Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nantucket Sleigh Ride

Nahant. NorEaster. Low tide. There's a sign at the entrance to the the beach saying High Surf Advisory. I'm far out, where the bigger waves are breaking, a little under powered. I slack my lines on a top turn, watch my kite drop gracefully into a foaming wave, and I go for a Nantucket sleigh ride. It's a pretty good one. When I come out of it, my kite looks messed up, inverted, probably broken. No luck relaunching before the next sleigh ride begins so I punch out, completely. Bye kite. I'll see you back at the beach.

It's a long but easy swim. The waves are huge smooth swells but they're breaking very soft. No problem catching my breath. I take it easy, try to bodysurf but these aren't really catchable waves for bodysurfing.

Back at the beach, John has fished my kite and lines out and carried them back to the launch. Adam wades out to make sure I'm still smiling. Thanks guys! I hardly know these two guys and they're cutting into their riding time to check on a kindred spirit. Kiters are the best.

John tells me that he called 911 because he saw my kite wash up but didn't see me. What?! But then a few minutes later he spotted me and called back to cancel. Damn! I hate to stress people out.

Kiting has a way of humbling me, making me feel like a hero one minute, making me feel like a stupid fool the next. I'm shouting for joy then I'm swimming in to attend my own funeral.

But I don't have time to dwell on my folly. There is still wind. I rig a bigger kite and go back out for 2 more sessions. The waves are so smooth and majestic on the outside!  A beautiful stormy Summer day.

My kite and lines were completely undamaged by the sleigh rides and the pounding. My ego? Not quite so lucky.

Nahant, Kiteurfed, 8M, 10M,/ Mako 150, NNE, 15-30, with John, Adam, Dylan, Bennie, Martin? others.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Downwind and Around an Island

7:00 AM. I'm on my way to the Cape when my cell phone rings. Peter says, "hey I just passed you on the highway. Wanna join us for a downwinder?" "You bet!" I've never met a downwinder I didn't like.

Pete at Sunken Meadow
Downwinder- Sunken Meadow, (Wellfleet), to First Encounter. 4 miles. I like. Nice moderate downwinder. No real coves or tidal pools but miles of shallow water on the inside with choppy waves out in the deeper water. Took about 2 hours, going slow, really taking our time. I love exploring new sections of the Cape!

Kitesurfed- WNW, 15-25 MPH, 10M Rally/Mako150, with Peter, Eric, Eric's student.

Lieutenant Island
Lieutenant Island- We finish the downwinder around noon, just as the wind dies, so I decide to do a 3 mile hike around a nearby semi secluded island.

Good idea at low tide. Not so good at high tide. Part way around I encounter some channels in a marsh that block my way. Boots off. Pants rolled up. I cross. The last one is too deep. Cloths off, held up high. I cross. Cloths back on before I send any unsuspecting dog walkers into cardiac arrest.

Further around, the sandy beach turns into a rock wall for 1/3 mile. Crap! The online review of this hike didn't mention this stuff. C'mon hiking boots. Do your thing. I do a rock scramble.

Rock Scramble

The rest of the walk is easy. I'm running out of gas by the end but that's what I like. That stupid tired feeling is my pay off. It anesthetizes my brain.  Doing this hike at high tide wasn't so smart. It turned out to be fun though.

Yeah, the Cape gave me what I came for. It was a great day of losing myself in sun, sand, and the quiet laughter of the sea.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hatt Trick

View from our hovel
Back in Hatteras. Oh yeah. Wonderful OBX. We have 15 crazed kiters packed into a little 12 bedroom/12 bathroom hovel. If we're too exhausted from kiting, we can ride the elevator up to the 4th floor where we can watch kiters skimming across the sound as we sip our wine laced with Advil. We're roughing it here.

Crazy Paul

As I write this it's nighttime. The wind is gusting to over 40 MPH. It's howling! I can feel the whole house shaking. I love a good ocean storm. It's fun to see the water in the toilet bowl sloshing around from the movement of the house.

Crazy Colleen

Weather- This is what kiters come here for. The beautiful OBX weather, which means windy. Solid N/NNW/NNE wind every day except Wed. Oceanside has been mostly side off and dirty. We kited Buxton Slicks and Frisco Turnout all week, one aborted attempt at an oceanside downwinder.

Crazy jump. I'm not saying I stuck the landing.
Cold Enough? Yeah it's been frigid but it's worth it. I never get tired of hearing the howls of pain from people stripping off their wetsuits in the icy wind chill before making a mad dive into the hot tub to soak for a few hours. Getting out of the hot tub is another adventure that's worth a few chuckles. These are the hardships that kiters endure in pursuit of their passion.

Hatteras Magic

Surf & Turf- I stopped at Shenandoah National Park to hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains on my way down, camped there. Loved it. The Skyline Drive was spectacular.

This is why they're called The Blue Ridge Mountains
I'm planning on camping and hiking in Rickets Glen State Park in Penns on my way home. The hike goes past 23 watefalls in about 5 miles. Leaving kite mecca to go camping/hiking proves that I'm more than just a crazed obsessive kiter. I'm a well rounded crazed obsessive kiter.

Rickets Glen

 Credit to Chris L for the photo of my board off attempt. Thanks Chris!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Making Tracks

Oh yeah, it's good to be back on the water! And on the snow. It's a funny feeling to kite up to the beach and just keep going, making tracks across the snow, then back into the water.

Brad and I finish the day with a short downwinder, 4 miles, pulling out at Pleasant St Beach in Harwich.

It's March. The coast is casting off it's mantle of ice. Temps are creeping up closer to normal. Downwinders are back. The world has righted itself.

West Dennis, Kitesurfed, SW, 17-27, 12M Rally/ Mako150, With Brad, Frank, Chris, Noel, Barak, 32f temp.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Make Your Mark on the World

Winter hiking. It's got everything- physical challenge, otherworldly beauty, solitude, flow, fussy gear you have to figure out.

But the best part is that you get to pee anywhere you want. The whole mountain is your personal
bathroom. I had to get used to stepping over those cheerful yellow holes from previous hikers. It's a special kind of hikers greeting. I like to write my name. Peed by Scooper. I'm finally making my mark on the world.

Mt Monadnock, Hiked, Solo, 4 miles. 2 hours going up, 1 hour sliding down.
Lotsa hikes in The Blue Hills this Winter, mostly 4 miles per session, 1.5 miles per hour.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cliff Kiting

Beautiful day! Sun, wind, warm temps. Is this Winter kiting? I'm a little confused.

We discover a massive cliff to jump on and off at The Cut. Many inches high. 

It's just high enough to lead to some inspired foolishness.

Chatham Light/The Cut, Kitesurfed, SSE, 15-25, 12M Rally/Mako150 and 10M Rally/Surfboard, with Brad, Walter. 50 F.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ice Surfing

Yeah, I didn't kite this weekend. I hiked in the White Mountains, Arethusa Falls. Watched some ice climbers. Ice climbing looks like good safe fun but I think I'll stick to kitesurfing.

Someone should give this guy a kite.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Terror in the Water

Deep Hole- Beware. There's something in the water here. Something sinister lurking beneath the surface. Waiting for prey.

Brad's board was attacked while he was kiting last Thursday. It grabbed one of his fins and cleaved it into his fin box. My board was attacked on Sunday. It ate the center fin clean off. Tom showed me two of his boards that had been broken clean in half. Today it was Jean's turn. It unscrewed his footstrap screw while he was kiting!

Beware. There's something in the water here. Don't say you weren't warned.

Deep Hole, Kitesurfed, WSW, 25-39, 8M Rally/Mako150, with Brad, Jean, Mitch, Chris E, Others.

Kiting Photos- Brad
Windsurfing Photo- Chris 

Something in the water- rocks

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Deep Sunrise

Deep Hole again. What fun!

Deep Hole, Kitesurfed, W, WSW, 10-22, 14M, 12M/Surfboard and Mako150, with Brad, Tom.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

White Xmas

Deep Hole- Xmas session. There's plenty of white rolling in to get revelers into the holiday spirit.

Photos- Brad celebrates the season in style.

Camp Cronin- I go to Camp Cronin when the wind switches WNW. The access road is closed and the parking lot is full of rocks thanks to the restoration of the breakwater. Ten minute walk from the gate isn't enough to keep rif raf like me out. Beautiful day!

Camp Cronin access road

Camp Cronin parking lot buried under rock pile

Deep Hole, Kitesurfed, W, 10-25, 12M Rally/Mako 150, with Brad.
Camp Cronin, Kitesurfed, WNW, 10-25, 10M Rally/Mako150, solo.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gnarly and Nice

I'm planning on taking it easy today because my pulled muscle isn't feeling so wonderful but I can't resist the chance to to try a new spot.

Picture- Sandwich marsh gets completely covered at astronomical high tide.

Town Neck Beach, Sandwich. Slicks in the marsh, friendly little waves at the mouth to the ocean, gnarly, lumber jack waves on the outside. You can get a lot of variety here in 1 run. I'm taking it easy.

The lumber jack waves are big, fat and ugly. They're the kind of waves that make me feel small and inconsequential. Don't you love that feeling? I'm taking it easy.

Overall this is a fun spot for a NNE wind with an astronomical high tide and a gale but I don't think it made my pulled muscle any better. It feels fine as long as I don't have to sit, stand, or walk. I'm glad I took it easy though.

Town Neck Beach, Kitesurfed, NNE, 25-45? 6M (fully depowered) /Mako150, with Brad, Jay.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Busted Board, Bar, and Butt

I busted my board, cracked the chicken loop on my bar, and repulled the butt muscle that I pulled last Sunday playing neighborhood football with Ben. Other than that it was a great session.

Busted Board and Chicken Loop
Don't worry. I'm not going to post a picture of my butt.

Horseneck, Kitesurfed, SSW, 15-22, 12M Rally/ Mako 150, with Jean, Brian, Christophe, Bill, Peter L, Paul.

Bottom Photo- The morning sun smiles on Peter L.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Blinded by the Wind

I'm walking down the path to the beach with me eyes closed. It's fun. And it keeps my corneas from being scoured by projectile sand. If I can make it to the water without being blinded, I'll be able to kite. I'm happy because flying sand is a good sign. I think there might be enough wind for a session.

Horseneck Beach, Kitesurfed, SW, 25-35, 8M Rally/Mako150, with Peter, Bill, Dylan, Jamie, Tom.

Photo- Bill says hi

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ignorance is Bliss

According to most forecasts, a session wasn't going to happen today. I'm glad I didn't listen.

Horseneck, Kitesurfed, WSW, 12-18, 14M Rally/Mako 150, Mako King, Solo.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Winter Light

Temperature barely above freezing, wet snow falling, wind blowing a gale. Perfect day to go kiting. Oh yeah. When the clouds start to lift there is a stormy light show. Photos- Diehard Dylan kites until the last color drains from the sky.

Wingaersgheek Beach, Kitesurfed, NW, 15-35?, 6M Rally/Mako150, with Dylan, Jay, Jean, Joe, others.