10/15 & 16 Lake Mohave

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04/15 Ut Lake SSB, 16M kite, 136
08/23 Sulphur Crick, 3.7M/78L

10/15 & 16 Lake Mohave

Postby vernv » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:11 am

First try at Lake Mohave resulted in low sail to drive time ratio, but I learned a lot and have high hopes for future successes.

NOAA predicted ~25mph wind at Bullhead airport on 10/15 dropping to 20mph on 10/16. My smallest sail is an ancient 4.5M and I have very little experience at <5.9M, so I thought to try 6 mile cove on 10/15 where the forecast was 20mph. Stayed in the Best Western in Henderson, which was quite good with pizza and beer a short walk away. The drive to 6MC is a sandy washboard for ~7 miles, unpleasant, but doable in any car. The beach is not exactly scenic and heavily littered. I would hate to be there on a weekend I think. The wind came up exactly as predicted at 9am and I patiently waited it to stabilize. Unfortunately, it did at only ~12mph. I was occasionally ably to plane on a 7M. The water was warm, blue and clear - much nicer than the beach. By noon the wind was getting weaker and I decided to head further south in hopes of getting some decent wind before the day ended.

I made it to cabin site in ~70 minutes (2pm) and found ~6 windsurfers on the beach with one or two on the water. I spoke to a guy breaking down his 4M rig and he told me it had been nuking for ~4 hours, but was dropping fast. Still looked plenty fun, so I tried a 5M with no luck. Rigged a 7M next and this was perfect for the rest of the afternoon. The water was smoothing out and the sailing was super fun and fast. I was the only one out. There aren't many light wind sailors there it seems. Could have sailed well into the evening and it continued to blow all night. Great, steady wind and beautiful water. The 'beach' is clean, but rocky and rigging is not pleasant. Air temp was in the high 90s and water ~70F. Pretty darn pleasant compared to Jordanelle last week.

I stayed in Laughlin at the Aquarius - easy and the room as great. The rate was $74 total and this includes valet parking. I left all the gear on the car and had no issues. Not much to eat in Laughlin outside casino restaurants, but In and Out is an easy walk. The casino vibe was a bit depressing and I think I'll try camping at Katherine's Landing next time.

The next morning I arrived at cabin site at 8am and the wind was cranking, just as forecasted. I was the first sailor there and planned to sail early, then drive home. I went out on the 4.5M and made a white knuckle back and forth. It was too much for me, and the wind was still building. Others showed up and by 11am people were ripping around on ~4M sails. I watched for a couple hours tempted by the idea of waiting for the afternoon session and staying another night. I decided not to push my luck at home and packed it up for the 8hr drive. Later, Mesowest showed ~4hrs of 30mph wind through the day with gusts to 44mph at the Bullhead City airport.

First impressions and advice from local sailors:
- Don't trust the 6MC NOAA point forecast for north winds.
- 6MC site is really ugly.
- Bullhead City NOAA forecast and observed conditions are more reliable and are representative for cabin site.
- 4M conditions are common in the winter mornings at cabin site and lighter wind is reliable in the afternoon on such days.
- The steady wind and the clear, blue water are both really fabulous.

I'm excited to try this trip again, either better prepared for high wind sailing or scheduled to get the afternoon sessions.
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Re: 10/15 & 16 Lake Mohave

Postby John Dubock » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:52 pm

Oh for a fin screw.jpg
Dave O's Red Sled
Oh for a fin screw.jpg
Dave O's Red Sled
Vern V is a saint! Thanks so much for the detailed Mojave report. You might know Mojave has no rules, but a steady infernal North wind blows there from Oct 1 to Mar 1 at Cabinsite. Please get more info from Josh, Dimitri, Dave O, Greg the foiler and read Stuart Martin's 3 year wind report average here on the site.

Some thoughts...
1. Avi Casino has it's own beach, dirt cheap, fast internet, equally depressing casino people, but new rooms. The 'bridge' to AZ is right there.
2. Camping at Katherines' should be easy, to the locals it's off season, just the crazed windsurfers/kiters/foilers are there. Imagine 120 degrees all summer, tennis shoes melting on the boat ramp.
3. Back 'in the day' we'd count up to 22 Utah locals during Thanksgiving week at Katherines. Awesome fun, and there is a rigging beach just North of the parking area.
4. Back in the day I convinced the Stevenson, Bob's Beach locals to drive 26hrs to Katherines during T Week, they reported "more consistent, more steady than the Gorge".

Crazy stuff happens at Mojave. Josh got stuck after running over yet another boat engine, James Southwick's tent trailer refused to 'go down' and he left it for a season in Laughlin! Dave O brought a massive trailer and we couldn't find fin screws. Bucky used to live at 6M and he kept it clean. Gunnars lived in his own gully at Cabinsite! Carl Eckert R.I.P was at least 80, lived in Laughlin, never sailed more than a 5.0, spent all summer at Rio, the man was a sailing God.
Today Vegas locals trash 6M, not sure why, it's no Jordanelle with true pride.

You will fall under Mojave's spell...trust me
John Dubock
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:40 pm

Re: 10/15 & 16 Lake Mohave

Postby vernv » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:39 pm

John - Thanks for the reply and great info!

Here's a video of a certain Utah ripper showing his high wind bona fides: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEz3HWE ... e=youtu.be
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