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Long range windsurfing/camping?
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advance420



Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluejaytoo wrote:
advance420 wrote:

You could have just told me you can't sail into the wind. After some googling, I've found that you have to sail at an angle. Makes sense now.


I was wondering why no one mentioned the obvious. In her dry land instruction, Ellen Faller uses a great visual called a Wind Clock, which shows how close to the wind you can sail, and what part of it you can't. Imagine anywhere between 10:00 and 2:00 being off-limits, with 12:00 being the wind.

When I was first starting out, I too had visions of windsurf-camping. If I were to do it (I never did), I'd strap a big drybag onto the front of the board. I also had visions of crossing Lake Erie. Where I sail there, it's only like 25 miles to Canada. It's been swam several times, and definitely windsurfed several times. A couple years after I started windsurfing, I got caught up in an off-shore thermal inversion and had to be rescued off that lake. It put the fear of God into me and then my dream of doing the crossing went on a shelf. I still think about it, though.


You should do it now. Don't you think one day, you will look back and wish you had?
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 720

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will soon come to understand that windsurfing is high wind, near shore activity. I too had visions of myself far offshore but gear breakdowns are common so basically you don't want to go out any further than you wouldn't want to swim back.
In a small sailboat you can move along very very slowly in almost no wind or break out an oar if necessary to get home but when the wind drops to near zero on a windsurfer the sail gets very heavy to hold up.
Sure some daredevils have crossed oceans but they had support boats or their windsurf board was actually more like a small boat with a canopy.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1413

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course it is possible to cruise and camp by windsurfer BUT, there are particular requirements and actions to take. A high volume board is essential.

I use an Exocet Mahalo tandem board carrying minimal lightweight camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, clothes, basic food and cooking gear etc) strapped on the front deck.

FORGET about going for high performance and settle for safety. A small sail with paddles as essential back up (split kayak paddles on front deck) ready for INSTANT grabbing and use if in a dangerous situation, such as lack of wind close to cliffs and rocks. At such times it actually requires more skill to control than in ordinary normal windsurfing. It's very easy to get caught out.

Anything more than a three day camping journey requires a much more dedicated design, with the ability to carry a much heavier load. (That, for me, is in the realm of sea kayaking and month long jouneys.)
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 720

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One would be much better off in a tiny sailboat or a kayak as previously stated for such endeavors.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 720

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny I was thinking of the short list of potential gear failures that can leave you unable to sail and I can bet everyone on this forum has suffered at least 3 or 4 of them.
Boom can break
Boomclamp rope can break
Mast can break
board can break
Sail can tear in half
Extension can break
Universal can break
Mast track can tear out of board
Fin can fall out of board
Headcap strap can break
Downhaul and/or outhaul rope can break
Strap that attaches downhaul pulley can break
Bolt thru downhaul pulley can loosen and fall out
What am I missing?
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advance 420, be careful with the camping thing. Windsurfing is a relatively safe sport because if something does go wrong, your lifeboat = board is right there. However, if you go way out offshore, or break down between islands and then drift out to sea, you could be in serious trouble. Keep in mind that the culture of China and attitude of the Chinese government is very different from the west in regards to rescues etc. If you're lost out at sea, they will likely take the attitude that you got yourself out there, you can figure out how to get yourself back. If you've been missing for a week, they will probably assume you're dead and not search at all. They don't go for these "mobilize the troops, scour every inch of ground till they are found" searches that we see out here in the west. I watched a documentary where a western kayaking team lost a member while pioneering some white water in China. They called the Chinese authorities who just said "your friend is dead, there's no point looking for him". They couldn't believe the Chinese authorities wouldn't search to recover the body, but they said it was too dangerous, and pointless to risk lives for someone who was dead. Just a different mind set over there.

All that being said, no reason you couldn't try putting a little pack on your board and sailing to another island and do a little beach camping. Just make sure you know what you're getting into (wind, tides, shipping lanes, etc) and that you have some sort of backup plan if things go wrong. As others have said, windsurfing tends to be more of an adrenaline sport done close to shore, and once you get good enough to plane, you'll probably want to focus on that rather than exploring... but nothing wrong with having a little island hoping adventure!
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2026

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really want to sail island to island foreget the camping and do it here.

http://go-hiho.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=hiho.main

Coachg
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1413

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beaglebuddy, you missed a lot, as well as the essential point! (You may break a leg, snap an arn, have a heart attack etc etc etc etc.)

Cruising/camping by windsurfer is NOT, repeat NOT high performance windsurfing. It is predominantly sub planing cruising with a smallish sail and little real stress on gear. (As any sailing cruiser knows, you seem to spend three quarters of every journey beating against both wind and current at slow speed. Hence a high volume longboard with big dagger board is necessary.)

If you venture far out to sea alone without backup or rescue chances, and anyone even knowing you are out ther you MUST, absolutely MUST have the means and ability to get safely home under your own steam. The board has to be your lifeboat, and the bigger the better. As I said, carrying PADDLES is essential for safety.

Between the years of 1983 and 1992 when long board cruising was my main windsurfing activity I covered over 5,400 miles of island circumnavigations and sea crossings (HiFli 555, Bic Be-bop, Bic Bamba) and in all that time and milage the only real breakage was when I clonked the fin (Bic Be-bop) on a rock and snapped the front screw extention part, leaving it dangling from the rear plastic peg. Had I lost it, the rig would have been dismantled and the paddles would have got me and all the gear back to safety. As it happened, I tipped the board over, removed the fin and slotted it in backwards so the plastic peg was at the front. the rear was then jammed in the slot with the aid of a passing peice of seaweed. I then sailed back on a 7 mile crossing, to the mainland, and frankly, I couldn't tell the difference.)

With good gear, well looked after, and SENSIBLY operated (bearing in mind you are alone out at sea) there are no more likely to breakages than in a dinghy, a yacht, or the bleeding Queen Mary.

I call it getting a life! Laughing
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14630

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

advance420 wrote:
that or go out and learn by trial and error.

That will take you years and will require a bigger board than that 310. And not only will planing come much sooner on a bigger board, but planing will never happen in those 6 mph winds.

Mike \m/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14630

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beaglebuddy wrote:
What am I missing?

The most likely event of all: the wind can break.
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