The forecast was for a near gale southerly first thing in the morning and then for the wind to a more west south west direction by late morning. Sam was as keen as ever on the phone for a windsurf and we got to Camber about 2 hours after high water just as the water started to drop. The weather however was producing a long line of heavy showers, Which made for very gusty conditions and the wind was also swinging from anything from south south west to almost due west, The wind was also varying from about 15 to 35 knots. Which made for an interesting windsurf to say the least. Not the best days windsurfing i have ever had at Camber Sands,
Hurricane Gonzalo gave the island of Bermuda quite a battering and a few days later the remnants were heading towards the uk. With a forecast of 3m swells and gale force westerly winds. This seemed the perfect forecast for some down the line wave riding at Camber Sands.
The picture above is from Broomhill sands at Camber. I know the waves do not look that big from this picture. They were though three quarter mast high if not slightly bigger. With the wind being slightly north of west. The wind was always going to be extremely gusty. Due west is cross shore at Camber and once it gets any sort of off shore element to it the topography of the land has a great effect on the steadiness of the wind.
Sam is a very good wave sailor and when he first went out struggled a bit so that did not bode well for the rest of us. So we let the water get to the bottom of the groynes before launching.
I will be honest it did not turn out to be the epic day we had all had in mind. It was quite hard work due to the gustyness of the wind. Also there was a lot of white water to negotiate on the way out. It did however produce a few really nice waves to ride going straight down the line. So all in all not epic but certainly worth getting wet for.
On the forecast the plan was to try and sup Dungeness Point again hopefully with a bit more swell. As we all know though the British weather is always a bit unpredictable and on the day. The best bet looked like a windsurf down at the Romney Tavern at Greatstone.
At greatstone you basically get two hours either side of high water unless you are in for a big walk. As when the tide goes out here it goes out fast. The walk at low tide can be a good 15 minutes.
Sean was already there when i arrived and then Richard from Dymchurch turned up along with Volvo Ian and sideburn Steve. It looked like the wind was building so a 4.5m was on the cards. In hindsight a 5.2m would of been a better bet. The wind was slightly cross off and pretty gusty. So staying up wind was the main concern. Rather than the wave riding which was the plan of the day. Ian rigged a 4.7m and being a good bit lighter than me had a decent sail. Sean rigged a 5.0m and ended up going out quite late and only got a few runs in before the rain came through and made the wind swing south west. Which is too far off shore for sailing at the Tavern. That spelled the end of a fairly short sail that did not produce the good wave riding that we had hoped. You cant have an epic sail everyday though.