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Recent videos…

Spring windsurfing in high wind conditions in Rodanthe, NC.

Spring windsurfing in light wind conditions in Rodanthe, NC.

(edited) Spring windsurfing in high wind conditions in Rodanthe, NC. (Vimeo)

Spring windsurfing in light wind conditions in Rodanthe, NC. (Vimeo)

Added footage & pics to Sean's great video where Grant scores a goal at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea.

Please scroll down for older entries.





        September 2nd     Still working through some funky camera withdrawal.

That said the borrowed Canon 40D has been fun and a relearning challenge.

With a 10.1 MP smaller sensor I had forgotten about using a fill flash and the need for a wide angle lens.   That said the readjustment came quickly and the only thing lacking was decent wind last racenight to help get some action going.   The shots were mostly okay but stalled at the start and with about 3 - 4 knots the pics were mostly uneventful and not that much fun.

Using a 24 - 70mm 2.8 zoom was the same as using a 38 - 112mm lens with the smaller sensor crop factor.   That was a huge bonus for getting in a bit closer to the fray but somewhat frustrating in framing close ups when wanting more area in the shot.

The 5D2 will be another 3 - 4 weeks getting its new shutter replaced.   That should be enough time to work the borrowed camera for improved results.

In the meantime newer camera bodies are working full time in my imagination.   The 5D3 and 5DS/5DSR would be amazing leaps forward but as an amateur photog guy the cost is a bit hard to justify.   Will continue to perseverate over these moral issues in the coming year.

Looking forward to some windy conditions in the next few weeks.


                                                                            Confucious say: When action diminish go for sunset in picture.

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        August 29th     Self-concept and other achievements.

When you realize that you've actually earned something, that accomplishment can help propel you into more success.

As a pretty good writer and a pretty good photographer I know this to be a simple truth.

On several occasions the question of why write this public journal of sorts has been asked.   The simple answer is that writing is my way of consolidating thought that would otherwise stay a bit muddled and more likely be forgotten and not worked through.   Writers write and are then read in magazines, journals, blogs, books, and the like.   Not being afraid to be read, scrutinized, criticized, whatever, is a testament to one's personal faith and thinking.

Essays required in early academic sessions always intrigued, beguiled, and motivated me to explore and learn.   On the other hand, stand up and sit down social situations were mostly intimidating both then and still now.   But, alone in a library, anytime, with a purpose, a pencil, a notebook, and a few hours were and still are hugely pleasurable if not divine moments delving into proofs, discoveries, and possibilities.

As a young teacher, the relationship between a student's self-concept and school achievement always seemed strongly correlated.   When the opportunity to write a post grad thesis about this became a reality, the decision to proceed was immediate and fully embraced.   It took about a year to actually validate the hypothesis and to this day that study served me well in understanding the notion that success begets more success.   Achievement builds confidence.   Confidence become a stairway of sorts that leads to more favourable outcomes and triumphs in life.   It propels us to fail our way to success, to keep on keeping on, no matter how many lemons come our way there will ultimately be a lemonade stand somewhere in our future.

And as originally stated, there's a definite correlation between self-concept and school achievement 1.

Our grandson Grant William scored the most goals in his football camp to be eligible to not only earn a free kick at a Chelsea game but also to run in with the team beside his favourite players, through the tunnel, and onto the Stamford Bridge field plus, get this, bring his younger brother Blakey along!   He was over the moon when he finally made the last few goals at camp and earned his reward.   No one else did it for him.   He was solely responsible for his achievement.   A success no one can ever take from him.   The hours of practise and the risks involved all paid off.   At seven years of age, he was also the youngest player.   But, he did it.

The video below is a testimony to his effort and dedication.

If it's going to be, it's up to me.

Our grandson scores a goal at a Chelsea Match (intermission) at Stamford Bridge on August 27th, 2016

Added footage & pics to Sean's great video where Grant scores a goal at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea.

1 The Relationship Between Self-Concept And Academic Achievement, 1974, Education Department, Graduate School of Niagara University,  John Grant


        August 27th     A Canon 40D has graciously come into my life for a while.

Daughter Maggie thankfully let me borrow her 40D for a month while my 5D2 is in for repairs.

The Canon EOS 40D is a 10.1-megapixel semi-professional digital single-lens reflex camera first introduced in 2007.   It has a 10.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and shoots RAW (very important).

Am hugely looking forward to using this camera and seeing how far it can be pushed.   I expect the results will be sterling.

So far the images look great and the camera functions well with the very fast Canon f1.4 50mm prime lens in very low light conditions last night.   The very shallow depth of field is quite evident in the three shots below ~-> focussed first for eye, then camera body, and finally front lens info into a mirror edge bevel for a bit of fun.

Tomorrow promises some wind and hopefully the longer zooms can be pressed into service to capture some moments on the water.   Will be looking to source a second back-up camera.   One much like this, in good condition, might be a suitable candidate.

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        August 25th     The shutter on my beloved camera failed this past Sunday at Long Beach.

There's still the iPhone, Nancie's Samsung Galaxy, and a GoPro.

But the Canon 5D2 is the flagship of my photography quiver.   I love it.   It pretty much does most everything needed to do and does it well.   To purchase anything less capable as a backup would soon become unused, disappointing, and quite simply poor stewardship of our personal resources.

It could take a month to get the shutter issue fixed and returned from the repair depot.

Higher end camera rental is ridiculously expensive.   A new 5D body is over 3K and nears 4 with taxes and extended warranty.   And SIGH, a new 5DS at closer to 5K, all in.   Shiza.   Somewhat hard to justify at this point and time in my mind as the repair is set about 10% of the price of a new body.

Will try to source out another Canon SLR body to make due and continue to consider alternatives.   Overall, maybe a good exercise in self restraint and creative thinking going on.

Cheers.
The last shot above when the error message appeared, the shutter actually wasn't responding correctly but thankfully did capture the jump quite well.



        August 15th     A last few days with the boys.

Bowling, swim, basketball, pizza at the Hacienda.   A chocolate birthday cake for Nan with blue icing showing on Blakey's face and sweet, brown crumbs in his teeth.   A few more pictures, then off to bed in their sturdy forts for a story.

Pop's new Chairman Mao T shirt that needed some explanation.   After all he was a true visionary as well as a theorist, military strategist, poet who modernized China.   The boys loved it.

We'll miss them hugely and hopefully look forward to a Christmas visit, one way or another.

Will post a few more pics in the family album in the next few days.

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        August 11th     The troops have pulled out.   Their forts abandoned.   One security blanket left behind.

Grandchildren.   Life goes into hyper overdrive when they appear.   Boundless energy.   Occasional conflict.   Exploring most every aspect of most everything around them.   Seeking answers, testing, looking for a snack or a snuggle, and always needing bandaids of all descriptions.

Perfect.

Our lives are enriched by their coming and saddened with their departure.

The boys are fast becoming their own person.   Personalities are forming and lives are taking shape.   Preparing to survive the rest of their time in spite of our interventions and hopes.

Most everyone I know wishes that they could start their life at some point again or at least relive a chapter or two and make changes somewhere in their past.

Not to be.   So instead we try to give advice, and warn, and worry, and try to be a good role model.

But they will do what they will do.   Just like we did.   It takes a lifetime and maybe then some to figure it out.   Just about the right amount of time.

Cheers!

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      (edited again)   August 9th     To be perfectly Frank…

This entry might appear a bit weird.   But honestly, so is most everything else in our world today…

Truth be known, an extraordinary occurrence like this most likely doesn't belong here.   But because this event was such an offbeat part of my life for the past week I simply needed to try to write the experience.   And windsurfing was slightly involved at one point.

To anyone who knows about whom this is written please keep it to yourself.   Write and fear no man.   Don't write and fear none else.   Shiza, here goes.

It started mid way ago awaking from a dream.

A cloaked and bearded figure was cooking hot dogs on the Sugarloaf Marina Rec Deck located just above the sailboat.   The barbecue was smoking and a tire bouchon (waiter's corkscrew) was laying open on the side shelf attached to the cooker.   Another near duplicate dream replayed a few nights later but this time at a pool party to which I had come early and alone except now a gowned woman grilling the dogs acknowledged me with a smile.   And again that tire bouchon was clearly visible.

The second time the dream occurred was enough cause to seriously consider the vision.   My morning walk was perfect for the rethinking of it all.   What was this odd scenario about?   Then, surprisingly it seemed a voice called my name.   Looking around there was no one.   I actually cracked up at thoughts about psychic interventions, someone hiding, or maybe even a mild schizophrenic possibility.   But the voice, as real as it seemed was likely just me being distracted and self-talking as usual.   Maybe too thinking about a shared LottoMax ticket, secretly hoping that fate was about to propel me into that growing company of lucky mega millionaires and a new spacious Sprinter Conversion Surfmobile finally becoming a reality, waiting, when the dust of the draw settled.

Still, no connection, no answer, no awareness, and worse, no Sprinter.

Twice before in my life an inner voice admonished me to KEEP DIGGING while seeking an errant, offensive clay tile in a faulty septic system, and a BE STILL in my early 20s while seriously struggling with a major career decision.   Both times everything worked out and life unfolded in my favour.

However, this time it felt different.   I had a vague notion that maybe I was somehow being urged to become involved in something.   What the hell?   Still no connection.

So the day progressed to mid afternoon where I was working out at the Y, when my name was clearly called.   This time it was real.   But in fact it was another John in the basketball court below who was being summoned to receive or throw a pass.   And moments later my sought for connection was both apparent and realized.

But then, on second thought, it all seemed like such an unlikely stretch.

An old friend recently fractured his leg and femur in a fall.   He is currently recuperating in a Catholic Hospital overflowing with statues of saints and imposing, black and white photos of bygone supervising nuns.   My old friend, over-served and overindulged in wine and cigars throughout too much of his adult life, and living with several troublesome consequences of past choices now faces months of difficult physiotherapy, maybe more, is understandably depressed.

All that said, the connection still seems absurd.   Could the smoke and corkscrew be cigars and wine?   Does winning a lottery come into play with maybe making some sort of prayerful deal with the cloaked figures in the dream?   What involvement and intervention does the deal entail?   Sure, A shared lottery win would help improve everyone's lifestyle and motivation.   But I know that's not the way God works anywhere in the universe no matter how convoluted hope and religion might be wrapped into this odd scenario.   And his name?   No way, that's just too much of a stretch to be credible.   But it all came together as clear as any school bell.   Maybe my guilty conscience and conscious recognition of the overall situation was somehow just working itself out somewhere in my brain.   Whatever.   But, in retrospect, the hot dog part of it all is too far fetched to be any supernatural missive.   Much more likely just my overactive imagination.   But still, that connection, once realized, was such a strong a cerebral bolt.   And that image of Sister Mary Discipline, cloaked in her black and white habit, her eyes riveted to mine, in the foyer at Shaver Hospital had been another piece of the puzzle helping unlock the circuitry in recognizing an answer to my dream.   Shiza.

I see no religious supplication in play here.   No Joan of Arc interventions or misguided schizophrenic interludes.   Thankfully.   Although some religious stories and cult beginnings are nearly as far-fetched as this quirky, mystical event.   More likely a guilty conscience in not intervening sooner in helping an old friend.   But certainly there's a strong impetus now pending in my mind that will most certainly unfold with strong encouragements to do whatever it takes to help him make himself strong and well.   Both physically and emotionally.

Aside:   He tried windsurfing several times unsuccessful in the early 1980s.   Non c'é modo.

So back to the present moment.   This thought comes to mind.   We can lead a horse to water but we can't make it drink.   But surely we can still get the horse to water.   And then it's up to the horse.   Ok with me.

The struggle to maintain a positive attitude and outlook is our personal choice beginning as soon as we awake and start our day.   If it's going to be, it's up to me.   (Or thee, or she, or he.)

This was most likely a simple call to action.   Basic and straight forward.   And a bit complicated.   A work in progress.

Life is too good to ignore.



        August 6th     In the beginning was the word.

This first line, so simply expressed, fills my mind.   Like morning coffee.

A big bang, a young God starting the works, whatever.

The story unfolds.   And continues to survive.   Believe and have eternal life (see John 3:15 - 36).   Constantine and King James both saw the simple relevance in making this scripture available to everyone.   A unified belief can hold an empire together.   And it did.   And it does.

I also like the inclusion of word in the introduction.   Our life begins with the struggle to grasp words.   Our day often starts with a Good Morning.   Relationships commence and flourish with introductions, conversations, and can often be mended with apologies.

We are blessed with the opportunity to begin again at any given moment in time.   Words can heal and inspire and form the basis of any significant communication whether they be written or spoken.

A phone call, an email, a letter are just several vehicles that can reach out and be a part of any new beginning.

We easily become distracted with our dreams and hopes.   Hey, they are hugely important motivations shaping our daily life.   But the simple word is the basis of communication and shared alliance that helps to not only unify but to strengthen a relationship with loved ones.   Way more fun and much more meaningful than a selfish and distracting whim.   Words are a step above a thought.   Words are truly the beginning of new adventures.   Shared, not solo.   Maybe like shaken, not stirred.   (Ian Flemming - Diamonds Are Forever, 1956).   Many say he ruined the classic martini shaking it…

In the summer shaking a martini is ok.   The ice forms a dazzling, crystalline refraction on the surface and delights the eye with the first few sips.   But induced air from the shaking clouds the contents of the glass.   Personally, I prefer a very clear and clean look.   Rinse the olives in vermouth so oil and particulate are completely removed.   Let the mind cloud, but not the drink.

But I digress, and in all honesty, as 007 said, "Do I look like I give a damn?"   (Remember too, he had just lost a huge amount of money when he was responding to the waiter.)

In the beginning was the word.   In the end will be the memories.

Make them good.

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        August 2nd     Learn from your past.   Live the present.   Write the future.

Write The Future is an advertisement created for Nike football for the 2010 World Cup and directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

It shows just how significant the ripple effect of European footballers can be on their fans and yes, cleverly marketing a product.   Not being an enthusiastic devotee and possessing none of the skill set needed to play football (ok soccer), I can still feel the passionate emotion, and dedication in the commercial.   In fact I was seriously moved, even though it was reported that Christiano Rinaldo hit the post in the final free kick.   The advertisement stopped short after the kicked ball left Rinaldo's right soccer shoe.   Just as everyone was watching the screen intently.   And guess what, you got it, cut to a familiar trademark logo swoosh and the Nike name balanced perfectly on the where the goal would have been if the commercial had continued after the kick.   A very clever ad.

To almost no one's surprise, Nike's "Write The Future" won a Gold Lion, the Grand Prix in the Film category at Cannes.   A hugely coveted award,   And to this day still inspires viewers.

Another part of the Ad's appeal is in the title.   The word write struck a high note in my mind.   Thinking or dreaming a wish is one thing, but to commit a thought to pencil and paper is another and way more powerful in terms of giving concrete shape and focus to an idea.   Actually like writing down New Year's resolutions and then working your ass off to make them become a reality.

Write the future.   Include the details to get the job done.   Maybe compromise a bit along the way but keep that written thought clearly focussed.   The chances are that at least some if not all of the stated objective will be realized at some point if you honestly work at the goal, and don't quit.

Works for me, my loved ones, including my amazing wife and children, and a large collection of my friends, colleagues, and fellow windsurfers, for the most part.   Except in some elusive jibe moves some of the time.   But those unfulfilled moves are still strongly stated and being worked.

My future continues to unfold with many dreams playing out and some waiting to evolve.   Likely a part of the reason for the mindfulness that keeps health, wealth, play, hope, and home all working nicely together, for the most part.

And for me, writing is a bridge of sorts that still extends near and far into the future.   Words shape rants, hopes, ideas, dreams, and the like.   Writing is oftentimes a fun moment of quasi-therapy or a mental laxative of sorts helping to purge out demons and foolishness that can interfere with what really needs to be clarified and worked out.

A word of caution.   Happy Hour can be a double edged sword.   Alcohol shuts down common sense restraint and can result in starting a conversational rollercoaster up the first incline.   Be ready to mindfully ride it out and don't take your hands off that cautionary grab bar especially on hard turns.   Sure, faint heart never kissed fair maiden but fair maiden gets quickly and easily pissed off when unrestrained hopes and ideas are not carefully expressed in responding, after sipping a martini, or (gasp) two.   Keep focussed, loving, and happily make necessary compromises along the way.   It will all, work out later if not sooner.   Keep on keeping on.

Write your future.

And score your goals.

Nike Achievement Award ~ Write Your Future






        July 27th   (Actually a light-hearted reflection over morning coffee, honest.)

Take down your Christmas lights.   It's almost August.   But why?   Isn't it closer to next Christmas already?

I know, I know.   So maybe you get bummed out thinking about who down the street was cutting their lawn at 7:35 a.m. this morning, or from watching that stormy political Trump convention last week, or observing people trying to tape another colourful 8½ X 11 advertisement, with tear off telephone numbers, to the cluster kiosk subdivision mailboxes directly across the street from your porch, where you sometimes sit and relax for Happy Hour.   Like I do.

Me?   I don't want any border wall.   Maybe just a lengthened privacy fence extending down both sides of our back yard.   Maybe wood, maybe cedars, maybe electrified.   Just kidding about the voltage.   Like many people I become a bit solitary and want some privacy from time to time.   It started way before reading Henry David Thoreau alone and by myself.   I remember regularly climbing a tree by our summer cottage when I was very young and sitting looking out onto the lake.   Wonderful, quiet, peaceful solitude.

Having neighbours can be a joy.   Mark says in scriptures, "Love thy neighbour," and I do.   But I truly respect their right to live their lives in whatever form they choose.   Like I do.   Hey, for sure I'm no treat even at the best of times, especially when I make bird calls and feed the pigeons blueberry muffin chunks that sometimes cause them to choke and spit up a bit.   Everyone surely loves my immense rock, fossil, and shipwreck collection casually displayed throughout my back yard.   And, sorry too about singing along with the Tragically Hip while sipping a martini sitting solitary by my back door.   Fortunately for everyone, I do have a lovely singing voice.

I hesitate to make any specific list involving neighbourhood issues.   But you have neighbours too, and you likely understand my feelings.   From landscaping to MacGyvering treasured essentials in personally convenient locations.

Since our former neighbour moved, and my first neighbour is about to list his home, it seems this is a good time to add some fence to our yards that have been open for more than a decade.   New neighbours, however well-meaning, helpful, and friendly could otherwise become an impetus for us to maybe consider a move.   So, as poet Robert Frost so wisely said, good fences make good neighbours.   And, I like it here.

The time to fence is soon.   Or consider another alternative, again.

Of the four fundamental forces in the universe gravity is considered to be the weakest.   My current motivation isn't anywhere in the fundamental list of four forces, but it should be.

The Escape Velocity needed to break free from the earth's gravity is about 25,000 mph or 11.2 km per second in some rocket ship of sorts.   The escape velocity here at my house is about 15 mph.   In a truck.

Buying a trailer has always been a consideration in my life.   Hook it up to a 6.3 litre diesel truck and quietly move away late one night (of course with Nancie).   The thought has often crossed my mind many times over the past 50 years.   Get a rig big enough to carry all of my beloved gear and cherished earthly possessions.   Store the rest in a heated/air conditioned warehouse with an arrangement to have it shipped by courier when and if the need arises.   Circumnavigate the world looking for a near perfect utopia somewhere near water, decent wind, warm sunshine, WiFi, and maybe even some form of affordable health care.   Be still my heart.

Sure, I'd even carry a portable fence or two.   Maybe even an inflatable one with an electric pump.   And a battery powered squirt canon with a few GPS guided water balloons to deploy if it ever becomes a bit testy with any human irregularity or non conforming transients parked anywhere nearby.

Best of all - maybe even create my own unique trailer park if we ever won a sizeable lottery.   With one simple provision.   No permanent neighbours.   Everyone, including me has to move to a different spot every week.   All this would be clearly stated and must be agreed to before entering a securely locked gate fronting a drawbridge and deep, stinky moat.

But inside, a Walden Pond of sorts, like it was back in the day.   Aside:   Walden Pond is a lake in Concord, Massachusetts.   You might remember Henry David Thoreau began the tale of his experiment of simple living there, alone, back in 1845.   The Pond is a famous example of a kettle hole that was formed by large calving ice deposits from the last retreating glacier some 12,000 years ago.   Right up my geological alley so to speak.   Will maybe check it out in that big rig and trailer, and maybe reread some of his book again in any event.   Will also report back on windsurfing conditions.

But in the meantime, back to reality.   Some fertilizer for the cedars and definitely a few more bird feeders.

Imagination and dreams are so important in surviving subdivision living.   Love thy neighbour as thyself, and for the most part, I actually do.

And yes, it was I who finally siliconed the mail box surfaces with Armor All last week to help resist any more taped stick on flyers.   Not making this up.

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        July 23rd     Sometimes, your only transportation is a leap of faith.

Walking by the Stamford Presbyterian Church this morning I was struck by this signage.   The thought literally made me smile out loud.   Pretty sure that everyone has a leap of faith at some point in their lives.   Everyone.   Belief and faith are characteristically human traits.

Seeing is believing.   Believing is seeing.   For windsurfers the world over these two idioms help to propel us to new heights on the water.

I also quickly wondered if leaps of faith have ever had unusual, unexpected, unpredictable, or opposite than intended consequences.   Chuckle.   You think?   Then just maybe we should be more cautious in what we choose to believe, trust, and in whom we place our faith.

1.   "We won with poorly educated.   I love the poorly educated." ~ Donald Trump on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus on Feb. 23, 2016.   The whole growing and near inconceivable Trump journey for the past year has been not just a big surprise but involves a huge leap of faith from his eager followers.

2.   Hey guys!   Watch this!   Get your video camera ready, this could go viral.   Maybe the Darwin Awards are a direct consequence of some of these bizarre fiascos that dudes the world over loudly proclaim, often after a few beers.

3.   "When I want to descend I'll simply shoot a few of the helium filled balloons,"  remarked Larry the Sears Lawn Chair pilot, when asked in 1982, before he accidentally dropped his pellet pistol in mid flight.   From some 16,000 feet, he miraculously became tangled in a power line while descending at break neck speed.   Talk about horseshoes.   And yes, again on Jul 6, 2015 - A Calgarian, Daniel Boria pulled off the same potentially deadly stunt by attaching a bunch of helium balloons to another similar folding lawn chair.

Larry was later quoted as proudly saying, "Hey, a man can't just sit around."

4.   In 1951, Red Hill Jr. died attempting to go over the Horseshoe Falls in a flimsy contraption of inner tubes and netting.

5.   Snake handling, also called serpent handling, is a religious ritual in a small number of Pentecostal churches in the U.S.   Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.   (Luke 10:19)

6.   Iconic windsurfer Robby Naish successfully looped a 250L/3.72m Mistral Equipe in the early 90s.   This looping leap of faith sure caught my attention.

7.   Will you marry me?   One more for the road?   Hey, try some Varsol or gasoline to get the fire started dear.   Yes, I believe I will.   Thanks hon.

A muffled KaBoom resounds from a distant horizon and a black mushroom cloud with visceral hints of burnt eyebrows, arm hair and charred fingernails slowly fills the soft purple hues of twilight.

Faith and belief are not just tied to religion and politics.   Our opinions, values, and doctrine can include vitamin supplements, diets, clothing, greenhouse gases, other races, a can-do career attitude, health practises, afterlife, spirits, gravity, atoms, an infinite universe, aliens, a host of prophesies, and stuff like Global Warming.   Juries wrongly convict innocent people based on evidence, unregulated business can pollute or generally transgress many ethical values, and let's not forget those who invested their savings with the likes of Berni Maddoff, Charles Ponzi, and investment companies like Goldman Sachs who finally admitted this past February that they misled clients in 2008.   Sigh, and maybe a mindful Caveat Emptor.

Yes, it does seem that our faith can surely cause us to move about and take action on a daily basis.

I believe this is maybe becoming a bit grim.   On a brighter note Monday has some promising wind in the forecast.

BUT, never put too much faith in a weather prediction.   Meteorological forecasts are one of those quasi-scientific conjectures that can often include a large measure of doubtful promise as all expectant windsurfers have learned standing on the shorelines of the world gazing outward into calm water.   But hope springs eternal, eh?

Amen.


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        July 19th   All you need is one good _______ and everything else gets forgotten.

Golfers go for that near elusive hole in one, baseball pitchers strive for a strikeout or a no hitter, goalies for a shut out, a maximum break in snooker, a perfect game in bowling, or a golden set in tennis, a nine dart, Horseracing's Triple Crown, an eight ender in curling, or connecting with a Hail Mary pass in football.   Life gets way better for a fighter when that moment unfolds in a split second after ten rounds of boxing when a KO ends the fight!

Yesterday a near perfect jibe off an eight foot wave made my day when releasing a strong back pressure on my left hand the sail flipped right in front of me for an easy grab and my 85 litre board planed toward shore without missing any stall-time.   The thirty or so jibes prior to this moment were either mostly lacklustre or complete wipeouts in the 25+/- knot winds of the day.

Plus a few pictures earlier in the week were great exposures that captured a more serious moment in time while waiting with camera poised and ready on the point.

It does't take much for me.   Just a good move or a good photo.   And all of the wounded or almost moments are quickly healed.

I could hear Annie singing, The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow clear as a bell, cause it had just happened.

Sometimes luck helps but mostly it's a continued effort that pays off.   Try telling this to your grandchildren.

Here's lookin' at you kid!   Keep swinging!

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Movin' on down…




        (still editing)   July 13th   Arthur C. Clarke said the following…

Two possibilities exist:   Either we are alone in the universe or we are not.   Both are equally terrifying.

Background check ~ Sri Lankabhimanya, Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.   Sri Lankabhimanya - (an award - the highest Sri Lankan national honour)

My God, how I loved what this guy wrote and how he thought!

Just a few of his many other quotes:
1. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
2. The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
3. It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God - but to create him.

The maths that I needed to engage in serious quantitative thinking as a teenager were always lagging way behind (and still are).   But my love for the many mysteries involving physics and chemistry propelled me into devouring a virtual library of science fiction literature as a teenager.   Even when I was top down in our '57 Pontiac convertible, with sweating pits and a near uncontrollable need to swap saliva, I was engaged in deep and serious rethinks about Asimov's I Robot or Theodore Sturgeon's To Marry Medusa.   I was so hot to trot that even one of those alien chicks, who came from outer space in a flying saucer, to abduct horny teenage boys and take them to the other side of the moon would have been near perfect in my young undeveloped brain.   Thoughts about how these exotic creatures went about extracting our DNA was a sign me up moment.   I'd have been a willing subject regardless of whatever the consequences to our race or planet's future.   Seriously.   Not making this up.

Skip ahead a few years.   I dropped out of Teachers' College to become a photographer.   The deal was I would work for nothing, carry all his bags and camera gear, at any time day or night, and he would help learn what I needed to know to make a life with a camera.   Obviously, I had somehow negotiated this deal all by myself.   It worked for about a week until my mom intervened and threatened to cut me off of ever using her car again, a living allowance, washing my clothes, free food, and a place to stay on the weekends.   Finish off your year at school and then decide what to do with your life she said.   We are proud of you.   And remember, no car till you get this all sorted my luv.

Thankfully the one way trip to Mars offered in 2012 by Bas Lansdorp, the Dutch businessman who created MARS ONE, wasn't available at that time.   Or I'd most likely have been there with a camera in hand like white on rice, hoping to settle somewhere on the red planet, closer to my secret date with you know who every Friday might, if there was a Friday one planet away from Earth.   So, I can't for a moment believe that we are alone in the universe.   Please keep all this lust filled alien drivel to yourself.

My photographic pursuit first began while studying the shots in Sports illustrated (mid 50s) and the many black and white bomb scarred landscapes and full page bone weary soldiers filmed in World War 2 all laid out in Life Magazine.   This had been my first real stimulus to become a photo journalist.   My Dad had a Polaroid camera back in 1959 and roll after roll of self developing B&W film had been eagerly exposed with whatever willing subject got in the way of its lens.

Looking back it was all a blessing that I found a teaching career, which did get hugely sidetracked a few times, but kept me out of the fray in Viet Nam, freedom marches in the south, or wandering about somewhere in a No Man's Land, somewhere in East Asia or the Middle East waiting for bullet, a fist, a fire hose, or land mine to intervene and fall like many others carrying a camera or rifle in hand.

Quite honestly I mostly wasn't confident or skilled enough to follow that dream back then.

Thankfully several stints at nearby universities helped shape a calling in education and aided in focussing my youthful zeal.   Surprisingly too, I finally forgot about being abducted and being used up by some alien female dominatrix.   Life became a wonderful progression, and somewhat predictable unfolding of new career adventures year after year.   Marriage, photography, windsurfing, children, travel, grandchildren, windsurfing, a home on Sunset Bay, sailing, and retirement some twenty one years ago all became a part of my so called life.   Surprisingly, looking back, it somehow all worked out.

That said, I admit to being rather perplexed by the many current political issues, pros and cons about global warming, government control, business and marketing, new and ongoing wars, religious conflicts, and whatever else, maybe just call it the bullshit of our life and times I guess.   Not quite sure how one person can actually come to terms all this quandary.   But there is a real toehold that I found in all this nonsense.   It's called Science.   It is real and it works, and it follows laws and mostly makes real sense.   There is space, and an infinite and infinitely expanding universe that will eventually repeat, and we are a part of it all, alone or not, for some reason.   Reason.   Maybe our only true hope.   The Age Of Reason (mid-18th century) was likely an improved starting point for us where religious doctrines were seriously questioned.   The God that we had created and the many belief systems around that Creator were becoming problematic.   The Age of Enlightenment that was following closely helped reshape much of our thinking where Science came into playing a more leading role in discourse and thought.   An ongoing struggle between science and religion is still going on today.   Belief seems to be the stimulus that creates the many divides in our lives.   I think I tend to follow a belief system based on physical evidence and cast my votes in that direction.

It would be nice to say I rest my case.   Dream on.

Hopefully we haven't worn out our welcome on this old planet.   It sure feels like we painted ourselves into a corner and it all seems a bit like a Tower of Babel when our politicians go at it.   But life goes on eh?

Looks like some wind tomorrow.   Try to forget all of the woes and worries we otherwise face and test the limits of a few possibilities.   Rock on Arthur C. Clarke.

The phone just rang and youngest daughter needs some help in their move to Toronto.   I do love being a part of their lives.   And even though I said to Nancie that I don't do Costco on windy days this is somehow totally different.   And Nancie understands.   Nice.

Gotta go!


        July 11th   Getting the shot.

I love trying to get a shot to work out.   Trying to get the composition, exposure, focus, subject, whatever, all together and working out in a photo.

In both the initial in-camera capture and some post edit most everything usually works out.

Making sure the ISOs are well set to enable a high shutter speed and yet get a good resolution is a first consideration.   High shutter speed allows hand holding a camera with say a longer 400mm lens.   Then capturing most every action with the right shutter time from a still composition (1/125 sec.) to a hummingbird or swallow in flight (1/2000th sec.) follows a close second.

In brighter sunlight I always underexpose pics so picture information is not blown out by the bright light.   Plus clouds will pop out when a bit of shadow highlights is applied to normalize the pic in a post edit.

When composing, the Rule of Thirds, and Symmetry are the two framing thoughts that are commonly used.   The focus dots act like a bit of a grid within the camera to help with this getting this view.   I always straighten the horizon if it's not horizontal and try to get it and the subject out of the centre and into or near one of the Rule Of Third grid lines.   Be mindful that rules are just guidelines.

All of these technical inputs run through my mind as I set up a shot.   Subjects are tracked or panned and often I can anticipate a windsurfer about to jump or a seagull being a seagull and with the camera in a manual setting quickly squeeze off a shot that often catches a desirable capture.

The sun can kill an exposure, putting the camera away for a moment or changing and bagging a lens can inadvertently change a camera setting.   A recheck doesn't help much after a great shot was missed.   Mistakes are painful moments that can't be undone.   Thankfully, as an amateur photographer, my income isn't affected.

In order to get a dozen pretty good shots there are always 50 - 60 rather unremarkable others that get deleted.   So it's a numbers game.   Pretty sure that's common among even the top professional photgraphers.   That said, I'd love to see what was in the Annie Leibovitz, Yousuf Karsh, or Andy Worhol trash bins.

The thing about photography as a pastime is the ease with which a camera can be carried and used to capture a moment in time.   Not just as a picture but as a tool to capture a glimpse into the delicious fun of a recreational pastime or the real identities of your children caught in play or affection.   Perhaps that's the struggle to be enjoyed as we slowly grow closer with our camera.

Not just another pursuit, rather an ongoing work in progress, not easy, maybe sometimes akin to pushing a large stone uphill, kinda like Sisyphus.   But in a good way.

Life is fun.

Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…


Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…



        July 9th   Usually don't check my lottery ticket for a few days.

Like most Canadians I buy a lottery ticket.   And like most everyone else I believe it would be fun to win some extra cash.   Maybe helping mend the many mistakes of a lifetime, doing something useful for a cause or two that might otherwise be left undone, and travelling anywhere, at any time with an impunity of sorts would pretty much fulfill my bucket list.

Being able to walk into any hospital anywhere in the world with Nancie and receive any needed treatment would be a huge relief for one.   Following the sun and some wind year round would be another.   That's pretty much about it.   Nice.

The numbers chosen are basic combinations of close family birthdays with a few manipulations.   Easy to remember and spot when the draw is published.   Any winnings are replayed the next week.   Simple.

The fantasy of it all goes back about four decades.   Not sure that winning a big one would make a huge difference in my thinking and lifestyle but it would help kick it up a notch or two.   I think the dreaming about it all is the best part.

Dreams help motivate and propel us in their direction.   Good fun and a good focus.   Thankfully compromise is always at least a partial solution in the way our lives and dreams play out.

In the meantime there's another day to be lived and enjoyed.   The wind looks promising on Lake Erie this afternoon, that translates to some photos while my ear continues to heal.   Giddy-up!




        July 7th   Lesion removed and all is well.

The growth was a cyst of sorts and was excised and evacuated by a plastic surgeon.   Not malignant was the best news of the day.

As a windsurfer big SPF, and any other body cover are essentials in maintaining good skin health and maybe a longer life.

Found some polyester SPF 50 long sleeved Jerseys and a beanie at the Columbia Outlet store.   Also checking out the best sunscreens available as we speak.

On a course of antibiotics to get the ear under control and will hopefully be able to get back to windsurfing next week.



        July 5th   On Autopilot with an override option.   Time and life.

A one way street with a set speed limit.

Kinda like self driving cars.   Get in.   Figure out where you want to go.   Press enter.   The journey begins.

Along the way any one singular destination simple becomes a bit more complex.   We factor in a residence, a career, a lifestyle, children, friends, holidays, and the list goes on.

Along the way we make many choices.   Some of them healthy and productive, others not so much.   Ultimately our lives, physical organs, mental health, personal competence, and happiness are put to the test.

Quitting cigarettes five decades ago, mostly drinking moderately, exercise, working out, diet, reading, writing, loving, relationships, parenting, indulgence, recreation, friendships, etcetera, etcetera, all play a role in what we ultimately become and how we feel.   Live for today but think to the future.   What we have left is yet another part of our journey and for the most part is still in our hands for many hopeful outcomes.

Along the way we sometimes make a few hard choices and take action when we feel it's necessary.   Sometimes we simply go along with it.

This past winter I accepted a 3 month wait for an MRI because all of the prescribed tests indicated that an abnormality was likely a congenital birth defect of sorts.   The doctor was right.   Thankfully everything worked out.   But from time to time during the long wait a few unfounded doubts lingered.

This past month a growing bcc (basal cell carcinoma) on the helix of my right ear was becoming more painful and pronounced.   Not likely life threatening.   Except for the fact that it was or might be or become something worse.

It had doubled in size in about 3 weeks, and had become quite tender and inflamed.   The thought of waiting three months to see a surgeon here in Niagara to have it removed seemed unreasonable.

Our Ontario Health Care System has been good to me and our family over the years   But the wait time, the negative thoughts about this painful growth keeping me awake at night, the questionable and ultimate size of the chunk to be taken out of my ear, and my wife's suggestion to go to an ER in Hamilton all became a stimulus to act.

Drivetime, hospital parking, and an ER triage went smoothly.   An admission to see an Emerg Doc was made.   Once in I was assured that a Plastic Surgeon would call and see me and to have the errant growth treated and biopsied this week.   My universe continues to unfold.

We live, we die as the song went.   But there's a bit more to it than the if A, then B will surely follow.   We can sometimes more reasonably help ourselves along the way if we act on our instincts regardless of how others might feel.   Maybe consider the old saying Faint heart never kissed fair maiden…   Take a chance.   So with cap in hand and thinking about the what ifs and let's just get this grotesque thing lobbed off, we optimistically set out to Hamilton to seek another opinion and maybe a better intervention time, and it seems to be working out.   Hopefully taking action will not be misunderstood as out of line by our GP who I respect has to be an advocate for our currently overburdened health care system.

Maybe hold the wind for a few days while we're waiting for the phone to ring here.   Oops, sorry.



        July 3rd   A quick facelift for July.   Will change these pics more often pics as the wind returns.

Movin' on down…


        July 2nd   A few good days of good wind sure helps to unkink the mind.

Wednesday RaceNight was blowing around 17 knots and the waves were cresting at 3 - 4 feet for the most part with a few steeper sets coming at regular intervals.   We had Pegasus heeled way over and doing 8.5 knots on at least one occasion.   Although we jubilantly crossed the finish first our handicap PHRF scored us lower in the final analysis.   Our improved performance of finally getting to the front of the pack this past year has been a combination of eliminating mistakes and getting the settings and adjustments on the sailboat closer to correct for the constantly changing conditions.

Yesterday was near perfect on the water at Long Beach with a W/SW wind of 16 - 22 knots through most of the afternoon.   A 5.5m2 sail and my beloved 105L wave board were pressed into service for a few precious hours of downright good fun.   Wave heights in some of the sets were about 6 feet high a few km out there.   It was good fun to get working these sweet swells coming around Mohawk Point.

Didn't get the opportunity to take many pictures until the end of the day but the sun was at a much better angle and the exposures were actually great for a change.

It was often almost as much fun watching Chris through the telephoto as windsurfing.   His intense concentration and perfect manoeuvres are a joy to behold and squeeze off when they appear.   To simply say that he's a natural isn't realistic.   His focus, practise time, and move execution has been disciplined and worked at diligently over the years.   Commendable and deserving of his achievement in every sense.

Maybe others should to be included and named in a tribute as well.   But someone would be left out or their motivation and effort would not be recognized.   Each one of us loves and revels in our sport.   Each one of our group celebrates the time spent and hard work the it sometimes takes to be there when the wind blows.   I know the determination and cost of time and energy in what we do.   And I know the joy and satisfaction that we feel and share after a session like yesterday.

Life is good.

Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…


        July 1st   The Toronto Refugee Crisis.

They're here.   Banging on your door.   Wondering if your house is for sale.   Cash money.   When can we move in?

It's crazy.   Our home has increased in cash value by about another 40% over this past year.

I'm actually no closer to moving to another Lake Erie lakefront property BUT fortunately am not moving further away either.   And, by all the rules still a viable player in the real estate game here in Southern Ontario.

Toronto folk are appearing all around us.   Their once round spoken Os are no longer even faintly noticeable but their happy to be here, plus a cash nest-egg in the local bank, and a much more relaxed no more traffic jam lifestyle is a bit disconcerting.   For me the increased population is slowing down drive times most everywhere around here.   A growing temptation is taking hold on me.   Like a dog wrapped around my leg.

Sell.   Or at least see how much I can flog our long paid for real estate holding here.

Definitely should reread Jack Kerouac's On The Road again after 55 years.   Kick some Dually tires at the local diesel truck store, and check out a few fifth wheel trailers with one bedroom, one bathroom, AC & furnace, Widescreen TV & Netflix, several slide out rooms, a toy hauler area with room for a workshop, a few boards and rigs, maybe a kayak, our beloved near vintage 911, plus a deck and awning, and four foolproof mosquito lure traps, one for each corner of the deck.

Will be sitting on the front porch holding a Free Coffee sign and wearing a Blue Jay T-Shirt that reads I Love Toronto.

Hit the road.   Free at last.   Endless summer.   Let's see how many times we can circumnavigate North America before the Grim Reaper catches up.

Will definitely try to run some or most of this by Nancie over the next few weeks to see how she's inclined.   Maybe during a Happy Hour with some Johnny Mathis LPs and a few vintage Makers Mark Maraschino Manhattans.   Hey, you should never say it's not doable till you give it a fair shot.   Shiza.

That's actually also a screened in garage with a drop door drive up & in ramp where the folding table/chairs are on the right…


        June 26th   Looks like good wind tomorrow and then a somewhat sketchy week.   Seems to me we sailed way more 36 years ago.

Summer and windsurfing used to be inextricably bound together way back in 1980.   My guess is we tend to forget that our first huge board, 6 metre sail, and pre-kindergarten windsurfing experience worked well in weeks like this one starting tomorrow.   Planing, high speed, and riding waves were not criteria on my first 1980 Mistral Super Light.

That board was 380cm X 68 cm and weighed in at a hefty 16.5 kg. (that's about 12.5 feet long and around 36 pounds)   Shiza.

This monster slug had a blue spring loaded fin and a step-on push-down dagger board that never fully retracted.   Worst of all this round bottomed behemoth actually would not plane.   And it suffered badly from a single compression mast plug stuffed at best temporarily into one of two holes in the deck.   Plus, no mast track, and a goofy tie on boom were the third and fourth worst parts that I recall.   But I sailed it 5 out of 7 days every week for the first two summers.   With it's 260 litre displacement it was a smooth, floaty, leisure craft, a virtual cruiser of sorts compared to our current rides.   It was the love of my life in spite of all it's quirky faults.   The whole package was licenced by Hoyle Schweitzer, who cofounded windsurfing as we sort of know it today, along with Jim Drake in 1976.

We car-topped the Superlight to the Pacific Ocean in 1982 along with one of the first Mistral Malibu race boards.   Yes, a racing Malibu with a flat double-concave bottom, 195 litres, fully retractable daggerboard, sliding mast track, and a near unbelievable revolutionary clamp on boom.   It not only planed but had a 6.6m sail for lighter wind.   A virtual rocketship in its day.   Shiza.

We strapped these two boards to our roof and drove all the way to Tofino, Ucluelet, and Long Beach on the north-west coast of windy Vancouver Island.   Windsurfing across Canada in places like Buffalo Pound, frigid Lake Louise, and Lake Okanagan to name just a few of our stops which were pretty much anywhere wind and water presented itself.   The newly discovered Columbia Gorge was fast becoming popular as a windsurfing destination.   But with two children, two boards, four rigs, and an absolutely cram packed un-air conditioned Volvo, a side trip to Oregon was pretty much out of the question.   Voting was not an option as I recall.   Shiza.   Another real and personal struggle had formally begun.

Back home and for the rest of that summer it seems planing became the criteria for when a decision was made to head to the beach.

And worse, wind became an ultimate distraction in my life.   How much?   What direction?   How can I possibly get there now?   Or before it dies…

Skiing, running, cycling, hiking, roller blading, and the many miscellaneous chores all came a distant second during good windsurf weather.   The need to remain fit became an essential part of it all as well.   Gym memberships, diet, exercise, a Radio Shack Weather Radio, occasional glib excuses, Board meetings, and time management were a significant part of all that that contributed to a most wonderful lifestyle.

I was absolutely hooked.   Speed became the focus.   Sails, fins, boards, harness lines, three windsurfing magazine subscriptions, and much coveted, multi coloured accessorization rapidly adjusted to suit this new passion through the mid to late 80s.   We lived for the summer.   We lived in the hope of dark brewing gales on the horizon heading our way.   Trips to windy Cape Hatteras became our early spring and late fall normal.   Thanksgiving weekend, Easter weekend, March Break, whenever!   Roofracks, trailers, vans, we were there, fully suited up, with a grin, a cold beer in hand, and whatever else it took to sail the day away.   (Shaka)

Hi, my name is John and I'm a windsurf junkie.   At least one of our pack quit his job and began to live out of his surf-mobile.   Life became a beautiful wind driven frenzy of sorts.   Early retirement, a van, and a home on the lake were the only answers that truly resonated in my mind.   And in the meantime a few new and better boards and rigs were acquired.   New launch sites were discovered from Thompson Road on the Niagara River to Long Beach Conservation Area on Lake Erie, or from the old Artillery Range in Niagara-On-The Lake west to Charles Daley Park on Lake Ontario.

Of even more significance was a growing, ongoing, and often uneasy negotiation of windy day time.   Arbitration, conciliation, bargaining, whatever, all helped resolve an acceptable compromise of time spent on the water on windy days.   Life at times became a windsurfing chessboard of sorts where wind could become a checkmate or a capture.   But, for the most part wind, words, and mutual needs evolved.   We both adapted.   Life was good.

To this day the dream continues to help fuel and enrich my life.   I check the wind and listen for messaging dialogues as colleagues set up windy destinations for the day.   Good wind is still the daily priority for the most part.   And I'm truly thankful for the opportunity to give it another go.

Tomorrow looks good.   Maybe.   As long as it doesn't dome.   And the promising forecast prediction holds.

I guess when you sell wind Apps that fudging the windspeed numbers from time to time is a part of a larger marketing plan to help keep both our hopeful spirits motivated and monthly payments forthcoming.

Be still my heart.
Will have get to the archived photo albums buried deep among the slide trays, VHS cassettes, 8 tracks, 78s, 45s, and 33⅓s to source and scan some old prints…

Windsurfing on beautiful but frigid glacier fed Lake Louise above, and at Long Beach near Toffino, Vancouver Island with an errant crab tangled somehow in my hair.




        June 20th   Night fishing with a bow, a tenacious hitchhiker, and the often misunderstood Lake Erie East Weather Buoy.

Night fishermen with bows and bright lights stalk carp with their archery gear in Dunkirk harbour.   A bit over the top and somewhat intimidating for me but it could well be a part of their Second Amendment rights.   Not entirely sure.

We picked up a tenacious hitchhiker a few miles out that clung on for the duration of the crossing.

One of the main points of interest for me was the often misunderstood Erie East Weather Buoy (pictured below).   This floating device transmits current wind data that gets mostly somehow misused by any number of excited Weather Apps errantly attracting windsurfers to their favourite launch sites.   Mixed feelings about this delinquent piece of misbehaving broadcast technology piqued my deepest emotions momentarily but no action whatsoever was taken on my part.   Thoughts about boarding and signalling colleagues with a huge exaggerated report of perfect wind came to mind but thankfully faded with the help of a cold beer in hand.

Life can be pretty good when you actually think things through, eh?


Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…



        June 15th   The rest of it all seems still pretty dark.

About 15% of our universe is made up of stuff that we see, can touch, or somehow easily sense.   Like plants, animals, rocks, waves, wind, most of the elements in the periodic table, carbon fibre, fibreglass, and a huge array of colourful sail materials.

It is arbitrarily estimated that somewhere around 80% of what else is out there, clustered in and about the near countless galaxies, is best described as dark matter and dark energy depending on who you listen to, what you read, and other random scientific input*.   That's a lot of material that's rather difficult to explain, describe, and understand for the most part.   Besides, not being a real scientist I'm not a privileged member of any Dark Matter Society (Clandestine or Public) so I peck and prod about trying my best to figure it out the best that I'm able.

Dark matter generally doesn't much concern or upset my everyday life, but it is both a fascinating and intriguing consideration on which to research, ponder, and reflect.   According to Professor Lisa Randall dark matter could well have been related to the huge city-sized object that struck the earth some 66 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs.   Now, all of a sudden, that not only gets my full attention but scares the living crap out of me.   A whole lot in fact.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago about 91 people a year are somehow killed by fast falling asteroids (taken as a longer term average - reference entry below - May 22nd).   That's about 20 - 30 times more of a likelihood than succumbing to a fatal shark attack.   And make no mistake about it, shark attacks are a real concern to most in-water ocean sports enthusiasts (like windsurfers).

So it behooves each and every one of us to maybe start thinking a bit more about dark matter because sooner of later it could be a small but contributing factor in our demise.

We revel in our sport.   Riding on the water, powered by wind, working at the intricacies of jumps, jibes, loops, turns, and celebrating all of the technological improvements in our gear.   All this mostly leaves me in a state of passionate awe and deep appreciation.   Scientific insights involving flotation, shape, drag, direction, thrust, stability, and vectors have been all been considered and adopted into helping propel us further and faster in our self-fulfilling sailing and board riding quest.   Our minds and bodies adjust to changing weather conditions and appropriate gear all inextricably bound up in this amazing recreational play called windsurfing.   As a card carrying Sapien, I truly love all of this as a significant part of our ability to self-actualize as a species.   A loud ta-da + a drum roll and riff!

So, as I lay in the water, trying to waterstart (like in the pic below right) in not enough wind a few weeks ago, as usual, my mind begins to wander again, as usual.

Just maybe the water on Earth was originally held in comets that crashed on earth in the distant past.   Plus temperature, developing climate, and our many other planetary conditions helped life and atmosphere to develop appropriately over the past 4.6 billion years.   Fast forward…100,000 years ago, at least six species of humans inhabited the earth.   More fast forward…Today there is just one.   Us.

Or hey, maybe the Bible story explanation of a 7 day Creation is the reason for our planetary & personal existence, accountability, salvation, and everlasting hope.   Hmmm, ok a strong possible maybe there, but my inability to make every turn and sail successfully in light wind is entirely my fault, my responsibility, and not any significant part of God's concern or liability for my redemption, transgressions and flaw.   Now there's a huge leap of personal, accountable, conscious reflection!   (ABSIP - another belief system in progress…)   I may leave all this part all out even though it makes some sense to me at this point.   But, as I will hope to soon point out, belief can become a problematic roadblock as the conclusion of all this nears.

I've had the awesome experience of looking out into out Milky Way, during a power outage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.   Plus the joy of sensing a possible ever-ongoing future through the birth of our beautiful children.   And a growing faith of some Divine Presence dispersed in some methodical pattern throughout our universe that gives me the strength to face however my micro-micro part plays out in all this macro-macro scenario that we slightly see and somehow know as life.   Yes, the dark and dim is sometimes light enough.

Whatever.   I digress, as I lay too long in the water, waiting for another few knots to pull me up.   Waiting patiently I scan the windmills rotating along the shoreline and reflect on the hope of cleaner energy in the coming decades.   I reflect in my hope that we will get it right.   Scientists and elected politicians need to get and keep their focus strong, realistic, and on track.   What with worldwide pollution, climate change, overpopulation, resource depletion, a failing ozone layer, ocean acidification, atmosphere contamination, deforestation, overfishing, war, political unrest and leadership, and all of the other remaining worldly issues we do need to make a start somewhere.   Electric power seems like a cleaner hope for our future and with solar farms, windmills, hydro power it seems that we've made a positive start in a new direction.   However, given the reality the path that we face will more likely become a rocky road.   It may not work for a host of reasons including our ability as a species to be unreasonable.   From my pulpit I see it as the dim matter.   You may call it stupidity.   But our many beliefs can be two edged swords.   (for one example) Try talking to any NRA advocates about gun control and their Second Ammendment rights.   And don't forget to include the somewhat disregarded well regulated part.   See what I mean?

If we fail to get our act together and our planet can no longer sustain us, we do actually have one simple assurance.   Be assured that our planet Earth will continue to exist, and eventually begin to rebuild itself long after we make it uninhabitable for life as we know it.   Wind will continue to blow over the water.   Day will turn to night, and seasons will continue to change.   Our earth is just one tiny planet contained in a very small Solar System, all contained in a huge unfolding universe, filled with more than a hundred billion galaxies like our Milky Way.   Honest, we're actually no big deal in the grand scheme of things, whatever and however you think.

Given a few million years new life will slowly evolve and even likely begin flourish here.   Maybe even a new sentient species will emerge and even be able to manipulate the environment much like we Sapiens.   There's a strong likelihood that our time here will be recorded as fossil remains.

Shiza.   I can only hope that windsurf fossil records will remain intact, kind of like feathers on flying dinosaurs that we see in museums.   Now if only I can somehow work reincarnation realistically into my belief system as well as some method of safe time travel.   Hey!   Someone could stand to make a future fortune in all of this…

Source & Reading References: Dark Matter And The Dinosaurs (Lisa Randall) & Sapiens, A Brief History Of Mankind (Yuval Noah Harari)




Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the images above…




*Suggestions so far about the remaining 5% includes some kind of windsurfing heaven, pubs with Irish bands, and a place where dogs run free.   (Please note - the squirrels and cats there are the same size as the dogs which chase them.)



        June 9th   In 2018 the first self-driving cars will be available for the public.   Around 2020, you likely won't want to own a car anymore.…

Will this prediction also signal the end of windsurfing as we know it?

Self driving cars could eventually lead to self driving everything.   Shiza!   In my case two good outcomes are possible.   If I lose my licence, or my mind and body begin to fail I can still go to Cape Hatteras in an electric, self driving vehicle and windsurf on a waterproof, computer attached remote controlled sailboard.   Kinda like how our amazing Steven Hawking gets about with all due respect.   But think about it!   Celebrating my 100th Happy Birthday riding waves on the Atlantic Ocean.   Old age is sure looking somewhat more promising!

Now if only I could find my keys for the van.
Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the images above…



        June 5th   It finally feels like summer…

The wind was good at Long Beach.   Conditions generally blew 5.5m2 to 6.5m2 for most of the day.

A good session.

Steve dropped by to let us know that his windsurf gear is for sale.   I think I can see his kite, parked on the beach, way downwind of us, in the first pic just below where Brenda's ripping in.


Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…



        June 4th     Extended rain and heavier wind conditions for tomorrow were primarily responsible for cancelling our Lake Erie crossing to Dunkirk NY this weekend.

Almost as much as windsurfing I love to sail.   The brisk, steady forward motion, through chop and waves, slightly heeled over in a medium wind is a rhythmic delight.   My senses truly rejoice.

Racing is usually good fun for the most part, but a long cruise is the best way to enjoy a sailboat in my opinion.   Day or night.   Radar, GPS, autohelm, some small talk and easy conversation, watching the surroundings constantly change, and letting my mind give into a delicious, restful quiet is an ultimate joy, to say the least.

That said, a cruise is still a responsible journey in that sails need trimming, and weather conditions can change, and it does, so a watchful eye and a vigilant lookout is an ongoing necessity.   But as a quiet aside - those intermittent squabbles among captains, and random, periodic, sneaky chess moves often going on in a race are finally forgotten for a long moment in real time.   Life goes quiet in a good way and the universe begins to unfold once again as it should.   This is why cruising is such a wonderful change and something to anticipate and embrace when a shared voyage comes along, with friends.

No angst about maybe we're dragging weeds, or rechecking the telltales on the jib, pulling in the main sail a bit, increasing the vang, or collectively deciding whether a drifter or a spinnaker would be best on this leg of the course.   (Consensus is only useful for committee boats.)   Or who actually deserves getting buoy room or right of way at some point in the course, or why another boat is slowly pulling away and how come we're lagging so far behind?   All this usually ends up with getting everyone on board incensed and mildly seething in some kind of silly competitive tantrum of sorts.   Like that good old old fashioned road rage as seen in Mad Max slash Fury Road.   Oh me, oh my, why and from where in the dark corners of my mind can all this be actually surfacing?   Enough.   Stop.   Time out.   I actually enjoy a good race, especially one when we're way, way out there, way, way ahead and truly winning.   And not just in my dreams.

Give me open water, a good book, some shade under the bimini, a destination many hours or days away, a fresh breeze, and maybe a cold beer.   Now that's life, that's sweet living.

And on Pegasus you can throw in a warm water shower, a cold well-stocked fridge, full kitchen, huge head with a heated seat, outside barbecue, complete nav systems, spacious living accommodation, plus central air-conditioning for sleeping comfortably in the forward V birth, just behind a 48 inch wide screen TV softly playing late night Jazz on a timer…

Someone please yell STARBOARD or something else meaningful and smart!

Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…
Maybe include some Gravol or a scopolamine patch for heavier weather.
Always carefully read the instructions on the medication packaging and learn to smile and say with a thick Newfie accent - So, you maybe want a life at sea there Boy…




        June 2nd     A song is born.

The fun task of arranging a song to music has begun.   (Thank-you Denny)   Not quite sure of where it will take us or what the eventual outcome might be.   But when a moment like this presents itself we will always be all over it.   (Faster than Jiminy Cricket sang Like bolt of of the BLUE…)

Within the next few weeks we should be able to create a video and maybe even a lasting song that could be an on-going part of our musical repertoire to share during our windsurfing trips.   Don't get me wrong, or misunderstand the intent.   The friendly relationship that we have with our many kiteboarding colleagues is sometimes put to the test especially when lighter wind gives them the edge and advantage and they sail past us with glee like they own the water.   But to suggest for one moment that we wouldn't be there to help one another in any emergency is sheer nonsense.   If there was anything that we could possibly do we would.   And if there wasn't any conceivable way to help only then might a very small few might stand around with a beer and watch.   Like on Monday.

Please remember to kite-board and windsurf responsibly.   Always be mindful to use common sense when launching or sailing near others, anticipate problems involving right of way, and follow a few basic sailing rules designed to keep us all safe.   (Big happy face)

When It Blew Light ~ (a song is born)

        May 31st     When It Blew Lite.

Oh it blew lite for you and a Blue Lite for me,
It was your choice to pump up and head out to sea,
An hour passed slowly, it seemed more like two,
So I went to the cooler and grabbed a cold Blue.

I was drinking a Blue as I watched your kite fall,
Not much I could do, in fact nothing at all,
I saw you start swimming your kite and I knew,
Time to get to the cooler and hoist one more Blue.

I was drinking another as you drifted in,
The water was cold and it felt like a sin,
That no one thought much a-bout helping you,
But we can celebrate doming with another cold Blue.

(Not sung, but spoken by someone with a deep, throaty, country voice kinda like on the Dodge Ram advertisement/commercial on TV)
…As a kiter he should have known the consequences of heading out into a SW Lake Erie light wind on a hot spring day.   There was nothing any of us windsurfers could ever possible do without a big, open boat and motor, and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's Card, to help…

When it comes to a choice here you only have two,
Maybe think about helping or have a cold brew.
                                                                       ©JohnGrant2016


Optional verses:
He's got kite fever, he's ready to bail,
He said all his windsurfing gear is for sale,
Lost to the dark side is easy to do,
Choose to windsurf not kite board when it blows light for you.

We all have a destiny, all made a choice
Kiters cry out in a desperate voice,
The wind died, our boards sink, there's nothing to do,
When kites fall, cause it blows light, we go for a brew…

When it comes to a choice here we only have two,
Maybe think about helping or have a cold brew.

Pretty sure that Denny will help with the musical arrangement of this poignant song (maybe loosely based on a bit of envy, some petty jealousy, and an occasional but well-justified personal safety concern).



        May 30th     Another step in the right direction.

Getting it right is not always an easy task.   Thankfully I'm only in search of pretty good, not perfection, not acclaim or affirmation, not excellence.

And it may seem that my personal standards of achievement have simply been set a bit lower than average, but that's not entirely the case.

Like, I trust my doctor.   I pretty much do what he suggests.   Same advisement goes for my wife, and my daughters.   I also watch windsurfing instructional videos.   Over and over.   I try to do what they suggest.   Seeing is believing.   But the message and moves don't always work out that well on the water, at least in my case.   That said I trust in my eyes, my ears, my memory, and persist.   To a point.   Then I give up and blame my parents who are mostly responsible for my inherited genetic composition.   And lastly maybe even fate or karma.   Shiza.   I'm simply not an athlete.   Some things don't translate that well for me.   Like dancing, running hurdles, and seriously debating with Nancie about some stuff.

For the longest time time most of school was a dismal blur.   Not that I was stupid, I just somehow learned a bit differently than others as I figure.   Art class was a breeze and so too Music and English to a large extent.   But the art of how to take an exam somehow eluded me for the longest time.   In the fulness of time I eventually managed to figure out what to look for.   Don't focus on everything, don't read all the pages of all the books.   Focus on what the prof seems to love even if you have to ask that personal a question, of course with a smile.   Focus on introductions, summaries, and key points in the readings and the lectures.   And with that a pass was pretty much guaranteed, even sometimes a B.   I had finally learned how to pretty much play the school game and I was still way under 30.

Becoming a teacher also sure helped a lot.   And, I always gave my students the test questions and then taught the content as a motivational answer.   It worked in more ways than one.   Life in education was good way back in the day.   Having been a bit of a lost student as a boy likely helped me become a much better teacher.

Skiing gave way to running, and running kind of gave way to my first Mistral Superlight sailboard and 6 meter RAF sail.   As they say, life often begins again at 40.

I carefully observed Henry excel in the early years about 35 years ago and then watched Cliff progress and become a smooth, proficient master of windsurfing throughout the past decade.

That said windsurfing still continues to humble me.   Most of even the more common moves often still continue to elude me.   Instructional videos help because as I said seeing is believing.   Failing my way to success is not just a mantra it's pretty much how I got to where I am.   But thank God for water starts and uphauls.   Plus Denny's patient counselling.

The moments on the water where sunlight and spray, and friends, and speed, and riding waves still makes the sport an amazing delight, way beyond worthwhile, and way beyond hugely satisfying.   Just the doing of it is kinda like getting an amazing participation award of sorts.   And, hey, I'm not even a Gen Y (millennial)!

But.   Sometimes pretty good just doesn't cut it anymore.

And so it begins again.   The motivation sets in and a few of the same old goals resurface.   A This Is It moment takes hold and hope kickstarts into life once more.   Yes, this will be the summer that every jibe, in every condition will be worked and reworked to death, and finally achieved.   I'll even duck a few, perfectly.   And not only land a half mast high jump but sail away with a one-handed wave, a shout, and a smile as wide as the Hood River.

Yup.   I'm stoked again (and ready for my 37th season).

Keep on keeping on.   Bring on some wind.



        May 27th       Another rather serious reflection.   Like, it's often about being in a love-hate relationship with us humans.

Here goes.   The animosities that exist between some kiteboarders and some windsurfers, or jet skiers in general are likely what will eventually do in our human race as we know it.   OK, please take a deep breath and maybe keep reading.   There was a time when we more juvenile wind & board heads had bumper stickers that indicated If It Were Easy It Would Be called Kiteboarding or Kitesurfers Do It Better or Windsurfers Make Better Lovers.   Much of the rancour and animosity still surfaces from time to time but since rules like kiters launch and stay downwind of windsurfers, and right of way sailing rules are becoming better communicated most of the fuss has dissipated.   But from time to time challenging words fly and serious confrontations occur when launch territories or low hanging kites in the air whizz by a bit too close for comfort.   Or distracted Jetskiers run over windsurf boards, threaten swimmers, fallen water-skiers, and whatever else is in the water.

Getting on with it.

Listening to a strong political viewpoint last evening got me seriously thinking.

There was actual hostility in the comments directed to Hillary Clinton that gave me pause to consider much if not most of our actual driving motivation to take a stand, get involved, and take action as humans are based on the emotions of hatred and love.   In the case of politics and voting we have a duty, a right, and an obligation to make choices that affect our governments.   And large numbers of people actually do get deeply and loudly involved!

Similar strong, emotional comments have made about Donald, Justin, Kathleen, Barrack, Harper, Harris, McGuinty, Mulroney, Bush2, and further back to Stalin, Adolph, Alexander, and the like.   I could go on for pages about hatred and the hateful actions that many politicians and leaders have created.   My oh my, we do get ourselves whipped into a frenzy at times.   Divorce court, fender benders, IOUs, shunning, one singular, oblivious driver moving at 101 kph in the HOV or passing lane, and a few stupid neighbours, are just a few of some other causal hateful moments worth mentioning that give rise to hateful anger and actions but I'll maybe just hang these few examples out on an human emotions clothesline for now for consideration in trying to make a point.

On the other hand Evangelical Christians especially love Jesus, Muslims love Mohammed, children love Disney, everyone loves Bernie, Mahatma Gandi, and maybe sometimes Matt Damon.   Plus feelings run deep for Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Ronald McDonald, Santa, and even the Easter Bunny.   Other than the fast cash not so sure about the Tooth Fairy.

Okay, here's my point.   The German people loved Adolph Hitler, who the rest of the world soon came to despise.   Hitler was voted into and then simply took a position of absolute power.   Like many other dictators and powerful historical leaders he was responsible for the the death of millions of people.   He believed in the values he decreed for the Nazi Party.   He was on his way to creating a perfect new (Aryan) race of humans.   Plus he was well on his way to world domination to spread his gospel, at any cost.   His legacy still continues with the Christian white supremacist Aryan Nation.   And in the same breath I'll mention the Klan.   Talk about hatred.   Or love.   Kinda depends on which side of the pillow case or swastika tattoo that you're on.

But it doesn't stop there.   Belief systems are a part of our lives and give everyone a place to stand, sit, rally, kneel, and a place to grow.

At what point do we start to realize that some our human actions are seriously and negatively impacting the planet on which we live, and ultimately our future as a race.   Oceans are being depleted of fish.   Pollution is contaminating our air, drinking water and destroying our natural habitat.   Deforestation, CO2 emissions from burning fossils fuels, just add to the problems we create affecting the rate of climate change on our planet.   The misuse of pesticides and herbicides have had an impact on many significant insect populations including bees and butterflies.   Plankton, coral, fracking, oil spills, tailings, algae, asian carp, whatever, the list goes on and on…

Sure, (we) are into adapting to our changing world with purified (plastic) bottled drinking water, random recycling, hybridized plants and modified seed supplies, raising livestock, chickens, (etc.) in tightly controlled factory slaughterhouses, fish farms, along with air conditioners, air purifiers, electric cars, solar power, wind power, new improved batteries, and the like, but unfortunately not on a uniform world-wide platform.

But how do you get a country like Russia with huge oil deposits to change their errant ways?   Errant is a subjectively used word here.   I know that David Suzuki and maybe Matt Damon would be on my side here, but facing off with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin would be a hugely unsavoury, unwinable task at this time in my opinion.

It would be equally challenging facing off with China, Monsanto, the NRA, or Big Oil (who it now seems knew about their contribution to Global Warming in the 70s) to all become fair and green in their working, industrial, and corporate viewpoint, and policies.   Why?   Because it's all based on strong, politically supported, entrenched, working belief systems, and likely includes the love of making and sharing money.   Belief systems and cash flow are what keeps successful ideologies and organizations operating.   Socialism works in the Scandinavian countries where a strong majority of citizens believe in socialism and make it work.   Religious sects flourish with congregations of strongly motivated followers.   We could even include commodities like the Suzanne Somers ThyMaster, the George Foreman Grill, and franchises like McDonalds and Subway who have real traction in this world with dedicated and enthusiastic fans, who both love and believe in the products.     (Aside), I think that my kids kids maybe actually loved Ronald McDonald, Barbie, and for sure the Cabbage Patch kids to name a few.

All that said innocent people have been sent to Death Row by juries who believed that they were guilty.   The excuse for going to war is always based on a belief that can be both true and false depending on which side of the fece one sits.   Hitler and the German people wanted to promote creating a master race and what better way than to get the whole world involved?   The USA is still in huge conflict over invading Iraq based on a belief in weapons of mass destruction.   Jonestown and Heaven's Gate are just of two more of the freaky cults that come to mind when belief enters the picture.   Belief sure does strange things to our emotional attractions and rejections.   We tend to join others who think like we do.   We vote for causes in which we believe.   We love Bernie.   We hate homophobia and racism.   We love and we hate.   Scary sometimes, eh?

Enough.   Science somewhat strongly indicates that we as a race are currently causing a sixth major extinction here on Earth.   The five before came from an asteroid strike, vulcanism and related atmospheric poison, global warming and cooling, maybe check them all out beginning with a Google.   Our future, as a species, doesn't look that rosy.   When and if it does all end for us we can hope that in an estimated 20 to 60 million years from now new life will evolve and and begin to replenish the planet once again.   The odds are good that it will occur.   I wonder what lifeforms will survive, change, adapt, or emerge in one more of these planetary events.   I wonder if a race of Sapiens-like creatures will ever evolve again and if so what earthly results will they produce in their time?

About the only good thing I can see in my immediate future is the promise of more wind in the coming summers of what's globally predicted in what's left of my life.

Rock on.

I honestly wish that I had bought that licence plate back in the day.





        May 25th     I love pigeons.

I know human food isn't good for them.   So only two teeny, weeny pieces of my morning muffin are broken off and placed at a distance on the railing.

Within minutes one appears, and then the other navigates in with flailing wings beating chaotically.   And the muffin crumbs are quickly ravished.

They cuddle comfortably for a while in the sunlight before departing and often coo what I believe is a thank-you of sorts.

Almost no fear at this point.   I wonder if they would deliver a message somewhere.   Not sure how to help them achieve any of this sort of thing.   Can't be that difficult.

I wonder if I can attach a picture to the message as well.   How does iPigeon or ePigeon sound?

An actual living, interactive Ap.   Think about it.

Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…



        May 22nd     So I'm have coffee on my beloved deck, sitting under an umbrella, and…

OK, here goes.   The expected fatalities per year from a variety of various causes came up.   (see table on page 138 below)

Shark Attacks 3 - 7,   Asteroids 91,   Tobacco 5,000,000.   Huh?   Asteroids?   91?

Shiza.   Shark attacks sure got my full attention right off.   But what about windsurfing along, minding my own business, and being hit by an asteroid?   Or somehow terminated by some nearby asteroid related catastrophe?

I know, I know, you almost laugh, but, what are the odds?   Windsurfers, kiteboarder, surfers, etc., all fear shark attacks at some level, but the actual odds are that we're way, way more likely to be lethally impacted by a falling chunk of space debris while we are self-actualizing on our delirious, delicious wave and wind rides!     Dead!   Up to 30 times more likely!   (see that, a few gasps, mostly from beginning kiteboarders, but no laugh track)

Lisa Randall's amazing book titled Dark Matter And The Dinosaurs has been a bit of a slow study.   Lawn & garden chores, general outside maintenance, family responsibilities, and the like the last 10 days or so have taken their toll.   But finally sitting here with her marvellous book, under an umbrella, in the early morning, with a coffee, and my orioles and goldfinches chattering and chirping about, my truer priorities involving wind and water are about to happen.   And the thought of being killed by an asteroid in fresh water Lake Erie stacks up as being 90 times greater than dying from a shark attack in Cape Hatteras NC.     Shiza, shiza, and more shizas, times infinity.   (definitely no laugh track)

Well, (pause and a deep breath) this has been a somewhat distressing revelation.   But maybe not one actually worth perseverating over.   In fact, I'm pretty much over it at this time.   So, OK, the dinosaurs and 3/4 of all species and half the fauna on Earth were made extinct by that 15 km asteroid that not only hit but actually helped reshape the Gulf of Mexico some 66 million years ago.   (aka the K-Pg event/extinction.)   But!   We all witnessed Bruce Willis saving the earth by exploding an errant chunk of space debris (larger than Texas) (please gag me) heading directly toward us in Armageddon.   Gotta love Hollywood and science, eh?   (Laugh track)   So stop fretting!   Relax!   Rock on!   Think about it.   We're all in good hands.   (huge laugh track and thunderous applause)

Be still my heart.

Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…


General K-Pg info…



        May 17th     Another video showing the end of the 2016 Gumball 3000 this year with Beth & Sean featured in a clip.

I love following the Gumball 3000.   It's a nutsy event filled with great cars and fun people.

This is the second Gumball event that Beth & Sean have entered, and it seems the one that they loved the most.

Looking forward to hearing their many stories and seeing their video when it's done.   Will post it here in a few weeks.


NEW VID - (from Mr JWW) Gumball 3000 ending featuring Beth & Sean at 8:26 and again at 9:16…



        May 16th     Never make a statement of commitment about anything that you might not be able to keep.

Watching the Sherkston windsurfers yesterday in the colder conditions motivated the possibility that maybe my season could end later and start earlier next year.

A 6mm wetsuit with booties, mitts, and a hood would be all that's needed.   Plus a small dose of kick-ass Captain Courageous.   All quite doable.

At least 3 of these brave souls sailed multiple times each month throughout this past winter since last December!   Yes Virginia, including February with a shoreline ice pack!

Pretty sure that winter is not a personal desirable quest in my heart, but early December and mid April sounds quite reasonable.

And, while we're at it.   Maybe just throw in a 92L Goya Quad with a few new 4 batten wave sails to boot.   Ha!   That's maybe a slightly unnecessary stretch.   Maybe not.



Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics



        May 14th     A veteran windsurfer anxiously works at clearing away the cobwebs for another serious kick at the can.

Winter here in Southern Ontario was just a bit too long for my liking.   Thankfully Daylight Savings Time in mid March signalled a new hope and a fresh beginning.

That said I find that being 76 hints that some change is likely in the works, like an orange traffic light at an otherwise busy intersection.   Shiza!

Windsurfing for two weeks last month and then returning home in late April always helps kick start a new chapter in my life but doesn't actually get the ball rolling fast enough for me, what with frost warnings, my personal aversion to sub 50F/10C Lake Erie water temperatures, plus indoor Happy Hours looking out.

The need to get the family hot rod fired up and on the road, the remaining bird feeders cleaned & filled, the sidewalks and flower beds edged, a trip to Sunshine Gardens with an empty van for flowers and maybe a few shrubs, both lawns mowed, fertilized, trimmed, and an umbrella opened on the deck are just a few of the missing pieces that slowly help bring that larger long term picture all back into a clear and meaningful focus.

The Mistral Explosion 161 needs a narrow, fibreglass patch over a small crack on the port rail.   The 911 needs a fresh battery to be once again reliable for some longer distance trips.   The lake is still too cold for short sleeves.   Sailboat racing begins in about a week.   Passports are due for renewal.   And a few niggling health and body maintenance issues hang over our heads like that cheesy B-movie Snakes on a Plane.   OK, enough.   A time management guilt list of sorts will definitely help get all the chores and tasks sorted and organized.

Working out regularly at the Y and long daily walks have both been a reassuring prerequisite to a successful windsurfing and sailing season thankfully about to kick off.

Tires have just been pumped and my beloved bike anxiously awaits being pressed into service.

Maggie and Nolan have already received a few offers for their beautiful home and all that time spent working with them this past month was a delightful contribution to their lives and ours.

Actually, not that much is left except for a few sorry ass excuses that will hopefully be vanquished by this evening, or maybe tomorrow.   I know, I know, if it's going to be it's up to me, yada, yada, yada…



        May 11th     It's not always all about windsurfing.

My cellphone has a GroupMe Ap.   GroupMe - the free, simple way to stay connected with those who matter most.   Every time the wind picks up to a windsurfable velocity loud ding ding dings are emitted as texts are exchanged about where everyone's planning to congregate for a session.   I love it.

It does become a bit distracting late at night or when I'm assisting in a job somewhere and can't break away.

Like at daughter Maggie and Nolan's Reno for the past few weeks where I actually love to be helping in any way suggested from time to time.

The only part I dislike is travelling to and from, on the QEW and have to put up with traffic aggravations.   The most annoying irritation mostly includes a few dicks in the passing lane who cruise mindlessly along while overtaking cars have to pass them in the centre and left lanes.   Dangerous!   I should maybe stop drinking coffee and not listen to vintage rock music as I drive.   But I digress.

Their Reno is just about complete and will be listed in the next few days.   It's a 125 year old Victorian home in Hamilton that only had only 4 owners at their time of purchase.

We're hugely proud of them and wish them well as they hope to head back to Toronto to begin a new venture.

Windsurfing and sailing should now pretty much dominate my spring schedule.   Or maybe a bike trek to Niagara-on-the-Lake or long hike on the Bruce Trail on light wind days.   OK, some flower planting and yard maintenance occasionally.   Whatever.   Other than all that I wait for the GroupMe dinging or a promising wind report from Long Beach.   Nice!

Life is good.

A tour of Maggie & Nolan's Reno.   Their listing link…





        May 8th     Good news, the season started today.

Sailboats were launched this morning.   We should be ready for this Wednesday to begin shaking out the bugs.

A few weeks of very serious practice are in order.

Shot the first three pics with an iPhone 4.   The remaining four with a Canon 5D2/EF 24-70mm 2.8 L.   Interesting results all things considered…


Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics



        May 6th     Death by meteorite, by chocolate, or by stupidity.

Cosmology.   The study of the universe.   From our small planet earth to the near countless galaxies that fill all space.   Worth a serious look.

So much has been discovered in recent time.   Scientists have recently calculated that Pluto is not really a planet after calculating it was actually there many years ago because of their calculations.   Dark matter plays a major role in holding things together throughout the universe, even though it remains quite unseen.   That said scientists have ascertained its existence, relevance, size, and critical role.

The Hubble telescope has searched out near countless galaxies where nothing seemed to exist a few decades ago.

Unseen bacteria, both helpful and harmful, exist within our bodies and make up about 2% of our weight.

The vast internet is a usable and workable reality but mostly confounds most of us when we try to figure exactly what it actually is.

The microcosm, macrocosm, and world wide web.   Truly and simply amazing.

So what holds people together?   Lots when you think about it. We humans are held together by beliefs, love, and countless systems. Systems like politcs, religion, nationalism, energy production, water supply and delivery, food farms involving plants and animals and a distribution network, taxation, and service clubs with a worthwhile cause.   Like sometimes a bit of road rage.   I plan on either joining or starting some club to get other drivers, cruising along in the passing lane, to move the hell out of the way and let cars pass them.   If cars pass you on the right then change lanes or know that you're being a dick.   Sorry, I just needed to work that in and get it out.

Most of these systems generally work despite our many human shortcomings.   But our shortcomings are actually spelling the end of it all in my opinion.

Gloom and doom or Every Little Ting Will Be Alright?   It appears that another bubble is growing in world banking and real estate that indicates that we haven't learned our (2008) lesson very well.   Current political bandwagons, on-going wars, environmental practises, and economic issues are signalling that we and our home planet are being dangerously tested and could well be on the verge of failing.

Sperm whales washed up dead on German beaches recently.   Their stomaches were full of plastic garbage.   (Link from National Geographic is posted below.)

We have invented cars that drive themselves.   Landed surveillance vehicles on Mars.   Created ski hills in Dubai.   But are still addressing lead contaminated public water from homes like in Flint Michigan or mercury and lead in the Athabasca River.   And let's not forget the radioactive waste from accidents that occurred in Chernobyl and Fukushima.   Fracking?   Drill baby drill!   The list goes on, and on.

We are at war the natural laws and common sense that should otherwise regulate our planet.   If left to themselves a herd of deer, a pack of wolves, and a forest on an island will coexist and flourish.     Shoot the wolves and the the deer will over-populate, wipe out the vegetation, and starve.   Does anyone actually get it?

Sure, an asteroid or two have hit the earth and caused it to wobble out of orbit and start an ice age or two.   Dark matter and hope can't always help pull everything in the right direction.   Look at the impact craters on the moon.

Scientists tell us that mass extinctions have occurred abut five times in our planet's long life.   And it seems that we humans are causing a sixth with our polluting, energy creation, uncaring political focus and direction, ignoring science, wars, and the like.

Not sure that it actually matters much in the grand scheme of things in the vast universe.   If we finally and completely flush ourselves and other creatures down the toilet life will simply and slowly begin to startup again, as it has five times before.

We possess the intellect and the ability to make things right.   But do we have the collective will to get focussed and work together?   Naw, let's get others to help pay for and build a wall instead.

Shiza.
Whales are dying from ingesting our plastic garbage.




        May 4th     A professional photographer got a great shot of the boys in the Oxford St. checkpoint

Grant, Blakey, and Sean had their picture taken by Sanjay!   Nice.

The Tumbler was a vehicle used by Batman.   This is a replica created by Saudi Gumballers (Team Galag) for the Event.


FaceBook link   Team Galag




2013 Gumball movie (Galag Spirit) created by Team Galag featuring their cars (including a cameo ap - David Hasselhoff)…




        May 3rd     Picked up the boys in London for another checkpoint…

Grant and Blakey are having a blast with mom and dad as they check in with them at the London checkpoint.

They are both getting so big!






        May 2nd     Seventy-six years old today and still talking to God…

I'm not a church goer.   Religions, like politics, are all human-made ideologies (in my opinion) and have at least some illogical belief systems that require a large, unscientific leap of faith as a requirement for individual inclusion and acceptance.

All that said I often talk to God.   Pretty much every day.   (But not like Joan of Arc because God's voice doesn't quite speak back, so maybe please keep reading and try not to cringe.)

For my whole life I have talked to God.   On walks, hikes, while riding in a bumpy aircraft at 10,000 feet during a storm, or when finding something else wrong in an ultra sound or an X-ray, that might have a serious implication.   Or in a contemplative moment when a good decision is hugely important.  Or when good fortune needs a thank-you rather than one of those self-important, puffed up good for me, I did that one all by myself.

Not sure how it all came about but pretty sure it was likely because of my wonderful Presbyterian grandmother, during one of my many much needed preadolescent counselling moments.   Or my loving and concerned (Anglican) mother who insisted that I join the Junior Boys' Choir when I was only eight and a half years old.   And I might add that at least one of the adult Choir group behind was always tapping or poking me on the back of the head for some reason or another during the service.   Yes, and I had a lovely solo voice, before it changed, as my mother often told her friends.   But I digress.

This God-talk has always been a productive thing for me for the most part and one that will most surely be a part of whatever's left of my life.

As we age we definitely worry about newly discovered issues that could signal our demise.   Or worse - our most treasured recreational pursuits.   We often get glimpses our mortality when health issues appear for ourselves or loved ones, and further tests are scheduled to reveal what's actually going down.   And all the while the only thing we have is a trust in our doctor, and communication with others in whom we rely, including some me to God communication.

Life is such a complex mystery.   Existence and experience are so magical and mystical.   Seeing my shadow move with me on land and water, recognizing the beauty in a sunrise, having a dear friend pass, being a real part of time each day, all help to reveal how elusive, somehow frightening, and yet magnificent this life actually is.

We continually think, question, and react.   We talk to ourselves, sometimes at lightning speed.   What to do?   What to say?   The answers that we get are often our own.   Sometimes not so well or clearly thought through.   But, aside from our blunders, and errant remarks we somehow mostly find our way, and occasionally have to seek forgiveness for our stupidity.   But, quite surprisingly, our one-way dialogues to God actually help give a correct pathway and direction when it's most needed.

Like the time I was trying (without any success) to waterstart in deep water, late one afternoon, way out on Pamlico Sound off Kinnakeet Shores.   There I was, floundering in about 40 knots of wind with an ill chosen 4.2m sail.   Entirely my choice to be there.   All my fault.   The sail was just too big for me to get up & go in those high wind conditions.   Random thoughts about words to be spoken at my eulogy somehow came to mind.   Like, at least he died doing what he loved.   Hey, trust me Nancie, I don't love any of part this moment.   In fact I'm a hugely upset.   Darkness is coming and I'm all alone out here except for hungry sharks lurking somewhere nearby.   Please God give me strength.   Holy shiza!   Somehow I reworked my position, got up, sheeted way out, and managed to hold on.   Thank-you God was expressed many, many times, while lurching and staggering, and with feet firmly jammed a bit too deeply into the footstraps, as I rocketed quite out of control, crouched and imbalanced, on my precarious passage back to shore.

I'd like to think that we have all had moments similar to this and that my situation, years ago, was not unique.

Not quite certain just what my longer term windsurfing future holds.   I do love this sport so very much.   Maybe it's all of the different and changing conditions on the water that vary so dramatically throughout the day that all help to maintain a lasting and renewing interest.   Or the sunlight on the waves, or occasional rainbows in the spray, or raw speed, or having friends all about, while riding strong on my beloved boards.   Not sure.   But to me windsurfing was like finding the right way and sticking to it no matter what the amount of time, challenge, disagreement, or expense.

Moments captured with my cameras also continue to help reassure me with great memories that keep me hungry and fighting for more.

Like most everyone who participates in any kind of sport we need to play hard and enjoy our lives.   Pretty sure we will live a bit longer and better because of our motivation and activity doing whatever we do.   And I share it all with an ongoing partnership with friends, my amazing wife, my children, and my patient, silent Partner who is always there, in my mind, listening and maybe even enjoying the ride, my ride, in all of its imperfection and faults.   And I'm pretty sure (He's) there, waiting for me to duck one perfect jibe, someday soon.

(aside)   Sharing something this personal is sort of a once in a blue moon birthday prerogative.   Religion, politics, and grammar are all man-made ideologies that generally shouldn't be topics of any real & rational debate anywhere within the known universe (my opinion).   That said it does give Christians the opportunity to engage in and exercise any forgiveness needed here in my direction, (which is what they should be doing anyway in case they forget their raison d'etre and belief system).   Plus most Liberals and the majority of Canadian Socialists as well.


        April 30th     Another Innovation…

It was bound to happen.   Inflation.

Starboard has an inflatable windsurfing board.

This space saving, high flotation rollup will likely signal the end of kiteboarding as we currently know it.   Some among us might
  even shout Hallelujah!

Windsurfers will now have to carry a pump but be able drive their Mini-Coopers to the beach with room to spare.

Shiza.

Yes, Virginia, there really is an inflatable sailboard.


Inflatable specs…




        April 28th     Wind Patterns…

Watching all of the surface flow patterns of wind around the world is quite fascinating.   I believe this model is another tool that can help us understand that wind movement is a continuous cause and effect moving from high and low wind pressure based on the classic rise and fall model at specific latitudes that we studied in High School.

To actually watch the Trade Winds, Westerlies, and all of the surface patterns that are only a part of the bigger picture of the cells, 6 major belts and convergences seem to help make better sense of what it's all about.

As of April 28th you can see that low pressure circulation off the coast of Labrador & Newfoundland that generated the great wind we experienced on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when it was centred just north east of New York City.   Not sure how it will change over time.   (Click on the link just below.)

Current surface wind patterns in North America.




        April 26th     Pretty much completely out of sync with my so called life…

It started when I returned home from Cape Hatteras late Sunday evening.

A set of my car keys decided it was time to play hide and seek.   So I borrowed Nancie's spare key and the journey to reorganization and readjustment began to unfold.   Kinda sort of.

I had recently made two short videos that seemed to have more of a realistic scope and sequence in my personal quest to become a better amateur filmmaker.   So a part of the readjustment/followup was to seek a purposeful focus for of the remaining video footage collected and saved.   Gotta set up and begin creating another 3 minute upload for YouTube or Vimeo while the motivation is hot.   Probably Vimeo this time because of my inactivity with them this year that can otherwise lead to an account disconnect.

Plus get back to the physio/cardio Fitlinxx program at the YMCA.   The two weeks in Hatteras really worked my aging body and helped tone the six pack abs and bulging biceps that are both an enviable addition to my baggie shorts, sagging wattle, wild & untrimmed eyebrows, sunburn, and patchy grey/white chest hair.

And, to top it off, I'm a mouse guy.   The Apple Supermouse has been my goto accessory since day one.   Trackpads and keyboards just don't cut it for me.   The mouse is an amazing tool for Lightroom, Photoshop, Final Cut as well as the HTML construction that holds this old site together.

Here goes.   NOT ONE of my three Supermice will bluetooth-connect with the iMac or MacBook Pro.   Life stops short.   I'm dead in the water.   Like Jason Bourne floating in the ocean.   Cast off and unconscious with a bullet lodged deep within his body.   Unable to move.   I too feel paralyzed and betrayed.

No car keys to call my own and unable to kickstart my computers back to whatever life that was a part of my unfolding destination somehow struggling to greet me in this now cold, dark universe.   Shiza.

The nearest Apple store assistance is in Burlington.   My windsurf gear is all over the place and needing a serious cleanup and maintenance check before getting put back to here it belongs.   Yard, home appliance failure, and car chores top the list that need attention.   The licence plates are due for renewal, two cracked fillings needs attention, and I'm suffering a mild but profound depression caused by Outer Banks withdrawal.

But hey.   I'm Mr. Positive.   This can't be the end!   The sun WILL come out tomorrow!   Annie not only sang it but rose above it all and championed her challenges!   If it's going to be, it's up to me.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.   Let's start with finding the car keys second and a quick track pad tutorial first.   Can't all be that hard.

Who said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Arf!



        April 25th     Arrived home.

What an amazing two weeks of windsurfing.   The Outer Banks of North Carolina truly delivered it all for us this trip.

Air and water temperatures went from cold to warm.   A low pressure in the NE Atlantic provided high winds for the first week and we were thankful for a few days off in week two.

Captured some of the great times in photos and a few videos.   Life is good.


Windsurfing in high wind conditions in Rodanthe.

Windsurfing in light wind conditions in Rodanthe.







        April 17th     Karma isn't just another deserving, self-fulfilling occurrence…

It was a resounding chant that grew louder.   As Eric began his preamble the whole congregation of my wind driven colleagues at the dinner table powerfully and emphatically chanted my name.

Unanimous and unequivocal.   The Dolphin Award was placed in my trembling and grateful hands.   The universe is unfolding as it should.



        April 14th     Be careful for what you wish…

Yesterday, and for the coming week there's great wind in the forecast.

But I sailed really, really hard yesterday.   A 4.2m2 through the morning and a 3.7m2 for most of the afternoon.   So the morning off to rest and nurse my wounds seems like a good idea.

Huge wind for a week is fine if you are under 40 and fit.   But for some of us it means that our stash of Ibuprofen, Myoflex, and Tylenol 3 will be hugely reduced along with our lay down resting leisure time.

With all this wind in mind I'm not quite sure how things like heaven, nirvana, Elysium, or even hell and purgatory factor into kiter's and we windsurfer's eternal quest for more wind.

Hey, don't get me wrong, when it's about wind I'm all in.   And my optimism is still way over the moon.

But at this stage in my life I know that too much of a good thing can somehow be a problem.   Maybe like Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, and birthday cake every day for a week.   But what the heck, enough, let it blow.

If not for me then for everyone else.   With an attitude like that I should maybe win the elusive Dolphin Award.

But actually I don' live for awards and recognition like some of my wind-driven colleagues.

Yeah right.





        April 8th     It was all so much better when I was young…

Ha!   We've all heard that one before, and others before us, for many countless generations past.

But what I believe is sadly missing today is the lack of understanding in the teaching of mythology and its place in the lives for most young people.

Yes, mythology.   Please keep reading!

Literature has changed, in the sense that old stories have being largely dropped from the curriculum.     Hear me through, I've read Joseph Campbell's The Power Of Myth.   He asserts that Greek, roman (latin), and biblical written works used to be a part of everyone's education.   Not so much any more, if at all.

Campbell reminds us that myths are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance.   From birth, through life, to death.   To understand the mysterious, to find out who we are, to help cope with death.

The relevance of mythological stories helps gives a perspective about whatever happens to you.   Without the story to remember, you have to figure it all out for yourself.   Not easy.

In a nutshell, so to speak, without the knowledge of myths, people often turn to self-help books, fads, quick cures, TV special offers, the dubious internet, and political or spiritual leaders (some good, some not so good) for quick and easy answers that are needed to help make things right.

Essentially what we need to do is come to grips accepting imperfections, and not perfection.   We're human.   We struggle with working through (our) weaknesses, flaws, and inadequacies to achieve some measure of success and satisfaction in our lives.   The (Old Testament) struggle of Job, or maybe The Emperor's New Clothes are two quick examples of our struggle with faith and circumstance in one case and a simple recognition of stupidity, vanity, and greed in another.   People have a hard time with an understanding of God because there is no imperfection implied There.   Christianity offers the Christ figure in whom we see struggle, suffering, and death.   Imperfections.   Just like in our human lives.

I agree with Campbell who says that novels written by James Joyce and Thomas Mann can be wonderfully instructive.   If we persist.   Their works were written in what is best described as mythological traditions.   Not that much in human interaction today is really that new.   What went on the in the lives of Dubliners in 1904 still goes on today most everywhere.   Mann's classic story of Tonio and the his choice, direction and ultimate realization could well be ours.   Knowing all this can help us with our own life.

Ask, and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you.   There is so much value in that small piece of scripture for anyone who needs help in knowing how to proceed when in doubt through life.

I guess my point in all of this is directed to the dubious concept regarding the meaning of life.   (Can we actually find the meaning of life?)   What we are actually seeking, or coming to grips with, I believe, is an experience of living.   Pure and simple.   Our life experience, of being alive will resonate with a reality we can understand.   There is no real and ultimate meaning of the universe, or an ecplise, or a flower.   They are just there as the Buddha pointed out in his teaching.   There is only our recognition that we are alive and able to experience a sunset, the stars at night, a forest, a butterfly, and appreciate the world in which we live, going on all around us.


It's morning, and a new day.   Snow-flurries and dark clouds hide the sunrise.   Anxious thoughts about driving through mountainous Pennsylvania toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina cast some shared concern.

But the van is packed and waiting.   Boards, sails, cameras, wetsuits, a place to stay, beaches to walk, and enough wind to carry us through waves and warmer water.

I have somehow found my way and life is good.





        (2nd followup entry today) April 6th     SOME MORE - The Luderitz Speed Channel…

What an amazing dig for any sailor wanting to go fast.   Wind conditions are just right, all you need is water.   That's why it's there.

That's why we're there.   Build it and they will come.   (a quote from Field Of Dreams 1989, Kevin Costner)

Check put the bazillion pictures in the link below.

Yes, I have way too much time on my hands!


Many, many photos - The Luderitz Speed Canal


Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…




        April 6th     Windsurfing faster than 50 knots and 100 km/hr…

Windsurfing icon Bjorn Dunkerbeck back in 2012 was hugely determined to exceed 100 km/hr.   It's an incredible feeling to windsurf 53.50 knots for two seconds.   That's 99km/hr.   So close!

In any year someone has the opportunity to be the fastest windsurfer.   Anders Bringdal (2012), Antoine Albeau (2012), Bjorn Dunkerbeck (2015) have broken the old and set the new speed records.

French kitesurfer Alex Caizergues broke the World Speed Record in Salin-de-Giraud in South of France on Nov 13, 2013. New record is 56.62 knots.   That's an amazing 65.157132 miles per hour! It took both strength and guts to hold on and blast down the narrow canal.   Check out his board!

America Cup Yachts can move out at high speeds as well.   Emirates Team New Zealand sailed at 44.15 knots (81 km/h, 50 mph) in 15.8 knots of wind (that's 2.79 times the wind speed) on July 18, 2013.   Typical racing speeds are over 30 knots (55 km/h, 34 mph) with the boats capable of sailing well over 40 knots (74 km/h, 46 mph) in the right conditions.

Check out below ~~> USA team Oracle beat Kai Lenny (kiteboarding) in san Fransisco Bay in rough choppy conditions.   Fun to watch (1:41) below.   Check out the amazing sail on Oracle…

The videos below are a quick look at their amazing accomplishments using specialized speed boards, sails, kites, and high winds.   Worth a watch.

Rock on.


Bjorn's 2012 quest to exceed 100 km/hr.   (Brief overview and interview)


Nov. 26, 2012   Antoine Albeau hits 52.05 knots in Luderitz, Nambia.


2011 Luderitz Speed Challenge ~ Anders Bringdal hits 50.72 knots.


French kitesurfer Alex Caizergues has broken the World Speed Record in Salin-de-Giraud ~~> 56.62 knots or 65.2 mph!   Wow!


Kai Lenny vs. America Cup Yacht and team Oracle



        April 5th     Casey and Sandro did well in the AWT Cape Hatteras Wave Jam 2015

I was snooping around the internet looking for windsurfing interviews and I came upon the Continentseven interview with Kevin Pritchard.   It was fun reading his response to the questions and checking out his video links.

Kevin's into film, videos, on water moves, and new gear.   Without quoting him endlessly please check out his interview below.   I get stoked reading his words and watching his videos.   Plus it was cool to see Casey riding and Sandro smiling in the 2015 Cape Hatteras Wave Jam (video below).

Practice is essential for anyone, no matter what level of accomplishment is achieved.   Practise, practise, practise, and then practise some more.   I plan on taking a few empty plastic jugs for gybe markers next week for starters.   Hey, what's in your gear-bag?

As you can expect, the related links that accompany the websites and links below can keep you going for an afternoon.   What with the fresh snowfall outside it's a great way to spend some quality time, once the sidewalk and driveway are shovelled.

Cheers!


Casey Treichler (1st & 4th) and Sandro DeBattista (masters class) in the 2015 Cape Hatteras Wave Jam where Kevin Pritchard took Pro 1st place…


Interview ~ Kevin Pritchard about windsurfing



        April 4th     Arnaud de Rosnay est sans doute mort le 24 novembre 1984.   A true pioneer of our sport.   Please keep reading…

Arnaud was a windsurfing legend back in the early 80s when I first began to windsurf.

He died while attempting to windsurf across the Straits of Formosa in 1984.   Speculations that high wind and savage weather, being way off course, killed by pirates, and even aliens were mentioned at some point as possible causes for his complete disappearance without a single trace.

The strong wind, savage mood of the ocean, and a lack of a GPS system were the most likely cause of his death.   With Google and other search engines it's an easy task to research his life and career.   His exploits, accomplishments with boards and kites, innovations, inventions, photography, privileged lifestyle, and second wife were quite simple all legendary.   We (guys) were all totally enamoured by his second wife Jenna who was absolutely drop dead gorgeous.   I remember clearly going into the Ski Pro Shop and asking if there were any calls from her asking for me.   Dream on.

He would have been the only windsurfer to be involved in a conspiracy theory if the alien abduction had been a real part of the investigation of his death.   But that's only going to lead to the rest of this story.

When I awoke yesterday morning I was actually smiling.   Ask Nancie.   I had totally thought through (my) rather silly conspiracy theory involving aliens posing as make-believe characters and walking safely among us, camouflaged as mythological fairy tale creatures so to speak.   Can you imagine taking a picture of an alien and not knowing?   There you are at Disneyland and you ask Goofy to pose with your six year old not knowing it was actually an alien standing there, safely hidden inside a Goofy costume, with its arm around little Jimmy's shoulder.   Say cheese!

Too funny.

But maybe the theory grows.   And gains some momentum.   And attracts a following.   That's either a bit scary or maybe a part of our personal salvation trying to survive with Big Government, Big Oil, Big Agriculture, Big Pharma, Big Defense, the NRA, and maybe Donald Trump on his way to the top.   Your choice.

The greatest conspiracy theories involve truth, some kind of a lie mixed with some of the facts, a coverup through secret planning and deliberate action, and a denial of some kind that is never easy or possible to prove.   Like who was actually responsible for the assignation of JFK, planted bombs also going off inside the twin towers during the 911 attack, fictitious WMD as an excuse for attacking Iraq, the UFO and alien taken at Roswell New Mexico that the US government has hidden in an Air Force hangar, or that Roosevelt allowed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour to get America into the second world war.

Fascinating.   And the list goes on and on.

But to suggest that Arnaud de Rosnay was involved in some kind of alien intervention is not my intent.   This site is certainly not a suitable platform trying to gain foothold into shaping political or controversial thought.   Not my intent.

That said, if an apology is in order regarding anything offensive in these recent postings please excuse me.   I'm truly sorry.

The ball cap and T-shirt orders (They Walk Among Us) have been cancelled.   Not actually sure why or how.   And I got a weird phone call from an Agent (Cooper?) wanting to get together but it was somewhat garbled because of a spooky, resonant, high pitched whirring and multi-coloured, intensely bright lights, flashing outside our home last night during a loud, crackling electrical storm that caused our house to shake and our microwave oven timer to begin some kind of countdown.

Plus I dreamt that I was somehow whisked off at ultra high speed over lake Ontario and probed.

Not nice.
Arnaud De Rosnay ~ windsurfing legend


Swept Away: A Windsurfer Disappears at Sea


A few pics of Jenna…


        April 3rd     UFOs over The Outer Banks.   Much more than just a conspiracy theory.

Many, many dozens of UFO sightings have been reported around Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.   This area where we windsurfers spend 4 weeks every year is a perfect vantage point to view the heavens in the clear night sky.

The real problem that I figure is that most windsurfers are either fast asleep or still celebrating Happy Hour in the hot tub and likely do not count as credible stargazing witnesses.

Sure we are hugely optimistic, and highly suggestible as easily witnessed from all our gear filled vans and loaded car racks.   We firmly believe in the right of everyone to loop, gybe, and even try kiteboarding in light air.   We are open to almost anything.   Hell, let's go for everything!

So when it is suggested that aliens are flying about Cape Hatteras it's a bit like playing Texas Holdem.   We're all in!

I seriously plan on staying up all night for a few cloudless vigils to search the skies for erratic and fast moving lights with DSLR camera, huge ISOs, and a fast f1.4 lens in hand.   With 2 cans of mosquito repellent spray and tuned to late night radio talk show Coast to Coast AM hosted by Art Bell.   With my cell phone, I'm ready to call in to Art and report anything unusual and suspicious going on up there.

I still trust Art Bell fondly remembering his patient responses in late 1996 when he was criticized for reporting rumours that Comet Hale-Bopp was being trailed by a UFO.   I think I actually witnessed the truth in all this with my binoculars in one hand, and a Rolling Rock in the other, sitting on the breakwall with a fire going back in the day when we lived at Sunset Bay, Wainfleet.   What actually looked like a sleigh pulled by about eight tiny reindeer could easily be seen following the comet as clear as an olive skewered with a toothpick in a martini.   As one of the faithful, I'm still pretty sure that aliens have learned how to safely camouflage themselves as they move about high overhead to avoid detection by simply pretending to be mythological fairy-tale creatures.

I sincerely hope that this doesn't hurt your feelings or challenge what you believe and know is also true but unfortunately only your stupid opinion.

Please feel free to express yourself by getting up and dancing to Zorba The Greek, easily streamed from Spotify on your cellphone.   And get over it.   No wall, no matter how long and how high you build it, can keep you safe from the truth.

They walk among us, collecting our childrens' teeth, taken from under their pillows, for money.


Actual Reported UFO sightings around Pamlico Sound, The Outer Banks of North Carolina.


North Carolina National UFO Reporting Center


Please click the thumbnail to enlarge this actual flying saucer truthfully located in Frisco, North Carolina.
Google if you need proof.



        April 2nd     Refections…

The shot below is an example of a lucky reflection of windsurfer Neil showing in his sail as he flew by.

I could actually see it coming through the lens and was fortunate to be able to capture the moment.

For weeks friends regarded me in awe or at near genius level for the amazing picture.   But, as I finally admitted (quietly)(to myself) when the dust settled, I was in the right place at the right time with the sun perfectly positioned and the subject exactly where he had to be.   Just call me Lucky.

Chance often plays an important part of getting a shot.   Once it happens you can often anticipate the likelihood of a similar opportunity.   Maybe.

In this instance Neil's clear monofilm sail was a perfect mirror for the shot with the strong sunlight coming in at somehow precisely the right angle.
That said, I've unfortunately never had another photo reflect anything anywhere near this good ever since…

But the ones of Sharon and Henry below are examples of using reflected light from the sail to help illuminate their faces, which would have otherwise been hugely underexposed.   This exposure was both anticipated and planned to get the shot better exposed.   Maybe just call me practiced.


Please click the thumbnails to enlarge the pics



        April 1st     2 Events.   Our 2016 Cape Hatteras spring trip and the 2016 Gumball 3000…

Will post some new pics (way, way above, on the very top) from Cape Hatteras in about 2 weeks or from around here if I can connect with a windy day and some action involving the boys of winter.

It's a bit early to start checking the Outer Banks weather forecast and our getting hopes up but for sure we are looking forward to abusing any warmer wind and water that awaits our coming 0n April 10th.   Does anyone have or even remember the bumper sticker Where The Hell Is Buxton?   They were available somewhere back in the early to mid 90s.   Too funny.

Also the older quote from someone who said that Hatteras was a drinking village with a fishing problem.   Pretty sure it could have been applied to any number of villages up and down the Atlantic coast.   Anyone with a Rolling Rock in hand should never cast stones.

Our kids' Gumball adventure is only three weeks away.   Their car is theme wrapped and sponsor's names have yet to be added.   Awesome choice of a shark!  (Eating the road from Dublin to Prague)   And maybe we get to babysit the boys next year!

Cheers and a Rolling Rock on.


Beth in 1976, 2016, and 2014


2016 Gumball 3000,   originally Dublin to Istanbul (changed to Dublin to Prague)   (April 30th - May 8th)


Looking back - 2014 Gumball 3000,   Miami to Ibiza   scroll way down on the page, (many Gumball entries)




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