Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gear Lackey

Sandy Neck Light

I loaded and unloaded my gear so many times today it made me dizzy.

Unload- Barnstable, no wind, out of the West. I take SUP board to the water.
Load- Wind shifts NW, picks up. I bring board back to truck, drive to Chapin.
Unload- Carry kite stuff to water, pump my 17M, run my lines, wind dies.
Load- Kite gear & board go back to the truck, I drive back to Barnstable.
Unload- SUP walked down to water, looks like wind is picking up.
SUP- I paddle out to Sandy Neck, ignoring the fact the wind has increased.
Load- After 2 hours paddeling I pack up SUP and go back to Chapin.
Unload- I pump up my 17 again and carry everything out across the sand bar.
Kite- I finaly get a session in! Just enough wind for my kite/surfboard combo.
Load- I walk it back across sand bar, say goodbye to a gorgeous summer day.

Lunch out at the tip of Sandy Neck

Amount of time spent loading/ unloading? Aproximatley 40 hours. How foolish did I feel? Very foolish. Was it worth it? Yup.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Desperate in Barnstable

Just a short desperate session in light, off and on winds. At least I got to try a new spot. It was a good choice for dead low tide because the walk to the water wasn't far (cycle was 2' above mean low tide though). It was a bad choice for dead low tide because the tide rushing in, combined with the NE wind blowing in, made it hard to stay upwind in the light air. Still, it satisfied my novelty seeking gene.

Picture- Barnstable Harbor with Sandy Neck Lighthouse in background.

Barnstable Harbor, kitesurfed, NE, 5-18, 17M Zephyr/6' surfboard, Solo.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Barbara at the helm

Barb and I got out on Chuck and Marie's 36' sailboat. It was perfect for a steamy light wind day. That boat makes 5 to 10 MPH seem like a stiff breeze. When it got up to 15 MPH we almost had the rail buried! It was 98 F. and muggy in the city but dryer and much cooler offshore, beautiful day of sailing.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Biking, Kiting, and Windsurfing, oh my

I love adventures! Lately I've been planning coastal downwinders that combine exploration with kiting, windsurfing, biking, sailing, SUP, or anything else that moves. As if doing a great sport like kiting or windsurfing by itself isn't enough.

Maybe I have a little of that novelty-seeking gene that gets mentioned every time a politician does something stupid, which is all the time. I think I'm channeling it into less destructive behavior tho. Like kitesurfing with Great White sharks. Same excitement as illicit sex, (I'm guessing), less risk. I think Dominique S-K should learn to kite. If all politicians kited there would be no sex scandals, but more crossed lines.

Biking- 12 miles, took 1 hour on mountain bike going slow, with stiff head wind, (no complaints). Harding's to W Dennis.

Kiting- It's so relaxing going downwind, no worries... My legs started to cramp before we even left for the downwinder, something to do with riding 12 miles on a bike first. Wind was gusting to 30 when we started, maxing out my 13M kite. Near Forrest Beach my footstrap came loose and was flapping in the wind. I couldn't do any more jumps until I found someone on a beach with a screwdriver, minor problem. The kiting was a blast. Loved the adventure! 12 miles took 4 hours 'cause we were savoring it. Downwinder, W Dennis to Harding's, WSW, 15-30, 13M Octane/Mako150, with Gregor.

Windsurfing- I went out around sunset for a brief overpowered session. My plan was to prolong the fun and avoid Cape traffic. I thought I could leave late to get home early. Didn't work. The bridge was backed up to exit 3 at 9:45.

A couple of cars in the parking lot turned their lights on during my last few runs, helped me see where the beach was for my inside gybe.

Nice to be back on a windsurfer but tiring. And I was going way too fast. There's no depower strap! Windsurfed- W Dennis, WSW, 19-30, 5.2/Realwind 85, solo.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wind Forecasting- where there's smoke, there's mirrors

Nearly perfect Barnstable Harbor

Waiting for wind, took a walk along Barnstable Harbor. I found the Long Pasture section of the harbor to be particularly secluded and beautiful. All it needed to be perfect, was wind. That turned out to be a commodity found only in Boston, which I had left at the crack of dawn to drive here, in search of wind. I finally drove back home, got some gusty kiting at Dog, where it was supposed to be glassy. Wind forecasting is all smoke and mirrors.

Dog Beach, Kitesurfed, NNW, NW, 8-29, 13M Octane/ Mako 150, with Andre, Colleen, Frank, Brad, Flo, Sam, Paul, Skipper, Others.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chatham- Upwinder, Downwinder, Bike

What a great day for exploring around Monomoy Island! The wind died for lunch, then came back stronger than before. I can't believe how lucky I was to not get stranded anywhere, or chased off the water by thunderstorms. I'm probably going to have to pay for that later somehow.

Parking lot party, waiting for wind in AM

Here's How- In the morning, Skipper and I do an upwinder from Harding's along the bay side of Monomoy Island, about 3 or 4 miles out I'd guess, to the place where the little outer bar connects to the Island. How-U-Doing-Chris joins us for a while then peels off.

It's mostly waist to ankle deep crystal clear water with sand bars and tiny beach grass islands here and there, as beautiful as it gets. Skipper has some excitement when he sees a 3' shark jump out of the water near him. We decide it's not a shark cause sharks don't jump, only kiters and windsurfers do.

Picture- Skipper and Chris on a tiny offshore sandbar with miles of shallow water.

There are 2 boatloads of kiters taking lessons on the flats at our furthest point of travel. They're probably pissed that we're making their many miles of solitude and shallow water so congested with traffic.

The wind drops suddenly, which gives us a new appreciation of how far out we are. We can barely see the tiny kites flying back at Harding's. It would be a very long walk and swim back! What took 2 hours of upwind edging coming out takes about 15 minutes going back for Skipper, a little longer for me. It's lunch time, 2:00.
Upwinder- S, SSW, 12-22, 12M Varial/6' Surfboard, with Skipper, 3 miles out.

Downwinder to The Cut- I've wanted to do this downwinder for years! Route- I go downwind along the bay side of Monomoy, then find a path and cross over to the ocean at one of the last sandy spots I can see before the end.

Obsessive Detail Map

The ocean side of Monomoy Island is the best run of the day, silky smooth water, a little swell here and there, and solid wind! It's too bad that I am so cautious about the conditions.

Conditions- I had planned for the incoming tide in the mouth of The Cut but, because the wind had dropped mid day, I ended up coming over late. The tide is ripping out hard.

The wind is mostly sideshore where I first cross Monomoy, offshore once I round the elbow.

I very much want to take some runs across the cut in the smooth water but I'm thinking about being by myself, with a rip tide, offshore wind, and this is the spot where most of the Great Whites have been spotted and tagged in the last few years. I picture a worst case scenario here that starts with the wind dieing suddenly and ends with a not-so-great White Shark putting holes in my kite. It's hard to patch holes made by a Great White.

End of the line at The Cut, looking back towards the elbow.

So I wimp out, do little S turns and stay close to shore. Besides it's getting late, dark clouds are moving in, and I still have to bike back to the truck. Wimp, wimp, wimp.
Downwinder- SSW, 15-25, 12M Varial/ Mako 150, Solo, 2 Miles.

Bike- I just relax and take it easy biking back to the truck, enjoying scenic Chatham in it's Summer glory. It's a perfect way to cap off my day. I'm sure I didn't deserve such a great day but I'll take it!

My trusty bike at the lighthouse, Monomoy Island in background