Sunday, December 17, 2006

Woah nelly...

A slip in the status... A bit of an emergency check last night. Cheryl had to have a wee hospital visit due to some unexplained pains. They monitored the babies heartbeats for about an hour and did a number of other diagnostic tests, and everything is still fine and dandy. Nothing to worry about.

I reckon that being a father is going to be stressful! We aren't even there yet and there are stressful moments. Beds at the Wellington hospital were full and if there were any signs of dilation, we would have been enjoying a helicopter ride to another city.

My planned three-day hike into the uncharted bush of the Kahurangi over Christmas has been canned. There is no way I could relax and enjoy without knowing that Cheryl is OK. On the bright side, I'll bring my windsurf kit down with me instead of the hiking boots and pack!

Friday, December 15, 2006


It wasn't pretty, but I am claiming my first shaka. YEAH!

While its not the pushy or flaka I wanted to stick, I'll take it, and notch myself up to full on hard-core sailor status! Could be very very short lived, as we are going to our first Multiple-Birth Association Christmas party this morning. ;) Not to mention the fact that I am setting up the crib today.

Made the Quatro/Goya teams for 2007 too! Check out the websites.

Orcas in Evan's Bay

Every once in a while, we get this awesome treat of witnessing some neat sealife as we sail about. This time, it was a small 4-5 pod of orcas cruising through Shark Bay. I must have sailed right overtop of them as I came into shore... since i looked back immediately after and saw them only about 5 m off the point. Just amazing to see.

Freewave #2

Freewave #2 was another ripper day. Again 30-35knots, this time from the south, so the call was Lyall Bay. Waves were small to moderate in size, but allowed for some nice lofty jumps and short rides. Clayton was on form and nailed a wave 360 and big floaty backloop for the win. Tom followed up in 2nd, mixing in his freestyle repertoire. I had to settle for 5th this time, but more importantly, it was a pretty fun day! Some more details here:

Check out this nice photo of Woo and his trademark forwards (photo by Leland).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Lighter winds...

Winds have dropped a bit lately... getting on the 5.0 a bit more over the weekend and last week. Sounds lame yes... but in fact, its amazing what difference the conditions make to working on the freestyle tricks. The last few flattish 5-0 days have been freestyle bliss. Finally it seems I have broken down the barriers on the spocks (landing about 50% on starboard), grubbies (landing about 50%+ on port) and stuck a very clean clew-first grubby 540 yesterday.

Leland is all over the flakas and getting the odd one, with most really close. Good action out there Big L!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

'06/07 Freewave #1

This Saturday was the first of a 4-competition series in Wellington - the Freewave series. The basis is basically to run semi-casual fun competitions trying to get as many people involved as possible. Much to my approval, Plimmerton just did not develop the conditions early enough and it was held at Shark Bay in the Ditch! YEAH!! Apparently, not long after starting the competition, things did ramp up at Plimmy and the wind and waves filled in... oh well. The ditch is fun as and I think it is good to mix it up a bit. Good call James!

Of course, there were those wave purists out there who were all poopy-pants cuz it was not in Plimmerton... as if to suggest that the waves at Plimmerton are actually decent. Maybe those people have not been to any down-the-line places... who knows?! Even Mac's Pt in Lake Ontario kicks its ass. The real waves are up in Taranaki!

It was pretty much going off: 30-40knots from the NNW with decently large chop coming through. At least people were going nice and big and throwing down their best efforts at anything and everything.

One of the stars of the show was new comer Erwan Hemery, who busted out one of his nicest one-handed jumps right in front of the judges. It was great to see some enthusiastic up'n'comers out there playing in the nukes, and I reckon the vulcans and other trickery are coming along real quick!

Leland was going off in round one, busting out pretty close E-slider efforts, nailing spocks right in front of the judges, and even throwing in a T-Bone for shits'n'giggles (a switch-stance forward loop)... thankfully he still has both ankles in one piece... the crazy bastard!

Forwards everywhere from almost everyone, lots of vulcans from Clayton and Gareth, and then there was Tom Taylor. A year of competition on the European tour and earning a spot in the Pro PWA line-up kinda shows up in situations like there... Lots of forwards, goiters, flakas, grubbies, and then some. Tom pulled out the win, with me following up in second place, and Clayton in third.

As with the last freewave, somehow, despite all my struggles with the trick, I managed to pull out a grubby out of my ass in each heat, just when I needed them. It also helped that I had a big floater shuvit right in front of the judges as well, and a pretty close big back loop off one of the biggest waves of the day! It was definitely the grubby and shuvits that made the difference over the solid sailing of Woo, James and Clayton. Leland must have had an off final heat, otherwise no doubt his trickery would have put my lack of divesity to shame.

A fun time in crazy winds!! Loved it!

OH yeah, and at the end, Leland got his mast-mount camera firing... He followed me around for a while and we got a couple of neat perspective shots... still needs some fine tuning, as the camera got loose in the housing and was flopping around in there. NOT good for those cameras!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Water Photography

This photo was taken by Leland during his version 1.0 efforts with the camera housing. Shot of me coming out of a jybe in the shoremush ready to hit the next wave a la switch.

V1.0 resulted in the trigger not working and firing at will after getting water logged. V2.0 now has a new digital camera trigger wrapped in a balloon and zip-tied to the handle. So far so good - no leakage of the casing!! Hopefully we'll have some chance soon to give V2.0 a try.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Plimmerton goes off!

A brilliant session at Plimmerton went down on Saturday - sunny skies, 25-35 knots from the NW... Waves got better as high tide passed and the water started sucking out of the harbour. Stuck another decent Crazy Pete. I'm to the point of almost giving up on backloops - my re-entry angle is all wrong and I can't sort it out. Lots of spocks in the flat water of the bay on the other side. This after an earlier session last week when I could stick ANYTHING...

Leland has his camera all fixed up again, so perhaps we'll get some in-water and boom-mount shots soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Almost there...

Well, I am ALMOST a hardcore sailor... If I can stick just one new trick in the next few weeks, I can safely tip the Dad'o'meter to the full on hardcore setting with confidence!!

I can feel the pull of dadhood. The worries are setting in... gotta get that crib, gotta get all those creams and lotions and potions... gotta oil those wheels on the pram... gotta learn how to change nappies. Crikey!

FLAKAS - I must have you before Christmas!!! and I'm so far off... ARGH!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wind and more wind...

OK, so it's not the greatest... but here is a photo of a weak shaka attempt from last Saturday.

Yesterday's session was a blast! Took the afternoon off to flock to Plimmerton. Waves were pumping in at logo high, 3.7... A great session! My board on the other hand, would not agree. First run out resulted in a royal smashing of the nose. She's going under the knife tonight.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Nothing at Plimmy, ripping in the ditch. What the f#@$?

Saturday - another solid 4.4 ditch day. I've never seen such clean waves in Evan's Bay before! It was sweet - shove-it heaven! Troy was getting real close on them, not to mention throwing a lot of fat forwards out there.
The shaka's are a LONG way from being realized... I think I need to get a pointer or two from someone who knows what they are doing.
Leland was working hard on e-sliders and getting real close!
After my Gorge knee injury, I am finally beginning to get a bit more comfortable with forwards again. Still not going big like the blokes here, but maybe some day.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ever sail in a big Chocolate Fondu?

Well, it was sweet!! There's been a ton of rain early this week, and the harbour was very chunky and brown... but last nights 4.4 session was ON! For some reason, the extra density of the chocolatey brown water, laden with extra 'stuff', made the grubbies go like butter. I like it... I like it alot!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Killer Weekend...

Four days straight on 4.4, 3.7, 4.4, 3.7. Shit there is a lot of wind here... too much some times.

James was on fire today - a number of push loops and a couple double forward attempts... Wow!

Sailed Plimmerton Thursday night, and both Saturday and Sunday. Ditch on Friday - 3.7 over the top, stupid windy.

Some nice waves rolling through in Plimmerton the last few days. Nice air to be had, stuck my first "crazy pete" (half back loop with sail flip). Received a royal bitch slapping on a goiter attempt.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Killer Weekend

Despite the chore of moving flats, I was still granted 2 day passes and got out for a couple of fun freestyle sessions in the Ditch.

Saturday dished out fine northerlies at 25-30knots, sunday about 20-25. Not too shabby. Tom Taylor is back from Dunedin, and showing us all how to do anything and everything. I witnessed a bunch of flakas, ponches and shaka attempts. Pretty sweet. Another visiting french sailor was also dishing out some 540s, grubbies and clew-first grubbies.

The work on the shakas begins. I tried lots on both days and can tell this is a trick that will take a while. Leland happened to mention that it was known, on Maui, to be called the impossible trick. Well - its not!!! So I gotta learn them. They are certainly fun to try!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lyall Bay delivers...

It was general insanity out there, and I got spanked and had my ass handed to me on several occassions. Lyall Bay went off the charts yesterday... big big swell, well over mast high in some sets, and winds 35knots gusting to 45-50.

I got down there at 5 o'clock, no-one else out, and it was windy as hell. Waves were breaking across the bay. Rigged the 3.7 flat and hit the waves. At first, with full strength, I did alright. One of my first waves out the back was enormous and I went for the sky. Not really wanting to, it just shot me into a backloop rotation. It was one of those where it could have been pulled back straight, but what the hell... needless to say, it was a high-altitude bail out. Its cool though, since being here, starboard jumping is feeling a lot more comfortable for me.

I sailed for about half and hour, snagging some front side hits and bigs airs, but it was too over the top for me to try any forwards or other tricks. About 1/2hr in is when I botched my first crucial chicken jibe and went down. My kit was no-where to be seen. I was in the middle of the bay, and a long swim from the beach. I could catch glimpses of my gear about 30-40m ahead of me, but there was no way I could catch it! The swimming was hard and the rip was strong. After about 10 minutes, my kit hit the beach and another 5 minutes later, I made it to shore like a soggy puppy. The walk of shame ensued...

I took a rest while Lawrence rigged up his 4.1. Lawrence was killing it, sailing as if it wasn't 35 knots - there is no way I could've held down a 4.1! I could barely hold onto the 3.7. Lawrence made it out no problems and sailed like a veteran king. Woo showed up a bit later and rigged his spanky new 4.0 and did the same, dishing out a number of controlled forwards off the shorebreak. A brilliant demonstration of sailors with a LOT of experience in these kind of crazy conditions.

I went out a couple more times with similar results. Thankfully, I never had that frickin' long swim again, but just held onto the rig for dear life as we got thrashed in the churning froth. I am thankful I did not break anything, including myself. Within a short while later, the winds just ramped up a notch more and blew us off the water. I was happy that I could at least get a couple of shmacks on small inside waves before calling it quits.

It was just one of those days that showed me how immature my sailing really is, and that I need to get those chicken jibes sorted. ARGH! Nothing more frustrating that botching those chicken jibes. This day was probably one of the most challenging days on the water I have ever had.

It was great just to have given it a shot! YEAH! Lyall Bay rocks!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Last sail from Balaena Bay

Balaena Bay is right out our front door. When I am desperate to sail and don't have the car, I just hoof it down to Balaena Bay. The conditions are pretty lousy, but it does just fine in a pinch. Today was probably my last Balaena Bay session... Sailed for about 2hrs in gusty 4.4. It is always interesting near the launch, since the winds are a bit offshore, and come gusting around Pt. Jerningham at light speed in short bursts, just enought to toss you over the handlebars, before dropping to zero.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


A sweet day in the ditch... finally a fun northerly wind kicked in today on this beautiful sunny day - about 20-22 knots, solid 5.0... OK, well maybe a touch gusty. But it was fun! Its been a while since we last had a good northerly ditch session. I guess I like it so much because the conditions remind me a lot of home.

I am pretty stoked! The spocks are really coming along... finally... only 4-5yrs or so in the making. Sheesh! I had one run where I stuck two spocks, turned around, and stuck a grubby on the inside.

Gary and James were out sailing too. Fun stuff. Those guys are so solid. James and Gary both sticking willyskips on the inside with no difficulties whatsoever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Big L is just getting his waterproof housing all cooked up and running. These are a few shots from Plimmerton a couple of days ago. I am sailing pretty underpowered on my 3.7, and soon rigged up to a 4.4 to enjoy the onshore conditions and clean waves. Plimmerton is a really nice sandy beach, a fun treat compared to the rocky shoreline in the ditch.

The housing was successful and did not leak, but the trigger - a jimmy-rigged wireless doorbell - soon succumbed to the water. Leland was hanging out in the shorebreak, so it was tough to get in there close and try anything tricky. Thanks for the photos Leland! The funny thing about the trigger is that it is connected to the doorbell relay, that actual fires 6 shots, due to the little 6-tone ditty it plays.

Kinda lame, but all I could muster was a jybe for the camera... and I probably even botched it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tick list

Lofty goals for the spring! I have no idea how an old guy with stiff ankles and bones like myself can manage this, but here's what I want to learn before all hell breaks loose in January:

- Pushloops
- Flakas
- 1-handed Forwards

I would love to start landing backloops here... haven't stuck one here yet and there are many good ramps to work on them, so no excuses! I saw Woo land one at Plimmy on Saturday and it looked sweet. There is something I am definitely doing wrong. Just coming in too steep and not really oriented right with my kit. I don't get it...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sweet ditch action today

A nice 20kt southerly came through today. I sailed Kio Bay in the ditch, finally squeezing in a nice long 3hr session. Southerlies are quite flat in the bay, owing to a pretty short fetch. It was a bit gustier than usual, but it was still top notch.

On my third run, my boom just spontaneously combusted on me. The whole Chinook boom head just cracked in half, and my side came away with me still holding on. The tail was bent to shit, and no more connection at the mast, but the other side was still in tact, so it was still possible to turn and sail back to shore.

A great freestyle session!! Lots of grubbys and more spocks than normal, several regular and 540s... definitely pleased. I tried about 3 flakas with absolutely zero sucess. Those are definitely one of my projects for the spring.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Vivid descriptions

Every once in a while, the weather man gets a little funky with his/her description of the weather conditions.

Check out this one...

I love it... 'Frisky northwesterlies'...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Waves suitable for mini-me.

Sailed plimmy on Saturday, 4.4. Winds were pretty strong but the waves were just little cute wee things, barely worthy of a cut back. Sailed for 1.5hrs.
All the pansies here get cold real fast, so there is not a whole lot of beach banter and comraderie! I miss that!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some new wheels...

Holy CRAP! We just bought some new sweet wheels...
Check out this pimped out beast!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Liquid smoke...

It looked pretty decent after work today, so I sprinted home, grabbed the 4.4 and hit Balaena Bay. Same NW gusty shtuff. It was light 4.4 then after one run, it picked up to liquid smoke and I made a B-line for shore with my tail between my legs. I sure am learning to sailed overpowered here.

Hardcore status slipping up a notch today yeah!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Healthy as can be!

The babies are doing well! Had our first specialist appt. for high risk pregnancies, and heard their little heart beats! Very reassuring, since Cheryl had a bit of a pause in weight gain. But, they are all good! Uh oh.. Dad'o'meter is gonna slide a touch today.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday 3:00-5:30 - 3.7 @ Plimmy

A pretty sweet Plimmerton session... Its chilly, kinda like early- to mid-November weather in Ktown. Waves were small, only about head high at most, backside riding with the odd link of one or two frontside turns... Sweet as. Stuck a 540 on the outer bay, but other than that, no luck with the backloops. Tried some goiters as well... messy!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday 4:30-6:00 - 4.4 @ Balaena Bay

Damn gusty NW!! It was supposed to be North! Ah well... sailed anyway out of our bay. Hoofed it down with the board and kit, and launched from the point. Solid 4.4 most of the time with crazy steep chop. Bunch 'o forwards and shove its. Fingers crossed for a afternoon Plimmy session tomorrow!! 30-40knots!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Forecast Alert!

Looking muy bueno for Friday and at least Saturday, maybe even Sunday! But northerlies... it'll be ditch action time! Gonna knock off work a bit early tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The spot guide

Evans Bay: aka "The Ditch". Works on northerlies and southerlies... Norwesters are shite here - too gusty, but do-able when desperation sets in. Two main launches: On northerlies, Shark Bay works well, on southerlies, Kio Bay is preferable. In these conditions, both spots offer bump and jump (a la Kingston style, but a bit bigger) with a sheltered launch/embayment for hucking da freestyle shizzle. Very convenient - only 5-10min drive.

Lyall Bay: on the south side of Welly, exposed to direct swell from the far-south Pacific. This place gets large on strong southerlies, but doesn't quite ever get frontside... only one or two smack per wave at best. Also works as a full down-the-line on offshore and cross-off northerlies when the swell is up... but rare and cheap-ass down-the-line. Nothing to get excited about GARY! ;) Very convenient - only 5-10min drive.

Plimmerton: on the west coast, up near Porirua. Launch is from Plimmerton Beach on the Onehunga Bay. Works best on norwesters with potentially smooth wave rides with several frontside shmackers possible when its right. Also works on W through WNW, but much less gooder. About 1/2hr drive.

Wairarapa/Palliser Bay: Apparently good wavesailing here, never been, Two hr drive from Welly. Lots of drunk people on Saturday nights in Lake Ferry, burning their SUVs in bonfires. Thus - good times watching others in dispair.

Taranaki: THE definitive wave spot in New Zealand, if not one of the worlds best waves. Never sailed there yet, I am sure the starboard-tack mast+ mackers will destroy me. Looking to go this spring. Drive is about 4-5hrs from Welly.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wind Alert!

This weekend's forecast is looking sweet as for both days!! 30knot norwesters shall make Plimmy work just fine and dandy. Friday aprés work sesh on 25knot northerlies in the ditch might work too. Fingers are crossed! Should get something.

Projects: Da frickin' spocks (my nemesis). Backs and Petes at Plimmy.

What is this all about?

Change. It’s just one of the unavoidables in life. Change is not to be feared, but welcomed as a challenge in one’s path through life. Fear it? Ha! I am looking forward to it. Bring it on!

Welcome to my spin-off blog. We will still be maintaining our other blog: The Adventures of Charla and Fish, but this one is much more geared towards a metamorphosis of sorts, and to my passion for windsurfing.

Cheryl and I came to New Zealand because of our desire to travel, but mainly to windsurf, and to windsurf a lot. Wellington is statistically one of the windiest cities in the world, if not the windiest, so it just seemed to make sense.

Windsurfing has dominated my life over the last twelve years. While I am far from a pro and I do work full-time as an engineer, I basically live to windsurf, and cannot get enough of it.

This blog will chronicle my gradual transformation from a dedicated hardcore wind-chasing fool, to a dedicated hardcore father of twins. Yup, that’s right. My wonderful partner Cheryl is 15 weeks pregnant with a couple of little buggers. Finding out about that, I can tell you, was quite the shock to the system! Needless to say, a major change in priorities is about to set itself upon me.

This blog is dedicated to this metamorphosis. While I hope there is middle ground, I think we are talking about opposite extremes of a spectrum. Enjoy.