Monday, April 28, 2008

Great Weekend

The weekend turned out to be almost perfect with nice steady wind. Lots of kiters showed up and lots of spectators on the beach. I started out both days at La Manga. You can drive all the way past the Hangout, where we normally set up, and park at the point. Then you can cross the bridge with your gear and set up on the other side. The wind and the waves in front of the gap are great. When you have had enough, it is easy to kite into the entrance of the lagoon and walk across to the other bay. I crossed over one day by kiting between the islands but the wind was terrible and I had to go way down wind to find steady enough wind that I could approach the shore and work my way back upwind to the Hangout. Wasn't worth the effort.

I am still wearing my full wetsuit as the water is still below 70 degrees. Some of the local guys have been going without a wetsuit for a month. Jose Luis told me that he was out diving just the other day and at 20 feet the water was a chilly 59.
Some people seem to think that it has been windier and colder this month than normal for April but if you check my blog from April 2006 you will see that we had more wind and colder water that year.
The rest of this week looks weak. Light southerlies for the most part.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Good Wind

The wind has been decent all week even though the forecast looked lousy. One day it blew southwest and it was nice over by the condos Pilar and most other days picked up in the afternoon out at the usual kite spot. Today was strong, starting out at 14 to 17 knots, building up to over 25 knots for most of the day and then backing off a bit after 5 o'clock. The forecast had predicted a good day so several kiters showed up to take advantage of the wind.

Here is Jose Luis kiting in front of a bunch of pelicans.

It was also a good day to work on a tan before the wind picked up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Not Much to Report

There are fewer and fewer good wind days here in San Carlos. A lot of days the wind will get up to 10 - 12 knots but not much higher, or not for very long. Eventually we will get out on those days on big kites and big boards when we get bored enough. There are also fewer and fewer people in town. Most of the winter visitors have left and summer vacations are still a couple of months away. The water temperature is stuck in the 60's and still feels cold on the windy days. I've used my shorty wetsuit a couple of times instead of the full suit but it was chilly. Days are nice, with temperatures usually getting into the 80's, sometimes higher.

I am expecting good wind on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and hopefully Saturday. Three days a week is about all that we can expect this time of the year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The End Is Near

The end of the season is fast approaching, but you wouldn't have guessed it from the wind we had Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It blew hard. Gusting to 30 knots or more. The sand was blowing in our faces. Like it was February. Over the weekend several people came out to kite: Jeff, Carlos, the other Carlos, Scott, Luque, Fireman John, and Fernando and Nicolas from Hermosillo. The gusts were brutal but still a lot of fun.

Jeff tried kiting in the lagoon in back of the hotel. He managed to make a few passes but the wind was lousy and I doubt that he will bother to try it again. We've always wondered about it - now we know.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trip Report

The North Flats
On the gulf, in front of the hotel

Playing in the waves, doing a down-winder

Holly Beach - not closed after all.

The trip to South Padre was a lot of fun although the wind didn't exactly cooperate. Several of us stayed at a Holiday Inn right on the beach and although the hotel was a bit shabby and a bit pricey it was a good choice just because it was on the beach. There was still a Spring Break crowd on the island when we first arrived but after our first weekend ended the crowds left and the place really emptied out.

The North Flats turned out to be the place to run into everybody that we knew. It is an area especially good for beginners because there is so much space and the water stays shallow for half a mile out. You can kite with the wind from just about any direction and the water is flat. It does tend to get gusty at times.
We spent one day playing in the waves on the gulf side and did a long down-winder from in front of the hotel all the way down to a spot across from the flats. The wind wasn't really strong enough and we had to work the kites a bit but it was still fun to do. We suffered from a lack of wind the whole stay; struggling to keep upwind in 10 to 14 knots, sometimes less.
We had been warned that Holly Beach, which is on the mainland side of the bay, was closed. We asked at the South Padre Kiteboard Shop and he confirmed that they were still working on getting it reopened. He was lying. It was open. It gets the strongest and the cleanest wind of all the spots in the area and the locals seem to not want to advertise it. It is the only spot that I have encountered in my travels where you consistently run into unfriendly kiters. If you go there, don't let them discourage you. It is a great spot. We only got to go there once, on the last day, on the way to the airport. Smooth water and even smoother wind. Almost heaven.