Sunday, August 28, 2011

Castlerock Sunday 28th August

From early this morning the wind was blowing well from the North, the water was visibly choppy from miles away. However we had a big family lunch, and it was big, so that took up a fair bit of the day, and it was after 4 before I arrived at Benone.

I was glad to see a few kites in the air, always a good sign, but on closer inspection they were all struggling. The wind was quite low, so I had a chat to a few of the guys and decided to head for Castlerock.

At Castlerock the beach was almost empty and the wind was howling. I set up the 12 and went out, and had a good wee session, it was up and down a bit, and at one stage I could hardly hold onto the 12. I set up my 9, but of course by the time I had it up the wind had dropped, and even the 12 wouldn't pull me.

Unfortunately some of my family had decided to spectate during the lull, which was pretty poor timing for them. Just after they left it picked up again.

Once it picked up I was out again for another reasonable session, although the wind shifted a lot more onshore, and it meant there were limited chances for riding over the waves.

Around that time lots of cars turned up and decided to park close to me too, so that didn't help, especially swimmers in my path and little kiddies in my crash zone. When that happens its time to pack up.

Not a bad session, felt a bit rushed, bit crammed, but it was nice to get out. My legs were still a bit tired from the cycle this morning, maybe not such a good idea. It will be nice when all the tourists go home and leave the beaches empty again ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Holiday Day 7 - Friday

After another poor nights sleep we had breakfast and checked out of the hotel. We also got a drive through the shipyard, as the main road was closed and the diversion went right through the H&W yard.

We went into the city center this morning and browsed many, many shops.

After a snack lunch we went to visit Lisburn pool, which was a lot of fun as always, it always goes down well with the kids.
Tonight we came home and cooked tea; it's nice to get back to normal food.

I got back to the steps, did a bit more, a little more progress.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holiday Day 6 - Thursday

Didn't sleep that great last night, but sure that's hotels for you.

The entertainment for this morning was provided by W5. Its a great science exhibition in the Odyssey which can provide many hours of entertainment. We'd visited a few times before, but it changes each time with the kids getting older. We built an aluminium bridge, a remote control car, few a helicopter, landed a plane, made stop motion films, presented a weather forecast, and saw a liquid nitrogen demonstration, to name but a few of the things we got up to.

In the afternoon we went to the cinema to see Mr Poppers Penguins, which is a reasonable film, carried by Careys humour, which I can't help enjoying.

In the evening after some shopping (Decathlon) we went to Andrew's house and had chinese for tea. Back to the hotel.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holiday Day 5 - Wednesday

As a treat for the kids we decided to book a hotel for a couple of nights, and tonight is the first.

We spent some time figuring out what to spend the days doing, and decided to go to the Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry. It is a small aquarium, but still well worth a visit, the kids were well amused by all the wonderful creatures.

At teatime we made our way to the
hotel, where we got checked in. Its in a handy location beside the Odyssey, so we went to pizza hut to get tea. We had got a voucher for pizza for a fiver, but due to some weird "we are but we aren't" pizza hut wouldn't quite honour the deal. However, we got more than we could eat for less than thirty quid.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holiday Day 4 - Tuesday

Another lovely day today, sometimes sunny sometimes overcast, but perfect weather for working.

I started work on the steps at the end of the wall. I spent a good while at it, a lot of time on planning as it is pretty tricky.

Picked the car up from Ryan tonight, its like a different car, the clutch has never felt like that in the last four years.

On the way back from Magherafelt we called in to see granny - nice way to end the evening.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Holiday Day 3 - Monday

Had a nice lie in this morning - its nice not to have to get up.

We went to pay for the rockery plants this afternoon but there was no one there. We did something I wanted to try for a long time and walked from the barmouth road towards castlerock which was really nice.

This evening I strimmed up the side of the grass. The new strimmer is a super job.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Holiday Day 2 - Sunday

Sunday. We had a visiting minister today, I have to say I just couldn't get tuned in at all, although everyone else seemed to rave about him. Mum and Dad were over for dinner; Dad took the kids for an epic cycle (to Castlerock & back).

After Benone tonight we went to Normas for a very enjoyable evening, and some very nice buns. Good not to have to go to work tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Holiday Day 1 - Saturday - Silage

Got a phone call this morning to come help lift tyres to prepare for the silage. Well, one thing led to another, and Matthew and I ended up staying all day.

It was good fun, its nice to help out, but especially on a day like today, blue skies and fresh cut grass.....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Holiday Day 0 - Friday

Today is sort of the first day of my holidays. Well, holidays started at 4pm after work finished, but during the day 19 tonnes of stones had been delivered to the front of the house.

Matthew and I set about levelling them, which was a considerable task, and worked for a good few hours. By 10pm they were all levelled.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Benone Tuesday 16th August

I went straight to the beach today after work, and it was blowing nicely. I got set up and was on the water for around 5:30.

I was working a lot on some small jumps. Speed is key, more speed for a higher jump. That was on the way out, on the way in I worked a little on my load and pop with the kite at a solid 45. Making good progress, its all about practice, just need more time.

The session was really good, came in about 6:30 to call home, and went out again for about another hour. During this hour the wind dropped from 20mph to around 10mph. Time to quit.

How great to have a session in the sunshine

Monday, August 08, 2011

Benone Monday 8th August

For about a week now the forecast for today was to be solid NW wind all day. In anticipation I had booked a short notice day off work. I had hoped to spend the whole working day at the beach, but I had to work for a while in the morning. Still, I managed to be at the beach for just after 11.

It was blowing nicely when I got there, so I set up the 12 and went out. It was super up and down; must have ranged from 10-25+ mph, sometimes the kite wanted to drop, other times I couldn't hold the kite. The waves were big too, and fairly messy, although with the wind direction it was still possible to ride in a long distance without getting into the foam.

Met some new people today, a girl whose name I didn't get, who is a youth worker locally, she was out on the sand, and I met Mark from NIKF. Mark is up and riding, but still finding his feet, and was a bit daunted by the waves. Still, he looked to be getting on well.

After lunch it was back out again for another while, and during the afternoon the waves got bigger, but further apart, leaving huge areas of flat water in between breaks.

ST was there working with Pete to get him up and riding, but unfortunately his 9 burst its leading edge. Apparently they got on grand on Petes 11 later on.

As for me, I had a great day 'mowing the lawn' as ST talks about. Its good fun riding out over the break, and riding in along with it. I worked harder today than I have in a long time. I worked quite a bit on my toeside riding, and my toeside to heelside carving turns (going towards my left). The toeside riding is still quite flakey, sometimes when I think I've got it, I can't hold the kite, or mess up the board. I managed to control it pretty well today though, didn't have to ditch it once. Some of the turns are epic, others are embarrassing. Really nice when it works well, but you can go quite a distance downwind on a large circle turn.

On the jumps, I felt like I was actually making some progress just before I left, mainly on the way out, using the waves as a ramp. ST says I'm still not agressive enough with my kite motion, so I will continue to work on that.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Benone Yesterday

I have never seen glass flat water at Benone. Zero wind. Funny thing it was blowing 15-20mph at Magilligan, 5 miles away

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Kitesurfing Castlerock 4th August 2011

Talk about wind chasing, on my way home I went to Magilligan, blowing 20+mph, then Benone, 0mph, then downhill, 0mph, then Castlerock 6mph, then home for tea.
Water at Benone was glass, I've never seen it like that before.
After tea it was back to Castlerock for a walk with the family 15-20mph, then back to Benone, still nothing, Magilligan, which had dropped to 10-15mph, back to Castlerock where I thought I may as well try.
As I set up it blew harder, and I had a good wee session out on the water. Nice and flat, well enough powered on the 12. After 9pm it started to drop a bit, so I packed up.
With the flat water I worked a bit on toeside riding, and my toeside to heelside carving turns. Getting better, still not very beautiful sometimes. I also worked a little on my jumps, although most times I think I was a little underpowered, but still cant get a good take off.
Nice to get out.