Saturday, October 3, 2015

What Once was Upwind

I usually kite here in NW or NNW. I didn't know if this place would work in NNE but it was O.K! A little gusty but the wind didn't seem blocked by Annisquam like rumors I had heard.

I did have to make certain adjustments. The upwind tack to Coffins was now downwind. The downwind run back now upwind. Very confusing. I had to flip my right brain to my left. I'm still feeling some lingering affects from that but I think I'll be alright.

Kitesurfed, Wingaersheek, NNE, 18-36, 8M Rally/Mako150, with Christophe, Joe, John, Jim, Lauren.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

We can't decide. Downwinder or no downwinder.

Brad launches at the Chatham Light and reports that it's a solid 10 meter wind. Downwinder! He packs up his gear.

We drive to the start, Nauset Beach. There's barely enough wind for a 12 meter kite. We all pump and take some test runs. Brad says no downwinder. Jeff and I have bigger kites and we're both light weights. We decide to give a try. Brad drives the truck back. Thanks Brad.

The first half of the journey has very light wind. I keep thinking we are going to have to walk out. Then it starts to pick up and gets stronger the closer we get to Chatham.  The waves are fun on the mid tide! Constantly changing as we move along. My favorite spot is at the mouth of the new cut. Nice waves, sandbars, slicks all in 1 package.

When we get to the Light, Brad is there ripping up the waves. I wish you could have joined us Buddy! At least you had a lot of practice with that nice new kite pump. Thanks to Jeff for getting this going!

Downwinder, 9 Miles, Nauset Beach to Chatham Lighthouse, NE, NNE, 10-26, With Jeff, Brad.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Wind, waves, sandbars, smooth speed channels that line up perfectly with NNW wind. These are a few of my favorite things.

Too bad that the wind dies right when I make it upwind to the best spot. I land my kite, eat my lunch, and meditate on the beautifully unpredictable nature of wind. Not one of my favorite things.

Kitesurfed, Wingaersheek Beach, NW, NNW, 10-20, 12M Rally/Mako150, Solo.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Peddle, Paddle, Kite

I biked 24 miles on Sat, paddled down the Essex river to Cranes Beach on Sunday, kited to South Monomoy Lighthouse today. This is how a weekend should be! I'm going to sleep for 4 days now. Wake me up next weekend.

Essex River SUP- The launch from Allyn Cox Res was free, scenic, but we had to wade through deep mud at low tide. Lots of boats on the river, on plane, lots of wakes. Al gave us a ride back at the end of the day in his boat. Thanks! Paddling took 3 hours to Cranes including a detour into marsh, fighting tide, side wind. With Barbara.

Monomoy Sightseeing- 7 miles kiting. Only took 1 run to reach the north tip of South Monomoy in WSW. I was upwind of Minimoy after 1 hour, at Lighthouse after 2.5 hours. Wind had shifted to SW along the way. Walk to lighthouse and ocean side and back took 2 hours, eating lunch on the dunes, sightseeing.

Biked, Blackstone River Bikeway, with Barbara.
Stand Up Paddled, Allyn Cox Reservation Essex to Cranes Beach, with Barbara.
Kitesurfed, Hardings to South Monomoy Light, WSW, SW, 12-25, Rally10/Mako150, Solo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Move in Day

      Good luck at Tufts Ben! I love you and I'm proud of you. Don't do anything I would do.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lost and Found

Brad and I kite for most of the day looking for something that we lost around the Monomoy islands. Our common sense.

We had hatched a plan to explore South Monomoy Island further upwind than either of us has been before but the wind is too light. Rather than acknowledge that reality we limp upwind for hours, making progress only in the gusts.

Gourmet Picnic on South Beach

After making it up to the beginning of South Monomy, Brad finally comes to his senses, says "see ya",  and makes a beeline for the 4 miles back to Hardings Beach. That's when the wind picks up. Yeah, the joke is on us. But I can't be too upset. It's still a beautiful day on the water.

I kite up to Minimoy Island and stop to gaze upwind. From here, I can barely make out the Monomoy lighthouse and the far upwind end of South Monomoy. Damn that's far. A little voice in my head whispers that the kiting there won't be any better there than it is here. I don't listen to whispery little voices. A big voice says that I'll be back when the wind is better. Whatever I'm looking for, it might be up there.

Kitesurfed, Hardings to Minimoy, WSW, SW, 10-20, 12M Rally/Mako150, with Brad.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sailing in the Mist

Sailing Adventure- Old friend Chris and I sail from Savin Hill Yacht Club, Boston, to Scituate Harbor. Lotsa fun! We stay overnight, then hitch a ride back from Sea Tow the next day due to dead wind and a dying motor.

Sailing has all the adventure of kiting without so much of the adrenaline.  Although Chris might have felt some adrenaline when his motor started to overheat and lose power on the way back with zero wind to sail.

We can't always choose our adventure. Our adventure chooses us.

Weekend Sail, N, 5-15, Chris's  28' Cape Dory sailboat.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

For the Birds

I'm back at South Monomoy Island, near Shark Hole, having my lunch on a sand bar. These sand bars are so secluded and beautiful! It's a special place. Birds think so too. From a distance, at high tide, the only reason you can see the sand bars is because they are covered with birds.

The birdy aroma gives my lunch a special aftertaste. Peanut butter, jelly and bird. Very unique. I knew there was a reason I kited 5 miles upwind to eat my lunch here.

Follow the Tide- The tidal flow around North Monomoy is counter intuitive. The incoming tide actually splits at the new cut and can help carry you upwind to South Monomoy. It still took me about 1 1/2 hours.

Hardings to North Monomoy, Kitesurfed, 10-20, SW, 14M Rally/Mako150, Solo.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fool for Monomoy

Beautiful session today at Hardings, and last Sunday wasn't bad, and the week before that, and before that. 5 Weeks in a row with a session at Hardings! Life is good.

Of course I haven't actually kited at Harding's much. I've been around North Monomy twice, up to shark hole on South Monomoy, out to the old cut and back, outside the new cut a few times, in Stage Harbor and down the channel to walk up behind the parking lot.

There is no better place than Monomy for a fool that loves to explore and doesn't mind testing the fickle nature of the wind. It's just a matter of time until the wind shuts down when I'm a few miles out and tests me back. But until then the kiting here is stunningly beautiful and life is good. And lets not even talk about sharks.

Johnny H defying gravity in Stage Harbor

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.