We are blaming Cliff for buying all that nice kit and chasing the wind away. As if that isn't enough, Warrick had to go out and get himself a new steamer. I think they will be buying the drinks for the forseeable future.
Actually, there is a nice SW approaching on Monday but accursed work will put paid to that. Just one day earlier, please???
Sat: We're going to take a little trip up to a dam above the Karkloof range called Craigie Burn. Just want to check it out as a possible location. It is about 400m higher than midmar and might just catch those winds that blow up there when midmar is quiet. Will let you know what we find.
Sun: Cliff swears he will be at the dam come sunshine or fine weather. I may go up for the social and old times sake but it is starting to get a little chilly for the old no-wind sailing.
Roll-on July / August. Come back wind.
No shopping this time, Cliff!! I want you there by 10h00 latest.
Congratulations to Des and Kerry for a brilliantly planned wedding. They have taken the advice in "Windsurfing Wedding Planner" to heart. Tomorrow is the big day.
Anyway, well done guys and have a blast.
For the rest of you - hope to see you on the water. Ciao.
Well, I'm going to stick with the original plan and head to the dam about 10h00 and then barrel to Durbs later if (a) the dam doesn't cook or (b) I'm feeling excessively committed!
Incidentally, it is a beautiful day in PMB!!! Great day for the Royal Show or..... or.... blasting at eye-watering, knee-trembling speeds over a wind-swept, churning, frothing surface. Yeah!
SAWB is still promising a 20-30knot NE in the afternoon at Durban but they could just be a bit behind since that is what the windmaps were predicting two days ago while SAWB was still convinced there would be a huge SW!
The windmaps are basically saying that there will be wind everywhere in the Eastern half of the country except a small region including Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Arrrgggh!! I suppose that means their maps only have to be out by a few 100km for us to get awesome wind!
I'm really battling to call it. The possibilities (slim, but not out of the question) are:
The Transkei was awesome. We had 3 days of wind but only braved it once. Check out the pics. Sailing and location report here
Yes, I thought it would be chilly at midmar on Sunday but it seems the water still hasn't cooled down that much. Alan was there sailing in a shortie so it is definitely still doable. I was in a 3/2 full suit and very cosy, almost hot at times.
The big thing, of course, is when the water gets cold and the hands and feet go numb. Anyone sailed in booties? Talk to me Capetonians!
I'm not making weekend predictions yet because winduguru keeps toying with me. We'll talk on Thursday night. Watch this space.
Not great pics from midmar unfortunately because the camera battery died after the first few slogs. It was good, though. I arrived at about 10h00 and it was already all white. It slacked off a bit and came back decently at about 11h00. Cyclic and a gusty but still some good 20knot sessions, I would estimate. The wind was warm and there was quite a bit of sun. In the end I sailed for 3.5 hours. Nothing wrong with that!
Going to get on Alistair's case about organising a windtalker for midmar. It is ridiculous how unrepresentative PMB weather is.
Haven't had a decent sail since Easter weekend. I know the S. Coast wavesailing underground has sailed during the week but the weekends have sucked!!! And for a moment it looked as if there had been a big mistake with wind timing and we were destined for a massive SW on Wed (public holiday) but alas, where has it gone??
Windguru predicts a paltry 13 knots early on Wed morning, dying rapidly. Cruel, unfeeling elements.
Well, we have to be optimists, don't we, so don't give up hope on Wed just yet. Maybe the SW will come out of hiding and we will celebrate at Dooneside / Country Club / Bay.
Only other news is that the PMB crowd are taking a little week's jaunt down the wild coast from next Sunday. Brilliant - a week long getaway at the coast!!!
And, naturally, they're going to annoy all their fellow travellers by cramming in every last piece of windsurfing gear at the expense of all other comforts and edible goodies. They stubbornly ignore warnings of rough coastline, beligerent johnnies and no wind for fear of (the ultimate windsurfing nightmare) ending up at an idyllic spot with 25 knots and 4ft swell but NO KIT!
Will keep you updated on the prospects of Wed / coming weekend and promise to give a thorough report of Transkei w/s possibilities. Keep rigged...
Tides are better for the bay this time and it should be sailable from early with high tide around 08h30 if I recall...
Will consider Dooneside & Country Club but may chicken out again if the sea is a churning mess. Let you know the latest fri night / Sat morning.
Midmar predictions are marginal as always but it looks as if the West might just push inland enough to provide a nice SE at the dam. Could be chilly, though!
See you on the water
We had a look at Vetch's but opted for the bay as the safer option. Unfortunately, despite the good wind, there was no sailing at the bay until about 12h30 because of the really low tide. In the end there was a good turn out and the wind blew consistently and everyone had a pretty good sail.
Well, checking the forecasts, it still looks on for Tomorrow (Easter Mon 28th). Seems like a decent SW pushing up the coast and peaking at around 2pm. Anything from 15-25 knots by the looks of it. Numeric modelling sites think it is going to peek in the afternoon, SAWB thinks it will moderate slightly in the afternoon but everyone seems to agree on one thing- The sea will be BIG.
Around 2.5m (8ft+) swell. Gulp. I'm not scared.
Seriously, I would plan to sail at Dooneside because I believe it's great in the SW but I don't want to haul my ass all the way down there to find massive barrels coming in looking hungry for masts, sails and me. So, unless Andy (our Dooneside expert) can tell us otherwise, I'll be heading for Durbs. I'll get hold of Andy and perhaps he can check with Clive (who's a toti local) tomorrow early and see what it's like. Check with me (James, 082 415 4133) tomorrow and I'll let you know what the call is.
Otherwise I'll cruise down to Durbs in good time (around 10h00) and possibly have a peak at Country Club. If it is too big there, will head for the bay. See you all on the water. Have a good one.
Oh, almost forgot- for the midmar locals:
Today is looking like the typical perfect Autumn day in the midlands. Clear sky, golden sun, you name it. Flat as a witch's tit at the moment but keep 'em peeled in case that SW pulls a fast one (which it has been known to do) and sneaks in at the dam this PM. If it does, I'll see you all there. Probably sailing off Blackhurst.
Seriously, it is looking a little bleak. Windguru says a beautiful, clear, calm weekend. Sigh. This afternoon (Fri) will probably have a light NE but unlikely sailable. I think there is a West pushing up from the south which is messing up the NE. Sat & Sun both look like beach weather for the babes with no stinging sand at all.
Monday there is a bit of a South West brewing and we may get a go down at Dooneside or the Bay. I might have a look at Country Club too because I haven't sailed there in a while. Will keep you all up to date.
I haven't had Andy's report from Friday but I think he sailed at Baggies. When my plane was lifting off around 12ish it was already looking good down that way, and being the first day of the NE, I imagine the sea was nice and clean.
Otherwise, I gather most people sailed at Vetch's Saturday and Sunday. Sat was majorly windy and some were out at Vetch's on sub 5m2. Andy tried and Baggies and reckons the sea was horrendous. Alistair, Gareth, Hal, Reuben had a good sail at Vetch's, though, along with a number of others. Alistair reckons there were at least 12 sailors there and at one time he counted 9 boards on the water. Good going!
Sunday was apparently a bit lighter but still sailable at Vetch's. The same crowd were there and I believe Ian (recently moved here from Cape Town) also gave it a go. Don't be put off by nasty shorebreak after 3 days of NE, Ian! At least the water is warm ;-)
Monday was a SW and I believe Reuben and his crew were heading down the S Coast to catch it there. I know Andy, Betty and Ian sailed at the bay.
So, all in all, an amazing few days. Andy tells me he has a new sailing record of 6 consecutive days! And it isn't even windy season!
Tomorrow (Thurs) looks like an impressive SW. I'm sure Andy and the crew will be at Dooneside. The PMB crowd are forced to work but if it blows up at the ol' dam we'll be there later for sure. Not much good stuff heading this way during the weekend but keep your fingers crossed.
see you all on the water!
What's the weekend looking like? Just trying to download the forecast now. Net is very s l o w tonight.
Looking like a possible NE on Saturday and Sunday with the stronger one forecast for Sunday. I wouldn't wait for that, though... if it is blowing Saturday, go go GO! And, as Andy always says, sailing the first day of the NE is always better because it has had less chance to turn the sea into a frothing cauldron.
What's more, last time I checked the days are going to be superb so you can't go wrong taking a trip to the beach in any event.
Andy is keen to Sail at Baggies (Warner beach - see locations) on Saturday. I will plan to join him there. He reckons Betty and a few others will probably also sail there. Hope to be there from about 11h00.
Sunday will probably head for Vetch's 'cos things may be blown out by then.
Hope to see y'all on the water. Give me a shout to tell me where you are, if the wind is up, and I'll respond in kind - 0824154133. See you on the water - James
Read my midmar report in Water Rage
Andy took his son Luke to the bay on Monday to teach him some moves. See the pictures
There was a smallish turnout at the bay. Probably just due to the time of the year. Mike was there, Andy, James, Craig, Clive, Dirk and a couple I didn't meet as well as another fellow I didn't know sailing an F2 Sputnik.
Wind picked up a little and we sailed from around 12h30 to mid-afternoon. It was gusty and patchy but most people were able to have a fair session on biggish sails. Andy was nicely powered with his 6.8. Craig had a pretty good session 2 with some impressive attempts at Monkey Gybes. Not much swell or chop so jumps were pretty small.
Otherwise, I think today (Sun) was very quiet. Looks as if there will be a little wind during the week and the Christmas weekend is currently quiet. Good. I need this blasted footstrap blister to heal and it won't with repeated sessions.... but how can I say no???
Sunday dawned bright and clear... and WINDY! There was a good turn out at Vetch's. I presume many of the other spots were blown out. Vetch's blew +20 knots all day with a midday peak close to 30. Fantastic!
Bob and Mike were there when I arrived and left around midday after a good session. Hal and I fell for the old 3-weeks-of-no-wind-I-won't-be-underpowered trap and rigged 6.3s. Ugly. Had to come in and downrig after some forearm wrenching runs. Tide was coming in and the shorebreak getting progressively meaner. I vow in future to just admit defeat and launch closer to the yacht club. It really gets pretty hectic at times close to the breakwater and buggering around there is just stupid. If the wind is strong enough, one can get up in knee deep and have a pretty good chance of busting through but make sure you're powered enough and don't be afraid to do the chicken run back to the shallows.
It's not difficult to break kit in the shorebreak and usually totally unnecessary. It is *way* calmer as you head North towards the reef.
Otherwise a really good session. Dave was there too as well as two other sailors I didn't meet but rumour has it that one chap sailed from Country Club to Vetch's in 7min!
Rob also had a good sail as did Tim
Great turn out! Check out a few of the pics on Vetchs 12122004 page.
Outlook: Public holiday not looking great, nor is the weekend. Those of you taking leave on Fri.... looking good for NE at the moment. It may change, though. Wouldn't mind another good session on Thurs. Keep you all posted. And keep those contributions and pics coming through.
Andy reckons he'll be at Baggies in the morning to check out the NE. If it is good, I'll join him there, else (if it isn't good but there is wind) I'll head to Vetch's.
Afraid I have to fly to Cape Town on Sun so I will miss the sailing but I hope to see you all on the water on Sat and have a good sail on Sun if it happens.
Website won't be updated this week as I'm away but I'll be in E-mail contact for sure.
Sunday doesn't look to have been too great at the coast if the airport wind graph is anything to go by but the PMB sailors were lucky enough to get a small Berg wind at the dam in the morning. It blew off and on between 8h30 and lunch time with one or two nicely powered spells. Always a bit of a gusty wind, though, and it made for a real workout- slog, pump onto plane, scream along, gybe, slog etc. Still, the flat water of the ski-area meant for some really nice gybing and the weather was beautifully clear.
Gareth, James, Alistair, Hal, Ryan and Tertius sailed. The wind switched to a SE at around lunch time but most of us were a bit late on the uptake and didn't get around to Blackhurst peninsula in time to get the best of it. It looks as if Tertius was there in time, though, and when the stragglers arrived at Blackhurst he could be seen far upwind rapidly overhauling a motor boat.
I guess it proves once again that PMB weather is difficult to use as a surrogate for what is happening at the dam. We really need to get a windphone installed there if we're to figure this all out.
The Durban sailors had it a little better. Andy tells me he sailed at Dooneside on Saturday in gentle conditions with around 20 knots+. I believe Ralph and Paul were there too.
Otherwise, there's a vague chance of a Berg wind (NW) at midmar on Sun morning and a vague chance of SW on Sunday afternoon. It could come through in Durban or midmar or both but we're not holding our breath. Let's see how it develops...
Let's hope the wind gets up this weekend. Surely the windy season wasn't so short?
It is around 11pm on Fri night and *howling* in PMB. Sigh.
Very vague chance of NE in Durbs tomorrow and not much good promised for Sunday. Will keep you all informed. If it happens (NE) tomorrow, will catch it at Vetch's.
Good sailing. Cheers.
Oh, oh, things aren't looking too promising from a wind point of view. Darn. But don't give up hope. It is the windy season after all and anything can happen.Windguru is promising lots of rain tonight and tomorrow morning but Sunday clearing nicely. Very slight hint of a NE on Sunday pm. Hmmm, really not promising anything here, so don't get your hopes up. If it happens, though, I'll take it at Vetch's most probably.
Midmar is looking decidely unwindy. Rainy and mis tomorrow. Sunday will be a cool day at the dam but nietche nietche wind. A good day for teaching someone to balance on a longboard, practising self resuce, slogging and general mayhem. Forward loops are completely out.
Gallery will be up and running soon. It is clumsy right now but I'll soon get it organised with tables, searches, thumbnails and all that. What I need, though, is lots more pictures of the locals in action. So send me your digital snaps! Again, this requires the feedback link. Sigh. It will be there soon! Watch the sidebar!
Country Club was brilliantly flat but not quite enough wind. Craig Botcher was just coming in when I arrived and he reckoned he'd had a short session when it got up a little but was packing it in.
Sunday was better. I got to Vetch's around 12h30 thanks to the massive traffic jam in town caused by the Amashovashova race. Stupid, I knew it was coming and still tried to drive through town. In the end we inched our way to argyle road and went back up and across the berea.
Andy was there when I arrived but I didn't get to chat to him. He left shortly and I presume he'd been sailing from earlier. It was cooking and the sea was getting a little messy. The windphone read 17-27 knots so I rigged the 5.2 and had a blast.
Struggled through the shore break but once out it was pretty cool. A little choppy around the reef but some nice swells near the breakwater. The only other sailor I knew was Tony, Dave's brother. He's down from Jo'burg for a few weeks and sailing every chance he gets.
Check out the pics in the gallery.
Of course, the second downwind dash is taking place on Sunday. Be at Pirate life saving club at Battery Beach at 8:00a to register on the day. Call Richard from Durban Boardsailing on 031 337 4069 for more details. Sad to say wind for Sun looking a little marginal at this stage and weather not so kiff either. Has been building (the predictions) during the week, though, so there may be something happening. Looking like SW at this point so that will mean the start will be at Battery beach. Get out there and support this thing!
Will fill you in when I know more but Richard is already talking (on his windphone message) about this weekend's repeat performance on Sunday and is talking as if last Sun was a roaring success. Let's hope it was. I'm loath to make promises again but I will try to get to this one again if it happens.
Bummer is that Sat is looking the best bet again! Possible decent NE in Durbs. Will keep you posted. I'll probably catch it at Vetch's. Details closer to the time.
ITO last weekend, the PMB crowd had a good sail at the dam (midmar). It blew a fantastic SE for at least 3 hours on Sat afternoon. James, Gareth and Alistair were out and I also saw Ivan (Ghostrider) and another chap I didn't recognise.
The wind was brilliant. Midmar, occasionally you do rock! Alistair was the designated photographer but only got around to hauling out the camera when he was thoroughly exhausted and frozen so the pics are taken in the dying puffs of the day. If Al had a better wetsuit we wouldn't have had any.
See the Gallery for the latest. Will upload them as soon as I get a chance.
Otherwise, what are our prospects? Today?
Well, the windmaps are suggesting we may get a few puffs this afternoon. They reckon 15-18SE around 17h00. SE? SE? Where the heck do you sail that one? Country Club? Hmmmm. Well, I'm going down to Durbs anyway so I'll haul the kit along and see what happens.
SAWeather reckons gusting to 25 in the pm. Good ol' WeatherSA. I never trust them until they disagree with the better sites in a positive way ;-) That's the optimist in me. So, maybe for once they will be right and we'll get 25 knots. If it is SW I'll probably catch it in the bay (Durban boardsailing site).
See you all on the water!
I'm not quite sure how it is going to be run... I mean, firstly, in good wind the windsurfers and kiters will be w a a a a a y faster than the surfskis. Are they supposed to race against each other or are they just going to be out on the same day?
On the other hand, if the wind doesn't play ball, the windsurfers and kiters are going to be in mucho trouble. Are there any support craft? Dunno. Luckily I personally have been relieved of the burden of competing by the qualifying criterion: A 400m surf swim at Battery beach. That put paid to my chances. I would have had to be rescued as soon as I couldn't stand any more!!
But, it looks as if it is going ahead and I think it is a great sounding event. I just hope they have a good turn out. I will be there for sure to observe and cheer and take pictures for the website. So I'll see y'all out there on Sunday!
For details, get hold of the pirates lifesaveing club at Battery beach or, better still, call Richard from Durban Boardsailing at 031 337 4069.
Sat: Blew great guns in Durbs. A little too much for the old 6.3 but we gave it a go anyway. Got there a bit late (10h30) and bumped into Dave & Tony who'd been blasting since about 08h00. They reckoned it was pretty big but sailable.
Hal rigged the Gaastra 5.7 and I rigged my Ezzy 6.3SE. Simple when you only have one sail. We didn't even need to look at the beach! Luckily the old hole in the fence next to the paddle-ski club is still there so we carried across the road and through all that and set up just North of the harbour breakwater.
Great to see so many guys out! At one time I counted 12 sailors. That's a pretty good turn out for Vetch's.
The sea was a frothing cauldron but the Vetch's section not too bad because of the reef breaking up the swells. Smallish shorebreak easily negotiated with a little patience!
All in all great sailing. A little too powered for my kit but still a lot of fun. Occasional little swell rides near the breakwater and opportunities for air on the starboard tack. Saw some nice jumps. Well done guys.Congratulations to Hal for breaking his mast on his last run. It was a powerex 430 in case anyone cares. I can't say I've found them too reliable but in the tumble he took anything probably would have broken. Missed out on Sunday due to family commitments but I don't know if it got up much. Anyone get out?
I know Andy sailed at Richard's Bay. He wasn't too impressed. Reckoned it was gusty and difficult.
Anyone sail anywhere else? What are the reports?
This weekend. Outlook not so hot at the moment. Good time for weddings and all those pictionary evenings you've been avoiding. Will keep you posted.
For more details, check out windguru
Or call the windphone on 031 368 2502 for current conditions at Vetch's.