Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 9 of the 2015 season: Lite wind snowkite at Metro Beach

Headed out to Mt Holly for some downhill riding but 20+ busloads of unsupervised teenagers changed my mind. Turned around and headed back home. As I was heading home I got a message from Wind Alert indicating a wind spike at 9:45 of 16 MPH. Time to head to MB for some snowkiting.
Although lite winds and low snow pack,. Craig and I made it work.
Surprised at how low of a wind you need for snowkiting.
Started out at 12:30 it lulled at 1:30 then picked up at 2:30 for another hour.

Highlight of the day:  Light winds but
still had a decent day  
TOW:  12:30-1:30 and 2:30-3:30  (2 hours)
Gear:  11M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: Choppy ice under up to 2 inches of old snow with
6 inch hard packed drifts
Weather:   20+ degrees and mostly bluebird day  
Wind:  8-16 MPH from the S
Schooled:  Parking the kite and doing a down wind slalom - just like going down hill on a blue run.

Craig testing the wind for me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 8 of the 2015 season: From Sun to Snow - Milner beach snowkite on first day back from the Keys

First day back after a month in the Florida Keys.
Just 9 days ago I was on my 11M on the gulf side of the keys. 70 some degrees and ripping in butter smoothness.
Today we had more of a workout, couldn't edge to hard due to the lack of snow cover and hard ice underneath. Had to ride a fine line. That made the down wind runs feel like snowboarding on a blue run. A few times everything was just right to park the kite and slalom along even throwing in a few nose press 180s from toe side back to heelside.
Great day, better then expected even Craig joined in and got a couple of hours after work on his old Waiman kite.
We kited until the sun set and the moon rising.


Highlight of the day:  Felt like riding down a blue run  
TOW:  2:30-5:45 (3 hours)
Gear:  11M and Burton 156 Hero Snowboard
Water Conditions: Mainly smooth ice under up to 2 inches of old snow
Weather:   20+ degrees and bluebird day  
Wind:  15-20 MPH from the NE-N-NNW
Schooled:  Down wind slalom - just like going down hill on a blue run.

SCS Harbor Wind Data

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 7 of the 2015 season: No Name Key Launch

New wind direction, new launch site
Headed over to a shallow area on the north tip of No Name Key. Launched a self man shallow water launch, and enjoyed 2 hours of non-stop action.

Highlight of the day:  Butter smooth conditions
TOW:  3:30-5:30 (2 hours)
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako board
Water Conditions: OBX sound side conditions with the shallow areas butter smooth
Weather:   70+ degrees and sunny  
Wind:  15-20 MPH from the NNW
Schooled:  Enjoying the addicting butter rum smoothness

No Name Key water launch and boat tracks back home
Beating it home before sunset

Butter Smooth in the shallows


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 6 of the 2015 season: Doctor's Arm Bay - Big Pine Key

A north wind day, you have to improvise in order to launch on the gulf side of the islands.
Nothing special today, rigged and self launched from the boat.
OBX sound side type of conditions.

Highlight of the day:  Self boat launch
TOW:  4:00 - 5:30
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako board
Water Conditions: OBX sound side conditions
Weather:   70+ degrees and mostly cloudy  
Wind:  15-20 MPH from the ENE
Schooled:  Just mowing the lawn with some chop hops

Boat load of kite gear - note floating weeds

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 5 of the 2015 season: EPIC butter at Bahia Honda Key

Dawn patrol - on the water by 9.  Obeying the Sailflow forecast for early ESE lightening up by noon.
ESE is nearly perfect for Bahia Honda. Low tide was good too with extremely smooth shallow water on the inside. Occasional wavettes would  sneak in and add to the fun.
Worked my way upwind to a butter paradise, enjoyed some time there carving in between the wavettes.

Highlight of the day:  Nothing like the feeling of ripping along in velvet smooth butter
TOW:  9:00 - 10:00
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako board
Water Conditions: Flat water with wavettes
Weather:   80 degrees and partly cloudy  
Wind:  15-20 MPH from the ESE. Perfect side on
Schooled:  Carving down wind

Bahia Honda GPS tracks
Sombrero Key Light


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 4 of the 2015 season: Bahia Honda - Cruising Day


Somewhat a light wind day - unable to gain upwind distance very well and toeside was work to keep up speed. Still the flat, smooth, warm water made up for it.


Highlight of the day: Butter - not as good as it can be
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako board
Water Conditions: flat water with wavettes
Weather:  80  degrees and sunny   
Wind:  15-20 MPH from the ESE
TOW: 2:30-4:30
Schooled:  Just enjoying the cruise

Mainly East winds today at Bahia Honda


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 3 of the 2015 season: Self water launch in shallow Doctor's Arm Bay

There are few choices for land launches on the gulf side due to the rocky and mangroves shore line.
So if want to sail in any north wind component you might have to improvise. Here is my rigging improvising.

Doctors Arm Bay - loaded up the Zodiac with all my gear, 2 anchors, extra rope and headed out to the shallow bay near our rental. Once out I anchored the boat and inflated the kite. I then anchored the kite a lines length from the boat, Laid out the lines in the water attaching one line to the kite and then laying out the rest of the lines.  Attached the bar to a leash and attached leash to boat. Then continued to attached lines in correct order. Once everything was in order and doubled checked I put kite into launch position. And Bingo-Bango time to kite.
Kited in light wind marginal conditions for awhile. Parked the kite in the launch window and took a lunch break hoping the wind would pick up. Nevertheless I went back out anyway in marginal conditions kited for a short while and decided to call it a day due to the marginal conditions.
Derigging, again tied kite anchor line to kite and wound up lines, disconnect lines from kite.
Wound up lines and put bar in the boat. Carry kite to boat and deflate leading edge only. Rolled kite up and stowed it in boat.  Retrieved kite anchor and line and then secured everything and headed  back home.
Didn't seem to difficult to rig onboard a boat. Definitely have to have shallow water and 2 anchors with extra line. Maybe with more opportunities to rig onboard I'll improve on the method. Actually the hardest part was deflating the kite and rolling it up.

A lite wind marginal day barely made an hour before giving up

Highlight of the day: None - very marginal day
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako board
Water Conditions: flat water
Weather:  78  degrees and sunny   
Wind:  12-16 MPH from the ENE
TOW: Nearly an hour
Schooled:  Solo man rigging\launching from a boat


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day 2 of the 2015 season: Bahia Honda Key - More butter than anyone needs

More butter than anyone needs.

Another near epic day at Bahia Honda Key - a carbon copy of Friday's epic day.
With the exception from yesterday's overused muscles that haven't been used in some time feeling sore. A good sore that is. It did limit my TOW to 2 hours, want to save some strength for Sunday, if it's windy again.

Highlight of the day:  Nothing like the feeling of ripping along in velvet smooth butter
TOW:  2:30 - 4:30
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako board
Water Conditions: from flat water to small waves to LSC chop
Weather:   80 degrees and sunny   
Wind:  15-20 MPH from the ESE  
Schooled:  Small Chop Hops

Sombrero Key wind data

Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 1 of the 2015 season: Bahia Honda Key STOKED! EPIC!

After 6 days of no kiteable winds here in the keys the forecast finally came through.
Wind Alert predicting 10-15 with higher gusts. Actually it was better ESE, side on, shallow, flat waters, warm, sunny, in fact just about the best conditions for Kiteboarding I ever had.
Bahia Honda State Park is a great venue for kiting, Didn't realize how good kiting can be with nearly perfect wind, sun, water conditions.
Didn't touch my depower line during the session, now that's steady. Small breaking waves at the shallow reef and nothing but butter on the inside

Highlight of the day:  Getting out in 80 degrees with 78 degree water and still being in the USA on January 2nd.
Playing Jimmy Buffet live on the ride home as I traveled the overseas highway, how fitting is that.
TOW:  1:30 - 4:30
Gear:  11M and 150 Slingshot board
Water Conditions: from flat water to small waves to LSC chop
Weather:   80 degrees and sunny   
Wind:  15-20 MPH generally from the ESE  
Schooled:  Just cruising and enjoying, taking the perfect conditions of the day as a unique rare experience.

Rolling Rock Time and Jimmy Buffet with the Coral Reefer Band playing on the player

Data for 1-2-2015