After once again driving to a few promising spots where the wind died, I end up at Crissy just to check things out. The meter was reading 18, but it can be much windier than the sensor reports. People were rigging pretty big, so I put together my big kit: a 5.7 and a 104L board. It started to look pretty windy on the outside, but it was hard to tell for sure, since there was a pretty healthy 4 knot ebb going.
I went out and had a few reaches perfectly powered up. Didn't miss a jibe or a tack. I was really feeling it. At one moment I remember thinking "Best. Crissy. Day. Ever!!!" On one of my reaches heading toward the beach, I felt myself cross the wind line so I jibed to head back out to find wind. This was my first mistake. About 200 yards ahead I saw a couple guys slogging in the spot that had the most wind. It took me a few minutes, but I realized that we weren't in a lull. The wind was done. kaput. sayonara. hasta la vista. I tacked and started slogging back toward shore.
When I started my long slog home, I was probably half way across the bridge. The wind was about 8. The swelly stuff was challenging, but I was doing fine because there was some power in the sail to counterbalance. Then the wind dropped down to 0-4 knots. The bumps all the sudden became a lot more challenging. A big tour boat cruised right past a few of us struggling, full of tourists, excited to see us get completely beat up by it's wake. We went down like 1 - 2 - 3 as the boat passed, it must have been pretty comical.
The next 45 minutes or so, I was in uphaul hell. It really was a throwback to those first 10 windsurfing sessions. Every time I was able to get the sail up, I had no power to move forward or even balance. The ebb was bringing me toward the Golden Gate Bridge with pretty good speed. I started feeling pretty unconfident about getting home, and jumping in to swim didn't seem like a great idea since I didn't think I was going to be able to beat the current. So I continued to slog/fall/uphaul. I was getting pretty tired, and I had forgotten to bring my thick wetsuit, so I was getting a little worried since it was a chilly day. After a few moments on the verge of panic I rested, turned around and saw the bay littered with kites. Ok, if I have to get rescued, a bunch of others will as well.
So I made it in eventually, about 200 yards upwind of where I launched. The guys who got picked up by the coast guard got to the parking lot at the same time, but I was happy to get home mostly under sail power. The scariest thing that happened was a couple of huge sea lions popping up 10 feet from my board when I was teetering along. I don't know much about these creatures, but I found out that they have pretty big teeth right then. Toward the end my calf muscles started to cramp up and I was falling in all over the place. One of these days I'm going to get on a stretching routine before I sail. It really would have helped out today. I swam the last 100 yards or so, when I got to the no-wind-zone behind the bridge.
And so there you have it. Another shitty day at Crissy. Why do people love this place again?