Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday and Friday. One good and one bad.

Thursday, lots of people were off doing things so I decided to "Go Local" and kite Belmont.

Mike Noel and Bill Swiskow got to the beach early. Mark Strauch, Matt Naigus (with his fantastic long lens Canon camera), Arnaud Vuillermet and I came a little later. We all were at the "Camp" loving the wind. Joe Wilcox, Lance Smith, Dong and Kyle showed up a little later.

Even Al Navas dropped by to say hello and catch a little wind at Belmont today.

As I was getting ready to go out I couldn't help but flash back to 24 hours ago. Klaus and I were across the stone wall over there and were kiting at Seal. When you make the picture larger by double clicking Seal looks so close.

Even the oil platform seemed much closer today. I could have made my way over there but I wanted to work on my pop timing. I was able to pull off some pretty good jumps, for me.

Talking about jumps, we all were trying to get air today. Some good and some???

Don't worry Faycal you are "King of The Air" as far as I'm concerned. I grabbed this shot I took back in June. I know you were out on the water, so was I, that's why I went to the library.

Another shot around the same time was Brandon jumping. Hey he's damn good too.

As the wind dropped off the only one that was able to keep kiting was Sonny and his four wheeled "Big Wheel." It looks fun. I'm going to try it one of these days.

Even though I didn't get there when the wind came up it was still a pretty good day.

When the sun went down I was thinking very positive about wind for Friday. It could happen.

It's Friday and Eddy ruined our hopes for wind today.

I rode my bike down to talk to Mitch, who is the lifeguard at the Claremont ramp. He said that the Catalina Eddy had shut off the wind.

Lisa and Eyal came down for a little wind and I don't think they are happy. Actually they look a little bored. Can you blame them?

There were a number of kiters that got the afternoon off, but unfortunately the wind didn't cooperate.

This is the non-wind that we got today.

And this is what the Catalina Eddy looked like.

So I logged onto kcal 9's weather to see what
Jackie Johnson had to say at I got an eye full but that didn't tell me much so I went onto ikitesurf and read meteorologist Mike Godsey's forcast. Not looking good here but maybe OK at Lake Isabella. I think I'll work around the house and make some brownie points.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tuesday and Wednesday, Belmont and Seal.

On Tuesday Dan, Jason, Klaus and I met at our Ocean Blvd. "Tail gate" party. We were waiting for the wind to come up. It never did.

After a while Jason had to go...appointments.

By the time we got to the beach Bongo was out riding. Unfortunately he's not a good wind dummy, he's way too light and flys big kites.

After a few minutes Klaus gave up. Since he hadn't gotten any sleep the night before he needed to get home to get some well deserved "shut eye."

Dan and I on the other hand had to get wet. We rigged, went down wind and walked back. Some even had to wash off their kites.

One of the best things of the day was the sunset. The cloud formation and the refection was just sensational. Double click on the picture to see it larger.

That was the end of Tuesday, now let's talk about Wednesday.

I knew Klaus had to drive in from Riverside, Jason couldn't come down and I didn't know about Dan, so we decided to head for Seal Beach.

I got there a little before the wind curve so I took some time to clean Klaus's kite. I had gotten a lot of sand on it at Sunset and Belmont so I wanted to wash is off. John Fitzgerald suggested that I go into business, he knew of a lot of guys that wanted their kites washed and waxed. I said "They couldn't afford me." John retorted, tongue in cheek, "No, kiter's have money, really."

As you can see from the above picture it's a pretty long walk to the beach. Here comes the rules that must be observed; kiters must launch between the two signs, do not come in less than 200 yards in the swim area or the surf area and you must land between the same two signs. The rules are very well explained on Dan Slaters web site, then click on "SCKA kiting info." Pleas check out the rules before going to Seal Beach.

Klaus and I were having a great time jumping, and trying to pull off tricks, then he said "You want to go to Sunset?" "No way!" "You want to go to Long Beach?" "Sure." As you can see from the picture the oil platform is a little ways off the coast, but doable.

So what we did was go out past the oil platform and then went port side to pass the platform. WRONG!!!!! What we discovered was the platform causes such a huge wind shadow that we almost couldn't get past it. Then we tried to get past the marina entrance and had to do a little tack to get past it. Once past the marina we were free and clear and heading for Belmont. At some point I was crossing paths with Kyle and we did a passing hand slap, then the wind started dying and we headed back to Seal. Better safe than sorry.

We spent the rest of the afternoon jumping and playing in the waves.

I tried to catch Klaus getting air but could only get someone else. Sorry Klaus.

Some good points and some not so good. The rigging and landing site is fantastic. I wish we had a grass area like Seal. Ok I'm retired and cheap, you have to pay for parking. I would rather walk two blocks than pay money....sorry Seal.

At the end of the day I had to drive to Ruth's brothers house and pick Ruth up. Liz, Randy's wife, was helping Ruth make a dress for a wedding in two weeks because unfortunately Ruth's sewing machine broke down. Thanks Liz, you're the best.

Monday at Sunset, a great day

Another 10 at Sunset.

Monday Klaus returned from Utah and we met up at Sunset.

While I was waiting I caught this amazing shot of this kid doing a flip after he rode his skim board into the water. Does his mother know what he's doing? I think not.

Monday the waves were pretty big. We had to think for a few minutes about how we were going to get past them.

Check out the "K" and the "J". Klaus wanted to just go for it, I on the other hand watched a couple of locals walk up the beach to launch. I decided to walk up the beach and Klaus got pounded by the waves. Live and learn. The lifeguard called him in and said, "Kite Boarder, Come In." The sad thing was that Klaus had to walk up, talk to the lifeguard and then walk up the beach to launch. Oh well.

I was out on my Rhino 12 and Klaus was on his Bandit 13. There was quite a difference in the two kites because Klaus felt he was over powered most of the day and my 12 seemed just right until the wind died a little after six. It's time for a beer.

The next day Klaus told me that he was so jacked up from the kite session that he couldn't sleep. I on the other hand knew about Tylenol P.M.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday..low wind and races

On Friday there wasn't much wind as you can see from the graph

But at the end of the day I did catch a shot of one kiter walking to his car.

I think the best thing about the day was catching the sun behind a cloud.

The next morning I got up early to see the start of the Catalina Water Ski race.

The race was suppose to start at 8 A.M. but because of the fog it was postponed.

The Coast Guard and the L.B. Lifeguards set up a command post on Cherry Ave. They were not going to start the race until they had at least a mile and a half visibility.

Finally at about 9:15 they let the boats and skiers line up at the start line.

The next step was for the skiers to put on their skis.

The starter finally shot off the red flare at 9:30 and off they went.

The race start is amazing because at 80 miles an hour all those boats are going to fit through the breakwater entrance.

The winner was Todd Haig from the USA who finished in a time of 51 minutes and 14.95 seconds. He was pulled by this 43 foot Nordic Racing boat driven by Randy Davis.

Sunday was another race, this time it was just the skiers. You can check out the race on youtube, Unfortunately it didn't play very well on my computer.

I was positioned across from the Queen Mary and this is where the boats came out of the holding area and at 11 o'clock they were directed to the start area.

From my vantage point it looked like the boats lined up near Chaffee Island then raced along the beach, in front of the pier and then turned left around White Island and headed for the open ocean. The starting flare went off at about 11:30.

These two boats were the first past us as they headed for the breakwater opening.

The area was lined with a lot of spectators.

The first starter was the first to finish the race. The winner was #7 Mike DeFreese driving the CRC boat. They were over and back in 37 minutes.

The second place finisher was "Lick This" driven by Sean Moore. They were four minutes behind the winner.

I thought this shot was kind of cool since there was a helicopter flying overhead catching shots of the first and second place finishers.

Here is your winner Mike DeFrees taking a well deserved lap around the harbor.