Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grenada

I am in Grenada, the “Spice Island.” The trip here was long but went smoothly. The new luggage rules mean you have to carry less or pay more. I managed to fit all my equipment and personal stuff within the total of 70 lbs in two checked bags and I loaded up a carry on bag. You are allowed 40 lbs in the carry on bag but the size limit makes it impossible to take full advantage of it.
It is hard to find flights without an overnight stop over so I took a 22 hour layover in Puerto Rico. I rented a car for the day but really didn’t have time to see much besides the area near San Juan.

Old San Juan was great! Historic buildings, a castle, a fort, lots of great restaurants, and a happening night life. It was also more expensive than I expected – but most places are getting expensive these days. The wind was blowing by 10 am and a few kiteboarders were out by one o’clock. I didn’t have time to get out on the water myself; that will have to wait until the next trip. Here are a few kiters right in front of downtown San Juan. There are lots of beaches to go to.



Grenada is beautiful. I haven’t seen much of it yet but it is tropical, lush, and a bit mountainous. The wind has been a little light the first two days; never getting past 12 to 18 knots. I am flying my 14M Rhino and a medium sized board and a big jump is only ten feet high; enough to have fun and practice some tricks. I am staying at the Coral Cove Cottages, which happens to be at the best beach for kiting. I haven’t seen anyone else out kiting but talked to Derek, from the Big Bamboo Surf Shop, and expect to see him out there once in a while. He used to teach kiting here and was very helpful.

Below is a picture of where I am staying, taken the first morning just after sunrise.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Condos Pilar

Today was the third (and last) day of some strong southerly winds. The wind seems best over by the Condos Pilar, at the east end of San Francisco Beach. The conditions are a lot different than what we get all winter over in front of the Soggy Peso. Lots of waves to play in, but they don't have very good shape for surfing. Here is a video of Jeff. The wind seemed strong, and was measuring over 20 knots at times, but he was a bit underpowered on his 9M kite.
video

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good Southerlies

We've only had a couple of kiteable days in the past week and a half or so. Today was the best wind in a while. Steady 14 to 18 knots from the southeast. It blew nicely from about 10:30 am to 4 pm over at Pilar. The warm moist air doesn't pack the power of the winter wind, and these southerlies kick up a lot of chop that you need to power through, meaning that I have to use a bigger kite. I am using a 14M Rhino and a medium sized board.
The prediction is for two more days of good wind from the south. Christian will be kiting at La Pinta in Rocky Point for the next couple of days, so it will be interesting to see how it blows there compared to here.
Christian has also been getting in some good days up at Mormon Lake, Arizona.
Although we are getting some good days, the windy season is really over. That means that it is time to look elsewhere for wind. So next week I am flying over to the spice island of Grenada to stay for two weeks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Big Kite Season

The winds have gone away and the heat is fast approaching. We can still get out a couple of days a week on bigger kites. I've been doing okay on my 14M Rhino and middle sized board. The wind has been coming up around two in the afternoon and dying off after four. It is a shame that just as the temperatures get good, the wind changes. Hopefully we will have a good summer season of strong enough southerlies. Last year was kind of weak.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Moria and Scott

Most of the week had little wind which was a shame because a couple of good friends and kiteboarders, Moria and Scott, were here visiting. We did get out Thursday and Friday, and had a good time although the wind was light. Moria looked great and was tearing it up on a borrowed kite and board. Scott has been into the sport for a long time and his moves are smooth. His quiver consists of only two line kites and a big board. He had to use my stuff on this trip and it was the first time he had used a modern kite on the water. He got out the first day of wind and looked good but didn't bother go out the second day. Instead he took pictures and videos which was good for me as I am usually the one taking the photos. Below is me taking off and then me flying upside down.

By the way, Scott has a new book out, Pokin Round the Gorge. It is an uninhibited guide to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. Check it out!