Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Belmont Winds

Jan. 30, 2008

It has taken over a week to shake the flu I caught last Monday. So today, thanks to a fellow kiter Al Navas, I climbed back on his Trikke T-8 and hit the road. The first shot was a challenge, taking my own picture while coming down Bayshore. I'm glad I took my house keys because that's what I had to use to prop up the camera. Ok, ok the shot was staged and it took three shots to get the timing right. But it was really enjoyable riding the Trikke with my portable XM radio and Bose headphones. Got to have good sounds when you're on the road!!!!

Once I got to Ocean Blvd. I ran into a head wind coming from the port. Whoe, where did that come from? I rode over to the Claremont ramp and tried to shield the camera by going behind the restroom. You can tell the wind was pretty strong, maybe 18 mph, when I captured the Naish getting ready to go out.

I thought it was interesting grabbing this one of the sign that said "Contaminated Water, No Swimming." That never stops kiters, we don't drink the water, we just fly over it.

All three kiters were on the new Naish Sigma kites and I couldn't see what size they were from my vantage point. Just a note, I don't know if you discovered this, but when you double click on the pictures, the program zooms or expands the shot. But you knew that didn't you?

I'm guessing they were 16's and 14's. Maybe someone can add a comment if you know the sizes and the kiters that were out today.

After taking the shots I continued my ride East on Ocean, back up Bayshore west on 1st and down one of the streets to Ocean. I did this loop for about a half hour when I noticed the wind was dying. That's when I grabbed this shot of the lone Naish in the air with the others on the sand.

I got in a about an hour on the Trikke. Not very long, but I'm still a newbie on it. Al has ridden up to 5 hours and he's also been in a marathon on it.
He's a stud.

When I got home I went to the Belmont Athletic Club with Ruth. She went on the machines for about an hour and I did some stretching, ab work and a little time on the machines.

We're back home now after going to the grocery store and now I'm going to start a little fire in the fireplace and maybe watch some TV.

I hope your day was pleasent and that you have a great day tomorrow.


Monday, January 28, 2008

When is it going to be Spring?

Belmont Shore, Jan. 28, 2008

It’s Monday night here in Long Beach and I wanted to take this opportunity to learn how to use, so here we go.

Let me set the stage. My wife Ruth and I are on the second floor of our home in Belmont Shore. We're both on our computers. She's on her Mac looking for an old friend that she hasn't seen for about 30 years and I'm here on a PC with my Bose headphones on listening to XM radio. The station I like is Blend (Ch.25) and Chrome (Ch.83). Right now neither seems very good.

Yesterday it rained here. I don't know where you live, but here in Southern California we've have a few days of rain the past week. It actually feels pretty good when the air is clean and clear. We went to our local farmers market around noon to pick up some fresh vegetables, eggs and fruit. By the time we finished shopping it was pouring down rain and the wind was blowing too. Fortunately we took our rain gear.

On our way home I wanted to drive by Belmont Shore beach to see if there were any kite boarders out on the water. That's what I like to do, kite board. Well to my surprise there was a blue Best kite out. I could tell it was Chad Belteau. He's a really good kite boarder that comes to this beach quite a bit.

In So.Cal. there are a number of beaches to choose from. North of LB you can kite at Cabrillo Beach, Torrance, Santa Monica, and all the way up to Ventura. South you can find great spots very close by at Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, and Huntington. Most of the time I just kite here at Belmont because it's only a few hundred feet from my garage, where I keep my kite gear. I admit that I'm a little spoiled, but on occasion I drive down to Seal or Sunset with my friends because the wave conditions are much better there. Belmont is usually pretty flat, which is great for learning.

I decided it was time to add a picture I took of Chad. It probably doesn't look like it but it was really raining. I pulled our Honda CR-V to the end to the launch ramp and opened the driver side window and took this shot. Then I realized the wind was blowing the rain into the car and all over the dash board, front seat and all over me. It was time to move the car.

When I turned the car I noticed Kyle Van running up the beach with his kite. I caught him unrolling his kite lines. Do you notice the trash can to his right? This is our beach hangout spot. When we tell someone to meet us at the beach we usually say, "We'll meet you at the trash can." I didn't think of it until now but that must seem pretty stupid, oh yeah the blue trash can......sure????

Even though you may not be up on kiting terms, this is called a bottom turn. After Chad makes
the turn he heads for the wave and jumps it. Unfortunately I didn't catch any of his jumps. The next shot is as close as I got to catching one of his jumps. Sorry Chad.

But I think you get the idea. A kite boarder uses the wave as a launch ramp, like a snow boarder or skate boarder, and we just fly off the lip. I remember reading about a guy who won a kite jumping contest in Maui that used the wave to propel him to a big win. I think he jumped over 50 feet.

I don't know why but I can't always figure out how to place the text next to the picture. I guess it just takes time to learn the software.

Here's a shot where I got lucky. I just hung my
camera out the car and shot away. When I looked
at it I noticed I caught Kyle almost at the apex of a great jump. The funny thing when I showed him the shot he said, "Yeah, I got about five feet on that one." To me it looks about 20 feet when you figure he is about 5 foot, four inches, my eye calc's it at about 20. What do you think?

Well I'm going to post this blog now. We'll see how it comes out. Don't be afraid to add your comments.