Friday, January 29, 2016

Day 5 of the 2016 season: Sanibel causeway - low tide made it slick city

Forecast was right on for early morning Kitable winds. The low tide opened up some slicks that compared to the best slicks that Michigan has to offer.
Cold mid-50s so decided to wear my drysuit and had some positive comments from fellow kiters.
Easy up winders and addicting downwind carving through the slicks mm-mm good.
One other Kiter, Rudy was in on the early morning session he also was on an 11M. One other Kiter getting a lesson and more came as I derigged my kite.

Fun day and an excellent ending to a month in the cool, wet Sanibel/Pine Island area.
Got 5 days in, missed 3 days due to severe weather and missed 2 days due to much wind.

Gear:   11M Z 140 TT
TOW: 9:45-12:00
Water Conditions:  low tide made for slicks in the shallows
Weather: cold mid 50s, partly sunny
Wind:  NW to 25 mph
Highlights: fast smooth slicks and some monster lofts for my standards

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 4 of the 2016 season: Sanibel Causeway Sunday - small window for an opportunity

Should this be logged? Barley a half hour with good conditions and then another half hour of marginal conditions.
A 14 and 17 were doing well when I got there.  It felt and looked like my 11 would work.
Rigged up and it looked promising and the first 30 minutes it was good. I was able to make it upwind, toeside was working and some jumps went well.
But after that it filled in with holes and I struggled to stay upwind. So came in and waited for a few with kite in the air, eventually giving up and landing the kite.
Several others came out and rigged some 17 M core kites. Compliments of Roy at Ace Performer. But by then it was lighter yet, they could launch but couldn't stay upwind.
Pulled the plug and headed outta there.

Bought a 2014 13M Z kite from eBay this evening.

One of the few tricks I can do - 180 heelside to toeside

  11 Z
TOW:  230-330
Water Conditions: OBX style 
Weather: Sunny upper 50s - cold by Florida standards
Wind: NW marginal 8-20 mph
Highlights: anxiously getting back on the water, it's been 17 days with a lot of missed opportunities.

Small window of opportunity

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 3 of the 2016 season: Solo boat water launch in Pine Island Sound's Charlotte Harbor

Launched at the shoal

Difficult but doable

Did the solo boat water launch on a knee deep shoal about a mile from shore on Pine Island Sound.
Right off the sleepy Florida town of Bokeelia at the northern tip of Pine Island.
Fun results with nearly steady winds for 4 hours. Took one quick break during a lull and that was it. Non-stop action after that.
Did an upwind run so far from the boat that I lost sight of it - a scary moment, thinking it lost its anchor hold and drifted away. Finally located it and all was well. Did the down wind run with plenty of power on the kite which made the toeside runs easy.
Choppy seas on the boat ride back as the wind picked up several notches, made it in just as the sun was setting.

Carving in the semi-flat shoal

Gear:   11 M Z and 140 Mako TT
TOW:  1:00 - 5:00  (almost 4 hours)
Water Conditions:    OBX style, shallow and fairly flat
Weather: near 70 mostly sunny
Wind: up to 25 from the NW

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day 2 of the 2016 season: Sanibel Lighthouse near EPIC conditions

Near Epic conditions today as winds were at the upper limits for my 9 and that helped make lofting jumps easy as pie. Easily headed upwind to do the circuit of upwind and downwind runs. About 20 kiters at the beach, 8M to 12M kites were in the air.
Not cheap to travel and kite on Sanibel. Cost of $6.00 for causeway toll, $16.00 for parking, ($4/hour at lighthouse park) and $2.00 for another bridge toll. And 2.5 hours of travel for a 60 mile round trip. Lucky there wasn't a skunking.
Good group of locals but their launching technique toward the beach and the public was in question. Also some of the hotshots doing their tricks within feet of the tourists on the beach was scaring me.
I guess when there is camera in view some people do some crazy stuff.

Gear:   9M Z and 140 Mako TT
TOW:  1:00 - 3:00 non-stop
Water Conditions:   Small chop
Weather: upper 60s, mostly cloudy
Wind: NE winds 25-30 mph, some gustiness
Highlights: Jump city - lots of jumping with the wind being on the high end for my 9M

Gulf of Mexico Sensor (nearest)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 1 of the 2016 season: Sanibel Causeway 11M day - opening day 2016

A good start to the new year, 2 sessions at the Sanibel Causeway. Both sessions were marginal but still it's nice to get out in some warm mid-60s with some bright semi-tropical sun. Although by the end I was shivering. I haven't done that since the last time I wore my full wetsuit in October.
Hatteras style conditions with many kiters, windsurfers and SUPers.
NNW winds switching to more north as the day wore on. One of those up/down days where I worked hard to  head up wind only to have the wind lull. I could of used a 13M kite today but I don't have one.

Local Crew at the Sanibel Causeway
Kites ranged from 10-19 M and when it lulled nothing worked. Everyone headed in at the same time.
No complaints from me, I enjoyed mowing the lawm with the occasional jump and ollie.
Started 2016 off where 2015 left off - smiling

Wind data from the Sanibel Bouy
TOW: At the beach from 12:00 - 4:30 got 2.5 hours of ride time
Gear: 140 TT and 11 M Z
Weather: Sunny mid-60s
Water: OBX style conditions with water near 70+ degrees
Wind: NNW to estimated 22mph
Highlights: Warm water/air session