Friday, October 17, 2014

Lonely Day

Archie's NE ~12-14Kn (45mins)
Both forecasts had today as a bit of a lull but it seems there's nothing like looking at the beach yourself. Seemed good enough. Kids were tied up with homework so I snuck down for a solo run. Launched by putting the kite out and attaching the lines to the back side, then then pulling the kite to an offset upwind position with tight back line (red), then hurrying back to hook in and launch. Flopped a little, but didn't go completely downwind like last week's failed launch.

Board-dragged out past some swimmers and was able to get up pretty easily. After 2 runs it felt like I had enough upwind to go almost directly parallel to the beach, and with no real reason to stay out from Archie's, I headed north to the swimming flags at Kelly's.  Next run was right out to the first shark buoy off Archie's, then another long run right up to the far end of Kelly's. Kept heading upwind until I made it out the front of the basin.

One thing I noticed was that aiming for a buoy when going south was pretty easy, but once I'd run out of buoys it was a bit hard to keep a tack with no sight marker.

Pretty tiring session, and most tacks toward the end were to just give my back leg and arms a little rest. Pulled the line adjustment in to 1/2 to see if it had less bar pressure, but still the same upwind. Yep, less pressure, but not the same upwind. In fact the kite was struggling to get me up on turns, but it could keep an even tack or slightly better once going.

Headed back to Archie's before the wind died and I was completely knackered. With no-one to help land and a pretty short beach, I decided to dump the kite into the ocean. Still not happy with flagging out the kite, but it took on enough water over the sail the that it was going nowhere. Kite was now drenched and made for a wet, sandy pack up.

There happened to be a photographer from Gladstone on the headland while I was out over Kelly's, and he'd come over while I was packing up to offer the shots.

First successful solo day. Feels good to just get out and have fun. Hope there's more to come. Big weekend on the way though, so it's most likely a return to Elliott heads.