Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday...... Jim

Happy Birthday to ME

Dan and Kristin started the Facebook announcement calling the birthday party

"Jim's 59th Birthday Party, AGAIN" WOW.... very cool

The party was held at McKenna's Restaurant in Alamitos Bay on Saturday evening .

McKenna's had a grand entrance and thanks to Omar Nazif, because he brought his camera and capturing the evenings events for us to share. For more pictures check his facebook page. I also want to thank the many, many family and friends who called, sent me texts, emails and Facebook messages wishing me a "Happy BD." All were very appreciated.

This was the reason I selected this place, the sunset. We got there just in time to catch the sun going down.

A couple of day before I had gone walking with the dogs and caught this shot of the sunset over the port. I wanted to have this same feeling at my BD party..... AND WE DID.

Sara on the left and Dan on the right, as well as Ruth put the event together, and for making my birthday so special.

On the far right is Ruth's dad Bert, who also enjoyed the evening. He's 86 years old and he's out here vacationing from Cleveland, Ohio.

Dan and Kristin took a break from the hard workon their cooking island in the condo to come out and party. The sunset was beautiful.
On the left is my sister in law Wendy and my brother Mike who drove down to party. They brought their son (my nephew) Spenser and his girlfriend Anna. Sara and her boyfriend A'lan were having fun too. They helped bring spark to the party. Now get a room.

Martin Hubert and Henry Khalili were enjoying the vibe too but unfortunately Henry did not get in the picture.....Next time Henry.
Omar set down his camera just long enough to get a picture with Bonnie. Great shot.
Then it was time for the cake, cards and ......
OMG, I got a new kite. Thanks everyone!!!!! Especially Dan, Kristin, Sara, A'lan, Bert and Ruth, and all the others that chipped in. It's a Switch, Nitro 12m. Find out more at
Then Omar started taking a few single shots. This is Kristin and her friend Karen.
And Ruth's father Bert
Then it was time for a few family shots and....
A big group shot. Sorry we couldn't get everyone in this one but a few folks had gone home.
The next day Klaus came over and we had a few BD toasts and opened the new kite. I can't wait to fly it. Thanks again to everyone for the very warm, wonderful birthday wishes, for coming to the party and for chipping in for my new kite. And this time I don't plan on putting it into a tree.... AT ALL.... NO WAY!!!! Once is enough.

Thanksgiving 2011 at the Corbet House

Thanksgiving 2011 at the Corbet House

More to come thanks to Klaus

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our Kite Trip To Oahu

Our Kite Trip To Oahu

October 23, 2011, 6:30 A.M.

As we start this trip, our first "THANK YOU" is to Ruth, who woke up at about 6 A.M. and drove us to the airport. Takeoff was 8:30. Klaus let me sit next to the window so I could take pictures.

Here we are flying over the Pacific Ocean heading towards the Hawaiian Islands. There were lots of clouds all the way.

It takes about 5 hours to cover the 2500 miles from L.A. to the airport on Oahu. Bring a DVD player or some games because it seemed like a LONG flight to me.

This was our first view of Oahu from the air. LOOKING GOOD.

Once on the ground and after getting our rent-a-car, Klaus took out his Canon camera and started clicking away. He took so many pictures that he had to come over and download almost 3,000 still and video pictures.

Klaus fell in love with the natural beauty of Oahu. This was his first trip to Hawaii and this is one of many, many shots of mountain tops, fog and the island beauty.

There were soooo many Kodak moments as we drove around Oahu. This was on the eastern side just north of Kailua. Check the map.

This magnificent shot was taken in Kualoa Park which was just off of Kamehameha highway.

This is the famous "China mans Hat" island

These picture postcard shots just kept coming all the way to our destination... Laie Bay.

We continued our trek up highway 83 until we got to our turn-off point. We got to their house ahead of them so we drove to the end of their street. What a view.

WOW!!! There was a huge rock or small island with a hole in the middle. We ended up going to his spot many times over the next 10 days.

We all arrived at the house and there was Bobby, bigger than life.

Bobby took us on a tour of his Oahu home and we settled into our rooms. The first order of business was to put our gear together, have a beer and pray for wind.

Here are four of the five kiters. Left to right, Klaus, Gabor, me and Bobby. Mike and Mandy arrive on Tuesday.

Here is the view that afternoon looking north. This is Laie Bay. We will get to know it very well the next few days, but at the moment it was raining. No kiting today

Day 2

Klaus got up very early this morning to take this picture of the sun coming up over the rock/island. This is looking west from the beach-side of Bobby's porch.
The next thing that would happen is Bobby would knock on our door as ask us if we wanted to join he and Maria in doing yoga to DVD's they had. This was new and very challenging for me.
We then drove down to Hukilau Beach, about 10 minutes from their house, to get the lay of the land. We usually would drive to this spot and walk up the beach and pump up our gear.

The wind had not come up yet so we walked the beach of Leah Bay. It was very beautiful spot. Gabor is next to Babby and Maria is on the right.

Once the wind was up Bobby was the first on the water. This shot is at the most southern end of the Laie Bay. Double click on the picture so you can see the back-side of their house.

Here Klaus is going north-west in front of Goat Island. He was on his Core 17 and Bobby was on a 17 also.

Gabor was on his North 12 and he brought his directional. It was sooo cool because he had cut the tip off and created connecting tubes so he could get in in a "Golf Bag" and then re-assemble it Maria grabbed this shot of me heading towards shore. I took my F-One 12 and a twin tip.

After our kite session Gabor took us through stretching exercises. On the left in the white shirt is Michael D. who drove up an hour from Kailua to join us.

Here is "Saint Maria" in her kitchen. Not many wives would want to put up with this crowd. Usually after our first kite session everyone would pitch in and help her make lunch. Then we would have a beer and pray for a second session.

Day 3

Most mornings Klaus would wake up very early, before our Yoga lesson. He took this shot looking south from La'le Point at 6:30 A.M. This is the area that Gabor kited later today.

Today Bobby took us to a new launch site.

It's about two blocks south of Hukilau where we launched yesterday. You can see there is not much of a launch area when the tide is up. Goat Island is on the right.

While Bobby and I wait, Gabor launches Klaus. The kite is at the waters edge and Klaus is off-camera in the bushes getting ready for the toss.

Klaus is pulling off some jumps close to Maria, as Bobby kites in the waves.

Bbby definitely had this spot dialed in. He would come in and play and then go way out and play in the waves.

The waves near Goat Island were a trip. They would change direction the closer you got to the island. We would also go between the island and the peninsula and go around Goat.

While Bobby, Klaus and I played in the waves in Laie Bay, Gabor took off for an adventure. He went around the point and past the next bay. He landed and talked to the manager of a resort and then came back. By that time Klaus was at the end of the street with his camera.

This was just one of many many shots that Klaus took of Gabor in this small strip of water between La'le Point and the rock/island. Gabor said it was a tricky place to jibe but he did it.

Today Mike and Mandy arrived from Los Angeles. Unfortunately Mike caught a little cold so he didn't kite today, but Klaus, Mandy and Mike were able to snorkel in the next bay south. They didn't catch anything but they had lots of fun.

Day 4

It's 6:35 A.M. and Bobby predicted wind for this morning. Klaus is celebrating the fact that we were all on the beach waiting for the wind to come up and there was no yoga today.

Bobby was the first one on the water. He headed right out on his 17. No problem.

The rest of us didn't waist any time. Here all four of us were heading for Goat Island. Today would be an exceptional day.

We were all feeling our oats today. We had plenty of wind and there wern't many waves either.

Laie Bay was excellent kiting at both the north end (Goat Island) and the south end, near Bobby's house. Today I enjoyed staying to the north.

Klaus was getting some great air today and Maria was also doing a great job on the camera.
Check this great shot of Gabor. Excellent shot Maria and good form Gabor.

After this long session we were starting to feel the "burn."

Maria caught Bobby taking a break in the front yard of a beach house. Hang loose bro!!!
Mike Noel was watching as I launched the kite of one of Bobby's friends, Erik. It blew for quite a while today. Unfortunately Maria didn't get shots of Mike or Eric. Too tired.
The day came to an end after sun down. We put our gear away and headed home.

Day 5

It's 8:30 in the morning and the whole group is driving around the North tip of Oahu and then West for a real adventure.

It took a while because we took five kayaks, two stand-up paddle boards, 5 kites, 5 kiteboards, seven people and two vans. Here we go on our "Day Trip" to Hale'iwa Beach and then Moks.

The longest leg of the trip was up a two lane road (Hwy.83) and weaving around until we get to Hale'iwa Beach. Black circle.

We unloaded all of the gear for the first of the days many adventures.

It was about 1 o'clock when we got off the beach. We paddled our SUP's and kayack's up this beautiful river.

Gabor fortunately brought his waterproof camera today and Mandy caught him posing in the beautiful green growth along the river.

Mike and Mandy had a blast.... it was a site seeing adventure. Like being at Disneyland.
Bobby and I decided to SUP. This was my first time. I have to admit it took a while to get my "sea legs" and relax while SUPPing.

What a great group. We are posing with Uncle Bryan and his daughter. He is a long time friend of Bobbys. OK, winds up, time to go.

Once we loaded up all the gear and had lunch we headed to "Moks" to do a little kiting.

I couldn't take a panoramic shot, but this is what I saw of Mok's looking East when we arrived. The wind was up but no one was out..... WHAT?????

What's great about this kite spot is it's directly across the highway from Dillingham Airfield where they take gliders up and they have planes that drop skydivers also. On our first trip Ruth and I did the glider ride. Go for a ride because it's a lot of fun.

As you can see it's not a sandy beach. It doesn't matter we are here and we are going to kite.
Bobby is on the water. He launched up in the rigging area. Here Klaus is launching Gabor down at the waters edge. The danger is the coral that is all over the place except this one clear spot.

Now Mike gets ready to go out. You can see the sandy launch at the bottom. It was important to launch and land at this ONE safe spot. Otherwise the rocks and coral will get you.

At one point Bobby came in for a little rest and water so Klaus took out his 17. Check out the waves. They were not too big and not too small. When you went on the Starbord tack you had the chance to jump three or four different waves. Just pick one. Unfortunately Klaus picked the wrong one and ended up on the beach and had to get through the rocks and coral.

Klaus tried to jump over the first wave he came to and didn't make it. He said later he wasn't use to the aet-up of the GK kite. Gabor and I tried to help him off the coral but he decided to cut his losses and go in.

You knew it was bound to happen, someone else found out about the wind at Moks. Guess what it was a windsurfer. Naturally Bobby and I had plenty of room to share the wind and waves.
At this point it was just Gabor and myself on the water. We were out quite a while going up and down the beach, jumping waves, riding waves and just having a ball. THEN......
Gabor came up next to me and yelled something like"Are you having fun?" And I said "YOU BET!!!" He was carring his waterproof camera and took this shot. Thanks Gabor :)

Klaus gave Gabor and me help on-shore. I think Gabor went our for a little more kiting.

Klaus holds my kite as he points to the blood running down my leg. I snagged my calf on a little coral on my way in. OOOOPPPPPSSSS!!!!!!!

It's been a long day. It's time to wrap it up and drive home. OK Maria open the wine....
we are all ready for a shot and bed.

Day 6

Klaus, Mike and Mandy head for the pineapple plantation and I should have gone with them

The plan was for Mike, Mandy and Klaus to drive the rental car to the Helemano Plantation ...

... and those that wanted to kite would go to the launch sit near the church parking lot.

Klaus grabbed this shot along "Kam" highway.

This was the posing spot. Check out Mike in the hole of the pinapple.

After the three took a tour of the plantation they had to buy a few pineapples to bring back to the house to share. Mmmmmm

This was our launch site today, close to the church parking lot. Everything was going super until I was walking up the beach and the wind died......
This is the tree that ate my F-One kite. Fortunately there was a vacationeer on the beach that sent us these shots. Thank you sir.

We did not have a cherry picker or a 40 foot ladder, all we had were the kite lines to pull on. As you can see we were not very successful. All we did was tear it to shreds.
There was nothing we could do so Gabor and I just had a little fun with what we were able to get down. The day was over...... time to head home.

On their way home Klaus grabbed this shot of Mike and Mandy as the sun was setting BEAUTIFUL!!!!


More pictures later