Monday, 10 October 2011

Point Sands Sessions.

The windsurfing forum that I frequent has recently had a thread about Point Sands campsite near Tayinloan in Kintyre. I've long been a fan of Point Sands having spent quite a few camping trips there with various friends and family members. The campsite is situated right on the edge of a nice beach and whilst the facilities are a little dated it's heaven for watersports such as kayaking and windsurfing. As my surgery was canceled last week I decided to see if anyone fancied a roadtrip over the weekend to stay at Point Sands and try to get in some windsurfing. The uptake wasn't huge (not surprising at such short notice) but Iain was up for it and a new forum member Garyth expressed an interest too. David and Arran were also possibles.
Friday morning saw me heading to Kintyre with the van loaded with windsurfing and camping kit. It's a lovely drive and Kintyre is one of my favourite places, on this occasion I was blessed with sunshine too. I was at the campsite first and got my self set up after booking in with the pleasant couple who work as wardens on the site. Pretty soon Iain arrived too and we hastily rigged up despite the fact that the wind was a bit light. We sailed about for a while and Iain was struggling to get on the plane as he only had smaller kit with him. I had my big board and 7.2m sail with me so had a bit more success but it was lovely to be out in the clean water in such beautiful surroundings and sunshine. As time wore on we saw a caravan arrive towed by a Disco with boards on the roof. Taking a long shot we guessed it might be Garyth so we had a breather and wandered over to say hello. It was indeed Garyth and his dog Bruce so after a chat we headed back into the water while he got his caravan set up. The wind had picked up and pretty soon I had to change down to my 100 litre board and 6.2m sail while Iain started to enjoy himself more and more. The sailing was great as we headed out into the Sound of Gigha towards Cara island nicely powered up and with some nice chop to get air off. As I haven't been sailing much recently I started to feel a bit tired (especially swimming and waterstarting on the outwards tack) so I went and grabbed the video camera and took some footage of Iain sailing as the sun went down behind Gigha and Jura. Eventually we reluctantly had to call it a day due to the failing light but Iain said it had been his most enjoyable sail of the year so far. We got changed and I cooked us dinner under the gazebo then Garyth came over and we chatted while sinking a few drinks with the lovely mellow post session buzz that you get after a great sail. Bed came pretty early as we were  shattered and Iain wanted to be up early to grab a quick sail before he had to head home due to family commitments the next morning.
I awoke to grey skies, drizzle and light winds, not ideal. Iain went out to attempt a sail but quickly lost interest in wallowing about underpowered and came in. David  from the forum arrived and had a chat and a look at conditions while I was making and eating my breakfast. He decided to head down to Westport to see if he could get some wave sailing later in the day. Iain too left to drive home so Garyth and I headed out for a sail. The wind was frustratingly just too light for me to get planing consistently on my big board and sail (although I managed the odd run blasting in the footstraps) but it suited Garyth as he had never sailed on the sea before and is a  relative newcomer to the sport. We stayed in the water for a few hours before calling it a day. I decided to treat myself to a hot shower then we both ordered fish and chips from a take away caravan on the site. While we waited I joined Garyth and Bruce in the caravan as it started to pour down. After a while the lady from the take away delivered our dinner to the caravan door for us which was very kind of her! We ate our fish and chips, had a few beers and chatted as the rain hammered off the caravan then at about ten thirty I made a run for my van. The wind was really strong during the night rocking the van about as the rain battered on the roof, I felt very cosy in my warm sleeping bag and was looking forwards to an exciting sail on my smallest board in the morning.
I woke to hear the wind still howling and the rain still pouring but as soon as I got up it started to moderate and after breakfast the wind had died completely. I couldn't believe it as the forecast was for strong winds all day. I slowly started packing my camping stuff up hoping that the wind would pick up again as predicted but I was out of luck. There was nothing for it but to say cheerio to Garyth and Bruce (who were staying on for a few days) and hit the road home.
 It was a disappointing end to the trip but it was great to meet Garyth and the memories of Friday's fantastic sail were still fresh in my mind as I splashed my way home through the floods and puddles from the torrential overnight rain.

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