Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Strong Wind!!!

(Julie windsurfing, in the foreground with the white and blue sail.)

There really isn't much to report this week.  Julie was officially announced as the new windsurfing manager at KSK.  I worked hard with the very few clients that I got, and sold another Land Rover.

On Thursday there wasn't much wind, 9-11 knots.  Juile and I both tried to get a kiteboard session in, but no matter how much you worked the kite it just wouldn't give you enough power to get going on the board.  My kite needs at least 12 knots of wind to work, and has a range up to about 20 knots for a beginner like myself.  Sunday we got up early and got down to the beach as it was supposed to be windy, and it was!!!  It blew 25+ all day!  Julie managed to have a great windsurfing session, using a tiny sail (4.3) and a tiny board (103 liters).  I couldn't do much of anything as my kite was WAY to big for these conditions, and my windsurfing skills aren't up to par for these conditions either.  I guess I just need to buy another smaller kite:)  There is always more gear to buy!

I did enjoy a nice long run on the beach this morning.  Luckily the crazy rains all day held off until I was on my way to work.  Hopefully everyone had some kind of adventure this week and have stayed away from the flu that seems to be going around everywhere.  Please keep in touch.
(A picture of Kailua Bay with Flat Island in the foreground showing the huge wind swell.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wind, Waves, & The Flu

Another week in Hawaii.  The weather is nice and there is no snow.  I miss the snow!  Julie got a promotion this week at work and is now the windsurfing manager.  I sold another Land Rover and have been working hard.  Julie and I both have Thursday's off work.  This past Thursday Julie managed to catch a bug and was sick all day.  After hanging around the house with her all day I did manage to get a few hours of surfing at Cockroach Bay in with Aaron in the evening.
(Aaron and I paddling out at Cockroach Bay, I'm on the left.)

Sunday Julie and I both got up early to get down to the beach and enjoy the windy conditions.  I finally managed to get a full day of kiteboarding in on my new kite setup and Julie was able to spend some time out on a windsurfing rig.  I still can't stay up wind on my kiteboard, but I'm up and riding and getting better each time I go out.  Julie is doing great and is now riding tiny boards with big sails.  Learning to water start has allowed her to enjoy the tiny boards.
(Sunrise on Kailua Beach.)

(Finally, a shot of me kiteboarding in Kailua Bay.)

Yesterday and today I've been quite sick, and oddly enough have the same symptoms that Julie had earlier:(  Please keep in touch as Julie and I really miss everyone back on the mainland and would love to hear about the goings on in your lives.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lots of Stairs and a Few Whales

Julie and I experienced some really exciting things over this past week, even though the weather has not exactly cooperated. The wind has been in the wrong directions for kiteboarding, at least for a beginner like myself, and the waves have either been flat or off the scale big. Last Sunday police were out walking the north shore beaches making sure no one entered the water. There where 40 ft wave faces at Waimea Bay!

(The hike starts under the highway.  This part of the hike is the least exposed!)

The first big mission was the Stairway to Heaven hike that we did last Thursday. 3,700 steps and a 2,200 ft elevation change make for an amazing climb in the mountains of Hawaii. This hike is officially closed to the public, which in this case only means that it is an adventure to even get to the base of the stairs. We made friends with the security guard at the base of the stairs on the way down:)

(This shot gives you some scale and is a great view of the H3 highway, recently on Discovery Channels Modern Marvels.)

(Julie and I in the clouds at the top of the stairs.)

(Julie decending out of the clouds on a steeper stretch of the "stairs".)

I was able to get an invite to a whale watching excursion on the dealership's yacht (Mercedes), a 65 ft Viking Marlin Fishing Boat (worth $3.5 million!!!), for Sunday. Julie and I were able to join 10 others from the dealership group for a 4 hr boat tour off the Northwest coast of Hawaii, out of Ko Olina. The yacht was immaculate, the food and drinks were great, and the crew was top notch. A similar 4 hr tour is worth over $4,000!

(Julie enjoying the outing on the "Mercedes", but trying to fight off sea sickness.)

(We were able to see about 8 humpback whales from afar.  I caught this one breaching.)

On Monday night Julie planned a little BBQ at our place. Once again she did a great job getting a bunch of friends together to eat, drink, and enjoy the hot tub. Julie made up some tasty burgers and I worked the grill. The X Box game Guitar Hero was also amusing entertainment at the party.

(Another beutiful sunset from our home in Kailua.)

I hope to report some more adventures and water based sports activities for next week. PEACE

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Breaking in the New Year

(Aaron and friends at North Beach on MCBH.)

I made it into the ocean 3 times this past week. I surfed on North Beach on the Marine Corp base and absolutely got my ass handed to me. Some of the sets were double overhead high and all the waves only had 9 sec. periods between them. I made it out through the break once and then just got hammered over and over until I clawed my way back onto the rocky shoreline. Julie and I also made it up to the North Shore and surfed at Haleiwa in 4ft surf. The big news is that I finally got a kiteboard setup. I got it Thursday and took it out to Kailua Bay, but light winds prevented me from doing a whole lot. I did get one good pass with two planning jibs. I didn't stay up wind very well, so ended up hiking the beach, but that is all part of the learning curve. Sadly there has been no wind since then, and I mean NO wind! I have been running almost every day though and trying to get in shape.

(Me ready to launch my new North Rebel 12M kite.)

Work has been slow, but I'm working hard and making things happen. I also test drove a Porsche Cayman S today. That car is a blast to drive! Julie has been teaching tons of windsurfing lessons and generally keeping busy with work. Until next week...

(One of the many amazing kiters in Kailua Bay.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Parties and Explosions

Sorry for the late short post with no photos, but Julie and I have been busy with work and the crazy holidays.  Over the past week Julie's parents went back to MD, I sold a few cars, Julie taught a lot of windsurfing, we threw a huge pre-new years party, and enjoyed the war zone that is Oahu on New Years.

The big story was the crazy party that we threw at our place on Sunday night.  All the roommates invited their friends and cute acquaintances.  Julie also had a lot of her co-workers over for the festivities.  The festivities included full use of our extensive bar, darts, beer pong, foosball, live acoustic music, and our hot tub.  Overall it was tons of fun and put our huge party friendly house to good use.

Fireworks are very legal here in HI and everyone seems to love to put on their own huge displays for New Years.  The entire town of Kailua was enveloped in smoke, load explosions,  and bright flashing lights as soon as the sun went down and ended around 2 am.  It felt like a war zone, but one where everyone was laughing and having fun.  I found it to be a truly unique experience.

Hopefully 2008 is treating you all well.  I know that this year will hold big changes for many of you, as well as for myself.  Whatever the year holds for you be sure to stay healthy and live life to the fullest.