Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Shame Walks for the Price of One!

The walk of shame is not something foreign to me. You might even call it the Aaron-walk. In the last couple weeks I've had two very memorable walks-of-shame.

The first was at the wall (pictured) in the Gorge. I was getting toward the end of a session and decided to go in, but I couldn't really identify where the launch I used was from a distance. I pointed up, under the assumption that getting downwind is normally easier than getting upwind. I ended up getting stuck in a really big wind shadow. The current definitely wasn't taking me downwind -- quite the opposite. I realized that I had sailed about half way between the wind line to shore. I was already tired so instead of swimming back to the windline to waterstart, I decided to swim to shore and do the walk, which seemed pretty short at that moment. I got to the beach and decided just to carry my assembled gear, since it was a downwind walk anyway (my first ever DOWNWIND walk of shame, is that some kind of record?). As I'm carrying my stuff through the small footpaths, I'm stepping on a lot of little sharp rocks, which is pretty normal so things were going fine. Finally when our camp was in view, I was walking along a sandy footpath. I stepped on a sandspur, whinced, brushed my foot off and took a few more steps. Each one of these steps included more sandspurs. I decided not to brush off and just keep going... Every step involved about 10 more spurs and eventually the pain took me off my feet. Fortunately, Ray Armas must have heard a four-letter word from the distance, and sent someone to bring me some sandals. I'm not really sure how I would have made it back without those sandals. I think the conscientious Cuban is going to do real well in the US. Thanks Ray, for saving me from my most painful AND first ever REVERSE walk of shame.

Yesterday was looking to be a good day at Crissy. The wind was up and the tide was ebbing until 4:30pm, so I knew I could get an hour or so in before the flood started. Unfortunately, all I had was my 104 liter board, because my 86 is at the doctor. I decided to stay on the inside since the big board was not going to be fun to sail in the voodoo chop. Other people there were rigging 4.5's and 5.0's, so I decided to rig my 4.4 since I was going to be using a big board. I sailed this setup for about an hour without incident on the inside. I wasn't making much progress upwind, but I figured that was because of the inside eddy-effect (when it ebbs on the bay, it can flood on the inside), plus I was a little underpowered. I came back in and warmed up in my car and decided to go out when the flood had started. I figured the eddy would have reversed and I would probably be in better shape to get upwind. It didn't work out so well for me. I was underpowered, tacked a few times and realized that I wasn't going to get back to the beach at all. I had never really discussed where to take out if I couldn't get back to the beach, but saw a bunch of skiffs docked by a seawall and gave it a shot. Fortunately there was a sand bar there and some steps that made it pretty easy to get back to the main Crissy launch. Only one other windsurfer noticed me doing the walk and he was sympathetic, so that was nice.

Lessons learned?

1. Look closely at the place where you launch from before you launch.

2. Never sail underpowered at Crissy.


George Markopoulos said...

The only walk of shame is arriving late to the beach and realizing you've missed it. There is no shame in trying

uglyjiber said...

Aaron, stop using up all your good stuff in the blog- and start working on 'Confessions of the Human Catapult'.