Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?
"Lake" Pontchartrain may not qualify since it has a narrow gut (the Rigolets) that leads out to Mississippi Sound and the Gulf. But it's where I teach sailing, on the South shore.
30 by 20 miles, yet depth only about 15 feet and low shoreline so it gets almost as much wind as offshore, which ain't that far away.
With the shallow depth, the wind kicks up a very "square" chop, steep and short wave-period, makes upwind work in a small lightweight boat rather teeth-jarring. So with all that fetch, wind direction is critical--15 knots with a windward shore is nice (though shifty), but with a lee shore is a slam-banger and a little uncomfortable for some of the new students.
Also water temp rises and falls very quickly with the weather since the 'dish' is so shallow. Lots of fronts in the spring with "sporty" northerlies, then big, hot light-air southerly highs in the summer punctuated by some exciting afternoon thunderstorms. Evening sailing is the cool thing in July.
All that said, there's some really good sailing to be had here, and it's year-round.
Last edited by nolatom; 03-07-2012 at 12:03 PM.