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April so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz
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Member#: 6644
Location:
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1693

15th October 2015
Windsurfing: La Franqui
Wind Direction: nw
Wind Stength: 15/20
Surf / Sea State: flat
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: sunny
Max Speed: 32.07 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 42.62 (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)




Thursday 15th October – windsurf **** - La Franqui – sunny – wind 15/20 nw , F2 Xantos 133, Tushingham X-15 7m.
32.02 kt. max, 29.95 kt. ave, 29.51 n/mile, 79.2 km, 20 19 alpha, 14.89 kt. hour, (10 miles over 20 kts)

Top night in our lovely sheltered no overnight camping spot at Port Mahon and not a Gendarme in sight! Woke to 15 honking flamingos in the etang in front of the van, the most amazing sunrise and very little wind! We had a Facebook message to say that it was looking breezy all day so no need for an early start so we had a relaxing start doing our exercises and having our breakfast in the sun and only saw a couple of old boy mountain bikers. We had a Kingfisher whiz past, a Red Kite and possibly a Peregrine overhead with loads of Flamingos flying about! We set off for La Franqui arriving at the beach at 10.15 with several sailors out mainly struggling on small kit in the light winds :( So didn’t mess about and rigged 7m and took out the 133, probably not the fastest board but the best for the light gusty winds and while most of the speedsailors did a lot of working upwind I managed to sail all the time getting upwind easily:) I put the 38cm fin in for most of the session and didn’t hit the bottom even though I sailed close to the beach! The talking point of the day happened on my first run down when I crossed the lines of a couple of fishermen, breaking one of them:( the fisherman went absolutely mental and the whole of the Languadoc must have heard him shouting at me to come ashore, I didn’t fancy an altercation with a mad Frenchman so continued on my way while he continued shouting – I think he took offence when I told him to f*** off!!! So he promptly got in his 4x4 headed to the wooden jetty and asked who the windsurfer with the yellow board was and everyone said they didn’t know:) Unlucky for me I sailed past while he was there so went ashore to face the music!!! With him not speaking English and me not speaking French we were not getting very far :( Lucky for me my hero Patrick Deporter appeared to pour oil on troubled waters – I think he said I was some old English windsurfer with some terrible disease and things calmed down :) I shook his hand and apologized and agreed to look for his missing fishing tackle. I had a few runs in front of the fisherman drifting further out to sea but had no luck so beat back and the fisherman went home freeing up the beach for the windsurfers:) I was out for 2 hours sailing all the way down into La Franqui and way past the jetty the other, ending up far out to sea at times but I did have my gps rescue beacon on me so felt safe. It was never windy enough for me to break 30 kts:( but it was great fun trying, then I bumped into Patrick on another of his long walks back upwind! – he can’t wait to get his new VW T6 so he can bring his slalom kit. He asked me if it was time I had a drink and a bite to eat and I wondered why he was so concerned ? It became clear when he said he was fed-up with struggling on his speed kit and would like a go with my kit – a 1997 Xantos, the best board ever made! I gladly leant him my kit and went looking for Mags who had been enjoying herself walking miles collecting driftwood and shells; she even managed to get a couple of bits of coal :) I found her by the wooden pier and we returned to the van for cheese and ham rolls. I think Pat enjoyed his time on my old kit. Feeling refreshed I headed out again and the wind was still up and down but I thought I would try my 34cm fin to see if I could break 30 kts. Mag came to the water’s edge while I changed my fin to take a few pics, it was when I was sailing away from her that I fell in gybing and when I surfaced I was under my sail with my head trapped right inside my harness line!!! I thought I was going to drown but after a frantic few seconds managed to free myself and held onto the board gasping for a few seconds – scary! Then late in the session I managed 3 runs over 30 kts and missing out on a 30 Kt. ave. by 0.05!!!!!! but was very pleased with a 29 kt mile and 10 miles over 20 kts :) I just needed one more run over 30kts but the wind gave up on me so I called it a day, knackered after being on the water for most of the time from 11 to 5!!! When I got back Mag had caramelised some of the walnuts we found in the Ardeche – Great snack:)
With the van packed we were hoping that Patrick would finally come ashore so we could say good-bye as he has been the highlight of our visit to La Franqui with his positive attitude to life and very funny Belgian humour – he has had us in stitches and we look forward to meeting up again next year!
We then headed to a little place just outside Sigean , Les Cabanes right next to the etang with no parking restrictions to de-sand the van wash all the salt water and sand off and relax watching the sunset with flamingos and fish showing us their fins in the shallows – Top day – would have been 5 stars with a few more kts of wind and a 30 ave!!!

PS – This blog is for you Patrick, might take you a couple of days to read it:)


Photo Gallery Here

Toys Used:
F2 Xantos CS 295 133
Tushingham x-15 7m

 

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