Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nuclear Winds

I don't know where the winds came from today (well - yes I do - frontal system passage) but I'll take them and more!!!

I was at the Long Beach Yacht Club this morning at 1100 anticipating a wild ride on Roger's F28, but when I got there, he said the wind was too strong - he had a report from a guy on a 40' Hunter out at Cat Island who said he had 28 kts on his mast top anemometer. Discretion is always the better part of valor - easier to walk away from parked sailboat than one that is sitting on the bottom of the Mississippi Sound because of a mistake. And by not sailing, I got to break out my 11m Crossbow!!!

Solid 15-18 kts from 1330 to 1530 (my time on the water). The Crossbow is a hell of a kite! Complete depower came in handy in situations where I would have eaten it with my other kites (sorry Naish - but in your defense, my other kites are old - and they're old so that is a good thing - built to last, but enough with my guilt trip of checking out another brand...). In one of those moments, I was coming down from a jump and ditched the board - the kite lines went limp and I braced for the inevitable bull ride (jerking when the lines tension up again) - NOTHING!!! I had time to stand up, take a few steps back and paid out bar to absorb the excess pull - AMAZING!!!

And the loft on this kite - RIDICULOUS!!!! Huge jumps with lots of float and smoother landings. For the type of kiting I currently do, I have found the perfect kite!

Kite design has come a long way on the last 4-5 years.

Cat Island is in the background of the picture - I felt like I could have been there in a few minutes the way the kite was flying. I think this 11m could handle at least another 10 kts without blinking an eye - and the jumps with that kind of wind will be in the ludicrous range.

Sorry for all the gushy adjectives - but this really was a good day of kiting!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lazy Saturday

As much as we have been laying around and moping, we made a commitment to get some stuff done and get out of the house. The weather was crap yesterday and La took the opportunity to put up the Christmas tree - I know she reads this so this is more for her than anyone else - The kids and I don't help. She doesn't want our help. Everything has to be perfect to her and if we try to intervene, it really isn't good for anyone. SO, the kids and I don't help with the tree. The kids even have their own small trees so they can decorate them and not La's tree. This is not a bad thing, so don't interpret this the wrong way. I have just come to realize over the years that La will decorate the tree and it is ok if I standby and watch. So that was yesterday.

Today, La and the kids rode their bikes (Noe and Marlon got upgrades - Marlon has adapted to his with little issue; Noe is getting the hang of starting and stopping on a larger framed bike). My knees have been acting up so I stayed home and worked on the kiteboard and the upcoming flatwater paddleboard.

Around 2pm, I made a declaration that "I'm taking the boat out" - the kids were silent. I guess I'll be sailing alone...

Well they did come to the beach and dug holes and built a cool sand castle. I made a few runs before the sun set. I unfurled the reacher a few times and was able to tack it with no problem (although the wind was light -I'm sure with a stiffer breeze I would not be saying this).

I finally figured out how to rig the reacher so it'll unfurl and furl fully - after raising it with the halyard, cycling it will solve the issue.

I got the beach wheels that I ordered, but not the axles. The drag to and from the beach sucked! It'll be nice to get those fat wheels installed.

Tomorrow should be time on Roger's boat. Hopefully the wind will be decent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Laminating the Light Wind Kiteboard

The wind was forecasted to be 10-15 from the S today. We barely got 9...

So - I decided to finally laminate the light air kiteboard I made a while back. Every time I get skunked on kiting plans, I kick myself for not having done this earlier.

I had already measured out the finbox locations earlier this week - 29.5" up from the tail for the front fins, with a 1/8" toe-in; 12.5" up from the tail for the back finboxes - no toe.

Today was route out the box holes, laminate the bottom, laminate the top. The top has some strips of carbon in a warp pattern (interwoven with fiberglass fill) so I won't get heel dents. I will eventually have a 3 or 4 strap setup, but before I finalize the insert locations, I will use the board strapless to get an idea of where to put them.

I'll have to play with the fins - for now, I think the big G-10s will ride in the back for lift and less twist (which I anticipate will happen if I put them up front). I will be installing a standard finbox as well so I can run the big G-10s with a 8" Seeker type fin - more lift, and any twisting will be countered by the larger rear center fin - may be able to eek out more light wind performance with that set up.

There is a front passing through tomorrow around mid-morning. The temperature is supposed to drop big time after that. Good thing I got the laminating done today. Depending on the morning temperatures, I may grind the laps and do the bottom hotcoat, but I want to have the boat out before the wind picks up (IF I DON"T GET SKUNKED AGAIN>>>>>>).

Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The "Other" Boats

If we don't end up in Hawaii (San Diego, DC Area, Virginia Beach or North Carolina are the other places we are considering planting roots), this is the boat we'll most likely end up with - the Farrier F22 (this is Rob Fleming's boat - photo poached of the F-22 site).

I've blogged about it before, but I figured I mentioned the powercat, I should mention the sailboat.

For now, I am happy with the Weta and all the other garage-able windpowered craft. The only complaint I had about the Weta was the trip from the parking garage to the launching point, and the return trip back from the water's edge to the trailer - pure torture to my lower back, thighs and calves. Well I just ordered a beach wheel kit that should end all that misery and kill the last excuse for not sailing the boat more.

The kit should be here Tuesday, installed on the dolly Wednesday and on the beach by Thanksgiving Weekend. Photo by Eric Lyon from the Yahoo Group for Weta Trimarans (his beach wheels installed). Just in time for the stiff North wind (predicted by the weather models.... hopefully I'm not setting myself up for another skunked weekend...).

Stinking Rotten Wind Forecast

Earlier in the week, the wind forecast called for strong, stiff winds for yesterday and today. The wind came - on Friday (WHEN I HAD TO WORK>>>)!

Good thing I guess - I am still a little under the weather with the crud.

Friday would have seen the new kite go up, the Starboard Element cruising under sail or the Weta screaming along.

I had the truck loaded up with my 'retro' gear hoping for stronger winds but alas it was not to be... A side note about the gear - if you haven't yet watched THE WINDSURFING MOVIE II, the Mark Angulo section sees him rummaging through a pile of old 80s and 90s pre-Cobra factory production windsurfer model high performance wave boards. He digs out an asymmetric Angulo and proceeds to ride it. The RRD Original Flying Board and the Naish "Flash" Twin Tip Directional were both hot in their day. I have not been able to let these boards go in favor of their newer cousins - for good reason - they are built to last and they are built to rip.

But ripping they did not today. I'm chalking this weekend up as 100% SKUNKED.

Power Catamaran

I went to Roger's house yesterday to check out the powerboat he sold a couple of years ago. Glacier Bay 22' Cuddy Cabin. The guy he sold it to asked him to clean it up a bit so Roger has it at the house and is attacking it with a buffer and gel coat conditioning chemicals.

If we end up living in Hawaii, I'll more than likely end up with the 26' model of this boat, or a 26' Boston Whaler so we can take trips out to the other islands, do escort runs for the interisland races, go fishing for Mahi, go diving and just have fun. With the winds the way they are in the channels, it can be rough on a sailboat - most of the sailing I did back in the day was windsurfing and kiting - if we do go back, mix in the Weta and I'll be fine. The powerboat would be a different tool in the toolbox.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stretching My New Wings

Last week I got my Influenza Vaccine - in the form of the nasal mist dose.

Well, I can tell you it works - I got the flu and am in the process of parting with copious amounts of phelgm...

Back to the subject at hand - the wind was up consistently blowing above the 10 mph mark for most of the day. I wanted to put the boat out, but timing and my current bug battle made me opt out of that. I could not let the day go without some form of wind induced play so I broke out the new kite. 10-13 mph on the anemometer. The Crossbow 11 would have propelled me on a longboard, but not on a standard kiteboard.

The IDS system (2010 Bar) is a work of art. The hollow polyethylene tubing that shields the center line (and in this case houses the landing line) is very efficient. I self landed this kite with and without using the IDS. I'll have to try self landing in stronger winds to see if it is still possible, but I'll always have the IDS.

50 pump strokes and the kite is inflated to operating pressure.

The forecasts are calling for higher winds on Tuesday... I might be "sick" that day....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lazy Weekend

Got a 5 mile paddle in on Saturday. Moderate North winds kept the paddle interesting (stop paddling for a minute and you just got blown 10' downwind/offshore). My left shoulder is wincing a bit - I was using the Shaka Pu'u - I need to get more shoulder workouts during the week (or drop down to the Methane for longer distance paddling).

Yesterday, I jumped on Roger's boat with Stan Wiles (the current Base XO). Good times had by all as evidenced by Stan-O's ear to ear grin. The wind at the first half of the trip was pretty good - just a hair under 10, but we were routinely getting boat speeds upward of 8. The second half saw a drop in wind speed and we were happy to get 5 out of what was blowing.

Lastly, I am a huge fan of anything with an ama (outrigger), primarily because of the physics and the greatly increased stability. Someone has this canoe parked at the Long Beach Yacht Club - interesting setup.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stingray Mating Season

Make sure you shuffle your feet if you happen to be wading here on the Gulf Coast.

The latest plague beset upon us (after Hurricanes, Record Setting Oil Spills, hordes of jellyfish) is the congregation of the stingray.

Actually, SUPing has offered a ton of opportunity to observe the mating habits of this fish. They dig holes in the sand (I am assuming it is the male) and do their procreating. It is also interesting how they are converging on the lowest tide I have seen down here - I'm not sure of a correlation, but it is interesting.

Swim Call

An awesome lazy Sunday!

I went for a short 5 miler on the Glide - thought I was being smart by paddling upwind first (average 4.2 mph for the first 2.5 miles), but the wind shifted on me and even picked up (average 3.8 mph for the back half). Oh well - at minimum it was good exercise.

I got back and took the kids to the pool via bike ride. Marlon got a new bike on Saturday so it was a good trip to break it in.

Brought the GoPro cam and came away with some gems!