Sunday, June 20, 2010

La's "Inside the Van" SUP rough painted

Progress has been painfully slow -

HOT garage

Too far behind at work

Too much fun playing with the kiddoroos

Well - I did take some time today to do some of the rough detail painting.

La's favorite flowers include the plumeria and the hibiscus (and those are the ones my nose will tolerate - her ultimate favorite is the oriental lily, but the perfume it puts off will actually debilitate me in seconds - walking migraine - but I digress).

She also adores the Monstrea (plant, not flower).

So - here they are in rough form.

I am going to try and get the details painted on before leaving for Seattle...

"The clock is ticking and we are keeping score"

Deer Island Part 2

Yesterday, I went back to Deer Island to get the sand we didn't get the previous weekend (we collect sand from the different places we've been to - check out posts from way back, there in there...).

There was some oil slick in the middle of the channel, but it was probably from a working boat (crapping out).

I got to the western tip of the island, got my sand and then kept on going for the exercise.

Tons of fish in the water (huge mullet, tons of fingerlings and fry, and blue crabs everywhere) as always.

Got a couple of miles down and I saw a path leading up from the beach. Obviously I decided to see where it went (even though I could see the other side of the island from the beginning of the path).

In this case, I guess I was the amphibious vehicle.

And as is the case in June (and July and August) - it was HOT.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brunch on Deer Island and a Barreling Left

We packed a lunch and drove to Biloxi for an expedition to Deer Island.

The pic of my okole shows the oil boom to the left of the board - the oil hasn't hit yet, but there is alot of activity going on with working boats, staged booms and hordes of workers mobilized (Canal Dr south of I-10 has three huge makeshift rallying points where Tyvex clad workers drive in to make the donuts).

Not the cleanest water, but the kids enjoyed practicing their new swimming skills.

Tons of fish out there - mostly mullet, but big ones. Marlon saw a huge blue crab (couldn't catch that one without a net - he would have easily won).

We ate the turkey-avocado sandwiches, strawberries and other fruit then I saw it -

It's been months, but I can just as easily recognize perfection like time hasn't passed at all. The wave train started to rise as the water shallowed and WHAM! Clear as day - screaming left barrels driving through - lined up for yards!!!

Too bad I'm not 6" tall - read that again - 6" not 6'.

When immersing yourself in solar energy manifesting itself as waves or wind for as long as I have been - perfection (no matter how small) is perfection and must be admired. It felt wonderful watching a great wave break again.

We headed back across the Biloxi Channel and Marlon wanted to try SUPing himself instead of just being a sitdown passenger. He got it within a few minutes! We couldn't pull Noe out of the water - she was "swimming".

The thing that has happened here for us in Gulfport is our kids now feel very comfortable in the water. For that alone, I am grateful - they will take that confidence no matter where we go next and it will be with them for their lifetime. Cali (North of San Diego) would not give that confidence freely - cold water, large waves and strong currents demand respect. You can say the coast is the set of training wheels they needed for a water based lifestyle -

Now if we can just be lucky enough to not get hit by the oil...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2 Liter Catamaran

This was the science project I brought back from the Outer Banks for Marlon. Finally got some time to build it last night.

It ran around in circles depending to a degree on the wind strength and mostly because of the asymmetry of the pontoons (same bottles, but not laid out exactly the same.

After several short runs (it kept blowing back to shore), I asked Marlon if he wanted to push it out one more time - he said yes. Thirty minutes later, after several "I'm hot" declarations, the catamaran finally came back in.

As I finish up a slew of other projects, I'll make some rudders for this boat.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Baby Birds

Not that this is amphibious, but it is amusing - one of the smaller trees at our house is hosting a bird nest.

The eggs and now the hatchlings have been keeping the kids super interested.

The amusing thing? These guys are sporting mop tops!

Now the amphibious part - while we are on an animal discussion, we caught a small turtle on Saturday. It was hanging out in the middle of the culdesac (most likely sunning itself, but to the kids, it had a deathwish - and no one wants to see a squashed turtle, no pretty).

We are giving it a temporary home in the backyard. Pictures to follow.


Didn't eek one in...

Roger and Michelle took us out on their F28 yesterday.

Marlon and Noe were super troopers (but bribing them with a $5 boost in their allowance didn't hurt either).

We hit Ship Island, got to picnic, body surf and hunt hermit crabs. Barrier Islands are really cool places - and Ship was no different. After an hour of fun, you could see the thunderboomers off in the distance so we decided it was time to beat feet back to Long Beach, or so we would have liked to.

The thunderstorm system was moving NE at a fairly quick clip, but as we were rounding the NE tip of Cat Island, it stalled and then shifted to the E. The tail end of the system caught us, but the $5 bribe even kept Marlon and Noe chipper despite the gusts/rain/lightning.

I'd say the kids got their sea legs.

Fun day that had a Teki Maki ending!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Eeked one in -

The forecast called for a 90% chance for rain and thunderstorms today.

Upon initial inspection (around 0800), the sky was blue with puffy cumulus clouds pushing through fairly quickly. Checking the GWPM6 weather station (Gulfport Harbor), it was reading 15-18 (Kiting weather).

After we gulped down a breakfast of carne asada, omelts and hash browns, we were loaded and on our way. On reaching HWY 90, the surface wind was not 15-18, more like 8. We doubled back and hooked the boat up.

We decided to try Courthouse Rd parking area for the launch today. What a huge difference! Paved, sand free parking and only 10' of sand to drag the boat dolly through (no burning calves or upper back).

Took the entire family out for the first run - 2 nm out towards Biloxi in SW winds blowing 8-12 mph (steady).

I learned something today - La, Marlon and Noe are stink'in land lubbers! Noe was literally foaming at the mouth (not puking, just solid foam), Marlon gets very sleepy when on the boat and La as big a hooter as she is, doesn't like fair winds and following seas (downwind runs) - too much bump and dump today (short period, 1-2' waves stacked on each other - the 14'5" boat will surf a bit, then fall off the wave in the light-ish winds - ALMOST seasickness inducing water...)

Anyways, got them back to shore and then took the boat out on a solo run, this time East towards Gulfport Harbor. Got up to 9.9 mph - not bad for winds hovering between 8-12.

Turned back because of the massive cumulonimbus column pushing up from the South. It ended up bypassing us to the East, but it never hurts to sail safe.