Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's the Most Windiest Time of the Year

I walk out into a snowy morning. I had forgotten how beautiful everything is right after a fresh snowfall! There's about 10" of downy fluff covering the trees, the yard, my truck, the driveway, the driveway...

The only thing disturbing the tranquility of the scene is a shovel leaning against the railing. I'd like to get rid of that shovel, just throw it out. It ruins the beauty of the moment. I start shoveling.

All this snow. It puts you in the spirit of the season doesn't it? The soft blanket of white draped over the trees. Seeing your breath hang in the cold, crisp air. The squeak and crunch of snow under your feet as you pump up your kite.

This is the true meaning of the holidays. Being warm and cozy on a frosty morning, snug in your drysuit. Sharing a session with friends. Sticking out your tongue to try to catch one perfect snowflake as you rotate through a back roll.

We New Englanders are hardy people. We have an appreciation of Winter's challenges. A love of that which is cold, hard and miserable. It makes us better people. To go out in the frost. To kite. To love it. This is what we do. It's perfectly normal.

A slush puddle with chop in the Corp parking lot
Not Normal- O.K. so I'm back to worrying about my head being blown off of my body. 2nd time in 2 weeks with wind to 50 MPH!

Brad and I both agree it's windy. We kite in the Chapin marsh for a while, gusty as snot, then ride waves downwind to Corporation.

Not Nice and Not Normal- Between Chapin and Corp I get a little cocky and go over the falls on a closeout wave, have a yard sale. I relaunch my kite before it gets trashed, but come in boardless where there's no real beach to land on. There are some shallows, a little sand, and a nice big rock wall.

With Brad's VERY MUCH APPRECIATED help I eventually get my board back, land my kite, fix a torn open footstrap, and walk until we find a spot with enough beach to relaunch.

While I'm laying out my lines for relaunch on the small beach, I keep losing my bar and lines in the drifts of foam blowing off the water. I have to use my board as a marker to find my bar in all the foam. This is not normal. This is 50 MPH.

I relaunch. We make it to Corp. We kite some more. It's a happy ending. Except for the part where I think about what would have happened if I had come in on that rock wall an hour or 2 earlier, at dead high tide. I'm going to bookmark that thought for next time.

Today's wasn't the sanest kiting I've ever done but it was pure adventure. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors, marred only by the task of shoveling the walk and driveway in the morning.

2 Turtles- We helped rescue 1 stranded Kemp's Ridley sea turtle at Corp, saw another at Chapin that was too far gone.

Downwinder, Chapin to Corporation Beach, Kitesurfed, NW, WNW, 25-50, isolated gusts to 55. 6M RPM/ Mako150, with Brad. Air temp around 32 F. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Size Matters

This is one of the best wave sessions I've had! Yesterday's worry about having my head blown off of my body by an evil gust is gone. The fear monger in my brain is mostly silent. It feels great to charge the waves and get myself joyfully munched like I don't care what. This is so fun!

Brad Riding strapless surfboard
Jean Airborn
Some waves are like ski slopes to shoot down. Sometimes I try to turn on the wave and hit the lip without accelerating into oblivion. A few times I think I'm getting close. To oblivion.


I ride some freight trains. I get stuffed big going out. I get stuffed big going in. This is how I learn. It's a thrill!



Straight side shore wind- Makes it easier to get out, go down the line, and makes the waves cleaner. It creates some gusts and lulls but that's the price you pay. It's still a lot more sane then yesterday's wind.

Size Matters- Everyone's commenting on how big the waves are. I always question my own perspective but this time they really are big, I think.

Horseneck Beach, Kitesurfed, W, 15-30, 10M Rally/ Mako150, with Jean, Brad, Peter L, Brian, Jon, Gilles, Jamie, others. 12' waves? 

Click on pics for full size

Friday, December 21, 2012

Always Kite with Rodeo Clowns in 50 MPH

A few of us delinquents got out today at Yirrell. Scary conditions! It was a good reminder of how important it is to be kiting with buddies when the wind gets big. Everyone stayed safe but we were holding each other down during our launches like rodeo clowns trying to hold back a raging bull. 

One memorable scene- A gust blasts through during my launch. Walter and Peter both hang onto my harness handle in the shore pound while I wiggle my feet into the straps. When my feet are in, I yell O.K.  They let me go as I send the kite and shoot out thru the break, a smile on my face. 

I guess it all seems pretty stupid until you're out on the water. Then everything in the world makes sense. Then it seems pretty stupid again later.

Yirrell Beach, Kitesurfed, ESE, 30-50, isolated gusts to 55, 6M RPM/Mako150, with Walter, Peter, Jeff H. 10'-12' waves?

Thanks to Peter for the picture!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Getting Rich from Kiting

I love trying new kite spots! Going to a new spot is like buying a lottery ticket. Each one could be the jackpot. The big payout. The perfect glassy slick behind low dunes, steady wind across a smooth white sand bar, long peeling waves. It could make me rich!

Nauset Harbor- This spot is a winner. Great slicks inside. A little gusty, not bad. It reminds me of Stage Harbor but bigger. So fun to explore the whole harbor. After a while, we walk across to the outside, ride some waves, kite back in through the mouth, try some small channels into the marsh, then back to the slicks behind the dunes. I see one seal, don't see any Great Whites thank you.

More details- The outside waves are very disorganized at high tide. A local kiter said that the waves are much better at low tide, breaking on sand bars around the mouth of the harbor. The launch/landing is lacking of beach at high tide, not beginner friendly. ENE might be the perfect direction for the inside but E is very good. Parked at end of Priscilla Rd, Orleans, only off season. Thanks to Peter for scouting this site!

Nauset Harbor, Kitesurfed, E, 12-25, 10M Rally/Flx 138, with Walter, Peter, Jeff, Scott.

Walter waltzes with his kite before launching

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting Wind

It was hard to know if there was going to be any wind today. The forecasts were all being disagreeable, arguing with each other.

I wasn't worried though. On hard to predict days like this, I use a simple equation to combine and average the local forecasts. It gives me a much more accurate picture of how much wind to expect.

Here it is- I combine IKitesurf, Wind Guru, and NWS graphic numbers, divide by three, then add 15 knots. Today the formula tells me that the wind will be at least 15 knots or more all day. That's enough for me! It works perfectly.

In the Cross Hairs- A professional photographer walks out at low tide with a camera on a tripod that looks like an army issue weapon. It's frightening to be kiting with a 10' bazooka aimed directly at me. I do evasive maneuvers, dodging, twisting, jumping, anything to throw off her aim.

No good. I can't shake her. I feel vulnerable. Like the camera is undressing me with it's eye. It makes me wish that I had put on fresh underwear in the morning. And trimmed my nose hair. You should always do those two things before going kiting.

Chapin meter- is way off again. It's become less reliable then a used kite salesman.

Chapin, Kitesurfed, N, NNE, 14-24?, 14M Rally/Flx 138, with Chriz, Jean, Eric, Frank, Sam, Denn, Andrey, Colleen, Ivan, Noel, others. 

Thank you Betty Wiley for the great photos!!! Your web portfolio is beautiful and inspiring!

Click on pics for full size.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pickled Brains

Did you ever notice that when you have a good crash your brain soaks up a little water? Mine does. That's why this blog is called waterlogged.

Then, when I lean over my kite to roll it up, my sponge of a brain squeezes itself out. A deluge of sea scum and little bits of seaweed pours out of my nasal passages onto my nice dry kite. Yuck! Snotty brain water all over my kite!

It surprises me every time. My sponge brain thinks this is funny. I get pissed. And you know if you roll the kite up like that it won't dry out. The scum will just fester and grow. If they ever need a DNA sample from me to confirm that I do or don't have an evil secret twin, they'll take it from the stains on my kite.

2 sessions in 2 slicks- with a lunch break in between! It was warmer than anybody had a right to ask for. Very civilized day.

Hardings to Stage Harbor, SSE, 15-25, 10M Rally/ Flx 138, With Sam, Gregor, Peter, Jeff H.

Hardings to Buck Creek, SSE, 12-20, 14M Rally/Flx 138, Solo.