Saturday, May 31, 2008

Three adventures in three days, my body can't take anymore.. happiness

Today is Friday May 30th. This afternoon, after Ruth and I went to Costco for the party fixings for Sunday's SCKA meeting here at the house, I looked down the street and guess was blowing.....again.

Klaus and Juliano had already called the house about the wind, and I was supposed to meet up with Rijk because I may have a part that he could possibly use for his bar. Anyway I knew I was running a little late.

By the time I got to camp I noticed Joe Wilcox was pumping right next to me and I also saw Klaus and Juliano out on the water, along with about 40 other guys and gals. I think a lot of people got Friday afternoon off and checked the wind report.

Klaus and Juliano came in for a few minutes of rest, so Klaus help launch my Rhino 12. I had gone back and forth about what kite to rig, but I wanted to ride my 12 because the bladders had come in from North and I wanted to see what attention it needed.

Joe and I weren't out but a few minutes when Klaus and Juliano were right there with us. I thought I saw a signal from Joe so I threw up my left hand and pointed to the oil platform. The four of us made a straight shot for the platform. Insert some fun, adventure music here. Something driving.
Once we got to the platform I threw up the "turn around" signal and we were headed back to Belmont. I think I saw Joe really up wind and thought "We could make it behind Chaffee Island today."

It took us a couple of tacks and we were now headed for the back of the island. When I looked back I didn't see Juliano so I knew he had to take one more pass to get behind the island safely. He told me later that there was a pleasure boater that screwed up his course.

The wind and water behind the island was fantastic. The wind was not gusty and the water was relatively smooth as we headed for White Island. Joe and Klaus were ahead of me and Juliano was a little behind me. This stretch of the trip was hard on my legs and back because you are in one stance for a long time. I noticed that Joe was going toe-side. Later he said that the change-up gave his legs a rest.

Somewhere around the pier is where we were joined by Lance. Now the five of us went behind the island again. My intention was to go around the island counter-clockwise and then down wind back to Belmont. But once past the back, I saw Klaus heading for one of those container ships. It doesn't show it on the map, but we passed the breakwater and hit the open ocean again. I could not believe that Klaus and Juliano were on 16 meter kites, and in this section the wind was howling. The other big challenge was the ocean swells. To me they were huge, to Klaus "No problem."

After a few minutes of the open ocean I just turned around. I just let Klaus wear himself out going towards the huge ship. The idea of down winding on the East side of Chaffee didn't happen because again we came across this section of great wind and relatively smooth water so we continued behind Chaffee again. Then we all started playing down wind and back and forth. It was kind of a free flowing thing with some going West and Klaus and me going in front of Chaffee. Then slowly we headed back in front of Belmont and on one of the passes I yelled to Klaus, "I'm going in for a beer."

When I hit the beach Rijk helped catch my kite, then one by one the five of us came in. The beer started flowing and the smiles were from ear to ear. There were plenty of hugs and high-fives. It was quite an adventure.

Sorry I was not able to get Lance in this shot, but 4 out of 5 ain't bad. L to R Juliano, Klaus, me and Joe . This was really a blast and hope we can extend it next time...maybe Sunset or BEYOND!!! Joe thought we were out for over 2 hours and Juliano estimated our trip was over 15 miles, maybe closer to 20.

I'm guessing the time frame for the island crossing was between 3:30 and 6. One of the first things that Klaus said when we came in was, "Next time we go to Huntington Beach. All we need is someones car for safety and we go." At that moment all I wanted to do was savor that beer and take a little rest.

At one point someone said "I think the wind is coming back." Klaus and I got our kites in the air and did a few passes. I think I should have known better, but since I was on the 12, Dong and I ended up way down on the peninsula and had a long walk home.

As I finish up this blog I looked down on the lower right of the screen and saw that it's a few minutes past two in the morning and my body is hurting. The three days of "Adventures" have taken their toll, I think I'm going to cruise tomorrow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another day of adventures and we were smiling the whole way home

I arrived at the beach around 1:30 and there were quite a few kites pumping.
You never know what's going to happen. So pump fast.

I saw George and Dong out. Come on pump.

I looked up and saw that Dan and Ruth were walking down the ramp.

Here's the face of someone who's having fun. His new kite arrived and he couldn't wait to pump too.
As Dan started to pump the wind start to come up. His new Best 13 is going to be just right.
I tried to make my way to the water with my 16. I wish I had brought my 12.
With the wind blowing about 18 mph Dan had no problem getting out on his new Bularoo 13. He and I met up around La Palapa and he signaled to head for Chaffee Island.

Ruth did a great job of taking this shot. We were heading for the back of the island, but ended up going very close to the breakwater wall.

How could she top that shot, by capturing Dan and me returning from the back of the island.

I attempted to do a freehand drawing of our path. We started at Belmont, took a few tacks to get to the pier, then a couple of tacks to get to the back of the island. We reversed direction, and passed very close to the back of before going down wind back to camp.
There's still plenty of wind for jumping. Dong makes it look so easy.
For Dan it was time for a little break.
This shot doesn't show it but at one point I counted 30 kites and that wasn't counting kites on the sand or the kites down at Seal.
Klaus got to Belmont at about 4:30 and there was plenty of wind left. With Dan taking a break I took his new board and Klaus and I headed for the platform again. We tried to get behind Chaffee again but we didn't make it today either.

Here is a rough drawing on a Google map showing our path. The black box is the platform.
Ruth get's the photographer award for taking a bunch of pictures and not knowing if they were going to come out.....They were great honey!!!
Dan gave the Sherpa Award to Maureen for carrying Rijk's board.
At the end of the day we were celebrating the great wind with a beer. L to R: me, Klaus, Bill, Rijk, Will, and Dan. Aren't they a great group?

The last shot of the day was of the last guys on the ramp. On the left is Yoris, who teaches for Capt. Kirk and is from Holland. He started talking to Bobby who was mentioning that he was planning on going to Cabarete for a vacation. When the two started talking they realized they had met there last year because Yoris taught there too. What a small world after all.

Here's the ikitesurf readings at Belmont today. It may be better tomorrow, who knows.

May 28th. Today was an adventure with Klaus

Yesterday I invited Klaus to join us at Rat Beach, but he said it was a long drive from Huntington and would do it some other time.

So today was back kiting at Belmont. I got a late start because I was handling some work related business, but I could see from my office window that Deon's foil and Omar's yellow Turbo-Diesel were out. So I knew the wind was up at about 3 o'clock.

When I was finished I grabbed my cart and my 16 and headed for "camp" to start pumping. When I looked up I could see Klaus heading up the ramp. He said later that he got to the beach at about 4:15 and the wind was definitely blowing over 15 mph.

The past few times when Klaus and I have kited together there has been an air of adventure. Today was not going to be any different. Klaus launched me and in a few minutes he got launched. We have not figured out how to self-launch our North 5-line kites yet. Once on the water we were crossing back and forth between the ramp and the island and pulling off some high fives. At one point we did three passes in a row. It's funny because there's a lot of trust in the other kiter that he knows what he's doing because your are within inches of one another and you don't want to screw up. Accidents are painful.

At some point Klaus started heading for the Alamitos Marina entrance. Once there we turned back and headed back. We have been doing this tandem, side-by-side kiting thing where we come right next to the other kiter and just hold course with the two North kites flying side by side. In our eyes it looks very cool.

Anyway when we transitioned back to starboard Klaus headed out to sea. He wanted to go on a "Real" adventure past the oil platform, that is quite a ways South-East of Belmont. Once past Island Chaffee the wind picked up in intensity, as well as the feeling you were on the open ocean. Especially when you passed the marina entrance. The swells were pretty big.

With the wind direction, it was not exactly a down winder because we were always on a starboard tack until we approached the oil platform, at which time we did start going down wind. Once past this giant structure, that is planted quite a ways off shore, we headed for the back of Island Chaffee. I think it was the heavy current and swells that prevented us from getting behind it on one reach, so we shined that idea on and headed back to Belmont.

Once the water got a little calmer, past the marina entrance, we started coming real close to each other. At one point we were side by side and I held out my hand. Klaus moved closer and closer and then we touched hands. The next split second Klaus was in the water swimming for his board. I flipped around to make sure he was alright and then we continued our port reach for home.
But we had to try it again. So here's the scenario, I'm up-wind of Klaus, he moves in just slightly down wind of me and once we are side by side I move a little to my right and slow down a little. Just enough to be going the exact same speed, we move closer, touch hands and BAM, Klaus is in the water again. Later he told me what was happening was the spray from my board was making his board unstable and he would loose it.

By the time we got back to the ramp I was getting tired, but Klaus wanted one more run. So we headed for the marina entrance again and once we hit that choppy open ocean wave action I turned around and headed home. When I got out of the water Klaus said "What's wrong?" I said "Nothings wrong, I'm just tired." "OK, then I go jumping now." "OK, that's enough rest, let me grab my smaller board and let's go." So for the next hour we did jumps and more hand slaps.

Then, at about 7 the wind started dieing. I could no longer stay up wind on the 136 so I found my self on each pass loosing a little ground. I got out at where the houses start on the peninsula and walked back to camp. That was more more kiting for today. It's time for a beer, but I was in a hurry and didn't bring any. SoI invited Klaus back to the house, but he said he was heading home. That's a wrap.

It was really great being here and seeing a lot of the guys; Omar, George, John, Kyle, Dong, Bill, Mike, Deon and a lot of others that you wave to.

It was another great adventure at Belmont.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday was another adventure, Rat Beach

On Tuesday Dan had a window of time after work so I packed up and headed to Torrance. It was time to give Rat Beach another try.

I packed the Honda and I was ready to go.

From Long Beach it's a quick drive up Ocean Blvd. and over the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Then up the 110 to PCH and then head to Torrence. I think I made it in about 40 minutes.

Dan was running a little late so I went ahead and unpacked our stuff in the parking lot. About two city blocks from the launch spot.

Dan is self-contained and found the rigging spot. As you can see, there's not much around.

I think it was his surfing background, but whatever it was Dan was able to get off the beach with no problem.

This is the other Dan. A regular to Rat Beach. He's very good.

I, on the other hand, dropped my kite twice while trying to get through the surf. My timing was crap. So I came back to camp and took some pictures.

Dan was doing great. He was able to stay up-wind the entire time while out at Rat Beach. The other Dan mentioned that this site is usually a problem staying up wind.

As you can see the other Dan was doing great also. He brought two boards, one surfboard with no straps and a wave board with foot straps.

Even though the water seemed a little choppy, Dan Corbett was holding his own.

At the end of the session, the other Dan had to climb up the hill to his home. Not a bad place to live.

At the end of the day it was time to pack it in.

We had to do a little climbing too.

Dan did the packing as I took more pictures. "Come on Dad. put away the camera."

As I drove back to Belmont it was like being home. I hope the wind is up tomorrow so I can get out and do some kiting.

Memorial Day weekend, Part 3 Monday

Today proved to be a great day of kiting. Who knew when you rubbed the ikitesurf wind report last night.

Quite a few kiter's came out today. There weren't as many as the day of the Clinic, but there were quite a few....I didn't bother to count them.

The wind hasn't come up yet but everyone was poised for it.

The kiter's were ready when it started blowing.

When the wind started to come up everyone with a kite was off the beach.

Obviously Omar had a great day. I think he was flying a new kite too. Let me see.... how many kites do you have in your quiver....five. Omar, you are covering all the bases.
Dan and I had a great day. At one point with the wind raging I tried to signal to Dan for a back of the island adventure. He didn't know what I was trying to say so he went back to the shore. With the wind as strong as it was I went behind Chaffee Island. But the best story was when we were packing up and Bobby walked up the ramp and said that he and Tony had done a down-winder to Seal and he got a ride back to Belmont by John Fitzgerald. Thanks John.

As we were walking back home Dan heard a sound that was like a snow blower, but it was a guy getting really "BIG" air. Wait a minute he has an engine, that's cheating.
The three powered paragliders flew up from Seal Beach. You can get more info at
The last kiter standing. The wind was still blowing as we headed home.
Dan had one more thing to do, he wanted to change the brakes on his Chevy Avalanche. I had not idea he had it in him doing these mechanical things. It must have come from Ruth's dad. And guess what the brakes worked and he had no extra parts either.