Sunday, June 30, 2013

Late afternoon kitesurfing in paradise at 4 Mile Beach Port Douglas

Session 234.   There was about 10 knots of wind at 4 Mile Beach, just enough to tempt me onto the water. The water was warm and the sun was strong as I headed out tracking toward Snapper Island in the far distance. The wonderful panorama opened up with Black Mountain to the left, the long line of 4 Mile Beach and the massive Thorntons Peak in the Daintree visible behind the Port Douglas headland.

I wasn't holding ground though - even further out the wind was not strong, so I turned and returned to shore, coming back to the beach about 700m down. Its a nice walk back. Christian, who is managing the Windswell kitesurfing school for Brett, was going well on his Sector 60, and a woman with good technique and a light physique were both holding ground in the light wind.

I packed my gear away and headed for a swim at the Ramada resort pool - my daughter Chloe's favourite spot.

We checked out the Sunday market. It has many stalls and lots of visitors. The fresh coconut was great. You drink the cococut milk then they crack the shell and you can east the coconut meat.

Late in the day we went to the lookout on the headland. The Council has allowed a new construction to proceed there. When finished, it will obscure most of the view from the lookout! So a few knobs staying in crummy villa will then get the view that thousands used to from the lookout. Not a good outcome.

But I spotted kites out at 4 Mile, so we scooted back. I got out on the water at around 5pm in nice wind and had a great short session until dark along with 3 other kiters.

I figured that there might be no more wind so a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

A cracking kitesurfing downwinder from Aspendale to Port Melbourne

Session 233. After a couple of weeks of dodgy wind today the forecast was much better.  Cesar called a training run for the Reverse Across the Bay event.  I got down to Gnotuk Ave at 9 to find some reasonable wind.  I donned my bunny suit (liner) then my Ocean Rodeo Soul dry suit and rigged up my kite.  Cesar arrived at 9:30 to give me a launch, but the wind dropped off so I returned to shore.

We waited for about 20 minutes watching the wind.  There was good wind showing at Fawkner and South Channel beacons, but nothing coming into Aspendale.  We were considering relocating to Brighton when it suddenly picked up.  We were on our way.

I was well powered on the Lithium 12 and Sector 60 and headed straight for Ricketts Point. It was nice to get there.  I tacked back to Cesar then we continued on.  I was really enjoying cranking up good speed on the left tacks, but right tacks felt weird and a lot less stable.   I think this was due to the wave action and chop.  I fell off a few times when turning and riding toeside.

The drysuit performed well, but the bunny suit liner was a bit too warm given the sun was shining.  Next time I will try lighter thermals again.

Off Black Rock the wind picked up and I came off the board again, so I concentrated on slowing things down a bit and keeping it stable.  My legs were getting a bit pumped too - possibly a bit out of condition given the drop in kitesurfing sessions over Autumn.

We came back into shore at Brighton where a few kiters were out then cranked up some more speed.  I tacked back in to Elwood and the wind dropped a little so I scooted back out on a direct tack the Spirit of Tasmania.  Cesar stayed out further to get better wind.

I passed through a couple of yacht races, keeping clear of the yachts.

It was nice to see Port Melbourne looming up with the wind staying good.  We were both very happy to get there after about 1:30 on the water.  

We think we will need a very solid northerly to achieve the Reverse Across the Bay trip.

After packing up we stashed our boards at Cesar's flat then caught the tram to Southern Cross then the train to Aspendale.

My cabin fever is cured - for now.

GPS log