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Rig seperation at Arlington/Roosevelt
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AfterDarkMark



Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, yes - always have to double-check that the mast base slider (retainer) is clicked in and secure! It sure can be a bitch to secure it while in the water though. So glad you caught up to your board.

The last time I really struggled with re-attaching the rig to the board was at Newport South Beach. Yet another self-rescue. I was fairly far off-shore when part of my boom head broke. It was a bit foggy and gloomy, getting more so, and about 30 minutes to sunset, so I was extra motivated to get back underway towards shore. I needed to use the up-haul bungie line to wrap around the mast in order to create an attachment to the mast for the boom head. If tight enough this would give me a chance to sail back in. I've always had an up-haul on for 25 years for this reason, or to bundle stuff together, and I've had to do this routine several times before.

So out in the deep dark sea, I detach the rig to get the up-haul available. I manage to get the boom attached somewhat. Then comes time to re-attach the rig. Oh boy. Treading water in the ocean swells, I was having a hell of a time achieving this! For a while there, I thought I was not going to be able to do it in that rough water. And it was getting dark. Half the time I'm trying, it seems I'm underwater! But I'm very persistent and calm and just kept working at it and hallelujah, I finally got it clicked in. Yes! Good thing I'm not afraid of sharks, and that the water wasn't terribly cold that day, and that I was wearing a drysuit. I got chilly, but never got to shivering.

Anyway, the breeze is still up, so I waterstart, and as I come up, the boom just slides all the way down the cutout and this makes me fall in. Damn - boom too loose. So back to re-wrapping the up-haul in a hopefully better, tighter fashion to the mast. Second time was better, got a good waterstart and took off at a great clip for shore. The boom starts sliding down, slowly but surely. Each bounce of chop creeps it down. As it gets lower, the rig gets more and more difficult to control, and eventually I crash again. Rinse and repeat. I do this routine several times but eventually off in the fog I hear the sound of breakers. So I know I'm making some good progress. One more round and when the inevitable fall occurs I'm right at the edge of the impact zone. This is always fun...

However, the wind is much lower here, so no waterstarts. I'm just holding the rig up as the waves loom up behind me out of the fog. Luckily none were tall or heavy enough to bash me around excessively, and they were giving me a welcome push towards land. Eventually, near darkness, I touched sand and was finally able to wade back up onto the shore. Yay! That's always a great feeling.

With the now heavy fog, I really did not know where I washed up. So I start the long gear drag to my left. And I walk and walk in the dark gloom. Finally, after what seemed to be 30 minutes, I saw the south end of the big group of white condos appear out of the mist. At least I knew where I was now, but wow, I still had a ways to go. I got washed way the hell south by the current during my long struggles in the water. So the slog continues, on and on and I finally start heading up the long dune to the walk-over, to get to the day use area. And I see two faint figures in the fog. It's my fellow windsurfers Michael Chacon and Bryan Williams, who were sailing there with me earlier. They had waited around quite a while to see if I was going to reappear, and were debating whether I was alive or not and when to call the Coast Guard. Michael said that since I'm AfterDarkMark, he felt that I would come dragging up soon after dark. And true to form, I did, to the relief of all. Thanks guys for waiting for me to see if I was okay!! We all have to look out for each other if we can, especially in the cold ocean.

So based on this incident, I made one change to my gear. (Besides replacing my boom front - duh). I would have done it a long time ago if I had thought about it, and I'm surprised up-hauls don't come this way standard. But I took the elastic loop at the bottom end, and cut it. I attached a set of nylon clip-in buckles to the elastic ends so that I can attach, or more importantly, detach the up-haul WITHOUT having to detach the rig from the board. Hassle and risk avoided. Dakine, are you reading this?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14446

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AfterDarkMark wrote:
Treading water in the ocean swells, I was having a hell of a time achieving this! ...
So based on this incident, I made one change to my gear.

I suggest another: a flotation/rib armor vest. Just enough flotation to eliminate treading water, but not so much you can't swim straight down, plus rib protection, totally free arm movement, plus confidence, plus warmth, with no noticeable bulk. I can bob effortlessly in the water and crack oyster shells on my head for lunch ... if I can just remember to take the oysters out there with me. Smile
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duckwind



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a seperation many years ago at Stevensen on an east wind in March. I was about 3/4 across to Oregon. Tried to swim after the board but quickly realized it was gone. I turned around and saw my rig - that was comforting, as the water was cold! I got the rig and swam to the Oregon side, walked down the tracks and got a ride from a guy at the marina in Cascade Locks. Funny thing: as I left town that day on a whim I swung by Gorge Performance and bought a neoprene hood. I was damn glad I was wearing it that day. The seperation happened the first time I jibed after changing boards. I have always checked my connection since!
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AfterDarkMark



Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhanson928 wrote:
I'll add another thought: I would never ever have caught up with my board on either instance had I been wearing a "life" vest.

I won't comment on whether these personal flotation/ flak vests that I often see being worn are good or bad..but I know for certain that in some instances they can keep you from being able to do what you need to do...Like swim fast to catch a board...


One thought I had about PFD's or impact vests in these cases. If you have a separation or some other event where you felt like you need to swim fast and unimpeded, you could always take off the vest, attach it to your rig so that it doesn't sink and you can see it better, then take off like mad for the board. Then you could put the vest back on later, or not. However, I know that there would be many who would think this is just the time to make sure you have floatation and to not remove the vest. I guess it's best to make sure whatever you wear doesn't impede swimming motions too much...
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14446

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AfterDarkMark wrote:
If you have a separation or some other event where you felt like you need to swim fast and unimpeded, you could always take off the vest ....

By then the board is gone, and any vest that impedes swimming is the wrong vest.
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summertime



Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow! dh and afterdarkmark deserve olympic medals for those feats! amazing stories!
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