Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 47 of the 2014 season: Welcome to Caseville Beach - Worth the 5 hours of drive time

A new Venue:

Welcome to Caseville Beach - Cold, rainy, drizzle, foggy but most importantly windy, warm water
and some nice onshore wind/swell. Also include a nice sandy beach with plenty of space to launch. Hatteras style shallows with smooth 2-3 foot waves on the inside. Excellent venue for easy kiting. With NNW winds I kited on an opposite tack of what I'm accustomed to. I was able to jump ollie to toeside with ease. Also load and pop on the opposite tack was a new experience.
Thanks to Larry R. for the hospitality and free T-shirt featuring Thumbs Up Kiteboarding.

Saginaw Bay data

Highlight of the day: 180 heel side to toeside ollies in the air
TOW:   3 hours between noon and 4:00
Gear:   11M and Mako
Water Conditions: Onshore winds, onshore 2-3 foot swells with plenty of smooth spots in the shallower areas. Water temp in the lower 60s.
Weather:     Air 50 degrees, fog, drizzle, rain
Wind:   NW-NNW to 25
Schooled:   Load and pop on opposite tack. Airborne 180 ollies all new for me.

View from inside the warm van

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 46 of the 2014 season: First Session for Marysville this season

Jeff and I decided it was the place to be since Metro Beach was to lite to windsurf but perfect for kiting and crowded as usually with kiters.
A mediocre windsurfing session at Marysville. With the winds varying  from 5-35 MPH in the 2.0 hour session on the St Clair River.

Gear for the day

Highlight of the day: Some of the biggest river swell I've ever seen here
TOW:   2.0 hours with 1 hour of planning time
Gear:   4.5 sail and 85 to 100 liter board.
Conditions:   uncontrollable to perfect to slogging
Weather:    Summer like 80 and sunny
Wind:  Winds varied from 5-35 MPH
Schooled:  River swells

Jeff derigging at the end of the session

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 45 of the 2014 season: Waiting it out at Lexington

Waiting for wind at Lexington. The forecast was looking good but actual winds were playing hard to get.
Arrived at 11:30 just as the wind died off and Keith was heading in, to lite for his 12M kite.
Ok -so  I thought I'll rig my new 5.7 and give it a lite wind try.  And yes it was lite, once out beyond the break wall the wind was spotty. I was able to gain some speed and apparent wind by riding the swell in. But that was it - came in and waited. There was decent wind reports from Port Sanilac and Harbor Beach but not much here at Lexington.
Finally at 3:00 Keith felt it was windy enough so he launch and did all right. I immediately rig my 11M and did the same. Also Jerry rigged his 17M and we all kited until 5:00 with somewhat consistent winds 12-18 MPH at best. At times it was hard to gain upwind position  and to keep it going on toeside. Other times there would be enough to get upwind and make room to play in the 2-4 foot swells.
Overall maybe a marginal day but as always fun was had.

Highlight of the day:  It's been 10 days - just good to get out
TOW:   3:30 - 5:00
Gear:   11M and 150 to 140 board
Conditions:   Mellow - surprising few caps and some smooth 2-4 foot swell at the break
Weather:    Mid - 50s cloudy to sunny
Wind:  NNW-N-NNE 10-20 MPH
Schooled:  Load and pop

Port Sanilac - not what we had at Lexington.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day 44 of the 2014 season: New Venue - Solid Winds - Esch Beach

Esch Beach Location

 #3 in 3 days.....by far the best of the 3

Esch Beach Vista

Looking for better on-shore lake breeze today, Empire not quite enough. So time to travel to another venue.
First stop Esch Beach and last stop.  Perfect conditions side shore SSW winds to 22 MPH.
Rigged up by 3:30 and had non-stop action until wind dropped at 5:00.
Came in and cleaned the weeds of my lines and called it a day, a very satisfying day after 2 days of marginally conditions at Empire.
Esch Beach rundown, nice open beach lots of wide sandy areas. While other beaches are being washed away Esch Beach appears to be the recipient of the washed away sand.
This spot would be a good launch spot for a downwinder to Empire.
Down side many floating dune grasses that have been eroded away from other beaches.

Highlight of the day:    Unexpected good wind day  - Empire lite - Esch  Beach perfect.                      
TOW:  Solid non-stop (3:30-5:00)
Gear:  11 M Mako 140 board
Conditions:  Not much in organized waves - surprising more like LSC chop
Weather:   Sunny, mid-70s
Wind: SSW 18-22 MPH
Schooled: Load and pop, upwind runs and carving down the line 5 feet from shore
Sorry Chuckster - Keep your swimsuit on


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 43 of the 2014 season: No cappin but kitable - barely

Barely rideable, in fact intermittent conditions with a few walks on the beach back to launch site.
Still an enjoyable session, good day to experimented with kite fine tuning, I shortened the  steering lines and lengthened the leading edge lines. Didn't notice much of a difference, except seemed harder to go up wind with lines in this position. Hmmm.. got to read up on fine tuning.

One of the very few carved turns pulled off today


Highlight of the day:      Lite wind day, surprise I could kite                          
TOW:  intermittently time on the water between lulls and walk backs (2:30-5:30)
Gear:  11 M and Mako 140
Conditions:  very lite wind, very few caps, 1 foot chop at best
Weather:   Sunny, low 70s
Wind: SSW 8-18 MPH
Schooled: Mowing machine - although the flatter water as fun

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 42 of the 2014 season: Empire Mellow session

Very serious look here
Not what I come to expect at Empire beach with WSW 10-20 MPH winds. The waves were not as decent as a SSW wind but nevertheless a day on the water is good. Especially when the forecast said 10-15. A sort but mellow session with emphasis on load and pop practice.

Highlight of the day:  Didn't
expect a session today with 10-15 forecasted       
TOW:  1.5 hours 3:30-5:00
Gear:  11M with 140 Mako
Conditions:  2-3 foot chop
Weather:   mostly sunny 60s
Wind: WSW winds from 10-20
Schooled:   load and pop

Customary gear for the day picture

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 41 of the 2014 season: Stormy Empire winds

Forecast has been downgraded from 15-20 to 10-15 SSW.
Some of the stoke is gone but maybe with the stormy forecast I'll get some storm winds and that's exactly what happen - good steady winds.  From 1:00-2:30 as a big stormed slowly move across the lake and the winds were steady from the SSW, when the menacing looking storm clouds got close it put an end of session.

Playing in the waves


Highlight of the day:  nice shore break to play and learn        
TOW:  1.5 hours
Gear:  11M with 140 Mako
Conditions:  2-5 footers with smooth troughs on the inside
Weather:   Cloudy 70s
Wind: SSW winds from 10-25
Schooled:   Wave riding lessons and chop hop lessons

Storm clouds ending the fun for now