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Going out in the cold

In 2009 I went out in such cold weather that ice formed on my sail - up at the chalet. Since it was a 7-oh, I was able to squeeze it into the chalet and let it thaw out. Last Monday I was at OKA and there was no place to thaw the sail out at La CrĂȘte. And so I rolled it up as best as i could with the ice breaking up as i rolled it up. Yvente of quebecwind confirmed to me via PM that is the thing to do ...

Before going out on Monday I read up on all the cold weather tricks. Since 2009 I had put my limit at about 5 degrees Celsius and I have read about others setting the same limit. On Monday it was colder and I went out in the afternoon anyway, butt was sunny. This alone is supposed to make a BIG difference. I poured warm water on my boots and that seemed to help. I was unable to wear socks inside my boots since they just became too tight. Since then I have read that has some boots that are like semi-dry and are not much more money than the regular 5 mm neoprene boots that i currently have.

My wetsuit is a good Niel Pryde and keeps me warm - there is already a post about that below. I keep my underwear on, but am unable to keep a T-shirt or undershirt on - too difficult to peel on the suit.

My gloves are Chinook and have thinner palms. I keep the tie-up fairly loose ie minimal and come in to warm the hands up after the first initial cold. This circulation trick seems to work for everyone.
A fellow has invented a system where you blow warm air over your hands: and another fellow liked the idea and made his own version:

Around my neck i wear the hoodie and a helmet on my head. I like to be able to hear and do not feel like cutting hearing holes into the hoodie.

For the face people suggest Vaseline, Nivea or any kind of fat to cut the wind and cold.

Even after all the hassles - I am already looking forward to a potential session on Saturday :)
The last one and next one are and will be with a FreeFormula of 94 cm width and a 10-oh race sail :)
I find sailing in the cold both exhilarating and invigorating :)

I almost forgot - one is NOT supposed to sail alone... and so I carry a cell phone inside a water proof pouch. Also, even though tempted - I do NOT go across the entire lake like usual. I try to stay within swimming distance of the shore. My problem is : I can swim quite far with equipment under my arm and so often am tempted to go further. The importance is SAFE FUN !!! and that is why i am doing this post. These are things NOT to be taken lightly !!!! The danger factor has increased exponentially :-(
I should probably even bring something to blaze a trail through the ice - since i could slip and fall otherwise !!!
I also kept my session much shorter than usual - about an hour or so ...

My friends at work want me to note that i urinated in my wetsuit. I usually avoid this, but this time there was no time, it was cold, attached in back, etc. In seems some people do this to warm up as well. Strange people [:)]

Anders, who is a speed windsurfer takes windsurfing in the cold really seriously - for me he overdoes it for 3 degree weather...

And local windsurfer Yvente ALWAYS takes it to the extreme - he windsurfs year round near Montreal on Lac Champlain.

Check it out !!! In those conditions - the kitewing makes more sense, non ??

Neil Pryde 5/3 Steamer Series 3000

Earlier this year (April 2012) I purchased this wetsuit to replace my old original BARE 5/4 steamer wetsuit. The BARE was beyond repair and was starting to look pretty bad with all the patches and rough gluing i had done in the past.

Since the original BARE, I had purchased a two (2) piece BARE with farmer pants from Yvan aka Yvente. I love this wetsuit cuz I can choose to wear only the pants on days when it is not too cold in the air... The NP steamer was purchased for those cold outings - i usually do 5 to 10 of those a year.

In terms of warmth I rate this wetsuit quite high. I put it on before going out and temperatures were approaching freezing in the air. Water was cold enough to make my feet in the booties a little cold, but the body was fine. During this outing my hands were fine as well - Chinook mittens...

My issue with the NP is the putting it on and taking it off. The 2 piece BARE zips in the front and that is a JOY. This one zips in the back with a short chord - which i will extend - and goes on like sticky rubber. For the first trial, i could NOT pull the zipper up myself. Luckily i did this at home cuz no-one was at the park beach that day ...

Once wet, getting it off was even worse. And i was in a hurry to go to the bathroom/can/toilet. TMI - i know, butt if you want to get it off in a hurry - foget about it ... :(

I hope with some more practice getting it on and off, i will like it more !!!

btw there are little flaps n stuff around the top of the zipper that seem to help keep the cold water OUT !!!

Skate Windsurfing? aka Skate Sailing

I have seen and discussed on this blog windsurfing on ice and snow, spoon windsurfing and other variations of winter fun with sails. However, I did NOT mention nor have i seen this form of winter fun before. They call it Skate Sailing. As usual this comes from the Scandinavian sector of the planet - believe it is Sweden in this case. For now I just wish to share this video, butt i will go out and collect more info, images and videos. ENJOY :-)

According to wikipedia:
"Skate sailing is not a new sport. Drawings of skaters holding sails in Europe go back to the 18th century or perhaps 17th century."

Here is a good link how to skate sail and has other links like how to build one :-)

Sometimes I read about sail types like Hopatcong and I assume it is Scandinavian and perhaps it is. Apparently it is also a lake in New Jersey :-)

Here is another fellow with sail plans :
And another:

As I read about this sport, it seems to have existed for quite some time and originated in Sweden around 1900.

What gets stranger is, one starts to find information on stilted skates and also skate wings. Oddly enough we NEVER seem to have heard about these things here. One would have thought that Canada with ice and snow would have tried all kinds of winter activities. It seems skiing was enough ??

Here is a skate wing video: it's ONLY 13 secs, butt that was all i could find on this one...

Here is a piece of history. This woman was apparently the champ in NJ in 1924 !!!
Skate Sailing, River Styx Cove, circa 1925.

The previous two(2) photos are apparently from the Lake Hopatcong Museum ...

Even the military was doin' it ...