Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time for Dog Beach and another kite adventure

August 19, 2010

Today started out "All About Dogs." First we went to Petco and purchased a few new clothes for Bebe and Loki. Dan was at work so he didn't mind. After that it was a visit to In and Out for burgers, fries and drinks. We stopped off at Mother's Beach to eat our lunch. Then it was off to Dog Beach to give the dogs a little exercise. Here Ruth tries to get Bebe and Loki's attention.

It's really special that Justin Rudd pushed for this space because it's great to take the dogs here and let them play.

Ready, set go. I'm thinking Ruth was giving the dogs a little obedience check here.

Yes, let's save the clothes. You know how those other dogs can just rip the clothes off your back and Ruth hates to drag out the sewing machine.

Wow, it's a picture like this when you recognize how big Loki is getting. And he's still growing too.

"Say Cheese." What a Kodak moment.

"OK Mom, I think we're ready to go......

...because Daddy says that the wind is up and there are a few kites on the water."

At about 2 o'clock I texted a few of the guys that the wind was up. The first to arrive was Juliano. He just got back from Brazil. I think he said he kited 13 out of 14 day. Boo Hoo. Here Mark is getting some air in his cart tire. I think it worked too.

Klaus and I were rigging when Kyle came off the water. He was a little cold since he wasn't wearing a spring suit, just shorts and a rash guard. I decided to rig warm and wore my long suit.

While we were launching Gary said "Are you guys doing an adventure?" And I said "We never know until we get on the water." Once on the water I think there were 5 of us that headed to the back of the oil platform.

This MapQuest gives you an approximate idea of our first reach. I couldn't believe "Harley Mike" because I believe this was his first time in the open ocean. Juliano does these tacks with no problem.

Next we headed for the back of Chaffee Island. When we jibed we went for the open ocean again by going past the south end of the breakwater wall. Then we headed for the windward side of White Island. As we started approaching it the wind started falling off and we jibed again. It was along this reach that Dan, Jorge and Gary joined us.

These three reaches were fantastic because the wind was really strong and as we came to the breakwater to make our jibe the water was so smooth because of the protection of the wall.

As we were going port, towards Freeman Island it was so awesome because there was this group of us just flying across the water and the kites made this cool vision because we were all going in the same directions and all together. We could feel the wind drop off again and that's when Gabor headed back to Seal and the rest of us tried to get back to Belmont.

Here is how we see Gabor when we kite with him, UP IN THE AIR. I didn't have any shots of him but if I had one of those waterproof cameras I would have taken this shot. Really!!!!

I noticed Gary was on a port reach heading down wind from Chaffee and he had a good head of steam. I changed directions and followed him in. Mike must have pealed off early because as I was swinging my kite trying to get in he was already on the beach. That's when I looked over and noticed that Klaus, Dan and Jorge's kites were in the water. If you double click on the picture you can see Dan doing a great job self rescuing.

Jorge on the other hand took a little longer to get in. He said later that you have to get wet once in a while.

Here was the whole adventure. I'm guessing it took a couple of hours. Maybe a little longer for Jorge and Dan.

Here we are the whole group. From the left Jorge, Gary, Dan, Mark, Darren, Mike, Klaus, Juliano and me. Gabor was back at seal taking a shower and heading home.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another great Sunday day at Belmont

Sunday August 15, 2010

A lot of kiters must have heard that yesterday was a stellar kite day so they came down to Belmont hoping for wind. It was not a repeat, but the wind did blow. Way in the background was the kids sand castle contest on the Granada launch ramp

Dan and I timed our arrival so that when Klaus came off the water we borrowed his kite and went out. He rigged a 15 and our kites were a little too small today.

Al was catching some Zzzz's so we decided to add some detail to this foto op. Double click to make it larger. No he doesn't drink beer.

That was about the time the beach gang packed around Al for a group shot. From the left side, back row, Radko, Bobby, Dan, Darren (holding directional board), Danny, John, Cloe and Mark. Front row, Klaus, Al and Dan.

Just about that time Cloe's boyfriend Chad arrives on the scene with a "little" hole in his kite.

Jeff, on the left, checks out the little repair to his RRD. Chad looks on. They may be calling on John Fitzgerald for help for the repair.

Steve Lee watches the Last Man Standing. Dan nominated Naji for the "Weekend With Bernie Award." A reference to the movie of the same name because...Dan heard a bell clanging as Naji was pumping his kite trying to get in.

Robert dries off the kite as Naji tells Steve about trying to get in from Chaffee Island after the wind died. He almost made it too.

Thanks Klaus for taking this shot of Dan and myself. It made my day. Then we went out to a Thai restaurant to celebrate another great weekend.

Hope to see you on the beach soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Klaus takes his camera to the beach....

Friday August 13, 2010

Today is friday the 13th and Klaus decided not to kite but instead bring his camera to the beach....

Hey Klaus "Your zipper is undone." Just kidding. Yep, that's me getting ready. On the extreme right is the gardening cart that I use to transport my gear from our house to the beach and back. Sometimes I carry three boards and two kites. But not today.

I've been flying a Wainman 12 for the past few weeks because the wind has been strong enough not to have to use Big Mama, which is a 15 sq. meter kite. Anytime you want to use either size just let me know and I'll let you demo problem.

For those that have kited Belmont, the normal way out into the bay, especially during the summer, is on a starboard tack. Sometimes during the winter we go out on a port tack.

I don't consider myself a great jumper. Today is no different. But today I'm on borrowed gear because I'm trying Klaus's new North twin tip.

Our windsurfing buddy, Radko, is trying to over take me.I don't think I won this one.

Here Rudy, AKA "Bongo", and I are doing a passing hand slap. The new thing that Klaus has been doing, when we are both going in the same direction, he will come up on my down-wind side and we will slap hands too. It's sometimes very dicey.

Klaus grabbed a great shot of "Harley Mike" going port. He looks pretty close to shore.

Gabor came up from Seal and was heading back before the wind died.

Another attempt at jumping.

Mark must have finished his lesson for Kitesurfari. That's usually when he can go out.

Mitch, the lifeguard at tower 10, the Claremont ramp, keeps a watchful eye on the kiters. Mitch also kites that's why it's great having him assigned to this station.

THE END!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I think summer is starting, so lets do something

Wednesday August 11, 2010

I think summer is starting, so lets do something

At around 1 o'clock I texted a few buddy's that the wind was coming up early. This alert lets them start to make arrangements to get to Belmont. When Klaus got off work he came over, had one of his great Thai beers and headed for the beach. When we arrived it was blowing somewhere between 18 and 20 mph because the sand was kicking up.

Klaus walked ahead as I took a few pictures. Radko was getting his windsurfing gear ready as he anticipated Danny arriving at any time, and Mike had pumped up Big Mama. I thought it might be too windy for it but Mike proved me wrong.

As I got to the end of the ramp I noticed that Mitch Lyons was on duty today and he had a buddy there checking out the scene. The American flag also gives you an indication of the strength of the wind. You will also notice the ships we visited two days ago were still there.

Once rigged Klaus said he wanted to do something. He said, "Let's go past the pier and into the bay." Naturally I said "Sure."

We were on a good tack but the wind fell off and we couldn't get past the pier so we were not able to get inside this area of the bay. We went to plan B.

Since there was not very much wind at the pier we decided to go to the back (windward) side of Chaffee Island. We discovered the wind was really good and we also met up with a friend, Todd Case. He was out tooling around on his surf directional board.

When we got to the end of the breakwater I pointed to Klaus to head for the ships again but today the open ocean was a little rougher that it was two days ago. For us is was a little slow going but we got there. Ready to put on a show for the crew members we are sorry to report that there was no one on the railings today. Boo Hoo!! We changed direction and that about when we saw Gabor and a friend coming back from their open ocean jaunt.

When you double click to make the picture bigger you might be able to notice that there were two ships in the shot. Actually today there were quite a few ships out there maybe seven.

After we started heading toward the breakwater we noticed Gabor and friend had come down the back of the breakwater and joined us. We all then headed for White Island, again hoping to kite deep into the bay and approach Grissom Island. We got close but again the wind was very weak and we didn't want to drop our kites and do another self rescue thing. After that we played in the bay and eventually headed back to the beach. Gabor (the red arrow) headed back to Seal and we all had a great time. Another little adventure with Klaus.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great kite day, photos from Klaus & a new adventure

Tuesday August 10, 2010

Another great day of kiting at Belmont

Today Klaus wanted to try the new North twin tip. Here Robert, owner of Kitesurfari, lets him give it a spin. Let's see what the board can do on the water.

He said later it's one of the best up-wind boards he's tried.

He also said it was good for jumping too.

and for rail grabs. Except I didn't time it very well. Next time I'll use his camera. It takes a lot of pictures in a row when you hold down the button.

This shot might have been the one that convinced Klaus this is going to be his new board.

Then right in front of me there was a rescue. Actually Klaus was a small part of it since this guys kite came down over Klaus and he got a arm burn from the lines.

But I think I just wanted to share how fortunate we are here in Long Beach to have such great and dedicated lifeguards because the guard in the water had two guys backing him up just in case.

Klaus finally came in doing some kind of surfing stance. I think it was left over from him being at the surf contest in Huntington Beach on Sunday.

I wanted to close out the day with a group picture of the gang because Kristen (third from left) had such a great day on the water. Actually we all had a great day because the wind was so good and it lasted quite a while. We hope there are a few more good ones left of the summer.

Monday August 9, 2010

A new adventure

When Klaus came down today the said "What are we going to do for an adventure?" I said "I don't know, we'll think of something." Well if you can picture this, Klaus and I were out in the bay between Chaffee Island and the beach. Then he pointed indicating "Let's go to the oil platform." So off we went on another adventure.

Once we were at the platform we reversed direction and I thought we could get behind Chaffee Island, but we couldn't make it so we jibed and went past the eastern end of the breakwater wall. Once past it we just headed into the open ocean. Klaus was in the lead and every once in a while he would turn around to make sure I was still there. We just kept going.

The camera angle and depth of field are a little off but you can see that there are ships past the breakwater.

There were two ships behind the breakwater, but the lens does not give you the true perspective. Anyway we kited up to the first ship. Once there Klaus gave the guys on the railing something to cheer about by jumping and waving to the guys. They enjoyed the show.

We jibed and headed back to the breakwater. Then we had to decide if we were going to stay out in the open ocean or go into the bay. We choose the bay. The port tack we took was fantastic. The wind was very strong between the breakwater and Chaffee, and the water was fairly smooth. So we were going at a pretty good clip for a long distance.

This wasn't taken this day but it gives you the idea of the rough water, the breakwater and the huge ship behind the breakwater wall. When we got near White Island there was a wind shadow from Freeman Island so we changed direction. We were taking our time and heading home when Klaus's kite fell out of the air. A reverse of what happened the other day. Unfortunately you can't do to much while your buddy tries to get his kite back in the air..and he did. Thank you wind gods for puffing his kite in the air.

Once we got up and going I noticed Gabor and his friend Max kiting outside the breakwater wall. They were really out there!!!!

This is what the Queens Gate opening in the breakwater looks like from the air. This is going to be our next adventure, coming back through the Queens Gate opening.

Saturday and Sunday, August 7 & 8, 2010

Photos from Klaus

Klaus rented a new lens for his new camera and he went down to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands to take a few pictures. Double click to make them bigger.

Here is a Crane on the ground. His camera and lens made the pictures so clean and clear.

He caught a hawk in air too.

And a lizard on a rock.

Then he brought it to Belmont and shot Ruth, Bebe and me all dressed in Harley gifts from Klaus

Here's the oil platform using the zoom lens. It makes it look very close.

Sunday he went to the Huntington Beach Open Surf Contest.

Surfer off the lip

Riding in the curl

Surfer turning on lip

Great cut back.

Lots of nice shots. I know what I want for Christmas.

Later on Sunday there was enough wind to have a good time.

Thanks to Pilar I have this great shot of me with the cruise ship going out to sea behind me. I owe you one Pilar :) :) :)