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Popular Posts/Articles:
Foiling: hydrofoiling.html
GoPro Hero: GoPro-hero.html
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
BIC Dufour Wing & Starting Windsurfing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html 
Tabou Rocket 125: tabou-rocket.html 
History of Windsurfing: http://history-of-windsurfing.html
Heavyweights: heavyweights-and-windsurfing.html
Physics of Windsurfing: jim-drakes-windsurf-physics.html  
Fanatic Shark: fanatic-shark.html
Formula and Long Boards: formula-boards-and-longboards.html
Light Wind Section: light wind section.html
Early Planing: early-planing.html

Getting Started: 
How I started Winter Sailboarding: how-i-started-winter-windsurfing.html
How I Started Shortboarding how-i-started-shortboarding.html
How YOU can start windsurfing: how-you-can-start-windsurfing.html
Parts of a Sail/Windsurf board discussed:
Sailboards sailboards.htm                          windsurf-board-categories.html
Fins: fins.html  and how to repair them ...
Sails: sails.html                                         
Sail Materials: sail-materials.html                                 
Masts: masts.html
Mast Bases: mast-bases.html
BOOM: boom.html                                
Accessories: accessories.html

My Boards and Reviews:
AHD FF 160 liter: how-i-started-shortboarding.html  
AHD SL2 132 liter: http://ahd-sl2-132.html
BIC Dufour Wing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html
Fanatic BEE 124 LTD: fanatic-bee-124-ltd.html
Fanatic Ultra CAT: fanatic-ultra-cat.html
JP SuperLightWind/SLW92: JP SuperLightWind
Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR: mistral-equipe-i-lcs-xr.html
Mistral Competition SST: Mistral COMP SST
Mistral Equipe II / 2: mistral equipe 2 aka MEQ2

HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5: HSM SPF 8.5.html
MS-2 vs Pursuit: maui-sails-pursuit-vs-ms-2.html 

Health & Safety:
Safety First: safety-first.html
BEE stuff: bees.html

Windsurfing in Montrealwindsurfing-in-montreal.html
Original Journal Entries: original-journal-entries.html 
New journal entries: new-journal-entries.html
Newer journal entries: 2014/2015 journal entries.html
2016 journal entries: 2016-windsurf-journal.html
2017 journal entries: 2017-windsurf-journal.html
2018 journal entries: 2018-journal-entries.html


Go Pro Alternatives

Since the GoPro gained such popularity , went through many versions and also had the Hero, other companies tried to make cheaper imitations... Since I lost my GoPro 3 Silver ... I decided to try the different alternatives. The first one I tried was a Pic Tek from Amazon and cost just over one hundred Canadian dollars. Since I am not looking for perfection, it was ok and I recommended it to some people who were completely satisfied. I was NOT ...

This video seemed okay, but the first one in the winter outside had a strange hue ...
The next video in the winter did NO|T have that strange hue - perhaps I somehow overcame this with the settings ??

what was I disappointed about ??
already mentioned the hue and basically some colour just did not get my attention ...

Ed, my buddy at work showed me some footage at Hawaii above and below water with an SJ CAM.
I liked the colour and the option to reduce the wide angle ...
So, I purchased an SJ400 for under $70 delivered ...
This is my first video at OKA on Canada Day 2018 , well actually Mon, July 2nd ...

In the cover shot colours are good ..
Sound is not bad without the case ...
A bit shaky with no change in settings ..
Date is wrong and showing on the film = FIXED $%^&*(

here's one heading out of OKA La Crête - same day ...

une autre essaie mais avec le camera en dessous le boom/wishbone  - sans date et 1080p

there are PLENTY of cheaper GoPro alternatives that do the job just fine ..
just google it ...

and there is also the GoPro Hero Session - well, there WAS - is it no longer manufactured ??
it was a tiny little camera that seemed very handy ...
they seem to be available still
and are $$$ like all

Self Rescue

Because of what happened to me recently on my first outing on a D2/Division 2 board ... and after some discussion with Franco of Montreal, I found it appropriate and important to discuss "self-rescue".
If one goes out alone or no-one left on the water or just too far from anyone else ....

It is VITAL to be ready for the unexpected ...

Here is Tinho's take on what one can do to come back - without the sail !!!

and since ... posts disappear on the web or addresses change &^*()
i will copy that information here directly !!

and it is on a Fanatic Shark 130 that looks like my 145 = oh oh
is it an omen ??
What it means to self rescue: You de-rig while in the water, stow your rolled up rig on top of the board (or give it to someone else, and paddle your board back.

Self rescue simple rules:
1- ALWAYS stay with your board. Do not ever under any circumstances leave your board.
2- Only self rescue when you are sure you can reach safety by paddling. If you are in the middle of the Atlantic, keep your rig together with your board, it is more visible and slows drifting.
3- While de-rigging only have one loose piece of gear on your hand at a time. Secure loose items to the board as you de-rig.

Sit on the board with the legs to the side of the rig, (or straddle the board in the case of  narrow or shorter boards). Disconnect the rig from the board. From this point on, rule #1 applies!! You cannot catch a loose board in 20 knots of wind. If you fall off the board, immediately grab your board.

Move the rig around so you can reach the outhaul and clew.

Release the outhaul and be sure to place your finger in front of the cleat so the tip of the line does not get stuck on the cleat. If this happens, you will not be able to self rescue!!.

Remove the inhaul and separate the boom from the rig.
Tie the uphaul to the footstrap so the boom is tethered to the board.

Remove the downhaul completely. Use the same trick with the finger on the cleat so the line tip does not jam inside the cleat. 
Remove the extension and connect it to the mast foot, so your hands are free.

Remove the sail from the mast. Careful to keep all the pieces together. If a mast has broken, careful with the sharp edges of the mast. 

Once the mast is off the sail, hold the mast under your leg, and begin rolling the head of the sail around the battens.
As soon as you give it a few wraps, place the mast pieces inside each other if possible, or both side by side inside the roll you just made.

Roll the sail as tight and neatly as possible, keeping the mast pieces and the battens parallel to each other.
It really helps to spread the legs and keep them extended so the sail is kept as flat as possible while rolling it up.

Tie the boom front to the roll, using the uphaul, then use the outhaul to tie the opposite end

Turn the roll around and tie now the outhaul around the other side of the roll, so the boom is holding it all together

Place the extension inside the roll and use the downhaul to tie the roll securely.

And this is your complete 1 piece package, ready to stow on top of the board and begin the joyful paddle back!!

At this time, unscrew the mast foot from the board and connect it to the mast extension.

Next , maneuver the rig across the board. If you have a short board, lay down on the board and begin shifting the rig lengthwise, gradually getting on top of it. It is important to keep the boom front end facing down, and facing the front of the board, so the boom tubes stabilize the rig package.

It's time to paddle.  Do use your arms as deep as possible in the water, rest your head on the rig, and keep a rhythm.

Do practice self rescue with your equipment. You will need it one day.
I prefer to say - you MAY need it one day
Prepare for the unexpected !!

And this is ONLY one aspect of self-rescue.

MANY other things can go wrong too - broken/lost fin, broken mast, etc
For the broken fin, I have read that people have attached their harness at the back to act as a rudimentary fin.
For the broken mast this fellow suggests inverting the top and sliding into the bottom:

The next edition of the Canadian Master's newsletter carries a piece about my incident on the water:

Safety on the water - please read the article on page 6 from Joe Windsurfer. Wow he is so lucky to have survived, what a story. Joe lost his board when the rig separated from the board and almost lost his life. Make sure you have a whistle and stay with your board and always sail with a buddy are the 3 key messages. Also, for those of you that like to paddle, please make sure you have a lanyard connecting your leg and the board. Every year paddle boarders die because they fall off their
boards and cannot swim fast enough to catch up with their boards blown away in the wind.

Personally feel that it is a little exaggerated. Never did I feel close to death, but I was wondering how deep into hypothermia I was going to be. The important message again is - be careful and always be ready for the unexpected !!!

While we are on the subject of safety ...

Please check your equipment at the beginning of the season !! As I don't go out that often and usually go in light wind, I am NOT expecting too many equipment replacement issues .... And what have I been saying here ?? over and over ... Expect the unexpected !!!

This is my tendon of my Chinook mast base ... I asked how often should one replace this ?? Yvan of auventfou says to just check it annually. Jack of the South Shore says every three(3) years.

Fortunately when I picked up a used board at auventfou, I asked Vincent to check my tendon and this is what we saw !!!

Clique to enlarge
Clique to enlarge
 Bad things were about to happen !! Check your stuff !!!

Was I going to drown ??

Obviously I did NOT !!

People have suggested I make this a separate post rather than at the beginning of this one:

A quick summary is that I was out alone on semi-cold water (about 15 degrees C or 59 F) doing a first run with my newly-acquired D2/div2/Division 2 board. The wind was side-shore and my first session of the year at La Crête/OKA Parc.

The good news is that I was wearing a wetsuit (only the farmer john portion of a 2 piece BARE) , booties and did have on my good safety jacket ...

The bad news is - I did NOT prepare for the unexpected !!
The board was a 1982/1983 REIX Competition board

that had been found on some rocks near Montreal by Eric Bouillet, who is the president of the international id2ca organization. They are trying to get a comeback on these boards - racing/fun/etc ...

When I purchased the board, I asked if the mast base connection was solid.
Eric had replied YES

It definitely connects well with a modern Chinook mast base

Basically what did happen was - the mast base DID separate from the board in the middle of the lake. When I was attempting a tack. 
André Lefrancois at work says why not a jibe/gybe ??

Was informed by Eric and iwindsurf forum that this was known issue - in 20 years of windsurfing, I have NEVER had this issue... Not with Fanatic Ultra Cat, BIC Dufours, BIC SL200 and definitely not with boards that have mast tracks ...

I managed to grab the board once, but let it go when going for the sail.
That was a MAJOR mistake - forget the sail at this point - get on the board or get a good solid grip.
I considered getting rid of the life jacket and dashing after the board.
Was worried about being in the middle of the lake with nothing ...

So, the board continued on its way and I was left with the sail.
Basically I swam for two(2) hours until I was rescued ...
More on that later ...

What I did not have was - NO phone in water proof bag (both in the van).
Did not have a whistle - also in the van ...

As I said, I did NOT plan for the unexpected and was ALONE on the water ...
The alone part surprised me - there were kiters on the beach when I left and NO boats on the water during the first long weekend of the season ...
Basically the kiters stayed close to shore and boaters were all preparing for the upcoming season.
It had been a rough spring - with lotsa rain ...

I am SURE I had some premonition because once started, my thought was to go across to the other side (3-4 km across) and then tack in the shallow waters - in case anything went wrong ...

What happened with the wind and current I was headed more downwind and would have to go into the bay ...

So, I was thinking, "Is that really necessary ? What can go wrong?"
and I tried a tack, but with the rounded belly of the board was having some issues...\
The sail came out and some of the story has been told ...

Two major issues as far as I am concerned - where I should have known better ...
They are not about safety equipment, but more about the plan of action !!

1) If testing a new setup - use on-shore winds , smaller venue, etc
         ie TAKE IT EASY

2) IF board and sail separate - go for the board and hold on to it for dear life ...
         ie this is your safety vehicle

The other BIG lessons are safety ...
if alone - bring whistle, phone, VHF, beacon, everything you got ...
on older boards (1980's) tie the sail to the board
a couple of times I immersed my head in the water to save the sail
that is NOT recommended and may have been why i was starting hypothermia ...

when I was rescued by Caroline (a sailing instructor of Club Voiles Deux Montagnes, Vaudreuil) I could barely get in the inflatable dinghy and was shaking profusely.
I waved them down when I thought their eyes may directed in my direction ...
Simon Deschenes (a 14 year old sailor) helped drag my ass into the dinghy
I draped a windbreaker over my shoulders and Caroline called ahead to Guy @ the club
The sail was rescued and so was I ...
Guy met us at the dock and was checked for hypothermia and asked if i thought i needed an ambulance. I did not think so ....
By pressing my skin and seeing the colour come back in 2 seconds Guy felt i was just starting hypothermia ...
I was offered a hot shower and hot tea ...
Both items were helpful in getting my core temperature back.
Actually had to go in and out of the hot shower for about an hour before i could stop shivering entirely.
Then sat in the sun out of the wind to completely warm up ....

People at the club were SO friendly and helpful
Caroline, Guy, Guy Deschenes , his wife, Simon and Daniel - thank you so much
asked the club how i could thank them through the club ...
The Deschenes actually gave me a ride back in their van to La Crête - once Simon finished his lesson.
At the park i could not get a ride at the gate because there was an emergency ...
The kiters at the park had actually called 911 - they saw me go , but never come back !!
It turns out - I was the emergency :-)
Everyone seemed so happy to see me - and i was even happy to see my co-workers on Tuesday after a long weekend :-)

What about the board ??
Many e-mails to boat clubs, windsurf forums, windsurf shops, etc
It is not about the money - it's just because that board was about reviving DIV2
For that reason Eric of id2ca, who sold me the board, is more concerned than I about retrieving it ...
I would sail it again when it turns up - but either permanently attaching base or at least make it better and attach it to the sail $%^*()_+

Today the next Sunday my wife and I went to check out where board may have gone ...
Drove north side of the 40 just west of the BIG bridge /Pont Ile aux Tourtes ? - until we hit water
Talked to Daniel and Guy Deschenes at Club Voiles Deux Montagnes, Vaudreuil - my rescuers ...
Drove around Ile Cadieu stopping at a few places and looking about
Went to Senneville avenue to try and see from the other side
WOW - really do need a boat and lotsa time
Daniel seemed to think it would end up in Laval
I am almost guessing more South Shore
Oh well - I tried ...

Buddy suggested I mention that it took some time to recover.
At least a couple of days - from the effort and initial hypothermia.
In terms of the wife - yes, she is more wary about my going out alone.
Suggests getting the VHF first, etc
Co-workers ask the following Monday - you're alive ??
My new song is "Stayin' Alive" from the Bee Gees ...
I am ready to go out again - just waitin' for wind !!!
(with whistle and phone if alone)