Monday, December 05, 2011

Too much rubber.... can't breath....

Probably sailed my last session of 2011.  Decent day for December, a couple weeks ago - almost 10°C and wind about 20-25kts from the south.  Sailed at RMC with my buddy Greg, a virtual spa for windsurfing.  Other clubs should take note of how awesome this place is.

RMC in early December... Photo by Craig Butler

The Session

To be honest, I've had better sessions, but damn, how often can you sail in 10°C air in December!  What a treat.  It was a bit light to start off, but soon ramped up to decent 4.7.  The chop cleans up nicely as it enters the bay, so generally, you either have relatively flat water, or nice small rollers.  It's pretty clean, and definitely satisfies a freestylers demands for a nice mix of flat, but with the odd ramp for shove-its and loopage.

Quite bizarre, but I've landed more 540's here than anywhere else, but I'd say I've never landed a single grubby.  Something is wrong with me.

One thing that is noteworthy. The rubber. Oh my god the rubber.  It is for sure a novelty to sail this late, but in one way, its a huge pain in the ass. All that damn rubber to put on, take off, and generally withstand for the whole session.  It makes it very hard to breath, never mind sense where your feet are...

Gregger ripping a jibe on the inside.  RMC.  Photo: Craig Butler

The RMC Windsurfing Club

The RMC Windsurf Club is situated in the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, sandwiched between the outlet of the Great Cataraqui River to the west, and Navy Bay and Fort Henry to the East.  It's a small bay, maybe 250 m wide or so, and tucked away just a bit so the place works best on a southerly, but you can still get out to the main Kingston Harbour on a southwester.

So what is so special about the place?  Well, first off, it's actually got a bit of a scene going with lots of keen cadets partaking at any time of the year (consider Mark, another sailor out yesterday, learning waterstarts in ~8°C water).  This is quite remarkable for Kingston, where the scene has dwindled to a select few holdouts, including moi.  The place is situated on a rocky shoreline, but alas, connect together a whack of floating docks and voila, you have the easiest launch on the planet.  Step right on the board and go!!!  Now, tack onto that a clubhouse building with rigging space for a couple sails, an anemometer, a hot shower, and a sound system, and BOOM!  Deeluxe!  It's a pleasure to sail here!

Wanna know what else?  It's a club, complete with lots of learning kit, and its open to the public.  Talk about a sweet place to learn!  I think this website is a bit old, but check it out here:


I think Greg, Mark and Gen sailed again yesterday, Dec 15.  Cranking southerlies again, probably 30kts +.  Hardcore for sure!  Happy Santa sail guys!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weekend was a ripper!

Killer weekend. Finally. The shite year-of-sucky-wind seems like a long time ago after this past weekend.

Saturday: 35-45kts SW. Sailed Mac's at Sandbanks. Not as clean as I've seen it, but love sailing op'ed 3.7 since that extra power is helpful in getting back at the wave for a smack.

Sunday: 25kts ish, WSW. Sailed Mac's a bit again, but tired from Saturday. This fat ass is a bit much for 4.7 on a 76L waveboard.

Monday: 30-45kt treat, WSW. Sailed Emily St in Kingston with my old mates for a change. Great times! Started off in solid 4.2 in building waves, then nuked to op'ed 3.7 again and the place just lit up. Big rollers for jibing on the outside, making them oh-so-smooth, then legit frontside waves on the inside for 1 or 2 hits full power. Loved it!

Thanks to Craig Butler for the photos.  Some more of his are here:


Emily Street:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Rip'-hood to Fatherhood - The whole thing.

Here is the complete Rip-hood to Fatherhood article, as per my previous 3 posts, but available as a much easier to read PDF. Enjoy.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

'Rip'-hood to Fatherhood Part 3/3

Well, this is the last of it. If you've enjoyed the write-up, let me know in the comments please. Feedback appreciated.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My day so far

Great forecast, long wind-drought, left-over vacation time...

Here's my day, and I hate to say that this is only "so far"... because I am a sucker for self-abuse.

Yes, that is how I like to use up my left-over vacation time.


Home with beer in hand, shotgun in lap ;)

Skunk number 3. Sucker for punishment. I am officially done chasing shit. I'm going to pack the kite stuff from now on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

'Rip'-hood to Fatherhood Part 1/3

Sorry about the .jpg format - can't think of any better way to do it!
Any suggestions? Blogger formatting capabilities are pretty weak.

Anyway, enjoy...

Part 2/3 coming soon.... To Delivery, and Beyond!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Some day....

Some day we'll get some wind and I can post something again. For now it would all have to be woodworking topic (built an outdoor shower), web browsing, and some stand-up paddling.

Coming soon... part 1 of an article on Parenthood vs. Windsurfing. Guess who wins?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Memories of Hatteras

Not a whole lot of action around here to speak of, so just have to rely on my memory of windsurfing being a fun sport with a photo to prove it! Thanks for the photo Steve! Check out some of Steve's other work here.

Oh yeah, Father's Day camping weekend at Sandbanks was great! No wind, but lots of sand all over.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nope, this is not me on the purple kite... I swear.

I'm not sure how kiting will fit into my world, especially around Kingston (now that we've been spoiled by shallow water & warm Hatteras conditions), but it is fun, and very different.

This is a shot of me during about my 3rd hour of water time with the kite. After about 2-3hrs on the water, I was semi-managing to stay upwind, turning to toe-side, and shlogging through some 'jibes' (if that is what they are called in this shorts-over-wetsuit world of kiteboarding). Yes, I am still a windsurfer and feel like I need to continue taking shots at teabaggers ;)

All in all, great trip to Hatteras. First week we stayed in Avon with Amine Fadous and family from Montreal. Had great wind most of the week culminating with a great ocean-side sail at Ramp30. Second week we were up in Rodanthe for the first time, with Peter Williamson and family from Ottawa. For sure a bit less variation for windsurfing (a bit too shallow, resulting in a bad shoulder check to the sand bottom), but far superior for kiting. This gave Cheryl and I a chance to play! I'd say we had wind enough for either sport probably about 12/14 days. Nice.

A few things can be said for the (mainly Ottawa-based) kiting community that surrounded us up in Rodanthe - they are super helpful, super friendly and always willing to give pointers to beginners. Cheryl and I both felt immensely safe learning in that environment, and we owe a big thanks for the many launches, relaunches, good vibes, words of encouragement, and rescues in the Pamlico Sound.

Update May 16 - Here is a great photo compilation of the Ottawa crew up in Rodanthe by Steve Slaby! Great work Steve!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fun on the sound...

Wish I had some shots of Ramp30 action, but unfortunately I have none. Had a great time with Amine at Ramp30 on Thursday - blowing about 30-35, sailed a 4.2 for some extra grunt in the impact zone. I find sailing ocean side in Hatteras is ALWAYS a big challenge - it's always a bit holey on the inside leaving you for dead just when you need to be planing. Playing on the waves more to the inside always leaves you questioning how early you should be bailing.

Took some early breaks after some major kookery, but then managed to get somewhat of a groove on and made fewer mistakes. Fun times. Had some nice 3-4 turn waves with a few aerial attempts, skipped the loopery and just made the most of the waves.

Anyway, here is a spock photo from the sound. We've been getting great wind til now and sailed almost everyday on anything from 5.3 down to 4.2.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not too shabby...

By the time we get around to scoring that purple, I'm sure my hands will be destroyed!
Damn pansy work hands...

Stoked to be getting on the water very soon!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hatteras Season is almost here!

Totally curious if there are other 'Hatteras Pilgimage' rituals elsewhere in the world?

For those readers from far off places (I am assuming there might be one or two if I am lucky), I wonder if other sailors elsewhere in the world have a similar ritual.

The background: Canada is not known for its tropical nature. Relatively speaking, it gets cold here, damn cold. Generally cold enough that the water vanishes into solid sheets of ice forming an impenetrable barrier between us and our medium. Picture a smoker desperately eyeing a cigarette behind a solid glass window. That is us in the winter.

Generally speaking, most people around here are not willing to battle the extreme colds of the transition seasons, so a standard sailing season for a reasonably dedicated sailor is typically May (earliest), through November (latest). Outside that window, the water is unbearable for most, or the air is just too frigid. This leaves a hideously long off-season, bordering on 6 months or hair-pulling insanity. I imagine if a windsurfer were a smoker wanting to quit, it would be dead easy. We deal with severe withdrawal symptoms every damn year!

Hatteras gets nice and windy in the spring. With all these lost souls in desperation of wind and water, somethings gotta give. Fortunately, it's only about 12-16hrs of driving (depending on roughly where you live up here), rental homes are cheap, and its reasonably warm and windy! A win-win for all. Typically you see more Quebec and Ontario license plates in Avon in late April than NC plates! We INVADE the place, and love it!

That season is almost here... We've got a couple weeks booked in the spring and totally ready to pounce. Cheryl is going to work on her kiting a bit more and hopefully I can get working on some new tricks. Totally stoked! One week in Avon, one week in Rodanthe!

What do others out there do to satiate their winter-time jitters?

Thanks for those great photos last spring Steve! (Steve Slaby, 2010)