Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Windsurfing on Elk Lake

Jerry Lear is one of the pioneer windsurfers in Central Oregon. He raced long boards for decades and was often king-of-the-lake. He sails regularly as soon as the high Cascade lakes open up for the season.

Elk Lake, is about a 35-40 minute drive from Bend, Oregon and though the Elk Lake Lodge is open year round, the lake and road are usually open from Memorial Day weekend til the first snows in the Fall. Typically the lake is flat in the morning and the winds kick in during the middle of the afternoon. Most windsurfing happens after 1 p.m. If you paddle and/or windsurf this lake, be sure to tuck some ice cream money in your board shorts and stop by the Elk Lake Lodge on the West side of the Lake (opposite Sunset Beach). The bouys are set up as a race course. It's fun to windsurf big boards or paddle.

Despite the snow patches that hang on the shore, Jerry is on the water. Here's his report from yesterday.

I sailed at Elk Lake today. There are 6 buoys that I could locate as follows: 2 in Sunset Cove (one is the rock buoy). A buoy at about the usual location of the rock buoy. The upwind buoy which has moved a bit North and 2 buoys at the south end of the lake. I rigged in a thunder storm and sailed when it was over. I stayed out a bit too long and had to stay on the lake during much of the next T storm which was very dramatic with hail, rain and very close lightening. I could definitely smell the ozone in the air. Before I got off the lake I remembered the Bulletin article last week saying that any one individual has about 1/3000 chance of being hit by lightening during their lives. I thought that my chance while sailing in this storm might be a bit higherJ. Here is a question for the experts. What is the risk of a bad result from a lightning strike for a sailor with carbon fiber boom, mast and board but wearing rubber booties and gloves? Jerry
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