I'm not a natural rester, but am a firm believer in listening to the body and these last days it has been reminding me that I've been pushing harder than it can sustain. That last break - with Antonio and Maria at Karma Surf, near Estepona - seems a long time ago now.
Since then I paddled a few days, then picked up a run of favourable winds. Wind creates chop and over distance a swell, so the sailing soon becomes proper sea sailing. Not heavy ocean swells like in the Atlantic, but frequent lumps requiring continual adjustment to maintain balance, particularly in non-planing conditions. With a gentle breeze behind, the quickest way to sail is out of the harness and as deep, broad, direct, as possible. That way the zigzag course is most decompressed. In planing wind the board speed is greater but the zigzag course more compacted, meaning a great distance is sailed, albeit more quickly. So these last days with good wind I've covered double marathon distances whilst sailing three.
Downwind is my speciality - always has been - so I've been happy to gobble up the miles. The sailing requires full attention to the water that moves around the board, and that the board moves, sometimes over, sometimes through. Top-loaded luggage adds momentum and instability, and tempts the nose to plunge itself underwater. I enjoy it really: the meditative, almost hypnotic concentration. The mental effort that used to tire me within a few hours I can now sail with all day. And in a sense I become recharged - restored - by the time alone. But there is a physical toll.
Too many hours allowing the sail to pull-pull-pull the board downwind have resulted in swollen tendinitis-riddled fingers, and my eyes are red and complaining of the glare from the sun. Nothing serious or new, but enough to take notice. When in for the long haul pacing oneself is necessary.
So, an unpromising day in terms of wind has turned into a Preparation for Summer mini-break - a full day and a half off amongst the Murcia / Mar Menor windsurfing community. A particularly big thank you must go to David from 'Jaws' Surf Shop and School
Who not only provided a place to stay, but arranged for a tasty feed at
and then kitted me out with some summer gear and good sunglasses (4th pair of journey... risky job protecting my eyes).
Last couple of nights staying with windsurfer Frank and family. Posted my down jacket and woollen gloves to friends for safe keeping this morning. Eating well and icing fingers...
Most likely will try a gentle sail tomorrow.