How We Spent Our Summer Vacation
By Spennie, July 25, 2006


   Saturday July 15th I headed up to Rio Viento for our second week, hitching a ride with Larry because Debi was still nursing her mom back to health, and was going to follow me up in the next day or 2 in our new Civic. Larry has a brand-new Honda Odyssey van, which totally kicks ass, fast, quiet, comfortable. Three hours into the trip I realize I've left the trailer keys in the Civic, and won't be able to unlock the trailer. Too late to turn around, I'll have to try to break in or pay a locksmith to get me in.

   Larry & I arrive and discover we had neglected to lock one of our windows, so it was fairly easy to break in. Whew! There's no wind, so we pound some champagne and decide to wait for the morning session. Except there isn't one. No biggie, we'll sail the Bay, there's always someplace blowing, and that someplace is Treasure Island. 22mph and ebbing, WooHoo! Larry & I rig up & jam out, flying around and having a blast. The wind keeps picking up more & more, until it reaches 27mph! The 5.6 I was using is becoming quite the handful in 27mph wind, so I go back to shore to re-rig. Just as I'm about to step back into the water, Larry comes back and saves me by telling me it's dropped back off, and the 5.2 isn't going to cut it. Pretty annoying, but at least I didn't go out & schlog.

   On the way back to the Delta, we notice that it's starting to build a bit, not enough to get us to go out, but we have hope for the morning session. Woke up at 6:30 to 15mph, which plunges to about 6 or 7mph by 7:00. Back to the Bay for us! This time it's Candlestick, Larry's never sailed there, and it looks like it's going to blow.

   Let me pause here a moment to tell you about the parking lot at Candlestick. As we pull in, I notice that the windsurfers are all parking along the road instead of in the lot. I remembered parking in the lot last time I was there, so we head for the entrance. Meanwhile an old Monte Carlo is jamming through the lot parallel to us at about 65mph, pretty alarming, but I figure he's leaving, no problem. Where we park there's a beer party at a picnic table, involving 6 or 8 seedy-looking dudes shouting and throwing stuff at a nearby trash can, some guys trying to jump-start some P.O.S. car, and other miscellaneous persons of questionable character. We hop out to use the restroom, and I'm furiously pushing the alarm button on my keychain, to make sure these guys all know it's alarmed. Meanwhile, the "brothers" parked next to me roll down their window 3" and offer to sell me some crack. "No thanks!!" I say cheerfully, so they won't shoot me as a cop. We use the restrooms and haul ass back to the street side parking, glad to be alive.

   We rig & go out, and it's really fun! Warm flat water, sunny skies, comfortably powered, nice! Then Larry breaks a mast 1/4 mile from shore, I have to tow him back in, and the only line we have with us is a downhaul, 6' long. So we tie the boards together tail-to-tail and spend the next 30-45 minutes using every ounce of strength we have taking turns trying to hold on to a 6.6 with an anchor behind it. Shoulda left him to the sharks and/or crack dealers. Finally get him to shore then spend a while buzzing around, having fun, when I notice some guy's sail has come off his board, and he's swimming around trying to put it back together. Has that ever happened to you? It's unbelievably hard to fix while thrashing around with nothing to hold on to. I drop in the water to help, and by an incredible piece of luck the thing snaps together on the first try! WooHoo! I'm getting tired, so I head back in and meet Sarah, (see "Sailing w/Spennie @ Candlestick") and help her adjust her rig a bit, talk about fins, then leave. Don't want to be near that parking lot after dark!

   Still no wind the next morning (Tuesday 18th), so we wait for Debi to arrive, which she does around 10:30, bringing some wind with her! It slowly builds for a couple hours, and hovers around 18-20 for a few more, then spikes up to 22-23 for a while, WooHoo! Much of the time it hovers just under 6.0 for me, forcing me onto slalom gear, but at least we didn't have to travel. Wednesday we get a pretty good morning session, then it does the "not-quite-good" thing all day, not quite bump 'n jump, not smooth enough for the slalom gear, very frustrating. Thursday it blows in the morning a bit, then drops off and gets HOT! 90 degrees and blowing 11-15. It gets almost sailable in the evening, and I actually go out on my 7.6 race sail, but the chop is beating the crap out of me, so I give up. Friday dawns hot & shitty, so we decide to bail & come home. A good move, because it was all downhill from there, hotter & calmer every day, and still is (July 25).

   Saturday we go sailing 25 miles from home, and it's better than the Delta was all week, 5.6 for me, 4.0 for Debi, Leo Carillo rules! Then we go home to a power blackout that lasts 5 hours, long enough for the house to heat up to 94 or so, and we end up trying to sleep on the floor on towels because the bed's too hot. The power comes back on at 11 and I get all the fans and A/C going again, nice. The next day we go back to Leo, and my friend Paul joins us, all the way from Laguna Beach, which on Sunday is a 2 1/2 hour drive. Do I even have to say it? Skunked! Hot & shitty, wind about 3 or 4mph backwards. Dang.

   Do you think my boss would give me a "Do-Over" on my week of vacation time?


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