Windy Weather

It’s been quite calm here recently – unusual for Ynyslas. Of course, it’s all relative as calm here is pretty windy for most people. It’s rarely completely still, so there’s been a decent breeze most days and almost enough o windsurf now and then but never a proper blow.

Monday had some decent wind forecast though so I was hoping for a windsurf session.

Monday's Forecast
Monday’s Forecast

I therefore did a turbo trainer ride in the morning – 4x 4mins at 106% of FTP. It looked easy, but wasn’t!

TrainerRoad Session
TrainerRoad Session

I then spent the day wandering back and forth to the beach to check the conditions whilst dodging the downpours. I know I have a weather station here to tell me exactly what it’s doing, but there’s no substitute for feeling it in person on the beach! Besides, the tide was too high in the morning so I had to check on that too. Yes, I can of course check the tides online as well. Not only that, I even added a new feature to our little home-info-display at the weekend. I moved the weather forecast slightly and added the tide times to it. We can now see what the solar panels are doing, what the battery is doing, what the weather is doing and what the tides are doing, all at a glance as we walk past it in the kitchen!

Home info Panel with Tides
Home info Panel with Tides

On the beach, the tide was just dropping off the pebbles.

The Sea
The Sea

By 2pm the torrential rain had clear to sunny spells, the tide had dropped off the pebbles and the wind had picked up to a nice 25-30 knots. Time to load up the wheelbarrow and head to the beach. Michelle had just launched and was out on a kite, Lawrence was there too, about to start a lesson with someone. I rigged my 5m sail and 85 litre Severne Nano wave-board. The wind was WSW and once on the water there was plenty of it. I was actually a little over-powered. I thought that maybe I’d settle into it and more power is always good in onshore conditions, but in the end I decided that maybe a 4.5m sail would be better. I came back ashore and changed sails. By now Mike was out kite-surfing too.

The 4.5m sail turned out to be much better. I was more comfortable and having a good time blasting up and down between the waves. The wind swung more westerly as I was out there. Further north along the beach was something of a lagoon where the breaking waves eased off to swell and chop. An opportunity to head upwind a little if I wanted it.

A squall then came through, bringing slightly stronger winds and some rain. Things were really good for a time but as it passed by and the sun came back out the wind eased a little and there wasn’t quite enough for the smaller sail. I’d been out for a while by now. I could have changed back to the 5m sail, got a slightly bigger bard or simply waited for the wind to settle down again, but decided that would do for the day. A good session, in good conditions and by the time I’d packed up and pushed the wheel-barrow home I was quite tired anyway.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.