August and September 2002: Windsurfing and Hiking in California
I bought a new windsurfer in August. It was overdue. My old red one (see here) had gained 10 pounds in weight. It had too many holes that were sucking in water. I remember days when I didn't go boardsailing because it was too cumbersome to carry the heavy board to my car.
My new board is a Fanatic Cross CX110. It has 110 liters, is 160 cm short, and weighs less than 9 kg. I tried it first at Cabrillo Beach, just outside the port of Los Angeles. And I liked it from the first hour! It jibes nicely, and is good to control in bumpy water.
The new board still doesn't have enough volume to get planning in the light winds prevailing in San Diego. But I just refuse to surf with a 9 m² sail and a 160-liter "formula" board like most people do here. I'd rather drive two hours to a place with real wind.
After a good day of sailing, I drove up to the mountains east of Los Angeles, and stayed at Chilao campground for the night (note the two boards on my car). I returned the next day to Cabrillo Beach and was again lucky with the wind.
Having a new board, I was again keen on windsurfing and decided to drive to Lopez Lake over Labor Day weekend. The lake is about 400 miles north of San Diego, close to San Luis Obispo. I had never been to the lake before, but I have heard that it has good thermal winds in fall. I was not disappointed. When I arrived it was blowing with 25 mph. After a hearty lunch, I felt strong enough to conquer the wind.
The spot reserved for windsurfing overlooks the lake, provides a nice grass rigging area, and trees for shade.
Many people enjoyed the place for picnics while watching the windsurfers.
When I left the campground, I even spotted deer through the bushes. It didn't look as if it had to fear hunters. In fact, it was wandering around with turkeys trailing. It looked like an odd symbiosis.
On the way home, I stopped by at Jalama Beach. The beach is a premiere surf sailing site and notorious for its vicious board chomping and mast breaking shore break. Jalama's best season is spring, and there wasn't much wind during my short visit. The beach is many miles away from any city and it is hard to believe that such places still exist at Southern California's shore line. I keep my fingers crossed that it stays this way.
In September, I climbed with the San Diego Hiking Club on Stonewall Peak for the annual Sunset-and-full-moon-rise-potluck-dinner (Pictures from last year's event are here).