Monday, July 9, 2018

Silence in the Wind

Karpathos is practically my homespot for windsurfing, since I am there every summer, without much chance to windsurfing during the rest of the year. And that is, by the way, the reason I somehow put my soulwindsurf web reports on hold. But I didn't stop windsurfing. No way.

On beautiful windy Sunday, 8th July 2018, the weather forecast was not promising, announcing some 13-16 knots of wind. On the spot, however, it was more like +30 knots! After a nice breakfast I was in a hurry to start dancing with the wind, but while taking some staff out of the suitcase, I saw my helmet camera and the thought came - why not!

This is a 5 minutes unedited recording of one round "from here to there and back". Seemingly, there is nothing special on that recording - just some nice easy sailing from starting point in Devil's bay, over the reef and on, to the next bay without a name. I like the gentle sound of the wind in my ears, the turquoise shining of the see, and the sound board makes while accelerating over the small waves. It is a recording of the moment of silence I found out there, thinking nothing, just being, enjoying, celebrating, living...


However, just a note to few of my advancing windsurfing friends who asked me for some details of windsurfing in Devils bay, much has happened during this couple of minutes. For example, going upwind I had to clear the way for one windsurfer sailing back (1:40). He was on the starboard course (right hand first), and I had to slow down a little bit and head downwind to avoid collision. After he passes, I continue upwind. At the end point of the route, I just stepped down from the board. It is quite hard to gybe with 6,3 and 80 lit slalom/speed board, so I took a little rest while in the water, before water starting again.

On the way back I went through rather narrow passage between two rocks on the reef (4:30). The passage is 1,5 meter wide, water is shallow - 40 cm. But if you are careful, with smaller fin this can be done. The advantage of this somewhat risky action is that you can enter the area after the reef with more speed, and more upwind. Namely, that area is almost completely silent; no wind, just with occasional strong gust. If you find yourself there on a very small board, not going fast enough, you will be in trouble.

Anyway, I passed that area and started the speed run (5:10). Btw, max speed was 37,65 kt. However, if you are speeding on Karpathos you have to be very careful with the rest of windsurfing people. In the last part of recording, at the very end of speed run, you can see one windsurfer crossing my speed path, and than gybing back. It does not seem like a dangerous situation, but it was dangerous! Namely, it is not easy to change the course of the board at such speed. And you have to know that the right of passage in this situation is not with speedsurfers, coming fast downwind, but with regular windsurfer, being first downwind from speedsurfer, and then, after finishing the gybe, coming from the right side. So, it is on speedsurfer to clear the path, if (s)he can, of course. So, be careful while doing this.

If you watch the recording again, you will see that I had to first gybe left to avoid the crash, and than turn sharp right to safely return to starting point. 

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