Bit of a breakthrough
Almost seven weeks since I made my pledge to attend the windsurfing club at least three times a week, and I am pleased to say that I have fulfilled the conditions every week, apart from this one where I have only been twice so far. But it was agreed (by me) that four hours walking round Chinatown qualifies as an alternative to a visit to the club, but I might go sailing tomorrow anyway, just to ensure that the presiding committtee (my conscience) can’t raise any objections.
It hasn’t always been easy. There have been afternoons when there has been no wind and it has either been stinking hot or raining; and the last thing I have felt like doing is driving all the way to the club and then paddling a SUP for an hour down to the marina and back, in waters that are currently containing more than their share of jellyfish. But I have found myself doing it, because of the pledge I made.
Yesterday was the day I realised I had made something of a breakthrough, helped in no small part by this:
It’s called a Serenity and while it is classed as a windsurfer, it is actually a very small personal yacht. It’s longer and narrower than a normal windsurfer….
… and it has a yacht shaped hull and a sodding big fin:
I bought mine about mine about five years ago and they have long since gone out of production, but it is a very special piece of kit. In light winds you stick on a big sail and it just takes off like nothing else on the water. You stand on the deck, admiring the gorgeous wood finish, as the board (boat?) slices through the water at a ridiculously high speed given the state of the wind; just an amazing feeling.
But it can also be a bitch. Swell throws it off course, it is always changing its mind as to where it thinks it should go next; and it is quite happy to throw you into the water with very little provocation. As a result, even in light winds, sailing a Serenity take constant involvement and a fair degree of energy.
Which is why I was surprised to realise that I sailed it for over an hour yesterday without a break, and only stopped because the wind died. And once I had finished, I still felt fresh enough to carry, wash and stow all my gear without needing a sit-down, a huge change from seven weeks ago.
Mind you, once I got home and the adrenaline had worn off, I felt completely exhausted; but it was a good type of exhaustion, the type where you feel good and all your body is humming, rather than the type where you feel like you are going to vomit and then die; or the even worse type where you actually do.
And today I felt fine and was out again on the Serenity, and a smaller board when the wind picked up. And I wasn’t thinking about getting through half an hour of torture, but just going out and enjoying sailing, like I used to before frozen shoulders and a rampant thyroid screwed me up.
Happy days. Thank you Craig for making supporting noises, and thank you Serenity for being you. I feel like a windsurfer again, which at my age is something to be grateful for.
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