Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sherman Island Blows!

In the distance Mt. Diablo loomed over the vast flats of the Delta, breaking the otherwise flat horizon line and following me where ever I drove. For a moment it reminded me of Mount Hood, only on a smaller scale and surronded by much less dynamic terrain. After three days in California the wind decided to kick in, sending me out in search of the local windsurfing spots.
Twenty some odd identical miles of road and vinyards passed before a bent old street sign half hidden behind a tree branch reading "Sherman Island Rd" suddenly appeared. Matching the name on the sign to a launch I had read about on iwindsurf, I slammed the breaks, swerved to the right and continued on bouncing along the narrow, crooked levee road. Down the road the tight channels of irrigation water relaxed and began to widen as a significant number white caps appeared on the surface of the water. In the distance two kites and a sail became visible, surrendering the position of the spot for which I'd been searching.
I found a place to park in a grassy feild behind a large levee and walked over to the waters edge. The wind was blowing steady, certainly enough to sail. Taking a minute to survey the water for any hazards, I found to spot to be safe and returned to my car to rig.
Once on the water I was well powered. The chop was small, even flat in most spots, making for some great freestyle conditions. However, being only on a 4.7 and having virtually no ramps to launch off of I found it hard to do many of the new areil manuevours I'd learned in the Gorge, but quickly adjusted to more "slidy" style tricks.
I sailed about 4 hours before taking a break. Then, heading back to my car I noticed a silver van with a horizontal blue stripe down the side, topped with Dakine gear bags and a pile of Naish gear behind it. The owner was standing on the rear bumper, pulling at one of the bags tied to the roof.
It was Wyatt Miller.
We talked a bit while him and his buddy rigged up and then head back to the water.
Upon return, the tide had changed, shifting the currents against the wind (which had come up about another 5 knots) and causing the small chop to turn into steeper ramps. Wyatt reffered to it as a sort of "mini-gorge." I lasted about another hour or so, but before I left I witnessed Wyatt through some unbelievable twisting, flipping, spinning moves of which I'd only seen in videos.
Yes, after three days in California I got same good sailing in, and I'm looking forward to much more of it in the months ahead.

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