Fenn Swordfish + Winter Gail Warning = Good Surfing
NORTHERN INLAND WATERS INCLUDING THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS-
856 AM PST SAT NOV 17 2012
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT BECOMING S 15 TO 25 KT THIS
AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 4 TO 7 FT. RAIN AT TIMES.
I was a bit late scrambling out of the house this morning for what I was hoping to be a healthy downwinder. Though I’ve turned into a true believer in the Fenn Elite SL which has been my primary boat of choice all year, I decided to grab the Swordfish and give it a spin. While we loaded boats for shuttle & did our best not to let them become airborne, I noticed the bay was a mixture of steep whitecaps with multidirectional gusts howling from the south – a perfect Swordfish morning!
We launched from Wildcat Cove in fairly chaotic conditions and had to slalom between several deadheads bouncing around the beach. After a bit of effort to get clear of Whiskey Rock, we agreed on the mandatory regrouping points, hit ‘start’ on the GPS and let her rip. The first mile had the highest slop factor, but still very surfable. We regrouped at Governs Point, had a short lull of mellow waves till Dot Island, then the waves returned with a vengeance and it has hoot-hollering game time all the way to Marine Park. All in all, I averaged above 9.0 mph (including two float about regroup stops) with two top rides above 14. Hard pressed to say I would have been faster in any other ski, definitely not as comfortable in the multidirectional slop, coldwater, and steep waves. Pulled out of Marine Park all smiles post ripping downwinder & reflected on recent quote from Dawid Mocke regarding the Swordifsh, “90% of surfski paddlers worldwide should be in this surfski” – I was definitely glad to be part of the 90%!
*On a side note, I used a ski patrol radio harness to carry my radio today. I’ve struggled in the past to find a comfortable way to attach the radio which holds firm through a gusty paddle and doesn’t interfere with the paddle stroke. Conterra, based here in Bellingham, are the manufactures of top quality EMS & rescue equipment. I quickly adjusted their Radio Chest Harness during shuttle and was pleasantly surprised how functional and low profile the harness was. A couple modification to the strap rigging and this device will be the perfect clip-on accessory to carry all of your safety devices….stay tuned!