welcome

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.
It's also about trying to capture a few more precious moments with my cameras and sharing them.
 return to windinsight's main page  email address & site information
 a pretty good sail size guide for windy days
 Maggie and Nolan's World Tour  Beth & Sean  JF's web site and blog  Cliff's blog  Marty's web site and blog  Sandro's YouTube channel  Brendan's Blog   current wind forecast conditions   current wind conditions SailFlow ~ Cape Hatteras  WindAlert ~ The Outer Banks - Cape Hatteras, NC

To enlarge the pictures below please click on the thumbnails.   Refresh  to ensure the latest image and entry.

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2015
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2015
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2015
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2015
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2016
Apr.Aug
2016
Sep.Dec
2016

Entries are all works in progress that often change after a few hours (sometimes days)

Scroll down for older entries.


please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics


      October 29th     Am completely fascinated by the play of light in and around the scrawny cedar, holly, and juniper mangroves along the coastal shallows and beaches of Pamlico Sound.

This tough, hardy vegetation just above the shore provides some scant shade, a home for wildlife, and and strong, lasting protection from the wind and waves that would otherwise slowly erode the shallow, sandy coastline.   How it survives and seems to thrive in this brackish environment constantly amazes me.

From the first light to dusk the sunlight creates an ever-revising intrigue amidst the branches and hardy foliage.   A formidable and beautiful setting constantly tempting the photographer's eye.   A composition that changes every hour through the day from within and without.   Will likely add a few more moments to the pics below.








      October 27th     Arrived, inside, unpacked, organized, and settled.

Camp deJohn is tarped, secure, and gear is rigged ready for the next few days.   AKA Camp LeJean and Juantanimo.

Will be rigging for the likelihood of whatever wind is predicted a day or two ahead and securing any gear not likely to be used in the same timeframe over the next two weeks.   That will keep everything easy to access and safe from sunlight and or high wind conditions here in the scraggy bramble, safely stowed, and well-protected, just above the shoreline.

The camp is not only a creative, enviable, and worthy environment but also a safe haven in which a quiet solitude can be enjoyed in the midst of rigging frenzies, and hapless confusion in the most part that will be an ongoing continuum all around the nearby shore in both directions.   A lawn chair, a few cold beers, and some low cal Gatorade will be on hand as needed amidst some of the surrounding squalor.

To make things even better, the beer fridge is near the hot tub on the second floor of the home, just above the pool, a short hike up the boardwalk.   In any case, I can assure you beyond any earthly doubt that it just doesn't ever get any better than this.   Honestly, not ever.   You simply can't make anything like this up.   Jamais!

Spread my ashes here.   My spirit will undoubtedly wander these shores when not engaged in assisting any errant souls needing waterstart help in the Long Beach area on light wind days just a few decades from now.

Stand fast Craigellachie.   BTW, that's the Grant Clan Motto emblazoned on our crest.   We did way, way more than just steal sheep back in the day.










Left ~ stealth mode, full tie down ready         Middle (above) ~ Open mode         Right ~ tent mode, shade with ventilation         Far right ~ sort of camouflaged & quasi drone-proof mode




      October 24th     How do you honestly feel about what we do?

I love the rigour, the anticipation, the relentless passion, and the soldiering on involved in all of it.   That first run hooked in, hiked back, and snugged into the footstraps.   Dialling in and becoming a part of the wind and water.   Still failing my way to any measure of success that continues to change, year after year, not always for the better any more.

We show up, we rig, and we do our best.   We enjoy and share the company of others.   We travel and experience the subtle and crazy differences of location and conditions.   The fickle wind sometimes leaves us unfulfilled and frustrated.   It's all in the game.

This isn't an affair or a flirtation.   It's a relationship.   For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death, old age, or dementia, do us part.

At least that's my take on it all.

The Outer Banks Of North Carolina was the first distant wind destination for me almost 30 years ago.   Thankgiving weekend in a Chev Suburban, with 5 other eager board-heads, pulling a trailer overloaded with all our gear, driving through the night, sometimes lost for as much as an hour aimless but hopeful in the dark.   Finally there, we slogged about in light wind, checked out the lighthouse, all of the board shops, restaurants, and drank beer on the dunes along the ocean before the long haul home through the sunset and the night.   The first of more than sixty trips.   Thanksgiving, Easter, March Break, all became a time to load the van and head south to the Cape.

From the Peace Bridge to Breezewood Pa, to the Bonner Bridge, the route became a pilgrimage.   Surfmobiles became a way of life carrying our beloved gear.   Not being able to concentrate when the wind blew more than 15 knots.   Finding ways to fill in the missing and necessary sails and boards in our quiver our lives became focussed and driven.   Diet and exercise became a way of life to accommodate the lifestyle.   Magazines, the weather channel on a small portable Radio Shack weather radio clasped to our ear, instructional tapes, DVDs, anything Robby Naish, clamp on booms, nailing those jibes, and improving sail innovations were all the prime conversational imperatives.

Never enough.   Never too much.   The wind is definitely coming through for us for sure, just hang in there.

And, when it's over just pick up the pieces and sweep what's left of me off the beach.

We leave for Hatteras tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM.   Can't wait.

Life is good.






      October 14th     Hatteras.   Another trip, another checklist.

It's very difficult to pack and travel light when you're a windsurfer.

There's so many miscellaneous extras that get thrown into bags, and for the most part mostly not used.   But, you never know.   Just in case I better take …… and the list goes on, and on…

The best way for this pack rat to travel lean and mean is to clear out the van and repack essentials into two zippered, soft travel bags and a large similar non Maple Leaf type hockey bag.   Essential fins only, extensions, mid to heavy wetsuits, booties, gloves, 2 - 3 jibing DVDs, Rosetta Stone - Italian/French/Spanish Made Easy (no others), and the like with huge discretion.   Just remembering that you have to be prepared for light and heavy wind, warm and cold temperatures, and rain, extreme weather, flooding conditions, and road loss from hurricane/high storm wave damage.   Plus, the possibility of gruelling days when there's absolutely no wind, and a Happy Hour, if you can call it that, that starts very close to noon.

Not easy.   Especially when you consider what clothing, shoes, etc. to add to the mix and how many boards to take, including tarps to rig on and to cover all of the sails protecting them from ultra violet sun damage.   Keep reading.   Musical instruments, a small saw, masts, booms, pillows, cameras, computers, and thoughts about do we have to declare at Customs - the self-help acupuncture kit, a 12 volt mini vac sinus pump, one Living Unashamed With Both The Leafs and Socialism subliminal CDs, a blindfold & Margarita blender to accompany the Pin The Tail On Stephen Harper Wall Game, and an easy to assemble 220 volt Theremin.   These thoughts all begin to loom large in the cerebral cortex of at least my mind.

Shampoo, sunscreen, personal medication, bandaids, kleenex, ibuprofen, mint flavoured Stim-U-Dents, vanilla flavoured dental floss, a high end nasal decongestant, extra blades, ear plugs, Qtips, SPF30 lip balm, become the next challenge because these items that keep on coming are relatively small and the bag gets crammed larger and larger as departure nears.

And then, you have to integrate your gear with your travelling partner.   The last minute problems include things like, oh, oh, we need a small ladder for all of the boards on the roof, what about a clothes line just in case, and of course there's room for a cooler or two, and some easy folding lawn chairs.   Sleeping bags, air mattress, an electric hi-pressure plug in air pump, epoxy repair kit, sail patch, neoprene glue, a tool box, certainment, mai oui, no problemo, under the seat works for me.   Where will the duty free purchases be safely stowed?   Passport?   Garmin?   Maps?   Pool cue?   Mosquito repellent?   Cockroach spray?   Where did we put the cat nip, bonding tips, and fishing rod wool yarn balls on a string for the feral cats?   Enough!   No, not enough there's definitely room for more, somewhere.   Definitely.

Thankfully, a before and after picture in just 12 days time will help be the judge of our strategic packing and well planned Hatteras organization.   Lean and mean this trip, just the bare necessary essentials.   Superfluous and extra baggage will be an unknown commodity in our lives for once and for all.   Room to spare.   Just wait and see!   Oops, Denny has a box of Martha Stewart Double Ultra Brownie Mix just in case there's a ferry needed to get us safely to mainland Stumpy Point, NC…

Not making any of this up…

                                                                                               please click on the before & after thumbnails below to enlarge the pics in 12 days






      October 10th     The past week has given us some extreme wind and wonderful conditions.

As an aging windsurfer it was a time to both retest my courage and reset my dedication.

Six days ago the high wind spooked me after a catapult and being hugely overpowered in a very bad waterstart situation.

A few new muscles were a bit damaged as well as the aggravation of a few older injuries.   Thoughts included, “Could this be it?   Is it over?” Sometimes the self-talk head game can be as damaging as a bit of a groin pull or shoulder pain.   Such is life in the fast lane.

Thankfully it was a only week of living through some discomfort and frustration watching others work the wind and waves.   Yesterday was great sailing 5.5 and realizing that there's still a future left.   OK, some Ibuprofen helped to kick-start the session, but happily this morning, there's no discomfort, just a lingering joy from working the waves and living through a few flukey wind gusts with everyone else.   Makes me smile.

Wednesday was over the top as a few of the pics below show.   Conditions below the reef and in the bay were outrageous for anyone with the brass to test their skill set and courage.

A good thing about taking some time off the last few days was seriously working the camera in backlit and overhead light conditions and getting some interesting exposures.   Chris is featured below as ISOs, shutter speed, focal points, and aperture settings changed hoping to dial in the difficult light and capture a few shots watching such a great talent on the water.   Worked at making the best of it all on a beautiful, windy day.   We all share such an amazing sport.

Life is good.
















      October 7th     Strong distinctive weather conditions on Sunday morning helped to create some striking autumn moments.

Dark storm clouds over Lake Erie ruled the southern firmament.   Blue sky and strong sunlight dominated the northern half of the Lake Erie's shoreline.

It was about to nuke.   A huge waterspout appeared a few miles out.   Surreal is about the only way to describe the light, lake, atmospheric conditions and shoreline.

A picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe more.

Will let the camera do the talking.

















please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics



      October 4th     Only in Wainfleet

In Wainfleet, a mans' last words often include, “Hey, watch this!”   You probably get a general idea of where this might be going.

So signs like the one above need to posted to help control the basic instincts of at least some of the local population.

Nancie and I lived in Wainfleet for 14 years.

Our address back then was 9L75 Lakeshore Rd.   Try using that when you're applying for anything that requires an address.   Forms came back with the L changed to a 1, or online forms were generally rejected completely.   Whoever dreamed that one up felt it would help firefighters know where you were located if they had to rush to your home.   When or if they squeezed a new home into a new lot they added an A or B or C after the address code.   Not making this up.   Our address number with a letter included caused us a lot of grief.

Every year for past few decades Bill Thomas included a column titled You Know You're From Wainfleet If…   One is posted below.   You can Google others.   It helps to clear up any doubts that this area of Southern Ontario is unique.

By the way, the second link will open the PDF file that also includes the fines and definitions for the offences posted on the sign.   It's signed by the mayor.   I think the spitting fine should be a bit less but the mailbox bashing should be way more that also includes a public spanking at Town Hall.   Driving along Lakeshore Road bashing mailboxes with a baseball bat from the back of a pick-up truck wearing a ball cap backwards is just plain stupid.   I filled one of mine with concrete and welded it to a steel 6 inch pipe buried 4 feet into the ground.   Must have shocked the redneck living hell out of whoever took a whack at it    And best, it never happened again.   Bonus!

I won't go on because I'm sure that the antics and challenges we endured are common to many rural communities.   It was for the most part filled with fun, great sunsets, and fond memories (like the mailbox).   Enjoy reading the ByLaw and thinking about why it was created.

You know you're from Wainfleet if…

Township of Wainfleet Public Nuisances ByLaw 122-2009



      October 1st     Klaatu barada nikto.

There are two versions of the film based on the story written by Edmund H. North, in which Klaatu barada nikto is a phrase originating in the 1951 science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still.   The humanoid alien, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), commanded Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) that, were anything to happen to him she must say the phrase to the robot Gort (Lockard Martin).   In response Gort relented from destroying the Earth and resurrected Klaatu from death.   The same words were somewhat muted, but audible, in the 1988 version of the film.

My vision about Earth and life here was changed when I left the Park Theatre, in Welland, that Saturday afternoon sixty-three years ago.

As an 11 year old boy, I believed that we, as a planet, were doomed and deserved to die.   We simply didn't love the planet enough to change our ways and didn't trust the alien message about radioactivity from bombs (1951).   The concept was reinforced for a second time with a focus on pollution and misdirected political will in 2008.

One way or another, through war and all of that spinoff and from the effects of pollution, our time left as a race on Earth is both finite and likely irreversibly doomed.   It may be a bit too late to reverse the damage done to our oceans, atmosphere, and land.

If Gort and Klaatu returned in 2014 their message to save life on our planet we need would include the message about the increased rate of Global Warming or Climate Change and the need to do something to help slow it down.

Green transportation, windmills, solar power, and the like will help reduce greenhouse emissions and might even save us for as much as a few more centuries.   But ultimately I believe that it may be a bit too late.

It has to be clean.   It has to be green.   And more important the actions of our leaders in government, and industry, on a worldwide basis, have to be seen, and not ignored.

Please check out Leonardo DiCaprio's message below in his address to the UN summit meeting on Climate Change.   I fear that it's falling on deaf ears.

Leonardo DiCaprio speaks at the UN climate change summit - video…



      September 29th     Endless summer.

It could easily work out something like this.

Rename the calendar using only the names July and August.   Although this is optional and confusing even to me it will likely help most Canadians adjust to year round California conditions.   And now, we're ready to start an endless summertime.   Keep reading!

May, June, September, and October, now known as July, August, July, and August would be fine here in Southern Ontario.   Don't stay here for May, unless Immigration catches up with you.   I'd recommend The Outer Banks, NC but don't worry, you'll likely already be there from the past winter (endless summer) travels.   So keep reading.

The first challenge would be eliminating November and December (now renamed July and August).   Start out in Cape Hatteras and then swing over to South Padre Island and celebrate American Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.   Rental accommodation there is still very reasonable if the Sprinter is a bit cramped and unpleasant smelling what with all the damp windsurf gear stowed inside.

Stay there through January and maybe into February (AKA the new July and August) and then make your way to the east coast of Baja and along the Sea of Cortez.   I read the many do's and don'ts about entering and travelling in Mexico and staying safe .   One example is Baja Guide & Daily Forecast by Mike Godsey linked below.   There are a number of many worthwhile articles, (an easy to do online search) that will serve you well and should be carefully considered before crossing the border into Mexico.

Depending on non discretionary cash flow, July, August, and July (through March, April, and May) might include Bonaire (Lac Bay), Wellington (New Zealand), Maui, Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), Boracay (Philippines), and end at the Outer Banks (NC).   There are many other worthwhile windsurf/kite/surf destinations but consider starting with a few of these suggestions.

I'd be happy to pick a different one each year for a number weeks and spend the rest of my time in Corpus Christi or South Padre Island windsurfing the lagoon out of the Flats, walking the beaches, and drinking endless margaritas at happy hour every day.   Then head over to The Outer Banks of NC before returning home.

Viola!   Keep reading.

To add to the variety of it all a sailboat and diesel Sprinter Van would definitely help in the mix of it all.   Keep it simple.   A 32 - 36 foot  C&C Nonsuch would provide ample room to both cruise, provide a home base, and travel about comfortably for a few Julys and Augusts while living in Southern Ontario.   The larger Sprinter Van is a no brainer but be sure to keep your home in case there's an argument of some kind and it takes a few weeks to sort things out waiting for the real July and August to come around.   The home is also a valuable part of any negations in case one partner decides to bail out this amazing idea.   Property leverage is just so doggon important anymore when deal breaking on significant major issues like this.

So there you are.   It's simply up to you to customize the basic plan to suit your needs, hopes, and wants.   Don't wait too long.   Start saving carefully when you're young and set a goal of retiring in your early 50's at the latest.

Think carefully about the overall general concept of all of this before sharing all of the specific details with your partner.   For one, I know renaming the calendar July & August makes almost no sense and could cause undue confusion and ultimate credibility concern.   Plus the sailboat inclusion is likely a deal breaker especially if your wife is helping fund the venture with her half of the money.

Speaking of money, there's a way to help monetize the whole thing.

What with negotiating through this idea with all of the arguments, input, compromises, plus getting it all off the ground, it could become one truly great Reality TV show possibility for all of us.   Willy Nelson's version of On The Road Again might be a perfect theme song.   Move over Honey Boo Boo, Property Brothers, Sister Wives, and 19 Kids And Counting!

Bon chance.   Bon courage.   Bonaire.   And, Bon Ami, a powder cleanser for cleaning all fibreglass products both at home and On The Road!

Just one of many Baja guides…

An idea of wind conditions in Lac Bay today









      September 18th     The season's winding down.

Cooler temps, fewer boats heading out each day, and a waning enthusiasm from others.   In fact we were alone on the water.

It was just breezin' up as we unfurled the jib in 12 knots last evening.   to make it better the western sky began to light up for us.

A wonderful sail on Pegasus and a second Happy Hour that followed after putting in to dock.

Only a few weeks left.






please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics




      September 17th     This one for sure.   No, this one's my fav!   No, definitely this one…

OK, maybe it all boiled down to the Delahaye and the Pagani.   Maybe.

Two cars only a trillionaire could afford to maintain even if someone gave them to you.

I will not go on and on about all that carbon fibre on the Pagani or the unique line of the Delahaye.   I get queazy just thinking about them.   Sick.

Motorhead madness.

Maybe Nancie is right about the XK150.   Just maybe.













      September 6th     So I was corresponding with Pascal Bronnimann.   Goya Team Rider and pro windsurfer.

I recognized his name when I began the correspondence with Goya to source out some deck pad material.   He's not only a pro windsurfer, sales manager for Quatro International and Goya windsurfing, service consultant advisor regarding anything Goya, but also someone who dearly loves windsurfing and anything that goes along with it.   He went way out of his way to help me get with my meagre replacement parts.

Pascal started windsurfing in 1981 as a young boy of 9.   This was a year after I made my windsurfing debut as a 40 year old in 1980.

To be known as Pascal Bronnimann, windsurfer, is an awesome dream come true for most of us who grew up and grew old working a regular job.   We normally missed about 5/7 of the windy days because of Monday to Friday work responsibilities, except for any vacation time.

I checked out his work experience plus his videos from his homepage linked below.   So nice.

To make a long story short he's on my Christmas card list and any future children that we have will likely be named Pascal.   In turn he invited me to sail with him if I ever get to Hawaii.   Not making this up!

Ok, in case you have any doubts here's a copy/paste of our email correspondence.


John Grant
11:01 AM (21 hours ago)
to pascal
Pascal,
Thank-you hugely for your effort to source out the material. It will work perfectly! You are definitely on the Christmas card list and we will likely name any future unborn children after you if I have any say in it.
cheers,
John
ps: Please forward this appreciative kudo to your boss is you ever apply for a raise in pay. I mentioned you personally and favorably in my journal entry today...
http://www.windinsight.com/indexjournal19.html

Pascal Bronnimann
9:18 PM (11 hours ago)
to me
Hi John,
wow, you make my day!!!
Really nice of you!
Glad to hear that you were able to fix it!
Please let me know if you ever come out to Maui so we can go for a sail together.
Have a great weekend.

Life is fun.

Pascal at work…

Pascal Bronnimann - Goya Windsurfing…



      September 5th     New deck strip traction pad foam from Hawaii arrived this early morning.   Like a Christmas package from Santa!   Even better!

So nice.   Goya found some used 1/4 inch foam traction pad material in their factory warehouse to replace the missing deck strip from my beloved 116L Goya that peeled off and was lost in Lake Erie about a month ago.

The original black strips were coming off because the factory adhesive for the most part was failing.   The board is about 3 years old at this point.   No warranty of course.

After all was said and done info@goya.com and specifically Pascal Bronniman are to be hugely commended for his diligence and resourcefulness.   Many thanks for sourcing/scrounging around for this part!

Did find some mean looking black hockey tape with cool contrasting skulls & crossbones to get me temporarily through my cosmetic paranoia.   It did look pretty dangerous, but the need for a good looking, fast, conservative, and original pro race, hi-end, absolutely amazing board trumped the day.

Prior to hoping for replacements a colleague, Kevin, Googled and found some traction pads, not exactly like Goya's but would likely work well after some cutting and razor blade trim.   He found several companies including DaKine and NSI with 1/4 inch foam rubber decking for surfboards, kite boards, SUPs, and sailboards.   links below.   Curtis Sports in Hamburg, NY and Real Kiteboarding in Rodanthe, NC are distributors for NSI.

Finally back in business and should be on the water later this afternoon if the wind dials in.

It doesn't take much to help me stay excited and keeping on!

traction pads - DaKine…

Traction Pads - NSI…






VOILA! ~ finished board looking complete again…


please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics




      September 2nd     University of Long Beach     Uphaul 101…

What with the rain, dark clouds, and turkey vultures hovering it was an ominous, impending, dark Shakespearean tragedy about to unfold.

We headed out as the wind picked up again.

Then, as quickly as it had begun the wind dropped and then died.   Shot down and shut off like a Toronto Maple Leaf fan with a 7-11 cellphone.

No wind.   No up haul.   A remedial kick in the ass needed.

It was a lengthy swim to shore but at the end of the rainbow were three friends to help revive my spirits and help carry my beloved gear back to the parking lot.

Thank-you Denny, Chris and Ke.









      August 30th     At last, some wind for tomorrow…

Have had some good wind for Wednesday night sailboat racing but haven'nt been on the sailboard for more than two weeks.

The grandchildren have been here for three visits in the past three weeks.   They are true joy but constantly in all boy motion.

Here are a few pics capturing a few of the highlights.   The camera has been doing well for the most part…













      August 19th     We miss our grandkids already.

They are growing and developing so quickly.   Like all kids they have conflicts and sometimes require huge patience and help resolving their issues.

We're exhausted when they leave.

Chose the Muppet song Rainbow Connection to accompany the slideshow from Sunday.   The beautiful song we likely heard Kermit first sing is about following your dreams, wishes, and hopes.   One day it should all come together.

We hope and want the best for our children.

Miss them already…






please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics




      August 10th     Supermoon.

Shot the rising moon from our rear deck using a Canon 5D2 and a 75 - 200mm 2.8L IS USM handheld.

The colour file was fine but when I converted it to a black and white the moon popped out beautifully.



please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics






      August 9th     Windurfing, finally a breakthrough.

Car and Driver, May 2014, had an article titled How're Ya Dyin? by Jeff Sabatini.   It's an interesting look at death and our many means of transportation.   Less shocking is that motorcycles are the single most dangerous method of getting killed going from point A to point B.   Check out the link below.

Only a handful of windsurfers have ever been reported to have died over the years.   Heart attack, exposure, serious spousal retaliation from being late for an event or from wind driven disobedience, and a drowning were all I could find after an extensive Google search.

Conclusion.   Windsurfing is one of the safest ways to travel.

Kiteboarding has had a number of fatalities over the years and is considered to be much more dangerous as an activity.   It's generally accepted to be an easier sport to learn with a larger general population of enthusiasts so more accidents are going to happen, especially among the less experienced as well as the more daring in extreme conditions.

All I can say is windsurfing is the only way to go mate!   So let's all get on board, eh?

I made up the part about spousal retaliation and wind driven disobedience.

Car and Driver ~ How Are Ya Dyin?

      July 25th     Stick to the simple rules.

It was blowing up to 28 knots on race night.   The strong winds Wednesday evening made getting a secure foothold on deck a bit tricky.   Normally the cameras can be easily switched to an aperture priority to get shots tack sharp from front to back.   In the high wind, with sunglasses, a straw hat, and an insecure footing the numbers and settings did get a bit ignored resulting in a loss of some otherwise good compositions.

Lost about 15 otherwise great shots because the shutter speed dropped automatically when dialled to aperture priority causing the pics to blur and end up unused and in the trash.   Bummer.

Normally 1/1000th+ of a second in shutter priority is an acceptable setting using a hand-held longer fast lens when bouncing around.   Then adjust the ISOs and f stop especially when shooting into the sun on water to better get the exposure nearby to correct.   Quick and easy.   Get and take the shot in focus in rough conditions, then maybe worry about the aperture size for the next few clicks.

Worst part, I know better.

However, not quite as bad as the National Geographic photographer who ended up at the peak of Mt. Everest or Kilimanjaro, on that first historic climb, without enough enough film or batteries to get the shot, as the story goes.

slideshow ~ Wednesday evening Race   Watch in 1080p, full screen…







      July 22nd     Vimeo & YouTube, a few thoughts…

A number of years ago Google somehow gave my old YouTube account to my wife for some reason that has never been revealed to me.   Once I discovered that if I used her email address and password uploads could continue without a hitch until they somehow realized that I wasn't her, then nothing worked when tried to upload material, and my nearby to blossoming video career tanked.

So I created a new YouTube account and everything has since worked tickety-boo, except for the fact that eventually my, oops - Nancie's, account will likely become dormant and expire someday in the future from non use.   All of my old videos, with 30,000+ views, are somehow lost to me and out of my control, trapped somewhere in Google cyberspace.

Along the way windinsight became a member of the Vimeo family.

Comparing the two video upload services is an interesting project.   YouTube seems to be a bit more lenient with copyright infringement because they can advertise, with your consent, and that money likely goes to the musicians somehow, I hope.   Have had several Vimeo videos refused because of using music that is copyright sensitive.

Even using hit music karaoke tunes in a vid can be a problem today.   We got away with that once upon a time.

That said I can understand how the vast majority of professional musicians feel and agree with their right to be paid for their work.

That said, good music helps make a video more fun.   I'd gladly pay a reasonable usage fee to have hit tunes in my vids but I suspect that it would be a bookkeeping nightmare to account for in the way $s would be collected, used, and allocated in the corporate music world.

In any event, both YouTube and Vimeo provide great upload service and quality.   Vimeo offers three plans.   A freebee, and two pay options with better upload speed and file size benefits.   YouTube offers free larger uploads that result in clear, clean visuals.   The first one below is HD 1080p, 1920 X 1080, and stereo. The picture quality is great considering the picture file sizes are in the 200 - 300 KB range, which is just a bit better than email quality.

For the more capable and entrepreneurial YouTube allows earning money if your vids get a large number of hits!   Monetization.   Somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1500 for 150,000 views I've heard.   Nice!

Vimeo has a tip jar to help individuals.   I wonder how it's working.

The other videos that I posted below two compare Vimeo and YouTube as HD 720p, 1280 X 720, and in stereo.   Have had a few inputs that the Vimeo is a bit cleaner or crisper but I believe that's more likely an untested judgement call.   Screen quality and eyesight, to name only two factors, play a determining role in all of this.   So it's personal.

The videos appear better on my MacBook Pro with the Retina Display option than they do on our iMac, except for the iMac's large 27 inch screen that can better display the clarity of the enhanced YouTube 1080p upload.

For the most part the option to use available YouTube or Vimeo copyright free music is a bit of a downer in my opinion.   Lots of it but not much fun.
I'm hopeful that some kind of hit tune arrangement with the superstars will eventually surface for amateur videologists like me so we can add another dimension of auditory fun to better enhance our projects.

Life goes on.


YouTube HD 1080p, 1920 X 1080, - Crossing Lake Erie this past weekend…


Vimeo HD 720p, 1280 X 720 - Crossing Lake Erie this past weekend…


YouTube HD 720p, 1280 X 720 - Crossing Lake Erie this past weekend…


I Googled YouTube vs. Vimeo ~~> lots of articles to read…



      July 21st     Crossing to Dunkirk, NY.

We endured it all.   Wind, calm, sun, rain, heat, cold, and a second place.

But with Pegasus and the bimini/dodger we were safe and comfortable protected from all that Mother Nature threw at us this weekend.

Sleeping was a treat compared to last year.   More than enough room for 4 crew.   Fans provided a cool breeze, and the screened hatches let air circulate.   Very, very nice!

Plus, seven people can sit comfortably in the dining area.   Now, that's a big deal!   And, when all else fails there's a large flat screen TV with the complete box set of Boston Legal!

The boat made 7+ knots easily with 13 - 15 knots of wind, or with the diesel powered up in calm conditions.

No complaints!   Looking forward to whatever comes out way.   Including air conditioning, the likelihood of a new jib in a year or two, karaoke, a cut down keel, a popcorn machine, and a high speed tachyonic drive deep space warp drive system with a Romulan cloaking device.   Look out Zulu!   We will likely dominate the summer series as early as 2017 if all goes according to plan.


Crossing Lake Erie this past weekend…









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      July 17th     Our Wednesday race called because of too much wind.

The committee boat wasn't able to anchor or set up pin in the 20+ knots that blew last evening.

We race to Dunkirk and back this weekend.   The forecast shows light wind and pleasant temperatures.   We're more than ready for whatever the lake brings.   Captain James has Pegasus organized and running well.   Even the spinnaker is ready.

Windsurfing has been good for the able bodied these past few weeks.   Could have used a 3.7 m2 sail on Tuesday for the last few hours.   Haven't carried it in June or July for the past few decades, so as you could guess it was safely stowed in the garage waiting for late August/September.

Johnny and Brenda caught some fun pics of me windsurfing Tuesday in the high wind that I will keep and treasure.   Still have more than a few good runs left.

Time is racing by.   Thankfully we all have a built in time machine.   It can take us back, those are called memories.   It can take us forward, those are called dreams.   (Jeremy Irons said that)

Giddy-up!








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      July 11th     Squeezed off some satisfying shots on the sailboat Wednesday evening.

It was rough and windy.   And, sometimes difficult to get a secure foothold with two hands working the cameras and lenses.

Used the 75 - 200mm f/2.8 on the 7D instead of the 100 - 400mm f/4.5 - 5.6.   The f 2.8 provided some more flex as a medium long lens along with using both 1 & 2 image stabilizers and high shutter speeds with more auto-focus points.   Made photog life on deck as the evening progressed so much simpler.   Cropping up any longer shots in PS/CS5 for a better zoom as needed was an easy post edit.

The 24 - 70mm on the 5D2 provided some very good results overall using aperture priority when needed, some auto ISO, centre weighted exposure, and sometimes a spot focus.   A flash would have helped the back lit and shaded exposure challenges encountered but using a speed-light would be out of the question rolling about in five foot waves, 15 - 20 knots of wind, and being quickly stowed or accessed in 2 camera bags lashed to the wheel block.

Placing the camera bags on the wheel support (bottom left) provided safe haven and easy access for both cameras when crew demands called.

Life is good and shoulder is coming along as well.





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      July 9th   (2)     Taking some time off to let the shoulder heal.

Missed two good days on the water this past week.   It's been a long, long time since a board related injury has kept me from sailing.   The anxiety not sailing on a windy day is somewhere nearby to an addiction disorder.   Not nice.

And to add insult to injury a seagull actually shat on me this past Monday.   Being shit on is a very clear sign.   Not sure exactly how to interpret the message but it's certainly a clear sign of something.   Will try to patiently work through all of this indignity and challenge with ice, an anti-inflammatory, some easy stretching, and light exercise.   Hopefully this discomfort will soon pass.

Still working at improving camera exposures in overhead mid-day light.   The long zoom/small sensor equalling 640mm+ adds to the challenge.   Underexposing to get things like the clouds to show darkens faces.   Upping the exposures blows out things like the the sky.   A flash is out of the question,   Maybe a newer generation RC drone with a hi-def camera or a nice 38' cruiser would help.   Will run these ideas by Nancie at Happy Hour this evening.

In trying to ward off future wind forecast criticisms both disclaimers and third party references will be attempted from now on.   For example, if you read something like Flying Pig Forecast For Today: It will be SW 20 - 24 knots by noon increasing to WSW 30 knots by evening you might not believe it to be an ultimate truth.   Maybe more like a prophesy i.e. The world will end today at 3:05 p.m.   Or, Iron Hummingbird predicts strong, steady NE wind today at LaSalle.   No one in their right mind would believe that one.   In any event, if this ploy fails then I'm not sure how to proceed with trying to communicate the possibility of usable wind somewhere.   A little forgiveness is all that's actually needed.




please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics






      July 4th     Some good wind for the sailboats this past Wednesday.

Pegasus isn't competing well just yet.   We're not entirely certain why but we suspect a new jib will help for one.   It will also take a season for our crew to become adjusted to a new boat that sails so differently than Silent Lady.

Captain James works diligently at the helm and will no doubt help direct us to improve race times as we work our way into the summer series.

The wind was wonderful on Wednesday and provided us with a great ride and some interesting photography.

International Yacht World Magazine loved the intensity and focus in the pic below left for their August cover shot but rejected it because of the barbecue.   How do we break the crushing news to James and does anyone have a 3/8th inch open ended wrench and a #2 Phillips screwdriver to help remove the distracting cooker?





please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics



      July 1st     Canada Day provided a warm, windy, wonderful day on the water!

More than 30 surfmobiles filled the parking at Long Beach East.   An near epic day that was well gratefully enjoyed by everyone.

Sail sizes ranged from 6.3m2 to 4.7m2 as the wind picked up throughout the day.   Best, it didn't dome as many feared.

From the photog complaint department, strong overhead mid-day sun always creates facial underexposures what with helmets, caps, and long lens shots but other than that a few fun pics were squeezed off to help commemorate the day.

Was home mid afternoon to toast the day with Nancie!   (Bonus points)
















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