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 Post subject: Respect thy Mother...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:18 pm
Posts: 350
Location: Minnetonka
Yeessss. Biffy & I did make the trek to the Mother. What a rush. Even though both of us have traveled many places in this world to sail, neither one of us has been to Park Point, Duluth before. Thanks to Randy with his magical stories & Chip for his timely posts & good words on the phone, it was just enough to get me psyched up to make the push to get Biffy to commit to this ultimate challenge. :?:

We left Mlps. Thursday afternoon in a steady drizzzle and light wind. As we made our way North it stopped raining & the sky gradually brightened, then we saw it: a perfectly defined clearing line just before Duluth with Golden sweet sunshine dead ahead (did I mention the flags we passed on the final stretch were straaaaappppped)... OOOhhhh, when we got to the lake shore, then the Tot Lot... OOOhhhhhmyyyyyy, that's allot of white water, & allot of heavy pressure (wind), then Ohhhh, by the way... the WOOWAAAAVVVVES......WOW :shock:

We rigged up 5.4 & 5.2 in quick order to go out & sample this new paradise. I waded out into the break & realized that this is a game of which I have never played before. The waves are moving super fast, with speed I have never seen before... They are breaking in a random fashion & I learn quickly that this White Water is HEAVY & packs a serious punch. Quick note to self:? This is WAR... OK, Let’s PLAY... :x , we finally bust out of the shore break with allot of effort, then break into the open Ocean. This is a huge relief, the waves are actually higher (10 foot faces), but they are further apart & much less steep plus the key is they break much less frequently. We went on to sail hard till dark experiencing all the most diverse & difficult, steep & fast moving terrain I have ever seen before. We both adapted to the conditions, found peace & balance with the Mother & were granted awesome rides... :D

The next day (Friday) was faaaarrr more intense...

Guess what Guys & Gals, the wife just got home, I will continue this epic saga soon...
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Professor Robae'


Last edited by Professor Robae' on Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Day 2
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:18 pm
Posts: 350
Location: Minnetonka
Day 2 began slowly with some creaky bodies & sore arms; 2 & 1/2 hours of full-on white knuckled, scoot for your life from the big bad growlers, will do that to a person. :) As we approached the beach the conditions appeared to be the same as yesterday, sweet :D . When we walked onto the beach our initial assessment was quickly dismissed. It was windier and gulp, the waves were significantly bigger :shock:

We both rigged up 4.7's & marched into battle. The shore break was brutal. Wave after fast moving, BIG wave would smash into us in merciless fashion. You had to take it, wade out further, hope for a break & try & scoot out over lots of crumbly white water. I was lucky & found a crack & made it out :D Biffy was not as fortunate, he kept trying & trying, getting washed & rinsed in a regular fashion far down the shore. I zipped back & forth in front of the beach a number of times in a combination of pure awe & white knuckled terror. The waves were definitely much bigger today and were breaking big time all over the place in random fashion. Scary but I dove in with reckless abandon. I knew that Coolman was on the beach taking pictures (later I found out he left right away after taking 3 quick launching pictures, bummer) so I ventured closer into shore where the biggest swell & breakers were happening. In hindsight this was obviously disrespectful of the Mother and the Mother is not lenient when it comes to disrespect. Then it happened, I caught some air off a huge port ramp & went down, bad move... I had just enough time to look up and see my jumping wave's huge big brother breaking at full force right on top of my head. :o Rule #1 in this situation, hold onto your rig. I did have time to put the kung fu death grip onto my mast, almost at the tip. Sorry Charlie, the wave was too intense & the rig was ripped forcefully out of my grip :( I watched the wave rumble along & there goes my rig, tumbling over the falls. OK, swim for it!!! I swam hard, real hard. But just as I got closer, here comes another breaking wave, over the falls she goes again, & again, & again… Not good... Now I'm pretty spent, key consideration: Do not panic, conserve energy. Not easy as waves continue to break over ones head every 6 seconds or so. Luckily I feel reasonably buoyant in my bare drysuit & the adrenaline flow has me feeling nice & toasty, I relax, I'm not scared. After a time I see my rig making good progress into the shore. Chance of mast breakage, sail rippage & more... very high. Then I see it wash up onto the beach. No one there to grab it, no one watching my predicament, hmmm. Then I see Biffy walking his rig up the beach from his long journey down the shore, he does see me. I drag myself on to the beach & see my rig half buried in the sand. I dig it out & amazing :!: no breakage.

I enjoy my walk of shame with Bif back to the Tot Lot. He quickly re-rigs to 5.4 (Scotty!!!, we need more power to bust through the shore break!!!) He & John head back out into the Chaos. They are both getting pounded hard but then they catch an opening and Scoot!!! I see some huge growlers coming right for Bif, he sees them too and heads way downwind, back towards the beach at full speed to try & out run them, smart boy, he makes it out. Very smart boy: he & John sail wayyy outside to avoid the predicament I got myself into. They go hard for over an hour, sweet bliss. After watching them for a bit I regain my desire and head out again on my 4.7. Should have re-rigged like Bif. Despite all my efforts, I could not bust out of the shore break again, took many tumbles & washings. Chip & several others had the same predicament, just could not bust through plus there was a bit of lifting of the wind over the shore which caused a lighter air zone right over the shore break, not an easy combo.

All & all an incredible place to sail, what a Venue! Very challenging, very rewarding, very humbling, we’ll be back. Thank you Mother, you have earned my respect...


Last edited by Professor Robae' on Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:17 am
Posts: 678
Location: Rochester
Rob, thanks for the story! Never have gotten through that shore break on my few attempts.
I have some prints for you from one of the big days at Cannon. Send me your mailing address and I'll ship them off. gisvold.peter@mayo.edu


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 Post subject: Awesome post
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 10:01 am
Posts: 658
Location: Forest Lake
Hey Rob,

I couldn't make it up for this one, but your writing put me right there with you. You really captured the Spirit of Mother Superior and what's involved in sailing with her on days like this. Highly recommended reading for anyone wanting to sail some of the most challenging conditions in the world. Some day we've got to get someone filming the lake's terrain via helicoptor...or maybe a helmet cam...So glad you guys were able to get up there...now you know why we'll sometimes drive four hours just to even get an hour of this.

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Ride...just be it!
www.just-be-it.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:37 am 
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Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:06 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Duluth
Hey Rob -

In one of my other lives, I get paid to share Lake Superior experiences with people from all walks of life. In teaching off-shore sailing, Students get to experience the lake far off shore, in the middle of the night. On a night when the top of your mast is cutting through the milky-way and the northern lights are spilling out across the entire sky, you feel privileged to be alive and in such a special place.

Sharing the furry of the Mother Superior, the satisfaction you get form riding her, and the respect she teaches you are equally memorable experiences. The exuberance people develop in her presence is infectious and fuels my desire to encourage others to come and be a witness to her beauty.

It was good to meet you guys, great you could come up and play in the waves. See you soon, bring more followers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:06 pm
Posts: 5274
Location: Here, Now
photos added and moved into stories.

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