29th May 2009
Camping tip. Dont put camembert cheese in the fridge. It stinks the place out.
After the fun at Leaucate I decided to drive up to Gruissan and check out the conditions there. The sat nav asked whether I wanted to go on the toll roads. Trying to save a bit of money I said no. Big mistake. Trying to negotiate the van through the narrow roads was demanding to say the least. The icing
on the cake was a rickety bridge that I had to cross. I could hear it groaning under the weight of the van. So the journey back will be on the toll road.
The wind at Gruissan was some the strongest i've ever experienced. I estimate solid gusts of 50 knots as I arrived. Not knowing where to go, I went to the tourist information centre. They were very helpful as they were in Leaucate. Goostaff also gave me some coords to go to. The beach is huge. With this uber gusty and strong wind banging offshore. This wasnt an option to go out in. Eventualy I found Etang De Matelle. There is a windsurf / kite centre there. But it was totally deserted. It was around midday so I guessed they were having their dinner.
The next problem was getting my kit off the van. With such strong wind. There was a good chance the boards would get blown off the roof. I need my Missile xs and it was on the bottom of the pile which was a pain. So I went back into town to find a high building that could shelter the van from the wind. After a lot of searching I found a house that would do the job.
With the board inside the van I went back to the lake. There were a couple of Germ an guys rigging up a 3.2. (!) It looked like it was dropping to me until a gust came through that nearly lifted me off my feet. So I rigged my new 4.6 C4 speed with my new C3 Venom 24.
As I got on the water I realised that it was not going to be a good session. I was right in the wind dropping kind of. The viscious gusts that were charging through. Were getting less frequent. So I would be up to my tits in water then I would be hanging on for dear life. I only had three short runs that were unsettled to say the least. A gust would hit then disappear then another gust would hit. I was wondering if my van would have all the paint blasted off by the sand when i got back.
On the plus side the sail and fin felt good even though I was getting battered by the on off wind and the fin didnt let go on me once.
The forecast was for the wind to drop the next day so I went back to Leaucate to sail on the teleski lake. After sorting out some bits and bobs I was on the water for around midday. I rigged my 6.8 C4 with the Venom 32 on the Manta 59. At the moment this is my favorite board, sail, fin combo. I could push as hard I liked with no of it becoming unsettled. The wind dropped after about half an hour so I kept the 6.8 up and used the Manta 67 instead. A good days sailing.
The forecast for Leaucate was for no wind for the coming week. So with Matthew at Demon sails advice I have made the trip down to the Bay of Roses. The wind here is thermal so i'm hoping to get a few sessions in
the open sea. Fingers crossed!