Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jelly fish in Port Phillip Bay and a Pelican

I got some close up photos of the Blue Blubber jellyfish that we see in Port Phillip Bay while kitesurfing and swimming.  While they are not classified as poisonous, they can apparently cause an itchy rash.  If you come in contact with these the treatment is to apply vinegar or Stingose then wash it with salt water (not fresh water).

The other jellyfish found in the Bay are the Lion's Mane (treat as for the Blue Blubber), Southern Tailed and Moon.

And here is a Pelican taking off

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kitesurfer Natalie Clarke crosses Bass Strait and sets new record

Natalie Clarke successfully kitesurfed across Bass Strait on Monday 22 March 2010.

After much preparation and training, Natalie departed from Stanley in North West Tasmania at 6:30am and kitesurfed solo and non-stop all the way across Bass Straight, landing at Venus Bay in Victoria at about 4:15pm.

Natalie broke the previous record for kitesurfing across Bass Strait, set by James Weight and Ben Morrison Jack in late 2009, by 2 hours completing the trip in around 9 hours 30 minutes.

Natalie is also the first female and solo kitesurfer to make the crossing.  She was accompanied by a support boat for the trip.

The total distance covered was approximately 240km.

Natalie's track log; note detour when she sights land (Natalie Clarke)

Natalie made the crossing to raise funds for the Swim 4 All Foundation who are still accepting donations.

(Photo: Paul Cousins)

{Photo: Paul Cousins)

Leading the boat.  (Photo: Natalie Clarke)

 (Photo: Natalie Clarke)

Crossing   (Photo: Natalie Clarke)

Approaching Venus Bay beach (Photo: Paul Cousins)

Into the surf at Venus Bay (Photo: Natalie Clarke)

Arrived: on the beach at Venus Bay  (Photo: Natalie Clarke)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hampton in an onshore Westerley

Session 83, Sunday 21 March 2010

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 15-20 knots W
Duration: 1:00 to 2:30pm - 1.5 hours

GPS data

  • Max speed 42.3 km/h
  • Trip odom 21.2
  • Time 1:17
  • Average speed 16.5 km/h

Some frontal weather patterns brought strong westerly winds this morning.  By afternoon they had moderated to around 20 knots so Stuart and I headed down to Hampton.

We initially planned to do a downwinder from Middle Brighton to St Kilda and back, but the wind dropped just as we got on the water.  Stuart kited back to Hampton while I packed away my 10m kite and drove the short distance back to Hampton.

I took the Switchblade 14 out and had a ball. Njord (the Norse wind god) smiled and provided some good wind and a moderate swell.  The westerly wind was blowing right in towards the harbour entrance so I was able to crank up some good speed on the flatter water.

I landed a few good jumps too in either direction, but didn't attempt anything more ambitious.  Easing back into it.

Ivan was kitesurfing the shorebreak along with about 8 others.  It got a bit crowded in close at times.

I took out the GPS, kite mounted camera and helmet cam.

Here is the video

And here are the photos

Landing a jump!


Friday, March 19, 2010

An evening kite at Hampton

Session 82, Friday 19 March 2010

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 15 knots S
Duration: 6:10 to 7:00pm - 1 hours

It has been a while between kiting sessions.  A southerly sprang up late in the afternoon so I headed to the beach after work arriving at about 6pm.  The wind has dropped to around 15km by the time I got on the water, but heading out I was able to pick up some good wind past the breakwater.

Several really good runs, focusing on technique.  The diesel grunt of the 14m kite proved its benefits again.  There was only enough wind for a couple of small jumps.  Heaps of the big blue/white jellyfish lurking beneath the waves.  A windsurfer told me later he can feel the fin of his board slicing into them!  They seem to be a bit too deep for the kiteboard to connect with them.

It was really nice to be on the water again.

The wind is dropping out now as we get closer to April.  I hope there is enough for Natalie Clarke to complete her crossing of Bass Straight - which could happen the coming Sunday or Monday.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

An evening kite at Port Melbourne

Session 81, Tuesday 02 February 2010

Kite: Switchblade 10m
Location: Port Melbourne
Wind: 15 knots S
Duration: 6:30 to 7:00pm - 0.5 hours

I got the all clear from the very efficient Eye and Ear Hospital for my ear on Monday.  My eardrum has regrown and kitesurfing is OK, at last.  The doctor said earplugs would prevent the ear drum rupturing, so wearing them is a good idea.

The challenge is to get earplugs that stay in place.

I headed to Port Melbourne after work, arriving to see a good sea breeze coming in.  The Spirit of Tasmania was berthed at the pier, loading passengers.

I took out the 10m kite so I wouldn't be overpowered.  Stuart was out already having a ball.  It was fantastic just to get in the water again.  I was up and going without any hassles.  However, the wind dropped so I had the fly the 10m kite hard to get enough power.

The waves were rolling in too.  I got some good runs in, just enjoying being there.  I did some kiteloops on the beach after I stopped.