Thursday, May 31, 2007

Two Weeks of Wind

This trip has come to an end. I had wind of 20 knots or more almost every day for two weeks. As I am leaving the rainy season seems to be starting, cutting short some of the kiting days. I definitely will put the Yucatan coast on my list of places to return. The sea conditions in Puerto Progreso were difficult, some of the worst chop that I have kited in. The locals take it in stride and do fine in it but I had some tough days. There are other places not too far away with smother water. The only other place that I made it to was Chuburn√° and for me it was worth the 15 minute drive.

The town of Progreso is a mix of fishing port, industrial port, and tourist destination with a population of about 45,000. The people are friendly and there is no area where you don't feel safe to walk any time day or night. There are more schools than bars and more recreation fields and playgrounds than I have seen in all of Sonora. I saw activities going on for kids every evening, especially in the central park, or zócalo.
The local band of kiters were the best I've ever met. Most were university students in Merida and could only get to the beach a couple of times a week. They weren't shy about trying out new moves as some had the hope of getting a sponsorship from a kite company. They were also the friendliest and most helpful group I've ever met. They truly treated me as a brother. I hope some of them can make it to San Carlos sometime; I have a spare bedroom for any of them to use.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Puerto Progreso

Well, I am overdue for this update but I haven’t had much access to the internet here in Puerto Progreso. The flight here was terrible. The airline, Vivaaerobus, starts out with low ticket prices but then has lots of hidden charges and their scheduling is awful. The town is nice enough and the coast is all beach with plenty of wind. It is on the northern Yucatan peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico. Countryside is mostly flat and not a lot of tropical vegetation. The town is nice enough and all the people that I have met have been great. Lots of seafood restaurants and good prices. No night life at all. The whole town appears to be on hold until July and August when it fills up with vacationers from Merida.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Puerto Progreso, Yucatan

I am off to Puerto Progreso today. I was hoping to go to Puerto Vallarta for a kiteboard tournament this weekend and then fly to Merida but it was just too much hassle to get to Vallarta. It isn't easy traveling from San Carlos. Today I will be taking a local bus to the bus terminal in Guaymas around noon to get a bus to Hermosillo. The bus station in Hermosillo is on the other side of town as the airport so I will have to take a taxi or another local bus to the airport. I am travelling as light as possible but I still have a big bag with all my gear. Then I have to hope the airline accepts my sports bag as regular luggage. They could charge me as much as $200 extra for the trip for it. Then I fly to Monterey for an overnight stop. After staying in a hotel for the night I return to the airport at 6:00am to continue on to Merida. There I will rent a car and drive to Puerto Progreso where they say the wind blows year round. I hope so. I plan on staying two weeks.

The wind here has been real light lately and the not much is expected. The season of strong northwest wind is over, replaced by light southerlies. I did get out the other day on my plywood board and was very impressed. The wind started out a nice steady 14 knots and I hoped it would build so I put up my 12M. The wind quickly dropped to only 8 to 10 knots but I was able to stay up wind (although I really worked the kite) and have a decent session on that big board.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Was That Wind?

We haven't seen much wind in San Carlos lately. Saturday was good enough for trainer kites and for really big kites and big boards. I went out on my 30M kite and a new plywood board that I made last week. Sunday was a little bit better, but not much. To kill time while waiting for wind we tried getting pulled with a tow rope behind a Quad runner. It worked well but there were too many people on the beach and we couldn't do very long runs. Finally the wind did pick up. Enough that a couple of beginners, Christian and Tommi, were able to get a feel for flying the kites and body dragging. I had fun on the 19.5 Contra, but there wasn't much wind.

I mentioned above that I made myself a new board. Well, here is a picture of it.

I made it out of 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood. It is 152 x 46, almost no rocker (less than half inch) and no fins. It has two thin coats of epoxy to seal it.

Worked well in its first time out, but it is heavy. I expect to give it a lot of use this summer as we mostly have light winds from now until October.

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