The fall typically brings warm, punchy southerlies across the south ahead of the rains. The north winds fill in behind the rains as the mercury plummets, but these can be some of our strongest and most steady winds. We pull out the thick suits and go out with the wild ones, the pelicans and ducks. Its duck weather, after all. You know you want it bad when your fingers lose the strength to turn the key in the door lock when you get back to the car. You just want to warm your feet and hands so you can derig, only to find your hands won’t cooperate. We’d have kept sailing, but our feet felt like two dead fish on the deck. In times like these we’re so thankful for our fellow sailors. The best bros in our lives, huddling in the van hoping our feet thaw out, all the time wondering if we’ve sustained permanent damage this time. This is a scene playing out all winter across the nation. I’ve seen guys at Lake Champlain hiking their gear through snow to get to the water. Now that’s dedication!
There are dozens, if not hundreds of small windsurfing communities of die-hard sailors across the country. Summer in the Gorge is like a calling of the clans. It’s like someone throws the Electro-Magnetic switch to summon the vast, like-minded hearty souls spread across the world. If you’ve ever wondered where we all come from to fill the rental houses, restaurants, and parking lots of Gorge launch sites, it’s from hundreds of small localized tribes. We need it and live for it. We hone our skills during frosty weather and grey winter skies, and you can bet we’re hitting the gym in between, focused solely on ripping those magic Gorge waves. We want it and we are coming to get it again this summer.
Are you, too, from a microscopic sailing scene? We’d love to hear your local story!