coming in & find myself lined up for a big set wave, there’s nobody else to worry about. I catch the wave & ride it to the end – I have both feet out of the straps because I’m on a 94 liter slalom board with almost no wind so it’s impossible to ride a wave feet-in. I’m far from a radical wave sailor, so I stay mostly on the shoulder, but it’s fun as hell, since the wave is about 7′ on the face, my biggest ever. I make the kick-out cleanly, but the gear’s all backwards in the water with no time to get it started, and I get worked by the rest of the set. The mast snaps in 2 places, just above the boom AND at the joint, and 4 or 5 battens are broken on my poor abused Retro. I also took a mast hit to the head, right on my right ear, which apparently tore my eardrum a little. At least this time I was close to shore, and wearing my ProMotion “Kite Vest” PFD.
Send your donations to Spennie the Destroyer, c/o Wind Junkie, 1234 Snapmast Ave., Brokeville, USA 91320.