This time of year, you take what you can get with the wind. You chase it, you scrape for it, you slog much more than you would typically be willing to slog. Yesterday the wind came up for the first time in a week. First I checked out Crissy -- the wind was light and there was a huge Laser regatta right next to the beach. I then looked at the local wind meters -- TI looked good, but you can never be sure if people are going to show up this late in the season and it's a sketchy launch, especially for solo sailing. Candlestick looked good so I drove down that way. As I drove by, the conditions looked ideal for the Stick, but unfortunately I couldn't park because the 49'ers were playing a home game.
So I drove down to Haskins. It was full of whitecaps, which is an excellent sign there. The tide was going out, but it looked like there was enough water to launch. Another windsurfer showed up and we rigged up. I was on a 4.4 and my big board -- probably should have gone with the 5.0. When we got ready to launch, there was even less water, I walked about 50 feet into the knee deep mud and decided that this was probably a bad idea. The other guy coaxed me into giving it a shot. We ended up hiking about 50 yards to get to deep enough water through the thick mud. The wind was actually pretty nice. I could plane the whole time, but not very much upwind. I hit a couple of my best jibes ever, but ended up way downwind.
We started to realize that even way out we were running out of water, so I turned back to go in. After getting upwind, I ended up walking through about 300 yards of knee to waste deep mud. A couple of times I had to belly crawl out of holes that my feet were stuck in. It took a lot of effort, and my heart was pounding. There was one moment when I doubted my ability to get through the goop. If I stopped to rest, I would just sink deeper and deeper into the sludge. Eventually I made it back, and thanked my lucky stars.
Was it worth it? Almost getting swallowed up by the bay just for a couple hours of windsurfing? You're damn right it was.