Monday, June 30, 2008

Three days in a row...NO WAY!!!!

Mondays are often filled with lists of things that I have neglected over the weekend. This weekend was no different. I've heard many times, "Kite boarding, kite boarding, kite boarding is that all you think about?"
"YES! SO?"
As you know I am happily married, but there are things that I have to constantly think, Did I take out the trash? How am I doing on my H.D. list? Did I do the dishes? What about making the coffee? The bed? Really there are pressures you just may not understand. Then there's money, and time commitments, and, oh yes, priorities. These are things we ALL have to deal with. I'm no different.

OK, my life is very similar to yours...and with that in mind, today I had to be a little manipulative. Mike N. called and said he was going down to the beach to kite. So I told Ruth, "Honey, I've got to meet Mike and help him with his board control."......"OK, go ahead."

This was not a total fib. Mike was at the beach and I could help him if I was there. But I knew I was escaping the stuff I was supposed to do around the house, but what the heck, I have to get down to the beach, help my buddy and kite with the guys. This, is after all, my life.

By the time I got there the wind was up and I saw Mike out on the water. So were about 10 other guys. I got rigged and by the time I launched the wind died. There were a number of us that were going to wait for the wind to come back and there were a number of kiter's that went home, including Mike.
Fortunately Matt N. hung around for the second coming. It was hot and it was boring. So boring that I took pictues of beer cans.

A girl.

And the empty beach.

And then my friend Todd and his girl friend showed up. A breath of fresh air. Todd is on the left, then Pegge, Matt and me. Todd didn't have his kite gear so they went shopping up on 2nd Street.

Finally we got some wind and we were able to get out for a while. Thanks to Omar's girlfriend Bonnie we have this shot of Matt riding his surfboard. He's thinking of getting a Naish board next.
Klaus would be proud of me. Since I was using his North Rebel 16 and his North board, I just had to share that in the second wind session I was "Last kiter standing." Thanks Klaus and thanks Bonnie.
In the third and last session Bongo (Rudy) was able to get out on Charles's Best kite. I don't know if you can tell but the wind was blowing side-shore. I think Bongo got in two runs and it shut off. The wind was through for the evening.

There were a few holes in the wind report but you can see that the wind was all over the place. Not only was it up and down, but look at all the direction changes.

We threw our coins in the water as we left so let's hope there's wind tomorrow. But don't count on it because that would be four days in a row. The last picture, a shot of the sunset.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Two adventures in two days....we need a rest

Sunday morning started relatively early. Ruth and I woke up around 8:30, had our coffee and then I rode my bike up to the bagel shop. We knew that Klaus was coming over early and we wanted to have bagels, cream cheese, onions, salmon, avocado and tomatoes for breakfast. Klaus and I had planned on going to Legends for the soccer game and then we were going kiting.

When Klaus made it to the house we had breakfast as planned. Then he and I walked up to Legends while Ruth went to the Farmer's Market. Once inside Legends we happened to find two great seats right in front of this huge TV screen. Actually the match was being shown on a number of screens as well as a Nascar race and a baseball game.

At the bar to my left was a guy wearing a Spain jersey and to Klaus's right was another Spanish fan. When Spain got their one and only goal the place exploded. I think the German's were out numbered. It didn't matter because we noticed the wind blowing through the palm trees on Second Street. So when the first period ended we left for the beach.

We got the beach at a little after noon and by the time I got the cart to the camp Klaus was chomping at the bit to get out. I said, "Go ahead Klaus, I'll be right there." I was running a little behind because I wanted to set up the camp with the umbrella and chairs. Ruth was coming later. It didn't matter because I knew that there was going to be a few of us going on an this new adventure. What I didn't know was this was going to be the longest kite ride I have taken so far.

Just before I launched my kite I took this shot of the sail boat race being held right in front of us. The time was about 12:20.

Originally Klaus, Juluano and I were going to do something, then Joe Wilcox and a friend of Juliano's Scott Dormer joined us. Great, the more the merrier. At first we just went past the pier trying to get as far behind White island as we could. It was a challenge because the wind shadow would almost drop our kites. What was inviting was the smooth water. The other facet was that Joe and Klaus were jumping for their fans on the pier. The people were cheering and taking pictures of them.
At some point I decided to go for the back side of Chaffee. So I set out trying to do it in one tack but it took two. The scary element was there was a sail boat race in this area so we were going in between these large sail boats. This also made the water pretty choppy too. Once past Chaffee we transitioned and headed for the front of White. That's when I thought, "Hey we've never gone behind the back of White......let's try that."
The fun thing is each time we go on these adventures it's like stretching a rubber band, you want to keep stretching it but you don't want to break it. No accidents please. This tack was a real challenge because there was one point where I was almost behind the island but because I was so close to it the wind dropped off so I had to swing my kite and drop a little down wind. This brought me very close to the rocks. It was a little scary and hairy too.
Once we were past the island we tried to get as deep, or as close to the marina as we could. My drawing only shows one tack behind White but we did two because on the second one we got real close to the beach. I was thinking, "We could drop in to Alfredo's and grab some water." But that idea disappeared when the wind dropped off.
This next tack was really long because we went from the back of White to the oil platform. Klaus was not able to get behind White for some reason and had to take an extra tack. So we did a little flip around until he rejoined us. I think it was at this point I realized that Scott had headed back to camp. He told me later he was only flying an 11 and there were spots that didn't have enough wind.

On this tack Joe and Klaus were in front of me and Juliano was a little behind me. Yesterday I broke my leash so today I was without it. I am still getting used to body dragging for my board. I found on this tack I was very conservative with my jumping and screwing around because I didn't want to body drag in this open ocean wave action.
Once we transitioned out near the oil platform it was like getting your second wind. You could see the kites at Belmont and at Seal and you knew your were on your way home and everything was OK. I thought once we were passed the front of Chaffee were were through, but Klaus and Joe were not done yet. They went on a straight shot for the pier again. Juliano headed in and I followed Joe and Klaus. There they were jumping and waving to the people on the pier. What hams.

Unfortunately at this point my drawings start to look confusing because we are retracing our steps. Sorry about that. Anyway I think at some point Joe left us and Klaus was still entertaining the folks on the pier. At one point he pulled off one big ass jump, about 15 feet in the air, and he lost his board. This gave me a chance to test the board pick-up routine Klaus and I had talked about yesterday. I went over picked up his board and dropped it off for him. Not bad for and old guy. It was at this point we headed for the beach for some liquid libation.

This adventure was from about 12:30 to 3 o'clock. For taking a little over two hours we covered a lot of territory.

Thanks Carole Strauch for take the group photo, because I think it shows everyone was having a great day. The five guys that took the long adventure are second from left Juliano Calil, fourth from the left Joe Wilcox, far right Scott Dormer, I'm next to him and third from right is Klaus Schulz. The rest of the beach gang are Bill Swiskow (far left), Mark Strauch (third from left), and Danny Valo (fifth from left).

To give you a contrast of how many kiters were on the beach, this shot was taken about 12:15. There were not that many kites.

This shot was taken a little after 3 o'clock. I'm guessing there were over 60 kites out today.
These are my neighbors Rosie and Jim Fox. They came down to the camp in their new electric cart and wagon that goes 14 mph and can drive 14 miles . Very cool. Klaus wants to get one.
At the end of the day, as we packed up our gear, Ruth and I realized we had just spent another day in PARADISE, and, click-click-click, "There's no place like home."

See you on the beach.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Today was a 10+....WHAT A DAY!!!!!

If you happen to catch the blog last night, you would have seen that the forecast was for good wind today. But who knew it was going to be GREAT wind. Klaus called me this morning around noon and said the wind was coming up and that he was going to pump up his kites at the beach. Unfortunately I was having new garage doors installed and couldn't leave until they were done. What I did do was ask the installers how much longer and the lead guy said, "About fifteen minutes." I said "Perfect." We wrote them a check and I took off for the beach.

I also knew that Bryon Richards, a writer for one of the local newspapers, was coming to Belmont today. He's writing an article about kite boarding and I was going to give him a snapshot about what kiting was all about. What a great day to come down to the camp. Who knew.

As you can see by the wind graph the wind started blowing early. By the time I got there Klaus was out and the wind was ragging. I pumped up my North 12 Rhino and went out. Prior to going out I knew that Joe Wilcox and Klaus wanted to go on an "adventure." By the time I joined them on the water I didn't feel my kite was big enough so I went back to the beach and grabbed Klaus's 16 Rebel. Now I had enough power.

At first we just warmed up and then I saw the signal. Klaus pointed to the oil platform but I didn't see Joe. What a bummer.

By the time we reached the platform we saw Joe racing across the water to join us. Later he said he saw us going for the platform and didn't want to be left behind. Good job Joe.

After we got our bearings we figured it was going to take a couple of tacks in order to get behind Chaffee Island. With the wind as intense as it was and the big ocean swells I think it took us three tacks to get behind it safely. What is neat is once you know you are going to get past the island, and not hit the rocks you relax and start having a lot more fun. As usual once past the island there is a long stretch were the water is relatively smooth and yet the wind is still very strong. Another thing we wanted to do is go as far West past White Island as we could before our kites dropped from it's wind shadow. There were a number of sail boats and power boats up there so we knew we were all right. In this area the water is REALLY flat.

On the way back from White we noticed there was a lot people on the pier. The city was having "Pirate Invasion" days, complete with a real Pirate ship attacking the Pier.

I don't think that Klaus was quite ready to end the adventure so we followed him behind Chaffee once more, then we traversed and headed back to the pier for one more look. Klaus got a number of people cheering him on when he got very close to the pier. I didn't want to get that close so I kept my distance. After getting past the pier we did a down-winder back to kite beach. We stopped in for some liquid refreshment and a little rest.

Here are the three adventure guys: me, Joe and Klaus. The wind was still blowing so I grabbed my camera and took a few shots.

If you look at he wind report and check out the intensity at 3 o'clock you can get a sense that the wind was still raging, and guess what it was going to blow for another three hours. But who knew.

I didn't actually count the number of kites but I would guess there were over 40 kites out today. Did anyone get a head count?????

There was enough wind for everyone. There were catamarans, sail boats, wind surfers and kite boarders. I think everyone had fun today.

It has taken a week so today Klaus was able to use his new F-One Bandit. He was so happy because it had a lot of power for only being 13 square meters. He said "I love my new power machine."

At the end of the day David was putting away his catamaran and we put our kites away too.

All of us had a ball, that's why it was a 10 PLUS day. The wind blew for over 6 hours and everyone had a chance to get out and sail to his hearts conent. L-R, me, Klaus, Rijk and Juliano. Many nations, lots of fun. Today Juliano was able to use his new Rev 16. He was a happy camper too.

Naturally everyone is hoping that tomorrow is going to be a repeat of today. On Sunday morning a number of us are going to Legends sports bar up on 2nd. Street to watch the big soccer game between Germany and Spain. We hope Germany wins because it would make Klaus very happy.

Hope to see you on the water.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday and Wednesday....NOTHING ! ! ! !

It's Wednesday night and there was nothing today regarding wind, and nothing yesterday either. So I did some paint touch-up around the front door and house trim. Then Klaus came over and we walked down to the beach just to look. NOTHING!!! Then I worked on the North bar that he welded.

Tuesday night I took three shots of the sunset. I think the smoke from the fires up North created a very interesting look.

Pray for wind ......
The bike path looked eerie as people got their late night exercise.
The volley ball players had a halo over their heads.

I thought the pier looked best. Very cool reflection of the sunset against the water.

Well that's all for now. More stuff around the house tomorrow. I have the garage door guy coming and then ??????????????? who knows.

WIND, lets hope there's wind.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Monday and we finally got wind !!!!!

It feels like we haven't been out on the water for days. This heat wave came and the wind shut down. Everything was so hot around here that the wind didn't blow
Well I guess today the planets aligned, so on Monday we got some wind. I was working around the house, actually putting up our house numbers on the wall in front, when I felt the wind coming up. I knew I had to finish and clean up fast. Then at about 1 o'clock I noticed a couple of kites being pumped up. I recognized one of them, it was Mike Noel.

At that point I started getting my stuff out of the garage to join him. I got to the beach around 1:30 and was on the water at 2, maybe a few minutes after. Joe Walker was there, so was Deon Aumaier, and Dimitri Korionoff.
Dimitri said he had talked to my son Dan and he was coming down, but couldn't get there until after 4. He had a work appointment.

So Dimitri and I went out on the water and just warmed up. Jumping and tacking back and forth, waving to "Doc", George and Al up at Granada. At one point we were up near La Palapa, going back and forth and I got the feeling Dimitri might want to go on an adventure.

After a few tacks we were getting close to Chaffee Island and then headed for the section of water between the pier and White Island. It was starting to get fun because the wind was getting pretty strong by now and it wasn't too choppy, so you could get behind White with no problem.

Here is a shot that Omar sent me tonight. This one is of me kiting past White Island. I imagine that we were passed the pier at this point.

Here is Dimitri kiting just behind me on his way to White Island.

I'm attaching this shot just to see what it will look like. It's both of us.

I don't know how Omar took this shot but when you make it larger it looks like art. The ocean wave action looks so cool. The thing sticking up on the left is I believe is part of Freeman Island.

I believe Matt Naigus joined us around the pier and he seemed up for an adventure too, so our first long tack was going behind Chaffee Island. That was fun, so we kept going. We actually were close to the break water wall when Matt pointed to the oil platform. I gave him thumbs up. Dimitri was a little behind me and stayed the course. One of the glaring differences between the color of the water was after we passed the end of the breakwater and were in the open water, the water suddenly became very blue and very clear. Also once you hit the open ocean there are large rollers out there. At one point Matt pulled off a huge jump using the lip of one of the rollers. He got some damn big air using that large Litewave 169.

At some point near the platform we changed direction and headed for home. That was about the time my board edged into one of the rollers and BAM I was in the water. I wasn't wearing a leash so I started body dragging. Matt and Dimitri noticed I wasn't getting very far so Matt came over, grabbed my board and dropped it off with a smile. Then off we went back to Belmont.

Once back we each went our separate ways and continued kiting. At one point Matt and I came back to camp and noticed Dimitri's kite in the water. He wasn't able to relaunch it so he slowly made his way to the beach. Then Faycal came up and dropped off his board. Thank you Faycal. Man he makes picking up a board look so easy.

Later Dan, Omar, Joe, John, Dave, and I shared stories of the afternoon. We all were glad the wind was back.

Friday, June 20, 2008.
Juliano and Klaus came over to the house to hang out, and wait for the wind to come up. At one point we said, "It isn't going to get any better so let's go down to the beach and pump up Juli's new Rev 15". Kyle had dropped it off Thursday night before he went to a wedding out of town.

Juliano didn't care if there wasn't much wind, he wanted to see his new "Baby" out of the bag and up in the air.

When Klaus launched it I thought "Man is this kite is huge for a 16 or what?"

Juliano and Klaus muscled it into the air and Juli was able to fly it back and forth even though there was no wind. He just had to.

After he wrapped this kite we went back to the Ocean Blvd. wall and hung out. About that time Ruth came over and upon arriving back at home we discovered we had been burglarized. They didn't get much, only $20, but it took the rest of the evening and some of Saturday to cancel the credit cards and give the police report.

The bottom line I left the two front doors of the house open when I went down to the beach and Ruth was upstairs blow drying her hair. That's when someone walked in and took my wallet and her day runner. We have an appointment on Wednesday to have a security screen door installed. Next time it won't be so easy, but I feel real stupid leaving the house wide open. Me bad.