Sitting at my desk thinking about what I would rather be doing than writing to you. I just saw my neighbor’s car pass by my window loaded on top with his windsurfing gear. The sky is a clear September blue with a few low cumulus clouds to the north, just over Lake Erie. The trees are gently moving right now but this is when the winds are getting better for windsurfing.
My friend, spent several days on the water at Edgewater enjoying the four to six foot waves this past weekend. Its a well known practice spot for this guy who lives for the surf to keep his toe in the water while living and working in Cleveland. You can usually find my other friends who enjoy sailing and windsurfing on the lake heading toward Fairport Harbor and west of Edgewater.
Lake Erie is a challenging spot to surf and sail. Its shallow basin guarantee that sailing on the lake can be tricky when weather conditions turn nasty. The Coast Guard keeps a weather eye on boating here. This is why you will usually find me heading inland to a nice calm lake when I am in the mood for some windsurfing. I like the thrill of letting the wind fill my sail and carving a course across the wind to cover the lake. Heaven! Not as much fun to feel like I am out of my element on Lake Erie itself. I am more of a rocking chair type windsurfer.
However I do admire those more adventurous souls. If you are one and visiting Cleveland, here are a couple of tips if you are coming to the North Coast and want to surf or sail.
1. Bring a weather radio with you and check it before going on the water.
2. Check the Coast Guard site to learn what you need to know.
3. Never surf or boat alone on unfamiliar waters. Consider hiring a tour agent if you are visiting Cleveland.
I have one friend who always wears a bright helmet when he is surfing on Lake Erie if he is close to where jet skiers and power boats hang out. If he is off the board and the sail is flat, he is invisible to them without the helmet. It is a little more protection.
Perhaps more important is the risk from those power boating enthusiasts who feel it is a thrill to try to cause a sail boat or surfer grief. Something like cow tipping.
Lets weigh in here. What is your favorite Lake Erie activity?