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The Weekend Report, East Bay Edition

After a few days of 100-degree weather here in the Bay Area, some of us wondered if it would ever be cool — or windy — again. When the heat finally broke on Friday, the breeze was not far behind. At Point Isabel in Richmond, it came on slow at first, so much so that we wondered if it would even be sail- or windsurfable. But by the time we rigged up, we were wondering if we needed a smaller sail, fin, and board — or if we should go out at all.

During last week’s heat, everything on the Bay was calm. But when things cooled off, the water came alive.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

A few windsurfers called the rapidly building breeze a “marine surge,” a term that we haven’t really heard before. The sailors implied that when the prevailing temperature gradient returns after a prolonged period of heat and stagnant wind, the breeze is finally sucked into the scorching-hot interior of the state with gusto — pun not originally intended, but what the hell.

A windsurfer heads into a jibe yesterday in front of the now-abandoned Hs Lordships in Berkeley.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Regardless, it was super-windy in the East Bay on Friday, but also patchy. Thirty-knot gusts were bordered by swaths of light or even absent wind. The breeze was quite simply confused and unsettled.

There’s lot of traffic in the East Bay. We prefer the lighter, carbon-free lanes on the water.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

The entire discussion was a reminder of how subjective discussions of wind conditions inevitably are. When talking about real and measurable phenomena, we find that most sailors tend to, either knowingly or otherwise, apply their own emotions. Interpreting what the wind is doing can include a factoring in of what the sailor wants it to do, or is frustrated that the wind is doing something else when they had other expectations (on Friday, we had neglected to bring our heavy-air equipment, and were counting on a nice, mellow sail, rather than being blasted around the Bay.)

Any thoughts on this? Please email us here, or comment below.

A sailboat goes main-only on Sunday off Emeryville and in front of the Port of Oakland. This photo does do some justice to the 25-plus-knot breeze that filled in around 4 p.m. yesterday following hours of more moderate conditions.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Anyway, we digress. To recap the news. It was hot during the week, then the weekend was windy.

And it was awesome.

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