Today is Leisurely Thursday and my feature shares thoughts about sports and ageing as well as highlights a day in the life of a Sacramento delta windsurfer.
If you follow my blog, you know that I windsurf. So? you may ask? A lot of people do fun leisure activities. I basically started windsurfing to impress my boyfriend six years ago. I always loved the water and had some board experience, so it wasn’t a huge deal to learn a new sport. It must have worked, because we got married two years ago.
Now in my mid-fifties, I started this sport at age 49. Most of the women windsurfers I know learned in their twenties, when they, and the sport, were young. If you are over the age of 50, you probably understand how age affects how we choose our leisure activities.
Here is where I want to say, “Do not let ageing deter you from trying a new leisure activity!” The joys of accomplishing difficult skills along with meeting new people and making new friends as an older adult are irreplaceable!
A little bit about the Sacramento Delta. In the Sacramento Valley area of Northern California, as the temperature in the valley increases, a climactic condition is created where the heat draws in the colder, marine air from San Francisco Bay, creating the infamous “delta breeze.” This delta breeze can often be measured at over 30 knots on the confluence of the two rivers, therefore fueling the imaginations of windsurfers and kite boarders alike!
The Rio Vista Windsurf Association is a club for windsurfers and kite boarders. From mid-April through early September, when the wind typically blows in the delta, thus cooling down hot Sacramento, windsurfers come out in droves.
Their sheer dedication is evident by people driving 100s of miles for a weekend of sailing. They come from all over Northern California, LA and San Diego. There is weekend camping available and the personal social networking is top-notch!
Here are some photos of a Day In the Life of a Sacramento Delta Windsurfer
At the beginning of the season, we start getting our campsites ready. Our windsurf area on Sherman Island is only 65 miles southwest of Sacramento. Two rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, join to create a huge expanse of water on which to recreate.
The Sacramento Valley is flat and we lease private land near pastures that are right next to the levee.
The beach is perfect for family picnics and beginner windsurfers.
On a light-wind day, three women connect in leisure as they learn to windsurf.
These are the moments everyone lives for–wind!!
Every once in a while, ships will head out to sea through the delta’s deep water channel.
Sometimes you have to stand-up paddle when there is no wind and enjoy the day!
We let boaters have some space in the river on the Sherman Island Marina. They’re already tucked in for the night.
This delta sunset is our reward for our hard day of windsurfing! Many folks grab their adult beverages and congregate on top of the levee to unwind and bask in the glow!
And then some of us can’t stop having fun well into the night!
I hope you enjoyed a peek into my world every weekend during the spring and summer. I am still in awe of how so many windsurfers can live their lifestyles around this sport.
A good percentage of these sailors are Baby Boomers in their fifties and older and ageing in this sport has only made them refined and resilient as people who enjoy their leisure and are passionate about it!