Sometimes the stars align and everything comes together. Today was that day! By 6:30am I was rigged and in the water on eastern Lake Erie. The sun was just rising. Visibility was ok, but it was not totally light yet. I did my best to hold down the over-powered 4.7m sail that I had rigged on my 85 liter board. The waves were really good near shore. The wind started out south. Within 10 minutes is shifted to WSW, then W. And another 10 minutes it was WNW. I managed to hold down the sail for about 40 minutes and then the wind totally dropped. A great session, with a short swim back to shore.
Back to the van for a look at the phone and forecast. Lake Erie did not look all that great for the rest of the day, but Ontario had potential. A quick breakdown of gear, and I was on the road headed north. As I arrived in Wilson tons of whitecaps appeared through the trees. Looks like 4.2m I thought. Rigged and grabbed a smaller 76 liter board. One run out and back....TOO MUCH power again. Not gonna make that mistake twice in the same day. A quick re-rig to 3.7m and.....PERFECTION! The sun came out brilliantly, the waves set up on the inside good enough to hit some frontside turns, and the next 90 minutes were amazing.
Of all the days I have sailed Lake Ontario this was probably the best. The wind was so steady and so smooth. This was the first time I had ever ridden 76 liters on Lake Ontario. The park was empty. Just the wind, waves, birds and me. A great day!
Eric L. Mihelbergel is an intermediate/advanced windsurfer, kiteboarder, and foiler living in the Great Lakes Region of New York State who enjoys sharing about windsports and fitness.