Thursday, July 30, 2009

Upwind to flat water near the Mowbray River mouth

Session 55: Thursday 30 July 2009
  • Kite: Switchblade 14m
  • Wind: 20+ knots (est)
  • Low Isles wind: 9am SSE 35 km/h 3pm SE 48 km/h
  • Duration: 2 hours 12:00 to 2:00pm
Last day in paradise. Did a 75km bike ride up past Mossman through Miallo.

Visited 4 Mile Park on the way home. There was wind but not kiters on the water. Lee had his kite inflated and was getting ready to go out. Mal was there too, tossing up between his windsurfer and his kite.

Had some food and a nap then headed down to the water. Lightly equipped this time. Board shorts and rash vest - "almost naked". No wetsuit, vest or surf socks. The aim was to keep most of my kit dry so I could post it home later in the afternoon.

I headed out on the 14m kite. The wind was initially enough to get the kite going. I did a few runs and completed by first kite down turn (to the left, not the right) which went well. Certainly generates more power and keeps the board going fast. Just need to spin the bar half a turn to uncross the lines.

The wind picked up to about 20 so I depowered the kite and concentrated on going upwind as much as possible. It is certainly easy to go upwind without too much speed. I decided to head up towards the Mowbray Mouth as I saw some kites up there in the distance.

Here is the wind chart for the Low Isles from Seabreaze.

It was good fun getting into the small surf, running down and across it on a left tack and heading straight out against it on the right tack.

Eventually I was close to some flat water and decided to head to it over some shallow water. However, it was a bit too shallow, the board stopped and I fell off and into the sand. I wasn't going very fast so I did not get hurt. I did a few more tacks then slowed right down and found a section where there was enough water to cross, then I was in the lagoon.

By now the other kites had arrived. They were on a downwinder and were all good kiters. I found out later they were from Cairns. They were getting good speed and doing some good jumps on the flat water. I avoided jumping due to the shallowness of the water.

I did some really nice fast runs once I had scoped out the water. Some large fish about, possible some rays, so not a good place to wallow about. I did not get up as far as the Mowbray River mouth so crocs were not a major concern.

Towards 2pm I started heading back. Trying more wakestyle downwind riding. It is quite different from normal upwind riding. More edge changes, more upright, rapid direction changes of both board and kite. More progressions to practice.

Then I did some very fast skimming reaches to get back to the beach. A wonderful session and a great way to finish the trip.

I chatted to Mal, a grey nomad from Traralgon up north for the winter, while my gear dried in the wind. He said there was virtually no wind in June for 3 weeks, and only 1 good kiting day a week for the first half of July so it seems I have been lucky this time with the weather.

Later in the afternoon I loaded a lot of the heavier gear into my wheelie luggage and caught the bus into Port Douglas where I found a couple of boxes, borrowed some packing tape from Something Tropical, packed the gear and posted it. The total prices was about $70, which is much better than the $240 excess I was charged on the way up.

Out of the 8.5 days available for kiting, I kited on 7 of them, all good sessions, and went bush walking on one. Five good bike rides on different todays. An outstanding success. Great variety from downwinders to flat water riding and small surf, all with very good wind. A good way to consolidate skills and work on progressions.

I used the 12m Crossbow once, not particularly successfully, the 14m Switchblade all the other times. I did not use the 7m kite once.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

grate, this is good