On April 15th, 2013, conditions were right. To guarantee the crossing, the wind must be blowing more from the north, so passing under the bay bridge and southward beyond Candlestick point is possible. Or, there just needs to be an excessive amount of wind. On this day, both elements were present.
Kiting out of the cove at Treasure Island was a false representation of the conditions that would lie ahead. The 7m Cabrinha Switchblade was small but thankfully kept me planing and pointing upwind enough to round the northern edge of the island. Now setting a broad reach on a starboard tack, board speed increased and the destination ahead seemed more assured.
Riding southward along the western shores of Treasure Island, the wind increased and erased any reservations about passing under and beyond the bay bridge. As progress was made more south, the wind gusts were becoming more evident causing me to trim the kite down. Anticipating the wind to increase south of Candlestick Point, I decided a break would be good before things got more intense.
Sitting on the board, with kite down, was not much of a break. Watching the wind gust and the kite pulse on the water, I managed to eat and drink while my body somewhat rested. Thoughts of me being pushed out into heavier seas and into more solids winds, made me get back up and head more towards land. Continuing on a starboard course, I wondered if my other side would get a chance to do some work.
The spontaneous trip did not allow for much planning so I was left responsible for making my own arrangements, including clothes and pick-up, once I was beached. Of course, a few expected wipe-outs occurred and caused my carrying pack to rip a strap. I had to stop and jerry-tie it to myself. Otherwise, leaving it in the bay would have left me without dry clothes.
Spotting the high, tree covered ridge of Coyote Point gave me confirmation of progress and a point to aim for. The winds were frequently forcing me to head downwind for the sake of easing, and my body was taking a more vertical position to keep balanced over the rototilled waters. Still on a starboard tack with Coyote Point approaching, I became anxious to switch sides and ride on a port tack. Once I did, I found that things really didn’t feel any easier and so tacked again in hopes of heading to my destination. Turns out, one more tack was in order as I came in tight to Seal Point park. With one more out-and-back, I landed at the lower beach at 3rd Ave.
Sonny, a bay area local legend, came out to catch my kite on the beach. It was a great welcome to arrive at the familiar beach!
Less than 2 hrs and about 23 miles. It’s going to be done again, soon…