Sunday, March 30, 2008

When 10 isn't enough, crank it up to 11!!!!!

Sometimes it's hard to express to the outside world what a great day consists of down here at the beach. For Ruth and I it started out with coffee and the newspaper in bed. The day was warm and beautiful. Somewhere around noon Dan (our son) walked in as I was doing some repairs on my North kites. We didn't expect the visit. Next his cousin Jason walked in. Their arrival was a little surprising but not unusual at the beach.

We got the kite gear together and proceeded to the beach. Naturally there were a few phone calls from friends wondering how the wind was. At the time the wind was pretty mellow.

Once we got to the beach and realized it was overcast, we wondered if the wind was going to come up at all. We started rigging the small kite for Jason knowing that no matter what he would get some sand sliding time in.

Dan (on the left) shows Jason the ins and outs of pumping up a kite. Dan has the electric pump and Jason is doing all the work with the manual pump. You know the deal, student-teacher.

Jay's first day of kiting was last Sunday. Six days later he was eager to push the envelope. First he did a little sand sliding, then he wanted in the water.

This is body dragging-101. By the way, Jason has that rare commodity called perseverance. Remember he has a little over three hours of kiting at this point and he is going for it. BIG TIME!!

This is such a funny shot because Naji had called me earlier and asked me how the wind was. At the time is was not great. Then he heard it was blowing, but he was having guests at 4 o'clock. He came to the beach, jumped in front of the camera, got out and kited, and had his guests "hang around" his place until he got off the water. Now that's a dedicated kiter.

When my back was turned Jason told Dan that he wanted to try to get up on a board. Dan is giving him the basics of getting up on the board from the beach.

In the mean time I pointed my camera and caught Bobby getting some major air. Can you believe that just a few months ago he had some major knee problems. Great recovery Bobby.

Jason decided to take a little break and I convinced Dan to take out a smaller board than he had been using. He grabbed my Litewave 148 and went to the next level.

While I was trying to help Dan get out on the short board I couldn't help but notice all of the great kiting that was going on right in front of us. We had front row seats for some great tricks. Here Faycal is getting some major air. I just wished I could have caught the one when he was holding his board mid-air. Darn, I missed it. Maybe tomorrow.

I think with all the inspiration around him Jason decided to go for one more try.

Unbelievable!!!!! Jason is on top of the water and kiting. Just last Sunday he was flying a trainer kite. Tomorrow he will be jumping. OK maybe going up wind.

Not wanting to be outdone by his cousin Dan decided to go for one more ride. This time he looks awesome and in complete control. It is a proud father and uncle who can say that he was out on the water as his kid or his nephew was out doing his thing. And I saw it, I was right there, I'm an eyewitness. I asked Jason at one point if it scared him when I was cheering him on and yelling while he was trying to get up.He said "It was no problem, it sounded like it was coming from behind him." Total disconnect.

Kyle and Patricia Van were caught together on the beach. What a great couple. A real inspiration.

In the mean time Rijk had returned from Canada, skiing with his parents, and Luca had found a kite in the sand. The two are really getting into "KITING." How long is that line, 10 meters??????

Dan was done for the day, but wanted to know what the next step after a 12 "C" was. I said "Let's go for a 14 or 16 tomorrow." I think that both Dan and Jason have the KITE bug.

Sometimes you just have to do a beach pose to make you feel that you have been captured for posterity. Here we are; (l-r) Dan, Jason, Rijk, Bobby, Luca and me. Let's do it again tomorrow.

A little reward after getting cleaned up.

Sorry, I've got to have a closing sunset shot. See you on the beach. JC

Friday, March 28, 2008

They said it couldn't be done...and it didn't!!!

If you even remotely believed my blog yesterday that Belmont could deliver three days of great wind in a row must have been dreaming. Or maybe you were in a daze from just returning from Maui. Whatever the reason our kiting today was very limited. It was maybe a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10.

The funny thing is I was doing beach repair to both my North 07 Rhinos, the four end struts on the 16 as well as the 12 are not doing well. So somewhere around 2 Todd Winnick came over to keep me company. About that time Tim Howell and his wife Betty and friend Scott drive up on their Harley's. Cool bikes and loud too.

Tim, Betty and Scott were on their way to Legend's to toss down a few when they decided to drop by to say "Hello." Tim is very proud of his new fully dressed cruiser. I'll get all the technical info later. Suffice it to say "Hey, Tim this one's a keeper and love the horn."

I think it's the law, if you come over to the Corbett house, be ready to pose for a group shot. Here is L-R Betty, me, Ruth, Todd and Tim. I wore the hat for just for Todd.

They roared off to the bar and Todd and I walked down to the beach. This is what we saw, 6 kites in the air and no one on the water.It was not going to be a three-peat today.

The kiting "Todd's" got together today while waiting for the wind. Todd Winnick (left) and Todd Snyder (right) had not seen one another for a while. When I asked them to pose they said "Sure", that's when they flashed me the "time." They were just having too much fun talking about the old kite days. Check out Snyders's posting on YouTube ( and while there check out Both are fun to watch.

When the wind did come up (for about 10 minutes) Klaus said to Todd, "Take my Rebel (16), I'm not using it. There's not enough wind." So Todd grabbed Klaus's kite and my 145 Litewave and set-out on a journey. He walked up to Dog Beach and launched. Klaus said, "Jim, he goes to the same school you do. He walks way up the beach to launch." At one point Todd was really ripping.

Klaus had purchased a 6'er of imported beer from TJ's and shared it with the group as we continued our chat fest. The beer definitely helped.

Then at one point, I think it was Joe Walker who said, "That doesn't look right, does it? What is it?" That became the focus of attention for the next 10 minutes. What was it, a body? A part of a boat?

I definitely think this young Latino girl should get some sort of reward from the city. She saved them a lot of money by rescuing that buoy....hundreds. Maybe more, who knows. Those two kids were the hero's on the beach in my estimation.

See you on the beach...........

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A three-peat in March? It could happen ! ! !

On Wednesday we had one of the nicest kite days in over a week. It blew for over three hours and there were maybe a dozen kiter's on the water. I rated it an 8.5 (out of 10) because the water was a little choppy and didn't have a wide kite area here at Belmont. It could have been better.

Fortunately today was a repeat and it definitely was better then yesterday. It was a solid 9 to 9.5. Great wind direction, the wind lasted a long time (over 5 hours), the air temp was nice, the kite area was wide and the water was pretty smooth. Great for jumping and getting up-wind.

Luca had come over to the house around 1:30 to chit-chat. At around 2 we walked down to the beach with our gear. We waited a little while to make sure the wind was going to come up before rigging. In the foreground is Joe Wilcox's Best Pro. He made it down yesterday and was able to get away today too. He love's the fact that the kite season is starting off strong.

Kyle was on the fence about rigging, but Mark Strauch was going for it and Luca was almost ready to get launched. I think Juliano was already out. Above Kyle and Mark were talking about his new board.

We looked up and Al Navas was powered up and going out. That kicked everyone into gear. Juliano walked up the beach, I launched Luca, Mark self launched, Joe Wilcox self launched, then I got Joe's huge North 20 "C" up in the air, then I launched and got out. Kyle was right behind us.

At one point a few of us hit the beach for a break. I think Joe Wilcox was done for the day, but the rest of us posed for the camera. Left to right, Mark, Juliano, Luca, me, Kyle and Joe Walker. Joe is just getting use to the posing the way the reason Kyle still had his kite in the air is he wasn't done. He wanted more....MORE????

The wind came back up and Kyle went for it.

I don't know if I caught a hop or if this was a loop or maybe a jump. Whatever it was I thought it was cool with the sun's reflection on the water and the spray of the jump just hanging there.

After cleaning up I rode my bike down the bike path and caught this lone kiter doing a little sand sliding at the end of the day. I think the gulls were distracted.

It was such a beautiful day you would think it was summer. There were about 20 of us out today and I think there's going to be more kites on the water as we head for the weekend. Maybe there's a 10 in our future.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter, the bunny was at our house today.

I'm sure that Easter is as big a deal at your house as it is in ours. Naturally this tradition started years ago when the kids were little. Spend the morning making hard boiled eggs, dye them, and then hide them around the house, with prizes for who found the most and so on.

Well now that the kids are adults they still want to keep the Easter fun, but take it to the next level. So today after Dan and I went kiting, and we jumped into dry clothes we found the whole group in the kitchen getting ready to toast to the Easter bunny. "Here's to the Easter Bunny!!!!!"
Little did I realize that this year the "helpers" were having martini's as their rewards for a job well done. That's very cool!!!!From L-R, Dan, Brian, Robin, Lena, Sara and Ruth. They had decorated the hard boiled eggs and were ready to party.

The next step was to get to the table and have our traditional egg fights. In the center are the "weapons." Each person selects his fighting egg and then jousts with their neighbor.

Sara and Brian were first. Sorry to say Sara lost.

I know it may seem a little unfair, but the next round was Brian against the pro, Ruby. She lost too.

Now Brian is going against "The Big Cheater" and guess what? Brian was three for three.

Yes, Brian found his golden egg. Now if he could only take it to B of A and cash it in for real gold.

After all that excitement it was time to eat. Ruth, Sara, and all the others prepared a lot of healthy food; Cauliflower, asparagus, ham, Polish sausage, horseradish and lots of hard boiled eggs.

With impeccable timing our neighbors Liam and Lori (shown with Ruth), brought us a huge martini glass filled with a selection of wonderful candy. After that the kids retired to the game room to play
Pictionary and I watched UCLA beat Texas A&M 53 to 49. Go Bruins. Stanford also won a close game against Marquette, 82 to 81.

The kitchen is impeccable thanks to Sara and Brian. So in the morning Ruth and I can wake up to a clean kitchen. That was above and beyond the call of duty,
THANK YOU Sara and Brian. Now all it has to to is blow tomorrow and it will be the perfect weekend. I might even be able to drag Ruth down to the beach, as long as I bring her USC chair and a martini. What flavor honey??????

See you on the beach.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A day is great when you can kite with you son.

Saturday was our Easter get together at the Corbett family. Making hard boiled eggs and the whole nine yards. At one point my youngest son Dan was hanging with me on the front porch and I said "Let's take a walk down to the beach to see how the wind is doing." We were sitting on the wall on Ocean Blvd. when Juliano, Juliana and Ana drove up. We all sat on the wall and chatted for a while and then decided to set-up camp near the water. They went and got their gear, and so did we.

Getting together on the beach is a time to catch up on what's happening in every one's lives.
Juliano started with a story about launching his kite on floating dock on an island in Brazil.

Todd and Dan listened with interest.

Then Todd tells about a kite adventure on his recent trip to Samoa. His life flashed before his eyes.

Ana got to tell her kite story and we were all hanging on her every word.

Bobby and Henry's story is that they are both going on a diet. Bobby has already dropped a pant size. Henry wouldn't admit what his plan is, but one is going to be the biggest looser. It's a race.
Everyone is convinced that the wind is coming up. And they are right.
Dan is ready. He's going out on a 12 meter because that's all I had for him. He also took my big board. He did great and may come back to the beach tomorrow and borrow a 14 if the wind blows.
At the end of the day it was fun kiting with my kid. Sure it could have been a little more intense, or it could have blown longer, but who cares because we got out there and there were not accidents.

Happy Good Friday, or put another way, how to REALLY enjoy semi-retirement by taking a boat ride with friends.

On Thursday we got an invite from Pat and Terry to go on an early morning cruise around Belmont and Naples in their boat. Cool!!! What time do you want us there? 7 A.M. What????? OK, how about 7:30...That's a deal!!

Now we have to get to bed by 10 and set the clock for 6:30, and guess what, get up in the dark. Oh man. But we did it. We got up and to their dock at 7:30. I think they were surprised we were on time since we are such night owls. We never get up early. Well maybe by 10.

Laced with plenty of coffee we got to their dock and ready to go around Naples island.

Here we are, coffee in hand, jumping on-board and ready for the boat ride. Did someone say "Where's the heater?" Terry is holding the boat waiting for the photographer.

Don't the girls look great, even this early in morning? Left to right is Lenni, Pat, Patty and Ruth. They have been long time friends and traveling partners. They are also shopping buddies.

One of the things you can't help but drooling over are the beautiful boats that scattered around the harbor. This is just one on hundreds we saw on our travel and it was a sail boat.

One of the other things that you think about is how wonderful it is having the natural habitat preserved right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city. It's great to see nature up-close.

I can't tell you how many times I have driven over this bridge that leads from Naples to Belmont. This morning it looked magnificent. So calm, quiet and beautiful.

Terry, who's at the helm, may look like he's having a ball but he's really concentrating very hard because of the turbulent waters. OK, I forgot to tell him I was taking the picture. Me bad.

I tried to give him a kiss as a reward for all his hard work and great driving but he wouldn't hear of it.

When all was said and done, the coffee kicked in and we wanted more. Well in actuality Ruth and I went home and I took a nap. Hey, I had to be ready to kite later in the day. I'm semi-retired now, so I can legally take naps. Just ask me.