We arrived at the cabin in Shell Lake WI about the same time, the four of us, in two cars, each coming from different starting points. Synchronicity, I suppose. Todd and Sherry drove together from Oshkosh WI. I drove from Cambridge WI with Jerome, Sherry's ex husband, who met me at my place after driving from Milwaukee. We all got late starts for a variety of reasons. In Jerome's case, sleeping through both alarms he had set and holiday traffic were the culprits. In any case, we all got to the cabin about 3 pm.
The weather was superb, sunny and mild with a light breeze coming off the lake from the southeast.
"Perfect wind surfing weather," I said to Jerome as I turned onto the spur of road connecting Highway B and East Lake Drive, off which my family's cabin is located. That is where the lake comes into view and I could see the ripples on the surface indicating a breeze. I breeze is great for beginning wind surfers, because too much wind can be overwhelming at first and no wind is pointless. I have an old school long board wind surfer with a large canvas sail, more like that of a sailboat than the semi-rigid sails on more modern smaller wind surfers. The large sail is great for medium to low wind situations because it grabs a lot of the wind's power. That is why, when it is too windy, the sail becomes unmanageable. One should think of the sail as a wing, like on an airplane. It works using lift and the bigger a plane wing is, the more lift it has. Thinking of lift as power, a bigger wind surfer sail is more powerful and so more wind makes it all the more difficult to control that power.
After we got to the cabin and unloaded our gear for the weekend's festivities, I got the wind surfer out of the shed and put it together down by the lake. I secured the boom to the mast and the sail to the boom, then screwed the mast into the board, tightening the frictional bolt peg as far as I could. I took the wind surfer on its maiden voyage and the wind was just about perfect. It was a little bit too light for an intermediate sail boarder like myself, but I knew it would be superb for my compadres. They all took a go and did pretty well for beginners, starting to get the hang of it by the time a warm front started rolling in and the wind actually died to almost nothing.
Jerome did the best, getting himself out into the middle of the lake before his strength ran out and he was unable to return to our beach. I kayaked out to him and guided him on how to limp/drift the board to shore. Then we switched vehicles. He kayaked back to our beach as I deftly took the board back "out to sea" and then positioning myself appropriately, turned and sailed back to our beach. Todd spent some time getting his sea legs on the board too and he was getting the hang of it before the wind died.
We then cooked a mighty feast at the cabin. I write this as I repose on my sleeping back prior to going to sleep. Tomorrow is the BW(owo)M bike ride portion of the weekend. We will ride our bikes about 50 miles round trip from the cabin to Stone Lake WI, stopping often for libations and northwoods WI food. We will lunch in Stone Lake, then weaker riders may opt to take the support vehicle back to the cabin or ride the return trip. I will be toting a 40 watt bike boom box on my bike rack for pumping out the jams loudly.
More to come so stay tuned.