This is an attempt to monitor lake & ocean conditions, especially on those windy days, to be in touch,
and to maybe find sources that will assist with some on-water moves.

Responses to emails that may be of general interest, wandering about with or without intention, cool gear, neat accessories, innovative equipment, some photog tech talk, and any ongoing random thoughts rational, pertinent, irrelevant, and otherwise, may also be shared.

 return to windinsight's main page  email address & site information
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To enlarge the pictures below please click on the thumbnails.   Refresh  to ensure the latest image and entry.

Click here for a good map of South Padre Island

  current wind conditions   current wind forecast conditions
Apr.Jun Jul.Oct Nov.Dec Jan.Mar

      March 31st     What a difference a day makes.

When we awoke twenty-four hours ago about five inches of snow covered the ground.   The snow that began falling the evening before was a brutal and depressing event in the lives of most of us.   To make matters worse the snow plough filled the end of the sidewalk and driveway with a very heavy, wet, snowball packing drumlin-like berm.

All in all it was an unfair, mean, and very hurtful slap in the face after a cold, brutal, three month quasi ice age.   In other words, cruel and unnecessary punishment

To make matter worse the snow plough also removed a few feet of sod and a watering system a few houses down the block doing their drive by along the curb .

And then, quite suddenly, on a brighter note, the sun burst through around noon and by mid afternoon the temperature rose, lawns reappeared, and water began filling the streets.   So nice.

Drove by LaSalle this morning and Lake Ontario was ice free from west to east as far as the eye could see.

March is indeed going out like a lamb.   And better yet the chorus on the shore will soon be, “Surf's up!   Rubber up!”

(click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics)

      March 28th     A place in our hearts.

Once again our time on The Outer Banks is near.   The high wind below was Tropical Storm Noel in November 2007.

Indeed memorable.   Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic at Frisco, NC really lit up!

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      March 24th     Getting ready for Hatteras.

Pack light, take as little baggage as possible.   Leave enough room for Duty Free.

After all these years we still fill our bags to the max.   Not this trip.   Lean and mean.   That's us.

Of course all windsurf gear goes.   Boards, rigs, misc. gear, wetsuits, PFD, harness, spares, waterproof Ezzy Rigging Guides, all carefully stowed waiting for any sailable condition in any weather.

Then comes only the essentials.   This is where it gets tough.   Sixteen days worth of misc. clothing, shaving kit, sleeping bag, towel, medications, passport, wallet, cellphone, computer, sunglasses, camera bag, a few tools, period.

OK, tarp and ground anchors, small saw, hatchet, rubber hammer, a small hose, cooler, a few magazines, a book or two, iPod, iPad, that's it.

And, kleenex, a pillow, a spare bag for the motel with PJs, a real glass for a drink, lens wipes, water bottle, snacks, stop.

Oh yes, a few maps, a GPS, Garmin, spare batteries, sun screen, blood pressure monitor, hand lotion, a folding chair, yikes - a tripod, a frisbee, soft drinks, no more

WD40, electrician's tape, handy wipes, an air freshener, jumper cables, a jug of washer fluid, a few wipe up rags, spray soap, black fine-tip magic markers, Goo Gone, two guitars, a speaker amp, portable radio, more spare batteries, gray pony tail ball cap, cable locks, glass cleaner, done.

Bathing suit, Tilly Hat, 6 foot clothes line and clothes pegs, 6 decent clothes hangers, extra shoelaces, sewing kit, air mattress, pump, patch kit, alcohol wipes, tow chain, French-English Dictionary, ibuprofen, bandaids, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, sail repair tape, epoxy repair kit, neoprene glue, battery tester, jibe DVDs, iron, ironing board, TV Guide, full sized sailboard simulator, portable 12V plug-in electric tire pump, small ladder, cable ties, a tourist's guide to the Outer Banks, snake bite kit, poison ivy relief spray, yoga mat, field glasses, a complete & fully illustrated Adubon bird book guide for the southern USA, bullet proof vest, an NRA Tshirt, CDs, bicycle, garden gloves, swim goggles, fake rubber vomit, fishing gear, almost finished.

Water balloons, gum, mouthwash, fungus spray, tire pressure gauge, touch up paint for car, flyswatter, backscratcher, carwash materials and a bucket, spare hose nozzle, hackeysack, drinking straws, Giant Sudoko Puzzle Book and a pencil, Swiss Army Knife, CB monitor and transmitter, Karaoke Mike plug in to the car radio, metal detector, bird caller, misc. sand castle building pails, 4th Season - Sons Of Anarchy and Season 5 -Breaking Bad, flashlight, propane lighter, hiking stick, first aid manual, portable 12V defibrillator, large fake glasses with a handlebar moustache, extra towel and soap for the outside shower, nail clipper, tweezers, bag of nutritious trail mix, case of 6 flavour Gator Aid, a case of drinking water, lip gloss.

Someone please give me a slap.

      March 23rd     When it all begins to tarnish and fail, look for something beautiful to help keep faith.

It appears that we're currently losing the honey bees and the Monarch butterflies.

Moments of colour, beauty, complexity, and organized purpose are readily evident through observing these incredible insects.   Both creatures are a part of amazing ecosystems being damaged.   Bees are dying more likely because of pesticides and a related immune suppression.   Changing weather patterns, drought, and a lack of food supply have threatened the Monarch causing its numbers to diminish significantly over the past twenty years or so.

Our dependency on fossil fuel and either our ignorance, indifference, or disregard of what we are ultimately doing to planet Earth will also continue to negatively impact both our lives and the life of our planet as we know it.   The (man-made) increasing rate at which climate change is currently progressing is likely out of control and probably irreversible at this point in time.   Political leadership and will seems to be avoiding the abuse at hand.   And, nothing truly significant worldwide is planned to actually help make conditions better.   The fact that Greenland and Antarctic glacial ice sheets are currently melting at an alarming rate will no doubt move the climate changing models and agenda forward by many decades.

The Monarch butterfly is one entity that reaffirms my faith in life on earth.   To wit, their amazing migration and journey year after year, ending in the same trees in Mexico.   All this thanks to a directional compass memory transmitted in their RNA through life cycle after life cycle.   That said, less than 15% of their population made it south last year when compared to numbers recorded in the early 1990s.   Maybe we all need to get together and plant milkweed in Texas.   This would surely help, and it's actually that simple!

Within the next century or two, or within decades, whatever, our population will more than likely be threatened as well.   Air and water quality, worldwide greenhouse emissions being released into the atmosphere, and an unsustainable food supply for our planet's increasing population, all point us toward a finite and terminal end.   Whether or not a few select handfuls of us are capable of surviving underground or venturing into space to locate a new Earth-like home remains to be seen.   If it works out, I hope they take at least a few dozen Monarch chrysalises or eggs with them to help ensure the survival of these precious creatures.

Increasing acidification from continued CO2 emissions will affect lakes, and oceans and will continue to reduce both plankton and oxygen as the planet warms and our carbon footprint deepens.   Ecosystems are failing and life as we know it is being threatened.   Most notably our oceans are being fished out and world coral is dying, with only about 20% of the original amount amount left.   Phytoplankton population in the oceans are currently diminishing by about 1% per year.   (They're one of the main O2 producers as well as keeping marine food webs afloat.)   Not looking good.

The Earth has had climate change since its creation.   No argument there.   That said, our current climate change challenge likely all began with the Industrial Revolution, and then maybe sealed with chads from the 2000 United States presidential election.   Al Gore just might have made a difference.

On a brighter note our planet has revived and healed several times in the past as the fossil, geological, and Biblical records of our planet show.   Would love to be able to somehow get a glimpse at whatever if anything evolves around here a hundred million years from now, with my camera and be able to share it.

The really scary thought is that we're likely capable of screwing up the whole universe in the meantime.

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      March 16th     Somewhere inside my head a vintage BSA is stored, likely in a digital synapse, not analogue.

Like the Vikings and the Egyptians the trip in to the afterworld will require some means of transportation.   Have you thought about this and made any plans to help with your departure?

Just how do I maybe know that Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is reported by some to be released by the brain in the last moments of our time on Earth to help us relax, not be afraid, and look forward to whatever's coming our way.   You've no doubt seen this in movies just before people pass on in someone's arms with a faint smile on their face as their eyes slowly close and it all fades to black, or a sunset.

This rather convoluted thinking of mine comes from reading a few articles on something called Ayahuasca.   Ayahuasca is a liquid infusion containing DMT made from certain plants brewed by indigenous people in various South America countries.   It's consumed and people who drink it have have a unique mental and emotional experience that involves personal accounts of what I'm trying to talk about here.   You can easily Google (or Yahoo it like I did below) for a variety of detailed accounts.   DMT - The brain's last gift for us.   Pretty sure there might be likely something to all of this.   Just in case the literature is on the right track I've got to figure out how to dematerialize a Classic BSA 441 Victor Special into this concoction to help spirit my soul in style and grace to a Club Med for the Dead in a nearby galaxy with full rental windsurf gear.

You laugh.   What are your ultimate long range plans?   The end is near, get your ass in gear my dear and start figuring out your own map to the galaxy.   Call me selfish but I don't plan on letting you ride with me.   it could be a long walk for you thumbing your way into eternity.

Nothing rides like a bike in zero gravity with stars all around even if the single headlight is a quartz halogen.   Gas stations are few and far between in the universe, and dodging satellites can be a challenge, so a motorcycle is a very economical and manoeuvrable vehicle of choice in this instance.

Had a good time shooting motocross a few years ago and started thinking about all of this way back then one day when a jump landed about 20 cm from my crouched knee.   I can still smell the exhaust.

OK, maybe a few more blanks left to fill in before getting it all straight.   I got a few good years left.

Still livin' the dream…

Head to the light at the end of the sidewalk.   I see the bright flash off the gas tank!   Hey!   It's an F800 GS BMW!   Club Med, here I come!

Oh ye of little faith…

DMT released at death, theory?

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      March 11th     LaSalle has a huge bite out of the grass from wave action

Haven't seen waves that high on this end of Lake Ontario.   And, they were forceful enough to move the sand up to the parking lot on their approach and remove about 600 - 900 sq. ft. of sandy sod as they departed.

Doubtful that it will be pushed back into what it was last fall.

      March 9th     Heading fast into Spring 2014 hoping that this ice will all melt soon.

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.     (Henry David Thoreau)

Pursue your dreams to work, live, love, share, and play all with the same determination.

Proceed without fear.   Do what needs to be done.   Be thankful for the connections with people who share your time, thinking, and place.

Life is precious.   It's also very finite and we only get so much time to perfect those gybes, take that perfect photo, tell the best joke well, and get it right with your wife, kids, colleagues, and best friends.

Work it hard and true while you can and for as long as you're able!     (I said that)

      March 6th     Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Naw, that was a few days ago.

Winter storm Titan is way behind us and there's sunshine, rising temperatures, and blue skies this morning.

Reorganized and adjusted again to life in Niagara, we know the end of winter is near.   Spring is just a few weeks away and all this snow and cold will soon be gone.

Don't pack the winter boots, shovels, and mitts away just yet.   And, maybe buy one more bag of salt, just in case.

Like Oz, old man winter is exposed and weakening behind his curtain of clouds.   Like Dorothy we'll shortly awaken from this cold, bad, dream and everything will soon be summer once again.

Oops, no way, the ten day forecast is completely wrong, I just know it.

      February 28th     Packed and heading to San Antonio to see the Alamo.

Not looking forward to the snow and cold ahead of us and like you waiting for March to go out like a lamb.

It's been fun.

Sean made a vid of the boys on their Spring Break.   How they've grown.

Grant and Blakey's Spring Break

      February 26th     (early morning)     It's blowing 20++ knots, promising more all day today, but the rain is much like Noah might have predicted on that fateful Day One of the forty days and nights that followed.   At least he lived to celebrate over 600 birthdays and could afford to miss a few days here and there on the water.   I've only got a few more precious years left.

Enough to make you shake your head and show a scowlly face.   Especially with only one day left here on SPI.

Unlike Olympic speedskating, commercial autobody repair, hairdressing, or the NHL, windsurfing is pretty much always an outdoor activity.   You take what you get.   Them's the lumps pal.

Bad enough the temperature is in the 60s (Fo), the water's warm, and the flight plan to The North Flats was approved by Mrs. Mission Control yesterday.   The thought of driving through all that sand, rigging in rain, and putting it all away wet and salty somehow isn't making all the right bells ring sweetly in my head.

Will wait a few hours and hope that either the sun peeks out or the deluge stops.

To Be Continued…

(Noon)     Well, the rain stopped, roads are drying, the wind has jacked up, and about 20 dedicated surfmobiles are parked at the North Flats as I drive in.

Someone said Ed was on his 3.7m, and a 70L shortboard is sitting anxiously on the shore.   Bad news for this guy whose smallest sail is a 4.2m and his only ride is an 85L.

Unwilling to head home dry I rigged and headed out into the fray.   The lulls were good but the gusts were abysmal.   Could barely hang on at times.   But, an hour later, I sat happily in the back of the van and squeezed off a few dozen shots.   Certainly these pics will help keep the memory of it all fresh until next time, next year.

Will miss this wonderful place and all that it holds.   Sailed ten times in as many days and missed another two or three sessions because of gear left home, and one more because of a lack of enough courage to give it a shot that day.   Not sure how common sense and guts fit into all this decision-making sometimes.   Is cojones spelled with a j or a g?   Hey, they're my initials!   Go figure, eh?

please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the pics…

      February 21st     Only a week left.

The last few days have been memorable windsurfing moments.

Sailing the 5.5m2 yesterday was a blast.   Downhauled and flattened to max.   And able to hang in there with it for more than an hour.   The small chop on the Bay made it doable and fun.   Took some time and squeezed off a few pics but generally speaking the angle, or the light, or the distance didn't work out.   Only a few windy days left to get it right

Perfected the stop, drop, flip, flop, and fly nonjibe/waterstart about a half hour into the overpowered 5.5m2 session.   The right call was somewhere around 4.7m2.   Loved every minute of it.   Came home totally stoked and ready for more of the same.

If there is a downside here it might be the lack of a safe, easy place to rig and de-rig in higher winds.   No grassy knoll or sheltered lawn like we have in Hatteras, LaSalle, or at Long Beach to make any necessary changes.   Was afraid to tie a rig off of the wheel of the van and anchor it with dog ground screws that might not stay put.   The flopping about, chaffing, or flying off would have certainly been destructive and depressing.   The regulars here rig and de-rig in the water, or in some cases put fully rigged sails into their Sprinter Vans.   De-rigging in the Bay definitely works but takes a few practises to get it right.   Still came home in a state of salty, disorganized van chaos.

Bringing the 116L, the 7.0m2 and the 3.7m2 would have been advisable in hindsight.   Wind conditions pressed all gear in the van into service this month, and I missed a few sessions because of not having all the right stuff with me.   So, the best advice is - Bring It All  (if you can possibly stow it) when you come.

The promised wind today never quite met expectations.   Rigged the 6.3m2 and slogged about/partially planed for about an hour.   (The 116 L and the 7.0m2, at home in the basement, would likely have worked earlier in the day.)   At least I got wet and best of all noticed lots more strength that wasn't there 3 weeks ago while carrying the 105L rigged in the shallows back to the van.   Had a great chat with a few regulars as the day unfolded.   Found out the difference between Snow Birds and Winter Texans.   We're classified as Winter Texans!   Great people here!

Nice.   In fact amazing, even on light days.

click on the thumbnails to enlarge a few pics from yesterday and this afternoon

      February 18th     You Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone…     1940 - 2014 AD

The last dozen years have brought on a few challenges emphasized by having sailed a half dozen windy days so far this month

Strength, muscle memory, and pain free sessions, to name just a few.

Thank goodness retirement gives one the time and opportunity to focus on exercise, stretching, and monitoring sailing techniques while healing.   Plus not doing what hurts and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

Sailing 6.3m/105L, (or any sized sail and board for that matter) nicely powered up works just fine, but when the wind jacks up and the unrigged, next sized smaller sail is still in the van the issues that I face become apparent and very real.

Don't even try to muscle the rig.   Forget the gybe.   Drop into the water, swim the rig around, and water-start your way back to the safety of the shore.   Survive the moment, relax, and live to sail another day.   When you try to fight and struggle because of ego, blind faith, or whatever your motivation, you'll lose.   The wrath of Boreas, god of the north wind, Eurus, god of the unlucky east or southeast wind, Notus, god of the south wind, and even Zephyrus can hammer you into hurtful submission, embarrassment, and injury.

Find something else to do.   Admiring the younger wolves run hard and howling in the fury of the day is one I like.   Chat with some others on a break.   Tidy up and organize your gear.   Whatever.

In addition to all of this I watch, often through my lenses, listen to, and try to emulate successful sailors who have mastered different ways to make their moves on the water.

Sailing on the flat water Bay at South Padre provides a magnificent opportunity to practise anything safely and in control.   Thankfully too, I pick and choose my days.   Nice.

Just watch where you park around here in Texas.   Not sure at this point why I opted for that $500 deductible on the van.

      February 17th     Holding the prize for being back again when promised!

Left the North Flats at 12:45 pm this afternoon, tired and spent, and headed back to the condo as promised with 5 minutes to spare!   The TV crew, make up, tuxedo, and curtain background were waiting.   Surprise surprise!

What an honour!   What a guy!

The acceptance speech will be televised sometime this week between the USA- Canada hockey game from Sochi and a recent Coronation Street rerun.

It's going to be windy this Wednesday!   AND, I'm there for certain at this point for 5 straight hours this time!

      February 16th     Husband Of The Month Nomination

Was notified mid-afternoon today that I was up for the honour when we stopped into the Palms On The Beach beach bar for a half pound of Peel And Eat Shrimp and a few Happy Hour Margaritas.   I was momentarily stupefied but hugely humbled.   Blue Moon by the Marcels was playing a bit on the loud side.   Nice.

It was actually one of those lucid Good To Be Alive Moments when word actually first reached me.

From what I understand at this point it was from checking out the Flats around noon when it was only blowing 16 - 18 knots.   But, instead of waiting around or rigging big, I headed back to the condo and walked the beach with Nancie.

Well, the quasi agreement was John sails when Wind Alert shows 20 knots from any direction.

Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang
Ba ba ding a dong ding Blue Moon…

And, the passcode to the washroom was (a Doo Wap) 1-9-5-0 !

The awards will likely be somewhat overshadowed by the damn Olympics but nonetheless my acceptance speech (in case you miss it) will be strong yet simple.   Of course, if the award is mine, I'll thank my parents, grandparents, my Grade 5 teacher Sister Mary Joseph, Michael Landon (Pa, from little house On The Prairie), and our daughters Beth and Maggie, for their inspiration and guidance.

Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang Ba ba ding a dong ding Blue moon moon blue moon dip di dip di dip Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang Ba ba ding a dong ding
Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang Ba ba ding a dong ding Blue Moon…

Life is good.
Have a look & listen   The Marcels sing   Blue Moon

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      February 14th+     Warm day,  cold water,   SSE 18 knots/6.3m day,   and home early because it's Valentine's Day!

Sailed for a few hours this morning and kept cool with freshwater douses down the front of the 5/3mm wetsuit.

Used about 2 gallons of clean up water to keep cool inside and stay warm on the water.

Living here would save gym fees for one.   Windsurfing exercises the right muscles and with 2 - 3 windy days every week on the water it doesn't take long to build some muscle.   The hard sand on the beach is perfect for running shoes and bicycle tires so that's a plus working the cardio vascular.

Pretty sure you could actually un-age your body here except for March Break when the teenagers take over and life gets really stupid for about 3 weeks.

The average age of most windsurfers here on SPI is 60+ (because they're all retired).   And, they are all a fit, friendly group of seniors.

Will miss this place with only a few weeks to go.   Already hoping to be able return for another session next year.

There are many differences living here in Texas.   I especially love the 75 - 80 mph limits on many highways.   Texas Highway 130 has become the nation's fastest highway with an 85 miles per hour speed limit.   All in all it's been an easy and fun adjustment.   Except for the dent from a hit and run in my tailgate.

Two things come to mind:   About 16% of the drivers here don't have auto insurance and all Texans can legally carry a loaded weapon in their vehicle, like in the glove compartment.   Maybe it's a good thing we didn't see the guy back his pickup into our van.   Especially when I think about that picture of Texas Governor Rick Perry holding his six shooter high in the air.   What are my chances?   Cheers.

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      February 13th     So what else do you do if you winter windsurf in South Padre Island?

Many of the regulars here head north to the Columbia River Gorge in their campers and spend the warmer spring, summer, and autumn months along the Hood River and thereabouts.   (Yes, you heard me right.)

A nomadic windsurfing existence.   Be still my heart.   Instead of the hunter gathering concepts of nomadic existence as we knew it back in the school days it's more of a searching for wind and rigging right kind of lifestyle, but it's still a nomadic one.   A beautiful nomadic wind-driven lifestyle.

Usually there isn't a jealous bone in my body.   No, not anywhere.   None of the seven deadly sins ever come close in my conscious thinking.   Ok, maybe envy just begins to creep to the surface when I watch the younger wind heads throw a forward, a vulcan, or maybe see a Roadtrek Sprinter Conversion dedicated surfmobile pull up beside my beloved Dodge Caravan at a stoplight.   But but all that's easily suppressed.   I get over it very quickly and it all turns into a mild form of some kind of admiration.   Am not making this up!   Mild envy!

So, where is this all going so early in the morning?

Nowhere.   Absolutely nowhere.

And if it gets any worse electroshock therapy, hypnotism, or an exorcism from the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration will help me pull through this threat of eternal damnation.   Or maybe just a swift kick in the ass from a loved one will do the trick.

Will definitely spend some time today with an organic liver purge of some kind or a good laxative without any high fructose corn syrup for starters.   And maybe listen to some Steely Dan.

Reelin' In the Years!   Rock on John.   Buy a cool T-Shirt instead, and get over it.

maybe click on the thumbnail to enlarge the pic

      February 12th     What it could look like on your final pathway into whatever waits for us out there.

Walking the beach a few mornings ago people were approaching us coming out of the fog.

We both thought the same thing at the same time.   Perhaps this is the way people appear heading into their next incarnation after passing away.

Walking alone with serious resignation or meeting others along the way.   Not quite sure of what's ahead.   Realizing dogs are on the same pathway.   It was a weird moment in time.

Thankfully the fog finally lifted and things normalized.   A unique experience, and maybe a unique premonition of some kind.   You had to be there I guess.   Not sure if the pic communicates what we felt.

Far out, the end is near…

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      February 11th     Lemons?   Rain?   When the world deals you rain you wear a wetsuit.   Ha!

(Mid Morning)     It's windy, cold, and raining again.

Why these weather features are allowed to coexist in an area of recreational board-sports beats me.   Sun and wind.   Wind and clouds.     Rain and calm.   There's the way to go.

Will struggle into the wetsuit.   Why do these things seem to shrink during the winter months?   And, hopefully the Flats are passable.

How soon we forget the snow.

(Later morning)     Wandered about watching 3.0's get rigged.   The gusts were in the mid 30s and the temperatures were falling.   Huddled with Charlie and his son Karl in their warm truck and watched.

Around noon it was obvious that this was it.   It was do or die.   Either way I wasn't going home dry and miss a good time on the water.

Downhauled and flattened the 4.2m2.   A few of the long, fast, runs were sheeted out lots but the flat water was easy and fun to negotiate.   Actually made a few jibes when the gusts didn't blow me away.

All of the regulars say this is the coldest year they've experienced so far.   The 5/3 wetsuit plus a 2mm jacket, hood, and booties were toasty warm.  Almost didn't bring the heavier suit.   Why the 3.7m is sitting home is beyond me.   Never again.

A great session this afternoon all in all.   Will sleep deep and happy tonight.

      February 10th     Darwin may have missed the mark with the monkey and ape right next to us in his evolutionary scale.

I agree with Garth Stein* and quote:   When a dog is finished living its lifetimes as a dog, its next incarnation will be as man.

He goes on to say that according to the legends of the Northwest Coast natives the raven created man.   And, in Plains Indians folklore the deity that corresponds to the raven is the coyote, which is a dog.   He concludes that we are all smashed together at the top of a spiritual food chain.   An interesting stretch.

In looking at the sea turtle's skeletal flipper the similarity to a human hand is obvious.   So now I'm a bit perplexed about our human placement in the hierarchy of life on this planet.   Stein's book, *The Art Of Racing In The Rain, is a mindful read and resonates with a different understanding of both our place in the world and how we might underestimate the way in which animals think, act, live, and love.

Like so many of the turtles at Sea Turtle Inc. who have had traumatic injuries, amputations, and repairs, many of us have also had a second chance to be saved and rereleased into the world to somehow carry on.   Our dented van will be repaired.   My once mangled left hand was surgically rebuit and is currently contributing well to this wind driven lifestyle.   Nice.

(As the chalkdust settles)   And so far as Darwin's Theory Of Evolution goes the monkeys' and apes' physical appearance and some behavioural characteristics are certainly nearby to homo sapiens.   No argument.   And, monkeys, like us and by nature, are capable of some horrid deeds in case you didn't know!   But, in terms of our better natures whales, dolphins, elephants, dogs, (and ok, maybe a few cats) can generally rise to a higher ground much like that which we are capable of achieving.   As Stein says, it may take a few incarnations to get it right.   From that standpoint maybe any of those other creatures other than monkeys should be qualified to be next to mankind in an evolutionary line not based on bodily appearance.   Maybe evolution should be based on spiritual or ethical development rather than a physical one.

And, just maybe, the evolutionary line could go the other way (backwards) where some yet unqualified humans will be both redirected and reincarnated as a lower form of life as deserved.   And maybe, this started off with a sincere focus but it became a bit random and abstract.   What the heck, it's all a work in progress.

Hopefully a TV reality show will come along, take these ideas, and shed some light on this previously unopened can of worms.

please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      February 9th     Today is warm.   The coming week is full of promise.

Setting out for a walk.   In shorts.   Nice.

We'll visit the Turtle Recovery Centre this afternoon after our walk.  (aka Seat Turtle Inc.)   Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles.

Will post some of the pics later this evening.

Tuesday and Wednesday show some promise of 25 and 20 knot winds respectively.   Looking forward to whatever those days bring.

Currently checking both suitability and availability out other rentals here for next year.   Everyone we talk to have said that the weather has been unusually cold for this time of year, so we might give it another try.   It's been an unusual year throughout North America, except for Miami which continues to report 81oF, according to a very close and loving meteorologist who I know.

Anyone watch the movie The Day After Tomorrow?   Maybe don't if you're cold and in any way somewhat disillusioned with the weather.   But, I laughed when the Mexicans shut the border to anyone fleeing to get further south during a new Ice Age.

Sea Turtle Inc.

trailer   The Day After Tomorrow

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the (coming later today) pics

      February 7th     (2nd entry today)   Checked out a few of the sailing launches.

The lower visibility on Laguna, cold, and intermittent rain has kept everyone home, at the local cinema, or out shopping somewhere.

It's now a very chilly   38oF   (3oC)!   The wind is blowing NW 23 knots.

Miami is currently 81oF   (reported from a close, actually very nearby, and still friendly source)

And, the internet is painfully slow, sometime's almost non existent.   So much for Netflix and Coronation Street.

Snuggle up and read folks.
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      February 7th     Day 2   Rain, wind, and cold.

It's   46oF   (8oC) and raining again.   The wind is blowing a steady 25 - 26 knots.

Negotiating the Flats will be wet, slippery, mucky, and generally somewhat difficult.   Rigging will be a messy challenge, not a motivating picture here this morning.   OK,  I hear you loud and clear,  “Waa, waa, waa!”     On the upside there's no snow to shovel.

The forecast says it's warming up this coming week and some very good wind is showing.

Will check it all out after a cup of coffee and the rain stops.   Maybe try a little Singing In The Rain,  like in the Gene Kelly movie.

Looking forward to some of the promised 70oF sunshine in the coming week.

(BTW   Did you know that our very own Charlie is the iWindsurf techie go to guy!)

click on the thumbnail below to enlarge the file

      February 6th     Wind speed and sail size in a new location far from home.

It was difficult to figure out what to rig today when there are no trees about and very flat water.   The flag next to the iWindsurf station was flapping hard.

The wind speed Ap on the iPhone is a dubious bit of technology and and so is WindAlert that gives iffy readings more than occasionally.

The available technology and the flag all said it's around 20 - 22 knots but it just didn't look right.

It was one of those you gotta get a real anemometer and rely on the known windspeed/sail size like we did way back in the day.

Thankfully a friendly, experienced windsurfer, familiar with the Flats assured me a 5.5 and a 105L board would be a good start.   He was sailing a beautiful 20+ year old Seatrend Speed Needle. (below right)

Sailing Laguna Madre today was pure joy.   Fast runs, huge fun, and gybing well.   The very flat water is different and very salty.   It's knee to waist deep almost forever with a mushy bottom much of the time.   Booties are a must (imo) with all of the shells.  There are some very shallow board&bone busting sandbars lurking about but following the local traffic is the best way to learn the course.   Weed fins are also necessary, just like Hatteras.

Found these rules of thumb online that may be useful in the future, with the help of a real wind meter.   (I used my gear specs below in the tables).   Something else to put on the list and think about…

  Sail     Knots
  3.7m   30+
  4.2m   27 - 32
  4.7m   24 - 28
  5.5m   21 - 25
  6.3m   18 - 22
  7.0m   15 - 20
    weight   around 180 lb.

The Beaufort scale (link and chart below) is another visual way to go.   It can't be that difficult to master with only three to four of the numbers needed to windsurf.   OK, this is just another exercise in progress, still not so sure about the scale Force numbers:sail size:board displacement relationships going on here just yet…

  Force 4:   7.0m,   freestyle board, large fin
  Force 5:   6.3m -5.5m, 116L - 105L freestyle/waveboard,
  Force 5 - 6:   4.7m   105L - 85L freestyle/waveboard,
  Force 6:   4.2m   85L waveboard
  Force 7:   3.7m and your smallest board, smallest fin

Another Beaufort Wind Scale Chart

click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the scale and pic

      February 5th     A Technique Tip…

Worth noting to help get your board up and going.   (An argument for not always downhauling your sails to the max.)

Check it out!

Get Your Board Planing (Matt Pritchard)

      February 4th     A Google Map Of the Padre Island Area To Check Out

Wandering around and discovering Padre Island is fun for an hour or a day.

From a turtle rescue station to a bird sanctuary, when the wind shuts down we become tourists.

Both locally and further afield there are trips into Mexican markets through Brownsville, wonderful restaurants, great beaches to walk, and a theatre with current movies to name just a few.   There are a few tired areas that need some attention and buildings that show the continual wear and tear of a hot climate, salt in the air, and a degrading tropical sun, but that happens most everywhere closer to the equator.   New development and gentrification are in evidence throughout this area as you would expect as the economy continues to improve.

More than enough to do and see in a month's vist here.

A good map of South Padre Island

      February 3rd     Heaven has been somewhat underrated no matter what you think you believe.

And yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.   He spends January through April here in his sleigh (top up) with his reindeer and extended family living in a trailer park on the roof of a seafood diner close to the chimney.   Reindeer love the smell of french fries and onions.

It's all here in South Padre.   Wind, waves, surf, excessive flotation, great food, beach walks, sunsets, five liquor stores, a Walmart, enough to do, and friendly people.

For me it's definite proof that heaven is joined to earth right here near the Mexican border on the Gulf of Mexico.

OK, a bit chilly overall so far for this (somewhat irregular) year but a worthwhile destination if you're into boardsports.

The Gulf has good waves and Laguna Madre has very flat water.   Both have regular very useable wind and a congregation of windheads among the many snowbirds who flock here from all over the place.   The terrain is very Hatteras-like as the pics will help to show.   That said, it's not as regulated as you would expect being in Texas and all.

Watch your speed.   SPI is a speed trap complex where max speed in one direction is posted differently than going the other way to name one of the many moving violation enforcement challenges.     There are rules in heaven too.

Stoked and ready to go.   The Flats (a WS and Kite Launch on Laguna Madre) is pictured below.   Note the comfort facilities located conveniently nearby the launch area, only a brisk 5 to 10 minute walk depending on how long you legs are…

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      February 2nd     Settling in and lovin' it here.

The island is an amazing place.   The wind picked up this afternoon and it blew N 25 - 30 knots for a few hours.   We were touring about sightseeing and the session was missed.

Picked up my pass for the Flats earlier and met a few people.   A few days look good in the coming week.

It's very much like Hatteras here in many ways and the pics that will be forthcoming will certainly reflect this.   And, quite affordable overall.

Will get the site caught up as the week unfolds.

      January 27th     This was one of those first very serious DSLR shots back in 2004.

Knew that this shot of the four swan would not present itself ever again.   Waited and waited for all four heads to appear, focussed, and squeezed it off.   Patience and luck came together.   Captured one of those truly memorable moments.

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      January 26th     Living close to the lake was sometimes exciting.   (Winter 2004)

Some of the waves would hit the top of our breakwall and the wind would carry them over the house.

The thick spray would occasionally thud against the front window with enough force that the window would actually seem to bend.   Scary moments.

The frozen lake and high shoreline ice-banks which the surf created in January were the best protection from the pounding waves.   Everything settled down once the ice locked in place.

Some of the snowfalls were huge and extremely irregular with the strong, driving wind.   Thank goodness for a snowblower.

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 25th     Packed and ready to head south sometime early this coming week.

We plan to take about 4 - 5 days to get to South Padre Island, if the weather cooperates, with a stop in Memphis to visit Graceland.   Will definitely be staying in Heartbreak Hotel for a night!   We've found a new place to dwell.   It's down at the end of Lonesome St.   Sing it Elvis!   Heartbreak Hotel.   Thank-you, thank-you very much.

It's been brutally cold in Niagara for the past few weeks with aggravating wind chill and harsh, blowing snow.   The flurries stopped for an hour this afternoon and the temp is up to -50C so it seemed like a good time to load the van after shovelling for a half hour.   That said we're looking forward to some warm sunshine, wind, and walking some of the 600 miles of Texas Gulf shoreline soon to be underfoot.

With many miles of shallow, calm water in the Lower Laguna Madre and strong winds coming off the Gulf of Mexico, South Padre Island is this windsurfer's dream coming true.   Local and migratory birds, sea turtles, plus an abundant sea life inhabit the salt water lagoon and 70 miles of sand dunes and grassland in this national preserve.   All of this still remain in perfect ecological balance despite the many challenges the region has faced in the past few decades from oil mishaps, hurricanes, and the like.

Hopefully the high speed internet promised will keep us online and we'll be able to share the beauty and fun along this National Seashore.

Am currently negotiating a 20+ knot escape clause good for 3 days a week to help keep the life that I know, love and appreciate, all intact.

Below is how I actually picture that first launch in my imagination.   Am heading out into Laguna Madre from The Flats, fully powered up.   Yes, my slightly overactive mind is definitely somewhat surreal and even a bit twisted.   But hey, it might even be better if there's some decent wind, a real sunset, and maybe a cold beer waiting.   Be still my heart.

Adios for now.

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      January 24th     Nanuk, the Rob Ford Of Sunset Bay.

He was a magnificent Husky.   But bad.

Strong and smart as well.   And that's a challenging combination when you're bad.

So many stories to tell through the thirteen years that he was with us.   Would love to take him for another run.

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 22nd     Windsurfer One Design innovation breakthrough circa 1978/79.

Imagine, going from wood to plastic!   Landsakes!

And an improved compression fitting so mast separation from the board will be minimized on those windier days and when jumping.   Phew.

What will they think of next?

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 21st     Popular Kiteboarding Songs

Just for interest's sake, there are no kiteboarder ballads or any kiteboard songs for that matter.   Can't imagine why what with lines everywhere, occasional leaky bladders, pumping up, loud air expulsion, etc. etc.

Did find a cool kiteboarding video (with musical background) linked below.

A great kiteboarding video ♡ with musical accompaniment

      January 20th     Roy Orbison sings Windsurfer, recorded in late 1988.

Have a listen.   Cute!

Windsurfer ♥ Roy Orbison

Windsurfer Lyrics   Sing Along

(found another windsurfing song)
      January 19th,     (email)   John, don't analyze so much, follow your heart.   It's more fun.

Thanks!   I know what you mean.   My take on it all is both in the analysis of it all as well as doing it.   And this journal is mostly about (sharing) a windsurfing journey that's connected to a philosophical raison d'être.   Rather like, a what's up on what's left in my journey.

Aside:   Still working at trying to figure it all out.   Writing, photography, and an active windsurfing environment are all inextricably bound together in this very reflective venture.

Response:   The heart pumps the blood and likely that's how it became involved in what we know about romance and love.   The brain is where it all happens.   It's all in the mind.   And, it's the brain that regulates the heartbeat and keeps it beating throughout our lifetime.

The human mind and brain are the most complex structures known to exist.   Far more complex than computers and anything else you can arguably think of.   We are not simply a binary (0/1 off/on) intelligence.

Life is a holistic endeavour.   Everything is connected.   Work, play, family, food, shelter, a fast car, designer clothes, and the list goes on.   If we can get our mind correctly engaged with living and solving problems only then we find ourselves on the right path to figuring it all out.   And, there's a lot to figure out.   We are all burdened with strong, complicated, and often contradictory desires.   There are seldom simple yes and no, or right or wrong responses involved in our daily lives.   Right?   Maybe enough said…

So, you can learn to windsurf, and you can also love to windsurf.   Either way, in my opinion, it's all in your mind, and not your heart!

The beat goes on.

      January 18th     No Right Way continued (Part Two).

I get hugely inspired in my old age.   The will to hike, head to the shore with my gear, perfect a few moves on the water, be a part of my childrens' lives, whatever.   These are all more than enough to keep me motivated and engaged.

And, the operative word here is will.

As soon as someone says I can't   it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that it's over for that action and likely much more for that person.

Where the mind directs us the feet will follow.   Look out of the turn, follow your eyes, that's where you're going.

Athletic intelligence varies from person to person.   So do all the other talents we possess like music, maths, language, abstract reasoning, etc. etc.   The athletically capable will put their feet in the right places faster than someone athletically less gifted.   In heading to the top of the mountain we will all put our feet in different positions and different places but given a few hours, or a few days we can all make it to the top.   You get the idea.

Where there's a will the mind will direct us.   The feet, hands, and body will follow.   Dum spiro spero.   (Where there's life there's hope.)   From jibing to a forward loop.   From Long Beach to Cape Hatteras and beyond.   If there's a will then somehow there's a way.

And if you get it wrong you'll get it right next time.   Next time.

If You Get It Wrong You'll Get It Right Next Time.   Next Time.

      January 17th     No Right Way.

The ongoing saga of the first toughest move to master continues to continue.

Having given the jibe manoeuvre so much of my waking recreational life and daily thought this following mindful concept remains intact.

There is no right way to jibe.   There are only ways.   Many ways,   The need to stay dry and make the turn is all that matters.

As it was just mentioned if you can make a 180o turn on the water in any condition and not fall then you're jibing.   You may even learn to jibe badly but successfully!   Great!   Take it for what it's worth and live with it.   You're not in the Olympics and being scored.   Maybe chuckled at or perhaps eyed with slight suspicion but in reality who really cares?   Shhhhhh, a no one response is all that's needed here.

For now and maybe forever the step jibe is the move for me.   I can see it all now.   Drop the shoulder, drop the sail a bit, ease foot out and press the inward rail, roll forward into the turn with knees bent, carve, other foot turns out and over, step forward (staying on the inward side of the turn) when flipping the sail, hold till the wind pulls the sail, eyes into the turn looking at the exit, stay weighted on the inside rail, hand moved forward, reach under and grab the boom as the sail flips, change the feet, get into the footstraps, hook in, and go.   Then, if I'm still dry, say a sincere, quiet thank-you to Andy Brandt, Peter Hart, God for the overall creation/life process, my mother for the successful birthing, the Chrysler Corporation for the van to carry everything at once, Coach Gene for all his rigging insistence, and my loving wife for letting me be there, all in that order.  [sigh]  

God, how I love this sport!

Perseverate your way to success.   YOLO!

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 15th     Major Breakthrough (for me).

  Can get into my 5/3, 4/3 wetsuits with neck gaskets without assistance using a hook tool made from a plastic coat hanger.   One small step for me, one giant step for the MacGyver home-schooling tutorial 4U.

Practiced the move every day in front of a mirror for 4 days until it was perfected.   Best completely fitted time so far was 2 minutes 12 seconds all zipped up.

Started with a tool made for getting errant board tie-down straps into position made from the same coat hanger and a 12 inch PVC plastic tube.

The splotches on the mirror are either camera flash refections from the light covers, or perhaps outsplash from my jet power, warm water flossing machine.

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 13th     By 1985 the gear had become much more colourful, usable, and with battened RAF sails.

Gone were the triangular flat sails of the early 80's and better board shapes got windsurfing really moving.   The new mylar sails had lower clews so we could close the gap, and full tapered battens to help shape the sail a bit.   Better board shapes resulted in faster speed.   Harnesses, harness lines, and footsteps kept us secure while we flew about on the water.

These were some of the hot boards to own and get ripping with.   Sailed most all of the boards shown in the vid below by 1986.

So much fun!

Mistral Promo 1985

Early 80's windsurfing in Hawaii, includes all of the Greats (including 18 yr. old Robbie Naish)

      January 11th     Everything is definitely connected.

Heading out for a walk today, the first in a few weeks.   The toe is pretty much pain free and the hip, knee and lower back are well on the mend.   And, it's 8oC.   Very nice.

Whenever illness, injury, and recovery are a part of my life I reflect on how the body is connected.   Next time you're waiting for the doctor stripped down to your shorts check out those impressive diagrams in the examination room.   They show things like how the nerves are all connected to the brain from all the organs travelling through the spine.   And there's the one of the blood vessels attached to the heart and travelling everywhere throughout the body from the lungs and heart to the fingertips.   The bones all fit together like in the song Dem Bones.   You get the idea.

Looking at these diagrams gets me thinking about how thoughts like wanting to jibe flawlessly are translated from the brain to the rest of the body in performing that manoeuvre.   The fact that the thought is there to begin with is somewhat of a mystery because my more practical wife Nancie doesn't have any thoughts like this along with 99.9999% of the rest of the world.   Kind of weird when you actually try to figure this all out, I mean it's like a part of the mystery of life.   At least in my mind.

Believing in things like visualization as well as physio-therapy, prayer, social conservatism, and meditation makes sense to me.   But what's going to happen next windy time on the water when the move goes south and I'm on my head in knee deep water watching some kiteboarder circling.   Who do I call?   Where's the warranty and money back guarantee we currently expect that's needed to get thing right and make customer satisfaction the real priority in this earthly body 2014.

First imperative, always have a back up plan.   A back door.   An alternative.   Plan A and Plan B.   Don't go out without them.

Plan A:     Going to the Top is a bit too near sacrilege in my mind and the minister who baptized me has long passed.   More likely it's somehow my fault caused from a former sports related injury, dancing stupid at someone's wedding, or sleeping cramped in the van pinching a few significant nerves or crimping a major artery shutting off blood supply to a vital organ.   Contacting OHIP and my health care provider can take time tracking down the doctor, specialist, chiropractor, message therapist, psychiatrist, or hypnotherapist who were somehow involved in the misdiagnosis.   By the time they all report in and an improved revaluation made I could be four to five years older or maybe gone forever.

I'm not alone in all this, some of my windsurfing colleagues are in the same boat.

The idea that we can all band together with a common complaint, pool our financial resources, get a lawyer, and create a class action suit makes appropriate sense in today's world.   Compensation.

Approaching them one by one will be a difficult, maybe even an embarrassing task so I'm hoping that this message will spread somehow and they will see the value in all of this and contact me.

I'm in the phone book and I'm ready to get on with it.   So little time, so much to learn.

No fear, no limits, boomshacka.

Plan B:     If all else fails then I'm on my own once again and must simply persist and have faith in the holistic interconnectivity of all things physical and mindful.   Trust in practice, patience, repetition, and never ever giving up.   That one way or another the perfection of it all will eventually one day all come together, in one ultimate, flawless stay dry move, at least most of the time.   Fail your way to success.


click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 10th     Found some old pics when windinsight was in it's first summer.

Was looking through the first few storage CDs for photos of our husky Nuke and came across these pics below.

Can't believe that it's been more than 10 years since windinsight began.   The original purpose of the site was to report lake conditions on a daily basis for anyone wondering if it was windy.

It worked well at the time.   Over the years intent and purpose changed trying to add some variety and continue to reflect our sport through a growing personal interest in photography.

Not entirely sure about what this will all become over next few years.   I trust that it will all continue, one day at a time.

How quickly the time has passed.   It's been fun.

click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics

      January 8th     The Chekov list continues to continue, and finally finalizes…

James T. Kirk's fiery Starship Lieutenant Pavel Andreievich Chekov suffered serious wounds when time-traveling to stardate 1986.6 from the USS Enterprise.   This is something I hope to avoid in stardate 2014.2   I could perish even under the watchful eye of Dr. Obvious (the real McCoy) if miscalculations are made on this mission.   Planet Earth can be unforgiving if any wrong gear is chosen, hence a list for the first trip.   The Chekov list.   Taking the least amount of usable gear to get the optimal quiver and remain happily married for the month of February is the goal here.   Less is more in other words, or worlds.

(2) Boards 85L, 105L   (2) bags, (4) fins,   ✓
(4) Sails 4.2, 4.7, 5.5, 6.3   (4) masts, (4) booms, (4) extensions, (2) bases,   ✓
10' X 15' tarp, (6) dog anchor screws, misc. rope, snaps, toolbox, etc.   ✓
wetsuits and accessories   ✓

The average Gulf water temperature from Brownsville to Corpus Christi in February is around 60o F or 15.5o C and generally warming as the month progresses.

Laguna Madre, a *hypersaline lagoon, will be warmer than the Gulf because of the shallow, standing water.   This would suggest taking a bathing suit, 3/2 shorty, a vest, a 1mm neoprene jersey, a 2mm zippered jacket, boots/booties, and a 4/3mm with long sleeves for good measure because of of air temps ranging from mid 40s Fo to upper 70s Fo.   Hope this isn't one of those crapshoot, non Vulcan decisions, that doesn't play out well in real time.

The 5/4mm wetsuit will remain home with the 116L and 7.0m2/mast/boom/etc.   This leaves enough room, with everything listed above conveniently organized inside the van, for 3 suitcases, super-sized duty free for two, a coffee maker, and all of the extra accessories needed for the two of us to survive about 6 weeks together away from home and on the road.  [sigh]   All a part of the plan to live long and prosper (as my dauntless hero Spock notes below).

Anxious to get going in about two weeks or so.

*(3.5% - 4.5% salt)     This means that there's a 30% - 40% increase in buoyancy in salt water for a swimmer.   In other words there would be some more flotation for a sailboard.   Not quite sure just how that translates into hull displacement as a number.   It means generally that a 105 litre board would be floatier on Laguna Madre because of the amount of dissolved salt content in the denser seawater.   That said, a board's shape and size can make significant difference for it to plane in lighter winds.   So can sail size.   Increasing the salinity of the water also makes a difference.   Many other variables can be factored into the soliloquy To plane or not to plane.   The odds of there being better than average wind, plus the added salinity, make taking the smaller 6.3m and mid-sized 105L board a safe bet for the windier days.   This leaves more inside organizational space as well for shared time touring about on light wind days.  [sigh]   Nice

Be still my heart, stand fast!   Less is more.   Except for wind.

Any constructive input, positive suggestion, or kind thought would be appreciated.

a nostalgic 5 second clip of Spock's Vulcan Salute

      January 7th     Those Annoying Windsurf Telemarketing Calls.

[telephone ring] Caller:   Hello.   This is Dahkeine.   May I please speak to a Mr. Jrohn Gerant…

Nancie:   [pause] [silence]   What's the nature of this call?   Is this a telemarketing call?   I'm his wife.   He's at the foot doctor.

Caller:   Oh, heavens no.   Yes, you'll do Mrs. Gerant.   I'm calling from Cheenoook to let you know that you qualify for a free, no charge, new carbon fibre boom, any size, with harness lines of your choice and a bungie ™Easy-Up-Haul.

Nancie:   He absolutely doesn't need any new boom.   Plus, we're on a no call list.   How did you get this number?

Caller:  [deep breath]   You have been randomly selected, from a product warranty registration draw, to receive a new carbon fibre boom fully accessorized at absolutely no charge to yourself plus if you accept this free offer, also a complimentary trip to warm and windy Punta Gangnam St. Isle for a three week all expenses paid trip including meals, drinks, all professionally rigged windsurf gear included, tack and gybe lessons, $1000US to spend as you wish, a new air-conditioned bungalow right on the water, the same cash credit for any new gear that you want, and unlimited identical return trips anytime from December through March for the next ten years.   [deep breath]

Nancie:   [forced laughing] Ya, right, [very sarcastic tone] MY MOST SECRET DREAM EVER finally comes true!   HA!   [now screaming]   I'm rejoicing!   [yells into the phone]   I'm bloody rejoicing Dahky!

Caller:   You will be picked up by limo with complimentary bar and driven to an international airport near you with your spouse and any four friends.

Nancie:   Listen Dahkeine,   First,   he doesn't have four friends.   Two, I'm just about to head over to Commissos to buy some Clamato Juice and [very sarcastically] as much as I'd like to continue this stupid conversation nobody here is interested in what you've got to offer.   Three,   [shrieks] just BUG OFF and leave us the HELL ALONE!

Caller:   [sighs]   If you give me your address I'll have the boom rushed to you by UPS in the next two to three days.

Nancie:   Ha!   Just as I thought, [shouts] TWO TO THREE DAYS, this MUST be an offshore call!   Keep your damn boom Dahkeine, whatever, and your very stupid trip and get me off this damn call list.   [slams the phone down hard]

Me:   [limping]   Hi honey, I'm home.   Who was that on the phone?   [pause] [silence]

Nancie:   No one.    [pause] [silence] [irritated] Just another one of those aggravating calls from heaven knows where!

Me:   It's nearly 5:00.   How about a Caesar?   Did you pick up any any Clamato?

      January 6th     When all else fails, T-A-C-K !

Visualization works for that TACKING manoeuvre we tend to neglect.   It's definitely worth the practice time both in our mind and on the water.

Tacks are extremely useful when there's not enough wind to jibe.   Throwing one in is a great way to stay dry and avoid a risky water-start in light wind conditions.

The footwork and sail positions are easy to visualize and fun to practise when there's not much else going on.

The fast tack also looks great!

try a fast tack or two, (especially note 1:40)

3 tacking vids in one link ~ feet, hands, etc. etc.

      January 5th     Stalled and hung up for awhile.

Interesting, first a broken toe and now lower back, hip, and knee discomfort.

Recreational walking with this kind of an injury must somehow negatively impact the dynamic of the stride or gait.   Not entirely sure about this but it makes sense I guess.   Shovelling all this snow and chasing grandchildren around couldn't possibly have any adverse consequences like this.

Dr. Obvious, my Chief Medical Officer of DUH concurs…   “I would think so knowing how you walk.   You're no spring chicken you know.   Stop feeling sorry for yourself, quit limping about, and make yourself useful around here or there's no 20 knot escape clause for you in Padre Island.”

Ok, so maybe it's a good idea to let the toe heal, rest the physical activity for a week or so, and comply.   Toes heal quickly.

Live and learn.   You'd think.

      January 4th     Accomplishing any move that you ever hoped to achieve.

Visualization is one of the key practises in anything from shooting basketball hoops to forward loops.

Studies from the 70's & 80's affirm this unequivocally.   Shooting hoops was improved through actual practice and also by imagining doing them.   Two of many available resource links are included below.

I remember Henry going through the visualization process and loop movements on dry land in Hatteras and soon after he was completing huge, perfect forward loops on the water.

It's imperative that you visualize the whole process and visual flow.   It doesn't help if you visualize a wrong step or body position in the overall flow of the jibe or tack, but wherever you are in the move the setback is a temporary one.   Remember, the longer you work the move incorrectly the harder it becomes to correct it all because of reinforcement and muscle memory.

Watching instructional videos can help.   Going over the steps on a simulator, or during your walk can help.   Attending a clinic on land or water can help.   Perhaps the best way is get on the water, work the move, and quite literally fail your way to success.   Ask someone successful to watch you or go through the way they accomplish the move.  There's no one quick and easy answer.   Seeing is believing and believing is seeing.   Practise and continue to work the move as much as possible.   The effort and hope of it all will help make you stronger and happier as well as lead to more success.

Find a quiet moment anytime during your day, sit down, relax, take a few deep breaths, and visualize that perfect jibe in your mind's eye, step by step.


Zen And The Art Of Shooting Hoops

Another Good jibing Video To Add To Your Visualization Assist List

      January 2nd     The reality of the second day into 2014 sets in.

Both my children are not afraid to search the world for answers and do what's necessary in their lives.   For this I'm thankful.

And even though we are just a FaceTime away I miss them.   This is the way life unfolds.   Children are only loaned to us for a short while.   And the moments when we reunite are precious.

Today the tree comes down and gets put away for another year.   Music in the shopping malls has changed from Yuletide Carols to familiar tunes cleverly selected to cheer us and put us in the mood to shop.   Pure marketing genius.

We begin another year with the hope that our lives will improve and be the better for it all.

The accumulation and clutter that we've stored, along with the empty boxes for the lights and tinsel, all needs to be sorted through, reevaluated, and recycled.   Just like our minds.

Upcoming adventures need to be planned and organized.   What gear to take?   What stops to make along the way?   Decisions about the route for our winter trip, and then the rest of the journey through 2014.   And for that matter the rest of our lives   Time to check our personal map of where we're going and maybe renew a part of that vision.

In the movie Sideways, Miles Raymond takes a road trip with a rather decadent, self-indulgent friend through California wine country.   His unsuccessful writing career, job as an English teacher, divorce, depression and somewhat alcoholic disposition, play out remarkably well while they search for their identities.   Mile's journey likely parallels the frustrations many of us face from time to time when we're stuck trying to get our lives back on track.   (nb - trying is the operative word here)

As I gaze though the upstairs window more snow is blowing sideways.   I smell coffee and toast.   The final decision to take only the two smaller boards and four sails south in February is finally clear and certain.

The new Garmin, Rand McNally Road map, and CAA card are ready to help face whatever our immediate future holds for us.

In my mind Buzz Lightyear yells out, "To Graceland, and beyond!"

Make it so.

      January 1st     Wherever You Go, There You Are, book by Jon Kabat-Zinn

A wonderful book to help start the new year.   An essential guide to living well.   With a touch of Henry David Thoreau (Walden), some Whitman, and many mindful insights.

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