Seeking Cloud Nine (Greece) | Liam Whaley
3 hours ago
|Kitsurfing this weekend wasn't fun. It was a neccessity.|
Work had filled my head with alphabet soup, little bits of letters, words, and thoughts swirling around my subconscious in a cyclone of worry. I could feel it sloshing in my head when I rolled over in my sleep. I had to get that junk outta there.
Scarborough Beach- It's early morning, 40 degrees, raining, mist, there's nobody else at the beach, there's wind. I'm happy. I can feel my head getting lighter with every double over rotated back crash. I'm literaly knocking the stuffing right out of my head. Feels great.
A jogger runs by dressed in bright yellow foul weather gear. He stops to watch my approach like I'm some curious sea creature emerging from the mist. I do a particularly awkward double spin and crash, landing flat on my back with a slap. This is what I need.
I drift on my back for a minute. My head is blissfully empty. Nothing in there but the beautiful white noise of waves rolling and crashing, the sound rising and falling, punctuated by a seagull's sharp call. I'm spindrift, a fleck of ocean foam, a drop of salt spray thrown off the crest of a wave.
I send the kite and waterstart with a pop. I'm gonna stick the landing on my next jump. This is the cure for alphabet soup.
Scarborough Beach, Kitesurfed, ENE, 12-21, 14M Rally/ Mako King & Mako 150, Solo.
|Brad and I were in a bad situation and we knew it. We were at The Cut, famous for chewing puny little humans up and spitting them out like inconsequential bits of flotsam. Kites pumped, we were looking forward to a great session, completely unaware of how this would end.|
I was about to launch when I suddenly felt that something wasn't quite right. I looked out at the water and my heart stopped. I couldn't believe what I saw. No wind.
How could this be?! It had been windy 2 minutes ago! It was a trap. It must be. And we had walked into it like baby seals into the gaping maw of a Great White. I didn't see any way to get out of this alive.
Brad was fearless though. He suggested we pack the whole mess up and drive over to Buzzards Bay on the strength of a tiny blue line on the wind forecast graph. That tiny blue line turned out to be our lifeline. Buzzards Bay had wind! We were saved.
At least I was. Brad had some bad luck matching the right kite to the right wind at the right time. It was a trap within a trap. But for me, my life had been renewed. This is what makes one appreciate every remaining minute of this gift of life. To come face to face with one's own mortality, with nothingness, the big skunk, and to overcome.
Kitesurfed, N, 7-21, 14M Rally/Flx136, with Brad.
|I'm glad I went to the Cape today. Temp was in the low 70's in boston, way too hot. It was a much more reasonable 50 in Chatham with an onshore breeze. I came home to tales of sweaty yard work, heat stroke during track practice, and laments of Spring being over before it had begun. I took off my jacket and smiled. Kiting in Winter isn't as crazy as everyone says. On hot Winter days like this, you gotta go to the beach just to get cooled off.|
Harding's, Kitesurfed, WSW, 10-21, 12M Varial/FLX 136, with Frank, Sam, Chriz, Chris, Flo, Others.
Pic- Chriz starting his engine.
I got up the nerve to try a double back roll today. Big mistake. I got disoriented in the air, crashed so hard my left booty came off. It was silly. My kite was down, board was belly up, and my booty was floating away. I told myself that I would never to do that again.
An hour later I tried again. This time, to my utter amazement, it worked. It felt like total luck to rotate twice around and pull out at just the right moment to keep my booty on. What a feeling! I had mastered a new move.
There's nothing like facing your fear, losing some clothing, and sticking a new move to make you feel alive.
Now I feel half dead. Probably from all the crashes I did on double back roll attempts after my lucky one.
Harding's Beach, Kitesurfed, SW, 18-33, 10M Rally/FLX 138, with Walter.
|Crazy gusty but fun scene at Pleasure Bay. From the water you could see the big gusts blowing across the launch area, picking up sand. It looked like a cloud of dense fog or smoke. I usually said, "Oh my," politely to myself, and turned around before I went into the white out.|
Kirk, on the other hand, was kiting into the sand clouds, hitting massive kiteloop megajumps for the cheers and jeers of the big Summer crowd in the bleachers.
Pleasure Bay, Kitesurfed, SW, 20-50, 6M RPM/ Flx 136, with Frank, Jean, Brad, Kyle, Kirk, Spatsy, many others. Air temp 68F.
Picture- It's not the camera angle. Kirk really was going high enough to look down on other kites. Picture by Spatsy.
Brad and I were dejected and demoralized. Horseneck Beach had light wind, small waves, dense fog all morning. The meters said it was windy almost elsewhere else. Frank called to say that the crew was having a great time on mid size kites at W Dennis, and where were we?
We were stuck in no mans land. We decided to wait it out.
We waited all morning in the mist and drizzle. Did some skunky down wind runs. Had lunch. Waited some more. I was losing faith in the natural balance of the universe and I was writing Horseneck off of my list of kite spots. I was depressed.
Then around 2:00 our kites started to flutter on the beach a very tiny little bit. We were skeptical. But we launched. We had wind! The fog cleared, waves were better now, wind started to crank, sun even peeked out. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Sometimes, out of the rain, fog, and flat waves of life, wind happens. I had my balanced universe back.
Horseneck, Kitesurfed, S, SSW, 5-28, Octane 13M/ Mako king & Mako 150, with Brad.