Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

Ten days in San Carlos and not even close to having enough wind to kite. Lots of heat. The Soggy Peso has been busy as the beach is the place to be. I've been out spearfishing a couple of times but the bands on my gun are old and keep breaking. I need to remember to store them in a baggie as they will deteriorate just being exposed to the air. The snorkeling was great anyways. We had several days of 30ft+ visibility off of Isla Venado.
The fishing reports haven't been too good lately, but lots of other sea life out there. A finback whale has been hanging out and there have been several sperm whales and a very large pod of pilot whales a ways off shore. I saw a sea turtle the other day when I was out on Bobby Haag's boat and the next day he got to swim with a whale shark just off of San Antonio Point.
The surface temperature is in the 80's but you don't have to dive very deep to find chilly water.
With all of the southerly winds we also get some Portuguese Man of Wars in the water and there are stingrays in the sand near the beach so you have to watch out when you go swimming.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back From Grenada

Well, I am back in Tucson and getting ready to drive back down to San Carlos. Wind forecast doesn’t look all that great. I’ll be there less than two weeks and then I’ll go to Cape Cod for two weeks. The wind forecast is looking better over there.

Speaking of looking better – the wind prediction for the coming week in Grenada calls for very good wind. While I was there it barely got up to 20 knots a couple of times. The day I arrived people told me “You should have been here last week. It really blew.” Now it looks like they will have good wind all next week. Oh well.

The trip to Grenada was very nice, but not as nice as I had anticipated. The best was the people, the air and water temperature, the tropical flora, my accommodations, and the food.
The people were friendly to the point of treating me like family, especially in the country side. Up in the mountains I was invited to join in on meals by the river, parties at their houses and sent down the mountain loaded down with all kinds of fruits and vegetables with invitations to return and stay as long as I wanted.
Air and water temperatures were in the 80’s.
Even though it was the end of the dry season, there were tropical flowers in abundance. Nutmeg, cocoa, and banana trees covered the mountains.
I had rented a cottage at Coral Cove Cottages. It was great. Right in front of the best kiting spot on the island. I could set up on grass in front of a reef protected bay. The maid would bring fresh flowers for every room every day. It was $100 a day. The best deal on the island. The only drawback for me was no wireless internet service. I was able to contract with the local provider for dialup service but it was painfully slow.
I found the Red Crab Restaurant the first day I was there and went back often. The food was awesome.

Unfortunately, I happened to be there for two weeks of mediocre wind. I got out almost every day, but had to use my 14M kite and larger board. I was also kiting alone all but one day and had to watch out for several shallow reefs so I wasn’t trying anything new.
I only went snorkeling one day, as it was disappointing. There were coral reefs, but very unspectacular. I did see two big sea turtles while out kiting.
The second day I was there I asked a waitress at the restaurant what they called the native language. She told me English. No, no, I said. What is the language they use amongst themselves? English, she said. And English it was, but not anything that I could understand. I could understand most of the people if they were used to dealing with tourists and were talking directly to me. Otherwise they would quickly lose me and it was a bit frustrating.
The worst thing about the island was driving a car. The island is a volcanic island and the landscape was very rugged. The roads are winding, steep and extremely narrow. That doesn’t stop the locals from driving 50 miles an hour everywhere they go. It was scary. Not fun. I was looking forward to some nice days driving and exploring the island. I did spend two days doing that, accompanied by Esmon, the bartender at the Red Crab, who volunteered to be my tour guide. I couldn’t have found a better person to show me the island. However, I had to concentrate so hard on not getting run off the road that it was hard to enjoy the scenery and I would be exhausted by the end of the day.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Another Kiter!!!

Another kiter stopped by the other day. Ben is living on a sailboat not too far away and saw me out kiting so he drove his dingy over and went kiting. He was on a 10M Royal Kite and was amazingly powered up. He was ripping! I was on my 10M Nemesis but should have put up my 14. Derek showed me another spot, Westerhall Bay, to kite yesterday. He set up as well but had trouble with a new bladder that he had just installed and couldn't get it worked out. It was a shame because he doesn't get out too often as he works and has two young children and not much free time. I don't know how many years he has lived here but he told me that he has seen only six other people kiting on Grenada.