The Good… The Bad…

by Ernstoff

The Good … I had a really wild day of sailing.
The Bad … I’m already back in Los Angeles

It was fortunate that I got real early start from LA, so I had time to rig two sails before the wind “came up.” I rigged a 5.0 assuming the wind would blow as forecasted and a 6.0 on pessimism. I was somewhat pessimistic because for about half an hour after I got to the lake, I was the only sailor in sight. I initially got on the water with my standard Lopez sailing six-square-meter sail at about 11:00 AM. After one run, I abandoned it for the five meter sail. After a few runs I came in to flatten the sail to reduce its power. After another few runs, I came in to switch from 105 L board to 92 L board as the wind was getting in under the bigger board and lifting it out of the water. Next I came in to substitute bigger fin to prevent loss of control with spin-out; then did not need to worry about the drag of a bigger fin slowing me down. Even then I was radically overpowered. I really should have taken the time to rig my four meter sail, but every time I pause to rig smaller, the wind usually drops off making the change pointless. The big guys (180 lbs +) were out on five meter sails, and they were fully power up. I was just trying not to get hurt when flying from the tip of one swell to the next. The wind was strong enough to keep my board on a full plane as I carved my turns and became airborne (me and board) after the sail flip.

About 3:30 or 4:00 the wind finally died down to the point where I could make my jibes. However, as I was wearing the watch I used in Texas two weeks ago, I thought it was 6:00 PM and time to quit. In reality, I could have taken another hour to sail, but I’m not sure it would have been good for my body.

The bad was undoubtedly the result of an insect bite. Early in the evening, the big toe on my right foot began to feel like it had a small cut possibly from a freshly cut toe nail digging into the skin. Tired, I hit the sack at 9:45 PM, but as the evening went on, the pain increased, and by midnight, the throbbing was so bad I was ready to take myself to an emergency room; no way was I going to sleep with that pain. Kaiser help line suggested I take ibuprofen, ice it, elevate the foot, and see a doctor the next day… today. The ibuprofen helped, and somehow I managed to fall asleep sometime after 1 o’clock. At five AM, awaken for some reason, I found toe better but still far too sore to sail. I figured that as long as I could not sail, I might as well start driving to LA so as to beat the morning rush hour in Santa Barbara and perhaps LA. I made it home in about 3.5 hours including stops with a delay due to sewer construction near Will Roger’s beach. At home, toe felt nearly normal and I thought to myself … dam-it … I should have waited it out. Later I learned that I really didn’t miss out on that much as the wind didn’t come up until about 3 PM.

Bottom line… wear sneakers not sandals when setting up and taking down gear.


Categorized in: Haulass Hotline, Lake Lopez