As planned, Dad D and I took the sailboat out yesterday. We first took the boat south to rock harbor and then looped up to the buoy which marks the spot where the SS. James Longstreet was sunk and used for target practice by world war II planes.
Sadly, the boat is now fully under the water. When we were little, the sun would set directly into the middle of the busted liberty ship.
And then we decided to have some bonus fun. We looped into shore where I launched my kite and jumped on the back of the boat. My dad extended the tiller and moved deeper into the boat. I flew my kite off the back, trying to maneuver it in such a way to provide some extra pull for the boat. This was challenging.
Mostly, we had a hard time finding efficiency. My kite is very basic and only provides the best pull when the wind is coming from the back of its flyer. Sailboats are quite the opposite. As such, usually my kite was only hurting our forward speed.
We did find one orientation where I was able to swing the kite in a sinusoidal pattern and provide some distinctive umph to our forward progress.
The most exciting part of our kiteboating adventure was diving my kite under the boom whenever we changed directions. My Dad would shout that he was changing directions and I’d duck my head and swing the kite low for the change over.
Next up, we’ll have to try this with a big kite and anchor the lines to the boat. Of course, this will dramatically increase the potential for broken boats and broken bones – but such is life.
Yesterday, my sisters, brother in law, and I drove up to Provincetown for breakfast and some shopping. Provincetown is super quaint and it was an extremely relaxing day. Upon our return, however, I learned that the wind was blowing mightily and I was missing some prime kiting time. Theresa and I headed down to the beach with my kiteboarding practice kite to have some fun. Theresa took pictures!
The wind was awesome! With my mere half meter kite I was being pulled aggressively whenever I carved my kite through the power zone.
With a two string kite, you can easily control the direction of your kite. And on beautifully windy days like yesterday, the kite will scream as you zoom it around.
(Kites for kiteboarding are four string which allow you to also adjust the power of the kite.)
Back when I first got the kite, Ryan Schenk recommended that I add a kitebar to make the flying more closely resemble kiteboarding. By pulling one side of the bar back towards your body you can get the kite to carve in the direction of the pull.
Saturday morning, Ryan and I headed out to Chapin beach in Dennis to try and get in some kiting. I threw on my 3/2 wetsuit and Ryan let me borrow his hood. We got out there and found the beach occupied by about two dozen kiters
Chapin is a great beach for beginners. The water is quite shallow and, except for a small area of rocks, the beach is clean and open. I met a few of Ryan’s kite friends, specifically Ed and Roger. They were both out there on slightly larger kites. Ryan was all sorts of excited because he had just purchased a fantastic 11m off e-bay. Soon, he would rule the school with his sick tricks.
We pumped up our kites and Ryan got me out there with a 7.5meter. The wind was working, but my attempts were mostly weak. I was unable to do much more than struggle out of the water. I’m not highly disappointed because it was my first time out this season, and I’m just pleased to have been on the water. I was also a bit paranoid about neighboring kites. But, I’m going to just have to get used to it.
The other kiters seemed to be doing pretty well. There were even two real life Kitechicks there (real in person!). Apparently they had taken the Real ZERO 2 HERO training course in hattaras, and were now riding strong. All the more reason why I really need to get to kitecamp.
After struggling for about 30-40 minutes, I headed in to grab my camera and Ryan took off to do some mad jumps including a just where he was able to fully remove his foot from the straps, pose for glory, and then strap back in before landing on the water.