Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy's Curves

Yirrell- What a thrill! These are the biggest waves I've kited in to date. Beautiful, long period set waves, all smooth in between, leaving fields of foam and whitewater in their wake. We think they're about 10', big enough to make me feel about 2'. I love that feeling!

Hurricane Sandy has some nice curves.

Waves crashing against seawall at Winthrop Beach

Yirrell Beach, Kitesurfed, 12-22, E, ESE, 14M Rally/ Mako 150, with Brad. 

Click on pics for full size

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Waves or Slicks

Some kiters live for kiting in waves.  Some kiters hate waves but love kiting in flat water more than they love life itself. Me? I can't decide. I'm an undecided voter for waves vs slicks.

Some days I vote waves. Some days I vote slicks. Today I voted both. I don't even know if that's legal.

Waves- I play in a variety of little waves on the outside of the Sand Spit during the incoming tide. The best time is just before high tide. There are a few spots where the small waves are spaced far apart and the water gets all smoothed out in between. It's almost like slicks with ramps. I just wish the waves were bigger.

This was all covered with water at high tide
Slicks- At high tide I go inside the Sand Spit, into the rivers and marsh. The full moon tide has completely covered the marsh. I kite upwind as far as the boardwalk, which is covered over. I can't believe I'm kiting over so much real estate. At 2 hours after high tide the marsh is all land again. At 3 to 4 hours after high tide the wind is getting a little dirty in the river from coming across the beach.

Waves- I've gotta ride upwind to get back out to the waves. With 3 rivers and a few miles of salt marsh all emptying into the ocean, the current here makes itself known. It can hit 7 knots. It sucks me upwind like a bug to a bug zapper. I know if I drop my board in the channel I'm probably never going to see it again. I'm much more cautious in the waves with the outgoing tide, especially since my kiting company, 3 local kiters, is gone. Time to head in and load my gear onto my bike for the ride back to my truck. Ahh, nice day.

O.K. I still can't decide. Waves? Slicks? I guess I need to study them both some more so I can make an informed, educated choice. It's hard being a responsible voter.

Sand Spit, Kitesurfed, ENE, 15-30, 10M Rally/ Mako 150, with Skip, Eric, John.

Click on pics for full size

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kiters in the mist

Low misty clouds. The sun sifting through in breaks. We've kited over to stage Harbor, a little over a mile, on a fickle wind. Light, then strong, then light. The air is warm and moist.

Mother Nature waves her grey cloak across the sky.  Now you see the sky, now you don't. Fog washes over us. The harbor disappears. The wind picks up.

I'm racing through grey nothingness. I know the crew is here but I can't see them. I can't see anything. Then I'm surrounded by kites. We're moving together in a kind of choreography, like a pod of dolphins. It's a thrill.

The fog is eerie and sublime. I love it. We stay close to the shore, and to each other, weaving our kites, timing our jumps and turns, until someone signals to head back. We're careful not to leave anyone behind in the grey.

The mist has dissipated by the time we get back to Hardings. This was my second session of the day. I'm tired but happy. I don't want to stop. The fog session has put me into a kiting trance.

Buck Creek Marsh- For the finale to the day, I follow Dillon into The Buck Creek for a perfect set up. Astronomical high tide, silky smooth waist deep water right behind the beach. I do my last feeble jumps and crashes as the sun gets low, then pack up before a hazy sunset. This is one of those days when kiting feels like a gift. A grey, misty, foggy, sunny/cloudy, very satisfying gift.

Harding's Beach, Kitesurfed, SSW, SW, 10-25, 14M Rally/ Flx 138, with Frank, Dillon, Andre, Colleen, Sam, Jorge, Dennerson, Others.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Matunuck Wind Classic 2012

A fantastic day for a hoedown at Matunuck! Warm, windy, wavy, and sunny. 40 sails and kites shared the air space with no friction other than a little friendly boasting in the parking lot.

If kiters and windsurfers can get along this well, maybe there's hope for democrats and republicans. Nah...

It was fun to have the afterparty right in the parking lot, the setting sun and waves as the back drop, everyone's gear still scattered about, burgers and dogs hot off the grill. Nice to see many old friends and make a few new ones. Perfect day.

Deep Hole, Kitesurfed, SSW, 20-35, 15-25, 6M RPM & 10M Rally/ Mako 150, with Steve, Nate, Gerry, Scott, Mitch, Chris, Sergey, Jerry, Jeff, Peter, Greg, Antoine, Don, lotsa others. 

Click this for the full size slideshow-

Monday, October 8, 2012

Block Island, welcome back to The Surf

The Surf Hotel is alive and well! Welcome back after 5 years of resting your bones. You're a charming and elegant old lady, as always.

It's great to be back on Block Island with the family. We have more toys loaded in and on my truck than you could shake yer bootie at, just like old times. Here's what we do with all of that stuff-

Windsurfing- Saturday, Ben spends some quality time getting knocked around in the chop, then Josh and I take some runs, trading off the 5.2/ 4.2 sails. It's a gusty, scrappy wind but fun to do speed runs in the gusts and hang out together in the shallows catching our breath. It's kinda nostalgic. Andy's Way, SSW 13-27, 5.2/Acid 94 & 4.2/Carve 123.

Josh, Ben, Barb, like old times

Kiting- Saturday, Yeah after getting exhausted from windsurfing in the twitchy wind, I put up a kite to smooth out the peaks and valleys. It works. My arms thank me. Andy's Way, SSW 11-24, 10M Rally/Flx 138, with Bob from Nahant, 1 other.

Biking- Everybody bikes. We have 6 people and 1 truck. (Josh brought friend Pete, Ben brought friend Nicky). Sometimes we have to bike just to get around. It's the thing to do on B.I.

Boating- The kids use the boat everyday. The floorboard cracks in the bow on the last day creating some anxiety for Ben and Nicky. Josh might have stressed it by racing me with the boat while I'm windsurfing on Sat in 13-27 MPH and pretty big chop. He's running it full speed and slapping that boat thru the bumps like a banshee. I'm faster.

Pete in boat, Josh on windsurfer, the race is on, (this is before it got really windy)

SUPing- Sunday, I put on my drysuit and take out the SUP in the rain. I don't know why nobody else joins me.

Kiting- Monday, 1 sunrise session in front of the Surf Hotel in N wind, such a good direction for this spot! It's dream conditions with small waves rolling in, smooth water, low tide. It has everything but wind. I launched from Old Harbor and kited upwind to Crescent Beach in the few gusts. I should have just launched from the hotel. Crescent Beach, N, 7-15, 17M Fat Lady/ Mako King.

Fishing- Monday, at the Coast Guard Station with squid, 1 pound sinkers, slack tide. Ben catches 3 Scup, Nicky catches 2. I cook Ben's after we return home.