Friday, May 20, 2011

Ruth hosts a "Divine Nine" party

May 15, 2011

Ruth hosts a "Divine Nine" party=

Naturally any party that Ruth hosts starts days in advance. I usually put on my maids outfit and help dust, vacuum, and do the floors. After that I let the guys know there's no kiting for a few days. This is the table all set up; I think you can tell it's an Asian theme tonight.
This closer shot reveals Ruth's collection of Chinese wine covers and Asian dishes. Double click for a closer look.
Seven of the Divine Nine made it to Long Beach for a "Me Soo Hungry" evening of great food and drink. Ruth usually cooks for the occasion, but since we are also having a big family gathering on Sunday, she decided to let our newest Second Street restaurant do the job. My assignment was to take a few pictures to capture the feel of the evening.
An evening at the Corbetts always includes our two dogs, Bebe and Harley. It's like having two active children; getting them to pose can be tough.
While Bebe and Harley loved sitting in front of the warm fire, next to Ruth, I got her to leave them for a moment to get a shot of the dogs alone. Bebe is on the left and Harley is on the right.
I worked the room taking close-ups of the ladies as they enjoyed the appetizers that they had brought. Travel Agent Lenni is on the left and Lillian, who owns and operates L & L Shutters with her husband, Larry, is on the right. We have all traveled and skied in France and Italy. Lil and I have the same item in our "Bucket List"..... seeing the Great Wall of China.
Ruth's long time girlfriend Pat Tracy of CRM Construction, and Judy Gilmer, a retired teacher, joined Ruth in the champagne and wine tasting. So did I. It was Pat who talked up Belmont Shore and encouraged us to move here from Santa Monica in 2002. Seems to have worked out!
JJ and Patty had obviously consulted on what color to wear! They brought their photo albums--in print and on the Ipad-- of their recent trip to Africa-----whittled down from thousands of beautiful shots of the animals and Capetown, South Africa. We loved sharing that and hearing all the stories.

The dinner bell rang when the "Chef" from Me Soo Hungry delivered dinner. It was the best of all worlds---the ladies got to catch up over cocktails, no waiters or other diners were bothered by their laughter and chit-chat, and someone else did the bulk of the cooking!! Ok girls, I'm going to put my camera down - - -it's time to eat. The chocolate chiffon cake that Ruth made for dessert was yummy! I had leftovers today. Great food!!! And we were motivated to really clean the house!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sand, Wind, Fun & A course race too!!

May 15, 2011

Klaus came by the house a little after 11 and said he was heading to the beach. We were still reading the Sunday newspapers and having our second cup of coffee. Then Kristin called about a litttle later saying that she and Dan were going to set up the SCKA tent at the demo. So I decided to wrap it up and head to the beach with a hamburger in one hand and the cart in the other.
I was sitting on the swinging chair on Ocean and Santa Ana and could bearly see across the street. I decided to sit there and finish my burger because if I didn't I would be eating sand too.
I excaped the sand in my face by taking my camera to the waters edge. It was sand free. This shot gives you an idea that there were a lot of kites on the water enjoying the 20+ MPH wind.

Omar Nazif sent three panoramic shots he took yesterday. I trimmed this one. When you double click on it I hope it shows you to see the view we saw yesterday.
I had to draw an arrow to point out Klaus because the first time I looked at this shot I thought I missed him. I just saw the two North kites around him. He was getting some huge air using his Core 13.5 m2 kite.
This shot doesn't reveal that in order to get these shots Klaus would sometimes take three tacks in order to get around the number of kites that were close to the shore. It was crazy out there.
Dan took a break and was able to take our a demo board.
Dan was having a ball flying his Best 10 and pulling off some great tricks. He too was weaving in and out of traffic in order to get a shot somewhat close to shore.

Klaus got close enough on this shot to see his new shorts and his carbon fiber board. You can also check out the mini-hook on the Core bar. He loves it on low wind days because he's totally powered up with the mini in.

At about 4:30 the first course race, that I know about, got underway.

The orange ball was the start/finish line. When the flag was dropped the 7 or 8 kiters crossed the start line and headed towards the windward side of Chaffee Island.
There was a large buoy out in the middle of the bay. The idea was that the kiters had to go past Chaffee Island so when they changed from a starboard reach to a port, they would turn past the buoy. When I have passed it there are always seals making their honking noise.
You can see the group trying very hard to get a good angle to the wind.
Cameron and Gabor had a great angle to the wind. They passed Chaffee Island and somewhere near the breakwater they changed direction to a port reach and went around the buoy. From my view on the beach Cameron was ahead of Gabor as they rounded the buoy and headed for the finishline.
The downwind leg was really fast and Gabor was able to pass Cameron somewhere along the way. Next was another jibe and a change back to a starboard reach and head for the finishline.

When Gabor crossed the finishline Cameron was nowhere in sight. Gabor told me later that his Cabrinha race board was much faster going downwind. You can see more about the board at
As you can see Gabor was a happy camper. A real champion and a great kiter.
This is a great closing shot. Kris and Dan holding Loki the wonder dog wearing his new F-One
t-shirt. Another winner was Jorge. He won a new Airush Spectra low wind board. It was a fun day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday was Mothers Day.... and we had wind too

May 8, 2011

Today was Mothers Day AND we had lots of wind too!!!
The first thing I had to think about was Ruth and the two dogs. I had to make sure that Bebe and Harley would be protected from the wind, sand and the lifeguards. So I set up this "perfect" encampment to deal with all things concerned. Double click on the pix to see our camp.

Ruth, Harley and Bebe made it to the beach but the wind and sand was a little too much for a good "Mother's Day" celebration. We were on the water so the photo credit goes to Ruth.
Wow!!! With a click of the switch the mild wind went POSTAL. I didn't get a Pier J reading but it was very windy... maybe at times over 20 MPH.
It didn't seem to bother Klaus on his new carbon fiber board and his "future" kite, a Core 13.5. At times he was a little over powered. So was I on my F-One 12. Oh well.

I loved seeing the consumate teacher walking down the beach with his two-way radio system. The wind didn't seem to bother Aranud and his KiteMaster School. BTW he is a great teacher.

Not everyone was on the beach, but here is Henry and Dr. Al discussing something important... like the sand in our teeths... just joking. Tee hee.
OK everyone the basketball season is over for Los Angeles. But what was great is the President of the L.A. Clippers is a kiter. Yes say "Hello" to Andy the next time he jumps your way.

It's 5 o'clock and the wind was not about to quit. NO WAY!!!

Tonight when Dan and Kristin came over for dinner after kiting I told her I took two pictures. This was acutally the second... but I missed the SPLASH.

Here is the good one, Kris in complete control, watching to make sure the kite did not fall out of the sky. She told me that she is now borrowing Dan's SU-2. She said it was great. I need to try it.

At about 6:30 we decided that was it for us yet there were still kiters on the water. Well it was time to go home and have the "Real Mother's Day" Celebration. We BBQ'd burgers, had some home-made coleslaw and lots of chips. Happy Mother's Day ladies:)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My all time adventure (so far)...... Pier J and beyond....

May 5, 2011

Pier J and beyond....

I hope you had a great Cinco de Mayo, I sure did. The day started by sending my two Wainman kites back to Kite Naked. Chris had asked me to sell them but I couldn't get his price. Ruth had a few of her friends over to celebrate and after a few of her mango margaritas, they were off to Second Street. I spent a little time in the garage repairing my directional foot strap when I felt the wind coming up. I packed up and headed to the beach.

Dr. Al, Harley Mike and I hung out at the camp for a while as the wind started to build. There were a few kiters on the water, including Britney having a great time. It was time to pump.

Mike walked up the beach, I launched at the mid-tower and Al just went out. It took a few tacks but I got to the pier and noticed the LB water taxi backing up. I jibed and was able to make it to the western end of Chaffee Island before I headed for the breakwater. The next tack was to the south end of White Island, where I jibed and went back to the breakwater again.

As I approached the breakwater for the second time I saw Gabor's kite come around Chaffee Island. Actually I was very happy because it's always advisable to have a companion while we were out this far. . . and he has a radio.
Here's a shot of Gabor and his new Sector directional race board. You can see more info about the Sector at
Gabor and I "danced" for a while then he signaled towards the Queensway opening. I returned with a nod of my head and we started the adventure.
This is not a very good picture because it was taken after the fact, but you can see that there is a cargo ship right in the middle of this shot. I was trying to keep up with Gabor and there was this huge ship, right in my way! It didn't seem to bother Gabor because he was pulling off some huge ass jumps, getting the crews attention. In the meantime all I wanted to do was get around this behemoth. It took me a few tacks.
Once around the ship, we got to Freeman Island and Gabor signaled again to the breakwater. I nodded in agreement--let's go.
Our next challenge was getting to the windward side of Freeman Island, seen in the picture above. The wind was still pretty strong so not a big deal. We jibed and were on a starboard tack and. . . . . another ship was on the horizon.
OK, by this time you get that the pictures are pretty bad, but it's all I've got to tell this story. Anyway, after Gabor and I started going starboard back towards the breakwater one thing stood in MY way. . . . another huge ship. Gabor was able to crank his directional board, but it took me another tack to get around it. Once we were near the breakwater again he called out that Pier J was within our grasp. Let's go!!
Let's guess the time we were headed towards Pier J---I got on the water at around 3 o'clock, I screwed around for a while and then ran into Gabor. I'm thinking I was out for 45 minutes. Add another 45 minutes to an hour and we have a guess of 5:30 or so, as we headed for Pier J. Maybe not the best time for another "adventure run", but if we really gave sane, rational thought to what we do, we wouldn't be doing it.
This map might give you a better idea of where the weather tower is at the end of Pier J.
I took this shot from the end of Veteran's Pier at about sunset. It looks close here but it was really a challenge to get out there, especially at that time of day.
It was about this time that Gabor tapped his head; it was time to head for home. That got a big sigh of relief from me since I had already fallen a couple of times. My legs were starting to go to jello. I must say down winding back to Belmont was not that easy either. Gabor later told me I was going a little too slow and my board was sinking. Well that explains it. And here I put it off to shear exhaustion and lack of beer.

As Gabor and I hit the shore there was only one other kiter on the water. It was young Darrin who lives over on Bay Shore. Gabor came over and congratulated me for making it to the Pier J tower and said I was only one of four that have gone out there with him. We gave each other a high five and he headed back to Seal. Just then Klaus emerged from the camp and helped me to wrap up my gear. Talk about a sherpa angel when you need it! That was really appreciated since I was so tired. Dan and Kristin arrived on the ramp and the five of us headed home. Another great day in paradise.

Monday, May 2, 2011

We've come a long way since Lee, and more

May 2, 2011

This is day to remember. The kiting community has come a long way since the passing of Lee.

Today, the wind, much like yesterday, turned from the normal direction, from the port, to directly side shore, out of the West. This was almost a repeat of yesterday. There was pretty good wind and then a big shift. Most of us enjoyed the change because it's fun going directly out from the shore, to the right of the island, but the wind was very gusty.

After about an hour and a half of these gusty conditions some of us were on the shore enjoying the warm sun. Trevor, Rulley, Kyle, Hank, Dong, Dan, Kristin, Steve, Harley Mike, and many others were enjoying the warm summer day. At one point a number of us were watching a kiter trying to get his black kite relaunched out near the marina entrance. We all were excited when his kite rose out of the water and went up in the air just to twist and go crashing right back into the water. There was a cheer as it went up and a big sigh as it went crashing into the water. This happened twice. Then nothing.

There was much concern at the Claremont ramp as we saw this kiter near the marina entrance being blown toward the rocks. Naji called to Danny at the Kitesufari tent to call the Lifeguards. She said "There was no response." Then Naji ran down the ramp to the phone in the box. He said "It was dead." Then Naji called 911. At that instant Dan and Kristin started running towards the peninsula. Harley Mike wrapped up his gear and drove to the end of Ocean Blvd. The entire beach was on edge. No one wanted to have a repeat of kiting incident of a few years back.

The next thing we saw was the Lifeguard boat racing down the bay full speed toward the kiter, simultaneously followed by a guard truck roaring down the beach with sirens blazing, from the pier. Then we saw a boat emerge from the marina and a helicopter overhead. What we missed was the first truck which had already arrived on the scene with a lifeguard furiously paddling out to the fallen kiter. All those workout sessions paid off as he fought the waves whipped up by the sideshore wind.

When all was said and done the kiter was rescued. The lifeguard with a paddle board and the two boats kept Shane from the rocks and picked up his board before there was any damage to his life or equipment.

Ruth happened to be on the peninsula walking Harley and Bebe Dog and saw the blue flashing lights, the downed kite and rushed over. She thanked the guards for their great rescue work, just as Dan and Kristin walked up with the kite. They wanted to let the guards know how grateful the entire kiting community is for their invaluable assistance. The watchful Lifeguard in the truck (Omar Navarro) noted that the original call came from a neighbor and they needed all of us to be their additional eyes and ears. Harley Mike drove Shane back to his car and everyone went home happy that we have a very tight crew of city employees that help us when there's a problem. Thank you City of Long Beach and all of the dedicated Lifeguards.

Dan, on the left, and Kristin, on the right, welcome Shane back to the Claremont ramp after his accident yesterday. We were all glad to see him today.