Home and Hood

Posted on Posted in Travel, Uncategorized
All this checked-in for free
All this checked-in for free

Checking in my windsurf gear for free has become a norm for me! This was my 2nd check-in in a row with a ton of gear and taking it all for free. Leaving Fuerteventura I lucked out and the employee working the ticket desk didn’t show up for work, so the airline was not charging for excess luggage. Sweet!

Arriving at home hanging out with my brothers was the call. After a night at home we left for a friend’s cottage for a bachelor party, and then off for 5 days of camping up at the place where I learnt and got addicted to windsurfing. Although the wind did not co-operate we had perfect weather for beach volleyball, swimming and cooking over the campfire. We must have played at least 15 volleyball matches per day – it was ridiculous – and ridiculously fun. We mixed it up with some island swims, stand-up paddling and morning jogs. We must be getting older, because what use to be big beach parties and running from the park rangers has become a relaxing week of sports 😉 Either way we still had a few nights with friends, guitars and beer around the campfire.

Checking out the flat lake hoping for wind
Checking out the flat lake hoping for wind
Classic sunset view from Granite Saddle overlooking Harold's Point
Classic sunset view from Granite Saddle overlooking Harold’s Point
Hanging out with the brothers on the campsite
Hanging out with the brothers on the campsite
The gear ready for the wind at Killbear that never materialized
The gear ready for the wind at Killbear that never materialized

Hood River was the next destination, and once again I managed to fly with the gear for free! Mind you I didn’t have much, only 1 board, 4 sails and some parts. I used the self check-in computer, printed my luggage tags, stuck them onto my triple board bag, and dropped it off at the excess luggage without further question! I hope all these free check-ins don’t catch up with me later on in the year 😉

The Gorge has been great since I arrived. I started off with a day on 4.7 at the Hatch, followed by a couple days of light winds and kayaking on the White Salmon River with Dale Cook.

Skopu on the Columbia River - photo by Brian Sprout
Skopu on the Columbia River – photo by Brian Sprout

I also took a day to hangout and teach at a free freestyle windsurf clinic organized by Ella Mudry. It was a ton of fun, the kids learnt the loop pre-exercise in light winds, and also how to do a waterstart in very light winds holding onto the mast and foot of the sail. We finished it off with a 10 minute expression session competition.

Free Freesytle clinic expression session winners
Free Freestyle clinic expression session winners

Since then it’s been blowing for sails 4.5 down to 3.7 every day. I mostly sailed at “The Hatchery” in the mornings before the crowds showed up. In the afternoons I sailed a couple of times from the “Event Site”, and snuck away downwind to a flat spot behind a sandbar. It’s a really fun spot, and it’s nice to have the option of sailing different types of conditions in one day.

Today there’s finally a welcome break in the wind, but it looks like it’s on again tomorrow, but from the East. East winds blow only early in the mornings, and it blows the same direction as the current of the river, so rather than always sailing downwind you always have to sail upwind. Looks like it will work at a few spots further West of Hood River, such as Stevenson or Rooster Rock. Let’s see what tomorrow and my next 2.5 weeks in Hood River bring.