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lake arenal / costa rica
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tstizzle



Joined: 05 Jul 2000
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the support sailnbike! awesome that people are following. will try to take more interesting photos. wish i had more than my crappy point-n-shoot...

SPQR - no prob. i WILL sail that damn thing as you've made me curious myself. like i said, i sail 2 freewaves myself and they're the best boards ever, so i'm personally interested to know the difference. however, we have some wicked sailors here so i will ask them their opinions tomorrow and post their thoughts as well.

ciao.
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bipbip



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tstizzle wrote:
...hope this is a good post. having fun doing it.

NOW we are talking!
Very Happy
Good pics.
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poussin



Joined: 14 Sep 2000
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yo Tstizzle,

These are the best posts I've seen in a long time!!
Thanks so much for taking the time-and the photos are great!!
Your point-and-shoot seems to be woking pretty well actually.

I always heard about Lake Arenal but didn't pay as much attention to it.....
but now, because of your great posts, I'm totally jones-ing to go!

How difficult/easy is it to get there? (From S.F.)
And what about cost?

I also have always wanted to go to Jeri in Brazil, but man, what a haul just to get there. So Lake Arenal may be a good alternative.

I also have 2 Fanatic freewaves (2009 86 liter and 96 liter) that I sail in S.F. Bay/Delta and I absolutely love them. So, of course, I too am curious about the new shape.

It's so great to check out your posts while I'm waiting/missing the "regular" season.

Thanks again.

Greg


Very Happy
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andrewc



Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, howler monkeys will pee on you and throw their poo at you. Experienced it in Nicaragua a couple of weeks ago. Had to beat a hasty retreat to the rental car...
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tstizzle



Joined: 05 Jul 2000
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey greg (poussin),

thanks for the kind words! i dig doing this kind of thing, but mainly i dig it when other people enjoy it too. a lot of work but it's easier if you get feedback from people like you and others here who have mentioned they are listening...

lake arenal is pretty easy to get to if you live on the west coast (perhaps easier from the east coast). for me, a flight from SFO to houston that leaves at 10 a.m. (4 hours). then another 4 hour flight from houston to liberia, costa rica that arrives at 9:30 p.m.

i then took a cab from liberia to lake arenal, which i shared with a friend, for $90. round trip $180 (total). i walk to the sailing site every day, which feels good on my tired and old legs in the morning.

that said, i came with my friend from brooklyn, so i went through nyc on the way here (huge mistake - weather) so we could arrive on the same flight.

the cost is not too bad. there are some things here which are very expensive, and others which are not. after all, costa rica is essentially an american protectorate, so costs can be relative to the american influence; plus, tourism.

as an example, i just had dinner at equus: pork costillas (holy bobba-jazoley they are GOOD!!!!) along with tortillas, black beans, rice and pickled peppers, and the price was $7. i also had a centenario rum and a pilsen beer, which brought the total to $11. so, not too expensive. if you're used to mexico prices, you'll be happy. our friends from sf bay area had a gigantoid breakfast yesterday for $3 per person.

the thing i will say about here is, if you like wind, this is the place to go. yes, sometimes it's a lot of wind, but to me anyway, nothing is worse than going on a windsurfing vacation and not windsurfing. here that's not likely to happen:

it's windy here almost all the time.

as for jeri, i went there a couple of years ago too. it's a fun place as well. and windy as snot. but it's a loooooooonnnnnnnngggggg way to go. i thought the sailing was good, but don't go for wave sailing. the wave is perhaps a little overrated. however, the food is fantastic: STRAIGHT out of the ocean. and the weather is awesome. the, ahem, "views" are also quite good. honesty in reporting, however: it tends to be pretty crowded.


Last edited by tstizzle on Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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tstizzle



Joined: 05 Jul 2000
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:14 am    Post subject: lake arenal costa rica windsurfing report - day 7 Reply with quote

AND HERE WE GO AGAIN!

woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head....

the wind was shaking the trees again this morning when i woke up. perhaps a bit less than yesterday, but it was definitely still windificating.

from all i gather from the people "in the know", this is NOT a pressure driven spot. there are people who have lived and sailed here for 25 years that, when i ask them what the forecast is say, "hard tellin', not knowin'. "

there is some magic voodoo that drives the wind here, and residents who were born and raised here have no idea. it's a tradewind from africa that lifts and vectors over the country. they have apparently had sand in the air here that is dragged from the sahara desert; after all, it's not that far from africa to central america.

after the tradewinds arrive, perhaps some local pressure gradients influence it and either enhance it or drag it back down. the forecasts DO NOT do it justice. i was watching on facebook before this trip and windguru was often predicting 0 to 10 mph, meanwhile they were saying on facebook it was 25-30.

that said, it was windificating today! here's some pics of the "proof":

the mellow morning at the site today:



latched onto a north 5.4 sail (i'm 195 or so pounds {of pure sex appeal} ):



said hola to a familiar face:



and hit the water:



da sf bay / delta crew hitting the water (last day here):



the other half:



it got pretty windy. here's half of the sf bay / delta crew on a 5.0 practicing their tail walking:



as was told to me by them, the sf bay delta requires a sailor to be good at backwind sailing and also tacking. because the delta is affected by the tides, it's possible (and common) to sail 4.0 conditions when the wind is going the same direction as the water (flooding, in this case). so they need to be able to tack and, interestingly, backwind sail to get back to their launch. i didn't believe it at first, but it seems true: backwind sailing will allow you to hold a much, much stronger upwind angle than simply schlogging. we were guessing it was because of the pressure on the windward rail of the board, which might help to increase the board's traction in the water. any help with this?

so they practice their tacking...

(these two from the delta are wicked sailors:)



tacks never look very dramatic when captured as a still on a camera:



post tack. this guy is an awesome sailor. he was pitching loops all over the place and he tacks faster than bill clinton forgot the name "monica" (note the wicked freewave underfoot):



i stood on the shoreline, nursing a mildly injured foot, and watching the action. when you look through the lens of a crappy point-n-shoot, you don't see the "bigger picture" very well. that's why i had no idea i was going to be staring at a nearly-out-of-control kiter who burst into my scene, seemingly scared about the likelihood he might suffer from deceleration trauma caused by impact with the shoreline:



i had just gotten over the surprise of seeing a kiter in the fits of "Angry Lake Syndrome", when appeared from stage left, "Vulcan Dude". You've seen him before: the guy who throws vulcans on his 100 liter freestyle all day long, even though the wind has come up to something that can only be measured in psi:



his landing was, shall we say, "poor". but, good on him for trying, right?

sailing done, we headed for equus for pilsen, centenario rum and some goodbyes. our Sac-Town posse is off tomorrow for home. we will miss them and all the good times. good fellas, those delta sailors (even if they won't let me drive their car through the jungle whilst possessed by the Henchman of Inebriation).

for those of you in the gorge, they are your brethren: the delta is a mini version of the gorge and, while they love the gorge, the delta has a little something unique to offer as well. been there myself so, if you haven't been there, i will tell you it's worth the trip...

but, like i said, off to equus for those beers i mentioned.

for those of you who don't know, equus is a pole-barn bbq on the shores of lake arenal. it's perhaps a touch "rustic" looking, but the owners are as nice as the day is long and the food is better than a rob ford press conference.

here's a pic form the upper "deck":



the nightly crew at equus changes as fast as the wind. here a shot of tonight's crew:



so there you have it. day 7 of lake arenal 2014. camera charging. hasta luego, tierra del fuego.

and ciao delta posse!
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mch13



Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you tstizzle for one of the best threads on this Forum.
It has got me thinking about a trip next winter!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13309

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: lake arenal costa rica windsurfing report - day 7 Reply with quote

tstizzle wrote:
they need to be able to tack and, interestingly, backwind sail to get back to their launch.... backwind sailing will allow you to hold a much, much stronger upwind angle than simply schlogging. we were guessing it was because of the pressure on the windward rail of the board, which might help to increase the board's traction in the water. any help with this?

First, tell us what you mean by "backwind sailing". I don't know the term in this context, despite having sailed tidal currents in several places including the Delta.

Fantastic pictures, BTW. Loving them, as Arenal is still on my list of trip prospects.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1089
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Backwinded sailing is normally slogging while standing on the backwinded side of the sail. Something fun to do, but I never considered it necessary for sailing the SF bay or Delta. Now tacking is another matter. Especially if trying to get upwind in the delta during a strong flood tide. That comes in real handy.....

Thanks tstizzle for the info. Lake Arenal is a place I've considered for quite some time. Nice to see it delivers all I heard about...
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13309

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnl wrote:
Backwinded sailing is normally slogging while standing on the backwinded side of the sail.

That was my understanding, too, but it doesn't fit this context.
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