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Say "Goodbye" to Gorge West Winds
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14179

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Say "Goodbye" to Gorge West Winds Reply with quote

We saw it right here, today, in the iW forecast: Winter has effectively capped westerlies from here out.

Damn. I wuz just gettin STARTED, or so it seems. But that DOES explain why Ive hardly found any wind for a MONTH now. And the strong easterlies -- an extremely poor substitute for westerlies if ya wanna play in swell -- are way behind the power curve; they sometimes start in August. Thats not fair (can you hear the violins?) . . . considering how lame the spring was, too. Strong spring winds were about 6 weeks late, holding off for the most part until the end of May.

Guess I start my yard work and other projects early this year, and dream of 06. The only glimmer? Late fall can bring SSW to S winds, which favor the upper Columbia. Port Kelley has to be SSW to work, and the Desert Aire to Vantage stretch north of Hanford can get some pretty good swell in S to almost SW winds.

I HATE these long layoffs, but not enough to go dweeeb on some foreign shore all winter praying for an occasional 6.0 day.

Mike \m/
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flaherty



Joined: 01 May 1997
Posts: 343

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:20 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

So how many days did you sail this year, so far? Just curious.
Paul
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pstlwd



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

You can always say hello to clean, mast-high plus waves on the south coast. Its still blowing enough here. A 5 knot forcast could be nice on a 5.2, like today. Just make sure you have your chicken jibes and swimming down.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14179

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:44 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

60s, I suppose -- I dont keep track, but my two sailing buds do, and they generally hit in the 60s. We had a slow start and a slow finish (so far), but May came on big time and August was better than usual. Caveat: I sail only out east, except when the corridor gets unusually good and its not making it out east.

Mike \m.
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bharrisks



Joined: 30 May 2001
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote



Last edited by bharrisks on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:27 pm; edited 4 times in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14179

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:53 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

To me, south coast means the Gulf of Mexico. Im guessin you mean the Baja Pacific coast, however.

And Ive heard the term a hunnerd times, but have never seen it defined: What IS a chicken jibe?

Mike \m/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14179

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

Sorry, but . . . no. Am I satisfied with the Gorgw WSing odds? Hell, no; I would LOVE to have it blow a solid 4.2 or better 3-4 days every week (I am free to sail 365 days a year), and seldom got enough hours per week even when living in a van doing NOTHING BUT chasing wind 24/7 from the coast to way east of 3-Mile 6 moths of the year.

But . . . BUT . . . where are the odds any better, at least in a place Id want to live? I like VISITING Maui now and then, but no way Id want to live there. Im disppointed here only in the sense that Id love to sail 5.2 or better 150 days a year. But since that was never promised here, I cant say it hasnt performed as expected. If I knew of a better place, all things considered, Id consider moving. Its not like I have a JOB or any such nonsense holding me back.

My buds who dont mind gloves sail all winter -- one has sailed the Gorge the last 100 months in a row -- but I dont do gloves, so I quit when the water hits about 46 degrees in the early winter and dont get back in until it hits about 46 again; that gives me a season of about early April to late Nov -- as late as early January one winter. 7-8 months of sailing isnt bad at all, and April and Oct-Nov CAN be awesome, sometimes the biggest swell of the year. For three years in a row my first day on the water was in late Mar-early April on a 3.0 in giant swell. In a good year, April can blow hard and often, and in a GREAT year (was that 96?), May can blow hard for 26 days, virtually all sunny and warm. All it takes is gasoline and an average year to sail a lot more than 5 months and do it 5-20 days a month. Even in this compressed season, with lame spring and fall (so far), we got in >60 days, even though it was mostly in just the three summer months. I dont think we got much more than a dozen days before Memorial Day weekend. OTOH, late fall can be great out east if the jet stream cooperates. The waters still fine through Halloween, and a dry suit makes Nov anywhere from tolerable to fine, depending on the year.

I dont need no steenkin thermals or venturi to light my fire; 30-40 kts from the jet stream or a strong front works just fine. Now if theyd just crank up the river current for some SWELL, Id be a lot happier; the swell has been way off for much of the past 3-5 years.

Mike \m/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14179

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:40 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

Rain is a CHOICE here, and even then mostly in the spring. The Gorge is well over 200 miles long, and the eastern half is desert for a reason: it gets only half the precip bone-dry Albuquerque gets, and it gets it (all six inches of it) in the winter. Ive slept in my van for well over a thousand nights in the Gorge, and had to close the windows and doors because of rain maybe 10 times in prime season (summer).

Mike \m/
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pstlwd



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

Been there, done that, Yawn! no need to chicken jibe there. Its usually too easy. Oregon coast has excitement... When you see a huge wall of white water coming at you ready to dump swimming pools of H2O on you, you might find out and want to make that jibe. But when you do make it out and get to ride a big one, it aint no betta.
PDXwindsurfer@yahoo has some recent pics.
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Windlover



Joined: 06 Sep 2000
Posts: 623

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:01 pm    Post subject: RE: Say Reply with quote

Love to hear you lamenting about 60+ days of sailing here in the Gorge \m/. It is still way more days than any year Ive ever seen. But I do have a job and my play time is somewhat limited.

You are right about the rain, HR gets over 200 days of rain per year and 20 miles east in The Dalles they have over 250 days of sunshine. Its all about location.

As for a rainy summer here, this was one of the drier years for this area. We actually had almost 60 days without rain at one point this summer.

The Gorge can disappoint at times as any area can. But the up side is that there are many other fun activities to partake in to fuel the desire for outdoor fun. I have had quite a few days where I ski/snowboard/mountain bike/kayak/hike in the a.m. and windsurf in the afternoon. There are very few places in the world where a person can do two or three of these things in the same day. Its all about making the most of what is available.
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