Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kitesurfing Port Melbourne after work

Session 291. Kitesurfing session after work at Port Melbourne.  Very spiky wind during the day moderated later in the afternoon.  Stuart, James, Tarren all travelled to Port Melbourne for a nice session close to the Spirit of Tasmania.  My Lithium 9 was mostly well powered, especially further out where the wind was stronger and less gusty.  

I kited out a fair distance then came back on the swells.  Garmin have stuffed up both the older ANT agent and the new Garmin Connect software so I can no longer upload my session logs from the 310XT GPS.  I am not impressed with this level of software incompetence. Everybody seems to be sharing this problem.

Passed three kayakers out for a paddle (was that you Duncan G?) and heap of sea birds feeding close to the surface.  I was out for about an hour and very satisfied with the session.  Closing in on #300!












Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kitesurfing Rosebud in fickle then good wind

Session 290. A northerly was blowing ahead of an afternoon wind change so Stuat, Tarren and I headed to Rosebud.  The wind was light when we arrived in the morning so I setup my Lithium Zero and got on the water.

The kite was flying nicely, but staying upwind was again difficult.  Heading out from the beach was good, but the run back in seemed to have lighter wind.  Off shore the wind dropped off too.  I did a couple of runs and walked back along the beach.

Tarren had a go of the Zero while I had a rest.  Then the wind picked up. It was hard to shed power with the Zero. If the kite flies high it tends to pull you off your edge.  I came into shore and landed it, then took out my Lithium 12 which had plently of power (and depower!).

Stuart took the Lithium 12 out for some runs too.  Tarren and I had lunch at the Tasting Station Cafe.

I drove back past Mentone after a nap (tired!) and the southerly change was coming in hard.  Nice bay surf there but I didn't go out again.



GPS Log

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kitesurfing downwinder Beaumaris to Port Melbourne

Session 289.  Sensational kitesurfing downwinder from Beaumaris to Port Melbourne.  I took my Lithium 9 as the wind was good.  After a couple of runs waiting for the others to get on the water I started surfing the rollers and came in close to the reefy shore.  I almost got stuck behind a rocky reef but just made it over it.



It was really nice to be on a tour again.  Coming up to the Cerberus was interesting as waves were breaking on the reef off the point. I scooted next to then behind the Cerberus and continued on.  The others were some distance behind.  Coming past the breakwater at Hampton was quite exciting. I did a couple of runs into Hampton beach but still they were a long way behind.

There was some good surf at Green Point but I stacked once and the board hit my right calf and corked it a bit.

It was chilly in my shorty wetsuit (should have worn my steamer) so I decided to keep going.  I did some slalom turns through the madding hordes kitesurfing at Brighton and continued on, getting some good speed up.  The surfboard is easier to turn and handle in the larger bay rollers than the Sector 60.

I arrived at Port Melbourne very happy to have completed the downwinder.  After about 15 minutes the others showed up. We jumped in the cars left and Port Melbourne and headed back to Beaumaris.

Epic trip, once again.














GPS Log

Saturday, October 04, 2014

KITESURFING AGAIN after a long layoff - fun in the sun at Rosebud!

Session 288. KITESURFING AGAIN! 141 days since my last session - an eternity. . . but the long wait is OVER!


The power of the wind and the kite, the speed over the water, the sun and the small bay waves combined for a remarkable experience. Every kitesurfing session is a winner.

I have been doing physio and yoga sessions weekly since the hook plate was removed from my shoulder 40 days ago.  I started with very little movement and a lot of pain - the shoulder joint really freezes up when its not used.

I need to get close to 100% mobility and some strength back before kitesurfing to avoid the risk of another injury that could require more surgery.  I have over 90% of movement back.

I rigged up, sorting out a line tangle, then strode out though the shallow water to get started, dodging some shallow sandbanks on the way out.

On the water my shoulder was fine. I was up and going without any dramas and gybing well, but I was rusty jumping so I took it easy.

The water at Rosebud was really clear, the wind was a northerly around 15 knots.  I did some long runs just enjoying being there and back on the water.  There were many more kiters closer to shore, but the wind was better out further. 

The wind then dropped a bit so I did another long run hoping to get into better wind.  When I turned to return it seemed there was a lot less wind. Its funny how you can get going well in one direction then struggle going the other way.

I headed into shore, eventually looping and re-looping the kite until I got in close and walked to sure. I landed the kite and wrapped my lines.  A guy came up asking how much the gear cost and what it was like.  I told him it was the best sport ever.

I walked back along the beach past all the downed kites and people enjoying the beach weather.  

I stopped by at the Tasting Station cafe for a great coffee and muffin then headed home.

It was a great work out. My arms and legs were fine but my torso feels like it did a lot of work.  Got to get kiting fit again now. 



















GPS Log

Monday, September 01, 2014

The greatest thing is being able to do!

After several weeks of restricted activity with my broken collarbone - no kitesurfing and only short cycle trips - I am very pleased to do my first longer ride on my new cyclocross bike.

The hook plate was removed from my shoulder on 26/8 and I already have better movement of my right shoulder.  The wound still healing but is not too painful now.

I fitted some slicks to my new Giant cyclocross bike and rode down to Beaumaris, then back along the Bay Trail. Its nice not having to worry about cars coming up behind, but the pace is gentler.  Some sections of the Bay Trail have a lot of pedestrians so its necessary to slow right down at times.

At St Kilda the trail morphs into a shared boardwalk, which was very crowded and not good for cycling at all.

I stopped briefly at The Zu Boardsports, then continued on to Port Melbourne and back along the Sandridge Rail Trail.

I had a great coffee and waffle at Waffle On in the CBD then continued home along the Gardiners Creek Trail.

The cyclocross is great to ride. The wider tyres with lower pressure (7 bar) give a more comfortable ride, along with the carbon frame and wheels. The disc brakes provide excellent stopping power.  The bike handling is noticeably differently from a road bike though - its hard to put my finger on the difference but the turning is different.   The SRAM Red 22 gearing is very nice to use but it takes a little while to get the hang of the "double tap" changing.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Winter winds and epic storms have arrived, be careful kitesurfing

We have had some epic storms in Melbourne during the last 2 weeks of June, including winds of over 50 knots.  Such winds whip up huge waves in Port Phillip Bay, as you can see from the photo at Mornington Pier below.

Mornington pier in 50 knot winds
Brighton car park in 50 knot winds.
Check out the wind graphs for Tuesday 24 June, the same day the above photos were taken:




If you are experienced, it is possible to get some kitesurfing in before or after big storm fronts, but over 40 knots (even with a small kite) can be very dangerous.

For information and tips on staying safe see:  Kitesurfing storm fronts (Kitesurfing Handbook)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kitesurfing strong winter wind at Frankston

Stuart and James had a great morning session in a strong northerly at Frankston.  I headed down to take some photos as I am still recovering from my broken collarbone.

Winter winds are strong.  They were both well powered on smaller kites - 7m for Stuart and 10m for James.  There was only one other kite visible further down past the pier and hardly anyone on the beach.

They were out for about 50 minutes then came in, both tired.  The wind was building too as another front approached.