Monday, August 25, 2008

Lake Isabella last weekend and Dan and I are off to Oahu tomorrow.

Dan, and his friends Steve and Christin, Belmont windsurfer Danny Valo and his friend, as well as Chad, his ex-coworker and friend Eyal and his girl friend Lisa, as well as my friend Klaus, me and Dans local friends Bud, his wife Gwynne and their two kids, Buds father Allen, wife and two dogs nd then there was Mike and his girlfriend who had the adjoining trailer. It was great group because there was plenty of room to get lost in.

Here's an opening shot of the lake.....

Lake Isabella was fun but very gusty. We all enjoyed the adventure. When I returned home I did the dialogue editing for a feature film called "The Nail, The Story of Joey Nardone." Check it out on imdb.

Tomorrow morning Ruth is driving me up to the airport at 6 A.M. See you in a week and hope you have great wind.

Jim, Dan and Ruth.

P.S. I have so many pictures to share...and so little time.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rat Beach on Thursday.

On Thursday we decided to go to Rat Beach in Torrance. Matt had gone to Sunset the day before and it was pretty good, but late so the three of us wanted to take a chance on something new and hopefully exciting. Besides Matt and I were in Pedro and Dan lives there. Enough said.

Look at these young studs. They are ready to tear up the waves at Rat Beach. To get there from Pedro Matt decided to take me the scenic route. Dan called it the long way, but we made it.

What a great view of sunbathers and surfers. What a great view and nice place

The rigging is not exactly next door like Belmont. There's a little bit of hoofing in order to find the rigging spot.

In among the sea-weed we found a spot to rig, but now we needed some wind. A photographers credit should be given here, it seems as though Mark Strauch was walking his dog and when Matt was parking his car they ran into Mark. Then he went home to drop off the dog and grabbed his camera. Thanks Mark!!!!!!

Deon's "brother" was there. Tee hee, just kidding. There was a guy riding a big foil on a big ass Skywalker board. We bit hook line and sinker and followed him in. Will we never learn?????

I drew the short straw and headed for the water.

I think the thought here was if the old guy goes down no sweat, if one of the studs goes down they will hear about it from the locals and friends.

Dan got his kite in the air only to drop it in the surf. I was able to get out but essential did a port down-winder. When I knew I wasn't going to get back I looked for a beach that looked safe to land. The lifeguard was great, first she ran out and grabbed my board in the surf, and then ran for the kite. I yelled, "Have you landed a kite before?" She said. "NO." I said "Don't worry, just grab the big fat section in the middle and hold it." She grabbed the middle of the leading edge, I dropped my lines and ran for the kite. Everything was fine. Then Mark and Dan arrived to help me back.

The last lone kiter was on a 17 Slingshot and we think a large directional board. In the low wind he was able to stay out and up. We couldn't.

At the end of the day it looked like a storm was moving in. Maybe it did, but we didn't stick around. We had some eating and drinking to catch up on.

Klaus and I are off to Lake Isabella on Saturday morning. Dan and Steve went up Friday. Danny Velo and friend are bringing up their windsurfers on Saturday too. Hope we have a good time. We also hope there is wind for the kite boarding contest at Belmont.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We got the ninth day and a little surprise too

Tuesday started like most days at Belmont Shore. The wind came up around 2 o'clock and we hoped that it would stay blowing until 7. Little did we know we were in for a surprise.

The wind looked like your typical day at BS.

Arnaud was rigging his Bandit, Joe was heading for the water and Lance and I were not too far behind. And Bill was rigged also.

Bongo was out, and so were about twenty other guys.

Then we started seeing the lifeguard talking to everyone on the beach. He didn't have any information, all he knew was that the beach was closed.

So, very reluctantly, one by one the kiters came in.

Some even refused and had to be persuaded by the Lifeguard Rescue boat. Within a few minutes the beach was deserted.......where do we go? What do we do?

Let's head to Sunset. I took this picture of Surfside as I drove over the Naval Shipyard bridge.

The water looked fine here and no guards saying you couldn't go in.

I had called Klaus when I left Belmont to meet me at Sunset. He actually beat me there since I had to de-rig. As you can see there weren't many kiters out on Tuesday.

One thing that I have definitely noticed at Seal, Sunset, Huntington and Rat is that boards with straps (and without straps) are very popular. It's amazing the tricks and air they can get on these boards.

Going problem. While I was there I saw Brett Ellis riding strapless riding the waves for over 2 hours. I thought, "How does he do that. Jumping and cutting. I've got to try that."

Klaus was out on his Bandit and F-One board. He still has to fix the de-power line that broke.

It was a beautiful sunset at Sunset.

On Wednesday I drive to Hollywood for a spotting session. This is where you sit with the director and producer and go over what they want sound wise for their movie. When I arrived back in Belmont I saw the closure sign. Bummer. It seems like there was a sewage spill up-stream into the L.A. River. Naturally Long Beach is the down stream recipient of anything that is dumped.

Mitch reminded me of the Maytag repairman, he had nothing to do.

Every once in a while there would be someone on the beach that didn't see the sign so he would have to inform them. Any way you slice it, it was a lonely job yesterday.

Belmont is supposed to be closed today too. Klaus will ride his Harley instead.

Belmont Shore looked like an empty desert except for the two police on their four wheel vehicles and this one woman heading to the restroom.

I think on Thursday I'm going to head north. I plan on meeting up with Dan and kiting Rat Beach. I don't know if I'm going to use them but I plan on taking the surfboards. If it's flat enough I could probably get out. Cross your fingers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Eight days and no letting up

Since Dan and I got skunked last Sunday in Minneapolis we have had a phenomenal eight days of kiting here in California. Because of the hours of being on the water I have seen a huge improvement in Dan's kiting. I on the other hand I have moved sideways, much like my jumping.

Here's the breakdown: 1) Mon. 8/4 kited at Belmont. Upon returning it was OK. Mostly down-winders. Matt did great on his surfboard. 2) Tue. 8/5 kited at Cabrillo. Dan, Matt and I had some real challenges at Cabrillo, but we had a great time. Don't think we are going back. 3) Wed. 8/6 kited at Belmont. I think Matt and I wanted something really "SAFE" after Cabrillo. We got it and it was fun. 4) Thurs. 8/7 we kited at Sunset. A group of us wanted to kite in the surf. Lot's of fun except that I blew out the LE bladder of my Rhino 16. 5) Fri. 8/8 we are back at Belmont licking our wounds. 6) Sat. 8/9 kited to Huntington. Klaus, Juliano, Matt, Mark and I pushed the envelope a little, but it was lots of fun. 7) Sun. 8/9. Back at Belmont. Love being back with our friends and relaxing. It was good kiting, good beer and a great time. 8) Mon. 8/4 kited at Belmont again. Not to many kiters because the wind came up a little late, but that was just fine.

The day started out late because I finished the blog about Sunday at blah, blah o'clock. If I put it in print then Ruth will know I'm not getting my eight hours of beauty sleep. Then in the morning I had to finish the blog about Jason's and Liz's wedding. I have been putting it off for a week. I was starting to forget things. Hmmmm what happened, who was there, what did we do????

I finished it at about 1 and then had some lunch.
Dan called at about 2 to find out what was going on with the wind. I said, "It looks like it's blowing 10 mph so take your time." He got here at about 3. Unfortunately he had some work to do before he could go out so I started working on Bobby's surfboard. It looked like he smashed something on the two bottom edges. Like a car door or hammer or something.

While Dan was working on his report I walked down to check out the beach. It was 3:30 and not much was blowing.

When he finished his project and I put away Bobby's repair job we headed for the beach. It was now about 5 o'clock and the wind looked promising.

Right next to us Bongo was having a lesson. I think we were distracted a little.

Let me see, I can't remember if I was distracted a little or a lot. All I know Dan wanted to take up teaching at this point.

Dan did not waist anytime, he got right to his job, working those abs, gluts and shoulders. It's called the complete kiteboard workout. We will be developing the DVD very soon to augment my Social Security.

Bongo's student on the left was fantastic. On his first day he was able to get out on his directional board. Now being truthful he was flying over the water, but he was standing up-right for at least a few seconds. Remember this was his first day. Go Bongo.

There were a couple of strange thing that happened today. The first was two kiters twisting their kites together. I think someone was jumping up-wind of another kiter and drifted into the other one. The other strange thing was watching this boat that brought in a kite boarder. Over head he was flying his kite. Actually at one point I thought he was pulling the boat.

It may be tough to see since it was getting late but this kiter possibly came up from Seal Beach with an escort boat. The wind died and the kiter was pulling the boat back to Seal. Unfortunately the kite went into the water and they had to roll it up. But I'm sure it was a great plan on paper.

I love the end of the day. It is so beautiful. Sure there's this country and that place, but this is right here in our own yard, not someone else's. Naturally I wasn't moving fast enough for Dan, but fortunately for me he came over and cooked me dinner. Man I am so lucky.

I also called Ruth tonight and mentioned we were thinking about going to Lake Isabella. She gave me the green light as long as I kept Dan alert and awake. I said, "That is my new job." Then she said, "No beer." I said, "No problem." I love that woman.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another great day at Belmont

It's Sunday evening and we had a great day at Belmont. This makes seven days of kiting and still counting because tomorrow it could blow also.

You can see that the wind didn't come up until after 2 o'clock. So there was a little sitting around.

After cleaning up our gear and while waiting waiting for the wind we filled in Mike and Mandy about the trip to Huntington. Unfortunately for the moment they aren't around.

I had to grab this shot of a sun bather who is nonchalant about having a pelican "hang out" with him. I could just hear the guy say, "Hey dude, do you need some tan lotion?"

Lots of kiters came to Belmont including Bobby. I think he said he just got back from Cabaret.

Once rigged we just hung out and told stories. Dan, who is standing next to Klaus, had a great day at Belmont. Luca hung out with us for a while too.

Pilar, Jorge, Henry and Bobby were waiting for the wind also.

The other cart guy Mark and Carole came to see if the wind was going to come up. It didn't disappoint him.

Matt has figured out that he can get out on very little wind when he's on his surfboard. He's gotten really good with it also.

At one point, during his break, Mitch (the lifeguard at the Claremont station) grabbed Klaus's Bandit and down-winded for a few minutes.

After seeing Matt go out I decided to grab Dan's old surfboard and give it a try.

I don't have the turns down, but I can go both port and starboard. I just have to get that turning thing down and I've got it.

In the mean time Mitch had his eyes on something.

Mitch and a fellow lifeguard pulled in this catamaran that became stranded when a line that holds the mast came undone. A pin came out.

On the far left you can see the female passenger kissing the sand. She was very happy to be back on land. I guess it was a harrowing experience, or she wanted to wash off her knees.

With the wind going up and down and changing directions, there were a few kiters waiting for the wind to return.

I think it's cool that during his "breaks" Mitch can grab his kite and board, and go out for a pass or two. I wish I had a job like that.

I caught his shot of Ben, the new instructor for Capt. Kirk's, who also just happens to be a pretty darn good kiter.

I heard that Naji was having bladder problems, so this gave his a chance to check out some other kites. Good air Naj.

While on the subject of jumping I caught Eyal getting off the deck. Next time it's Lisa's turn to get air.....just kidding.

I'm so bummed that I didn't catch this amazing jump that Bobby did on his port return. I was looking at a shot I had taken and when I looked up Bobby was about 15 feet off the water, then his board was dangling from one foot, then he kicked it off completely. The, as though he pushed a button, he went a little higher and then BAMM, he was back in the water. He was lucky every thing was alright.

Once the wind came back there were still a lot of kiters that had stayed hoping it was going to be a late blow. Like yesterday the wind didn't shut off until after 7 o'clock.

Dan has been getting a few tricks from Here's a grab.

I'm guessing that Dan has been doing some ab work because now he's inverting too.

Next stop, all the way around. I think he told me on this jump his board hit his kite lines. Just go hands time.

I, on the other hand, am a one trick pony. Today I got the strapless board down pretty well. So Bobby loaned me a directional board with straps. I just need to fix this big hole. Come on wind don't let me down.

Hope to see you on the water soon.