Louis Self
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Arizona Lou

Archived Blog 2009: Jun

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Tue 6/30 – Up and out to the first turnout north of Avon until the mosquitoes got the best of me. Then to the gym (Koru in Avon) for my second light full-body workout. After a shower to Canadian Hole for lunch, chill, sun/run and wind check along the island, then up to Rodanthe.
- PAY ATTENTION! When you drive your car, DRIVE! Near Mile Post 50 I saw an accident occur about a fourth mile ahead. Dust and cars changing position is all I saw. I was the first to dial 911 with the accident and injuries – probably none serious, but both vehicles were undrivable. Late Sunday afternoon at Kitty Hawk Kites we heard an accident on Highway 12. No squealing of tires just a big thud, indicating that the driver of the minivan was not aware that the cars ahead of him were stopped or stopping. He plowed into one car and bumped it into the one ahead, and the next one All three of the cars rear ended were of the same group, coming down for a vacation.
- Kited strapless with my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” surfboard for about 1.25 hours with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4. Broke yesterday’s record with nine consecutive successful jibes. All nine were carve from healside to toeside and em>then switch my feet. I am now getting about 60% of my jibes
- Spending the night in Waves

Mon 6/29 – Ikitesurf wind reports were not great but I went out to the first turnout north of Avon (my GPS waypoint HANOR1) anyway and had fun. The self-launch would be a little dicey with a direct onshore 13-15 mph wind. I went conservative after yesterday. That ruled out a normal self launch. I set up for a tethered launch, which was not any better for the wind direction. Finally, I did a successful drift launch, rode about an hour and beat my record by doing SEVEN consecutive jibes with the foot switch before the carve and set a new record of FOUR consecutive jibes with the carve first.
- The rest of the day was pretty well routine: updating website BLOG, DEFINITIONS, and TRIPS. TRIPS now lets now includes eight YouTube videos with music and narration from my last Brazilian trip.
- Spending the night in Avon

Sun 6/28 – I was the only one on the water this morning from 7:40 to 8:00 with my 14 m Cabrinha Contra and Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard and I got up before breakfast too do it. I actually did about 5 successful jibes. When I accomplished two consecutive ones (one in each direction) and the wind was getting a little fluky I decided it was time to come in.
- Compression is amazing! Say you were launching your kite for the long jump competition, some kites were where you wanted your lines to go and you didn’t ask to have the kites moved because you didn’t want to be a bother and as a result your kite was not far enough downwind to develop proper launching power and drifted downwind into the power zone and the person launching your kite did not run and get it so it dragged your butt across the grass in front of everyone and your right hip found the bumper of a van as you brought the kite up to the neutral position to depower it.
- And say you participated in both the long jump and the trick competition, coming in dead last in everything (unless you age-adjusted the scores, which the judges did not) but had fun and your tricks were to go out on your Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard and start-up by jumping up with both feet as you dived the kite, and carving to toeside and back to healside and doing a jibe without falling into the water after attempting several and falling in the water (each of these an opportunity to demonstrate another start-up) and doing a jump off the board and kicking around and acting silly above the water sans board.
- And say if you’d slice a fourth of a grapefruit off and put it on your hip and that was the size of the lump from your bumper contact before the events and you pressed the lump with your hand and it immediately stated to go down in size, then you would understand why I think compression is amazing/.

Result of the 6/28/09 Kite Jam Competition

Four participants, in order of appearance:
  1. Will Brooks
  2. Adam Super
  3. Cole Russell
  4. Louis Self
Place Long Jump Tricks
First Adam Will
Second Will Adam
Third Cole Lou
Fourth Lou

- Spending the night in south Avon

Sat 6/27 – I never thought I’d be wearing a shirt so much out here on OBX (you know the motto out here is No Shirt, No Shoes: No Problem,) but it was a special day and I think my website T shirt is pretty cool. Several people figured out who I was and my website address from the shirt. Oh, yes, the occasion was Kitty Hawk Kites' Kite Jam today and tomorrow. Scheduled today were long jump competition, and Capture The Flag as well as demoing of equipment. People came to watch all the kiteboarding. The only problem was there was no kiteboarding due to the lack of wind. Any way, before the scheduled Long Jump at noon, I set up my Cabrinha Contra low-wind 14 meter kite and talked to people about kiteboarding. When it came time for the competition there was not enough wind to even get the kite into the air, so I wrapped up everything.
- Later I stretched the lines for my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4. The IDS safety line had broken and that is why the kite got away yesterday. I got the safety line replaced and spent most of the rest of the day and evening on my website.
- My big multi-day website project is rearranging the Trips page somewhat and adding videos from my 2006 Brazil trip to it. Of courts I first had to locate the videos on my 300g hard drive and figure how to upload them to YouTube. That is a little involved by the time you fill in titles, descriptions and key words. I got that done and the got Locations dummy videos up on a temporary Tripspage. I have five out of the eight video clips ready to go. Tomorrow I’ll likely get the remaining three video clips onto the website located in my eeepc computer then upload the entire web page. Stay tuned
- Spending the night in Waves

Fri 6/26 – Got up at 6:30 to check the weather and wind early because Tucker had to head home by noon and wanted to get some kiting in. We drove up to Rodanthe after some Avon shopping. On the way I gave Tucker my famous radio tour of the kiteboarding spots between Avon and Rodanthe. We kited together from Kitty Hawk Kites for over an hour and actually gave each other five as we passed a couple of times. Tucker was riding on his 10.5 m kite from DR and a big board. I was riding my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and 130 cm Lite Wave twin tip board. My session did not end as planned. I thought about trying spins since conditions were ideal, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I did try a couple of reverse kite loops in anticipation of eventually adding kite loops to my jumps. I think that is when I crashed my kite, it turned inside out and a number of other things happened and the kite went its own way by itself. Since it was a side-onshore wind the kite eventually ended up near the shore where some boy scouts rescued it near Rodanthe Water Sports and Camping - and me as I came swimming in after the kite. They certainly did their good deed for the day as they took me and my gear back to Kitty Hawk Kites.
- Then it was nap time to make up for the missed sleep, which I needed to recover from getting up so early and yesterday’s surfing.
- My second session with my 8m Cabrinha Switchblade-2 and the same board was sandwiched between thunderstorms, thanks to radar on the Internet. Actually I was showing off the sport to Tony, about four years younger than me who sounded interested in kiteboarding. Finally got my old GPS receiver to charge, stuck it in the pocket on the back of my kiteboarding harness and got some statistics. Max speed, not trying to go fast, was 11.9mph and distance was 1.32 miles.
- Tomorrow’s winds are forecast to be from the west which would be best at the washout. However I am spending the night here in Rodanthe due to Kitty Hawk Kites’ special events tomorrow and Sunday.

Thu 6/25 – No one kited today – little wind - except Tucker and a couple others who managed a short downwinder to Kite Point.
- This morning I joined the gym for one month since that is about how long I have left out here. I did a light full-body workout and took a welcomed shower. Then a little shopping and…
- a surf lesson from Tom, through Ride Hatteras, in which I accomplished several things:

- Spending the night in south Avon

Wed 6/24 – This was a tech and gadget day – certainly not a wind day. I selected podcasts for Juice to download yesterday evening. There was so many talk shows that it was going to take hours to download and I did not want to lose the Internet connection, so I spent the night in the Ride Hatteras parking lot, left my computer downloading and started the van’s engine about every three hours to not run down and damage its battery. Then, today, when Ride opened I plugged my computer into a regular outlet. I don't think all the podcasts ever got downloaded.
- Today I spent time on my computer and on the phone researching replacement of my Gariin Foretrex 201 GPS receiver that is no longer wearable, but can be put it in the pocket of my harness for collecting data. Rather than having it repaired for $65 I’ll hold out for the latest and greatest:

- Then there was the Oregon Scientific weather station mess – they sent the wrong one (WMR100) to replace the one I sent in with the stuck buttons (WMR90A). That took some time and lots of phone minutes to straighten out.
- Then, on my website, I got the side bar and top button menus changed on all 25 or so of my web pages where they appear.
- Spending the night in south Avon.

Tue 6/23 – Low wind forecast for this morning (N 5-10k) and building. It never built. A few people rode before noon, mostly on the sound with big kites, but not me. About 4pm 6 of us (Tucker, Mike, Brian, Marshal, Paul and I) attempted a downwinder from Avon Pier to opposite the first turnout south of Canadian Hole (my GPS waypoint HASOU1). Only one made it all the way, one walked back after riding less than a half mile, two launched their kites and brought them right back down and me? I launched my 14 m Cabrinha Contra kite, did a few beach jumps and then attempted to go out with my 130 cm Lite Wave twin tip board and got humbled. Never got out. The reason for all this was the pounding shore break and decreasing wind. And just to think, I could have been installing Juice on my computer or working on my website.

Marshall Pugh: Most of the time our mother ocean is kind and inviting, creating the best playground imaginable, but there are times when a small spanking lets you know who's really in charge.
- Spending the night in Avon, as tomorrow’s winds are forecast to be low (5-10k).

Mon 6/22 - Got up way early (for me) at 6:00 am because the wind was blowing, in spite of the fact that I got to bed late (about 11pm) working on my blog. I went directly out to the first turnout south of Kite Point (my GPS waypoint HASOU1) and was the first person on the water there with my 14 and my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard. Left my 130 cm Lite Wave twin tip board on the beach where I could easily come in and switch. Succeeded in doing about five jibes, lots of wipeouts and lots of deep-water startups. Then I rode back to shore to change to my Lite Wave.
- It was GONE! After some serious searching I decided someone had picked it up and I started calling shops so they could keep an eye out in case it showed up for sale. Fortunately, about a week ago, renewed my name and phone number on the board. After calling the fourth shop my phone rang. It was Duane, a retired photographer, who, earlier with his wife, Carol, had enjoyed watching the three kiteboarders .6 miles upwind to the north at Kite Point, of which I was one. They found my board washed up on the shore where I had left it wondering if someone had drowned, put it in their motor home and headed north. Duane noticed my name and phone number on the board about 16 miles later.
- He was kind enough to phone me and even brought my board back. They took some videos and stills of my riding with the twin-tip, surf board, 14 and 12m kites.
- Harry, from yesterday drove down and was spectacular on the water with huge jumps, spins, kite loops, board-offs and combinations of all the above. I want to ride like him, and he’s an old guy. Well just a few years younger than me.
- Spending the night in south Avon again

Sun 6/21 – You probably won’t notice the difference, but I am doing a major overhaul for my website.

- Kiteboarding today almost worked… twice. Jim, Mike and I arranged a reverse downwinder from Kitty Hawk Kites to Planet of the apes, but there was only enough wind for me to make it about a half mile to the KOA campground. Jim and Mike did not make it that far and I never heard from Jim & Mike again
- The second time it almost worked was with Harry, a gentleman I met at Kitty Hawk Kites. He found an ocean access about 8 miles north of Waves. By the time we both got there, there was little wind. I tried several plans
  1. Do a beach-butt-scoot start with my 130 Lite Wave with foot straps
  2. Drag out with the Lite Wave and put it on my feet between waves
  3. Take my strapless surf board out and try to get up on it
  4. Show off with some heal drags and jumps on the beach Only the Plan D was sucessful and the beach visitors did enjoy my heel drags and beach jumps. Harry explained that the problem was not all me, as the wind had shifted and was about 45-60 degrees to shore, which makes getting out and starting up very difficult.
    Spent the night in south Avon.

    Sat 6/20 – Unbelievably, Oto found my GPS receiver in the sound off Windmill Point this morning. I gave Oto and his buddies lessons this morning. Oto got up and rode on the board for his first time. I think he was pretty happy about it. The kite that he had for his buddies had some problems, so we did not accomplish a lot. Later in the afternoon I rode about 1.5 hours from the Waves KOA campground on the sound side – with both the straples surf board (working on jibes) and my 130 twin-tip (working on jumps). I was supposed to join three others for a neat downwinder to Oregon Inlet, about 15.5 miles, but they never shoded up.

    Fri 6/19 - Set up an array of four floats and bags of rocks from Dollar Tree for reference and proceeded to look for my GPS receiver off Windmill Point in the 12-16” deep water. No dice, even after Oto, a kiteboarding friend and two of his buddies from Chapel Hill helped look for it. Since the wind was low and from the east we went to a Nags Head beach and I gave the buddies a kite rigging lesson. At the end of the lesson there was barely enough wind for me to put up a 12m kite and do a few beach drags and puny jumps. They thought it was cool.
    - Just before bedtime, I drove down to Rodanthe for the night in anticipation of the forecast southwest winds tomorrow.

    Thu 6/18 – Started the day in Hatteras Village near the ferry docks and drove 64.8 miles to end it at Windmill Point. Before leaving the village, I spent about four hours in the library updating my website, uploading videos to YouTube and writing a letter to my tenants back in Phoenix (tried to be super nice to get their cooperation) etc. On the way north, in Avon I bought a new pair of reading glasses and bread at Dollar Tree and did the rest of my grocery shopping at Food Lion, and stopped by Kitty Hawk Kites in Rodanthe to fix supper and check on the current winds in the OBX Aarea. That done, headed up to Windmill Point where I set up my 14 m Cabrinha Contra.
    - I was the only person kiteboarding in the area on my 130 cm Lite Wave twin tip board. I would have taken out my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard except with my “John” wetsuit I didn’t want to get cold. I stayed out about 50 minutes until GPS sunset at 8:21. My self-launch went very well, even in a field of jet skis, but not so my landing. The kite re-launched on the first attempt. No biggie: just re-land it – unless a kite line wraps around your GPS receiver, taking control, and the kite powers up and rips the GPS off its wrist band and goes directly to the bottom of Pamlico Sound. Although the kite crashed among the jet skis I got it in ok without tangling the lines too much. The mosquitoes were horribly hungry, as they tend to be this time of the year here around sunset.
    - I’m pretty sleepy now, so this blog may not make a whole lot of sense. Spending the night at Wind Mill Point (my GPS waypoint haWindmill Point) in Nags Head.

    Wed 6/17 - Finally some wind; only about 15 mph from the east so spending last night near the ferry docks paid off. At the beginning of each of my two ocean downwinders I spent a little time trying to get up on my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard. The second downwinder I finally got up on it but the second wave knocked me off. For both downwinders I switched to my trusty ol’ 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth with foot straps. Both times I had a good runs. The first downwinder, 4.0 miles from just south of the Frisco Pier (my GPS waypoint HAOPFR) to the Graveyard Museum (my GPS waypoint HAOMUS); the second downwinder, 3.7 miles from the bath house (my GPS waypoint haoBath House) to the museum. I thought, starting from the bath house, I would be more likely to get up strapless since the waves were not breaking quite as close to the shore. On the Bath House beach I met John, who launched my kite for me, and his lovely wife, Millie Sue. All the other times, I did pretty cool self launches and landings. Of course showing off with a number of beach jumps were included in the fun. The second downwinder I felt much more comfortable and did a lot of carves from healside to toeside with KITE LOOPS!
    - Spending the night, again, in Hatteras Village near the ferry docks so I can work in the library in the morning, as if there is wind, it will be late in the day and from the southwest. That would be good for a reverse ocean downwinder from what I did today or a Planet run on the sound up north in the Salvo area. Generally the better winds, especially from the southwest, are farther north than here.

    Tue 6/16 – The forecast east wind never materialized so I spent most of the day in the Hatteras Village Library working on my website. No time to detail the changes, but you will find some on Locations (a neat South Padre jump), Picture Taking (George Pope’s helmet cam). Also uploaded three of my Brazil videos to YouTube that will get put in my website when I have time and backed up all the modified data files on my eeePc900HA to my 300g hard drive.
    - Spending the night in Hatteras Village near the ferry docks, again in anticipation of east wind tomorrow, but they have degraded tomorrow’s wind forecast. Wed 6/17 - Finally some wind; only about 15 mph from the east so spending last night near the ferry docks paid off. At the beginning of each of my two ocean downwinders I spent a little time trying to get up on my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard. The second downwinder I finally got up but the second wave knocked me off. For both downwinders I switched to my trusty ol’ 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth with foot straps. Both times I had a good runs. The first downwinder, 4.0 miles from just south of the Frisco Pier (my GPS waypoint HAOPFR) to the Graveyard Museum (my GPS waypoint HAOMUS); the second downwinder, 3.7 miles from the bath house (my GPS waypoint haoBath House) to the museum. I thought, starting from the bath house, I would be more likely to get out strapless since the waves were not breaking quite as close to the shore. On the Bath House beach I met John, who launched my kite for me, and his lovely wife, Millie Sue. All the other times, I did pretty cool self launches and landings. Of course showing off with a number of beach jumps were included in the fun. The second downwinder I felt much more comfortable and did a lot of carves from healside to toeside with KITE LOOPS!
    - Spending the night, again, in Hatteras Village near the ferry docks so I can work in the library in the morning, as if there is wind it will be late in the day and from the southwest.

    Mon 6/15 – No wind day! I always enjoy HANOR1 first thing in the morning. Today was no exception. Debby, from the Avon Post Office phoned that my table post socket package was in, so, after my morning routine I picked it up. It is the same as the old one, only not 2/3 cracked. The old one weighed 95% of the new one. That could mean that the old one lost 5% of its aluminum due to corrosion. It certainly looked that way. My morning project was to get stainless steel bolts, screws and washers at Ace and then us a ramp to install the new socket in the floor of my van and seal it so water hopefully will get in when I drive through puddles. The new socket also fits the table post better and the table is more stable.
    - Spending the night in Hatteras Village near the ferry docks, anticipating an east wind tomorrow afternoon.

    Sun 6/14 – Drove out to HANOR1 first thing this morning to charge the van’s battery, for shaving, breakfast, shoulder exercises with my surgical -tubing gym and working on my video-focus-capture pictures. Then to Ride Hatteras where I got acquainted with two new employees, Rob and John and hung around on the Internet a while. Then down to the beach on the sound side just south of Canadian Hole for lunch – met Bob, John’s dad, and…
    - Took a ride in his cute little Force 5 sail boat. Max GPS speed was 7.2mph and distance 1.63 miles.
    - Got in some good kiteboarding at the first turnout south of the Canadian Hole/Kite Point complex. Rode both strapless surf-style board and twin-tip with foot straps. With the latter, I found a crab pot float and spent a long time practicing figure 8’s across it, jumping it each time I passed and switching direction at the ends of the 8’s with a jump switch. This gave me a chance to tune my precise jumps – never as high as my non-precise jumps, though. A lot of nice people riding in that area.

    • Statistics from today's kiteboarding session:
    • Kite: Cabrinha Switchblade II
    • Koards: Nash custom Fish – strapless and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth
    • Out 4:10pm
    • GPS Max speed: 27.6 mph
    • GPS Distance: 9.5 mi
    • GPS Time: 1:22 hour

    Sat 6/13 - No wind today. I spent most of the day at Kitty Hawk Kites in Rodanthe – hot and humid until a late afternoon rain storm moved through. Today’s big project was to repair, again, the bladder of my Cabrinha 12m Switchblade 4. Fortunately the leak was close enough to the end that I could scrunch the tip up and pull the bladder out far enough for the repair – a previous patch I had put on, which was close to a seam, was leaking. After the patch I pumped the kite up and let it set. After two hours it had not lost any air, so it may be fixed. I’ve had so much trouble with it, I’ll not venture out too far the first few times.
    - Other things done were getting my checking account resolved (I’m still financially solvent – YEA), fishing out my spare pair of sandals, after losing one of my favorite sandals – Nike that I had been wearing for several years, and updating my home page, definitions page, van life page and some other things connected with my website. Finished off the evening at the Atlantic Coast Cafe, taking advantage of their hospitality and free WiFi!
    - Just before bedtime drove to Avon for the night due to tomorrow's foreccast winds from the north and northeast and to fully charge the van's battery I have been careul to not let its no-load voltage get below 11.8.

    Fri 6/12 – Kept in touch by phone with Mike (Natalie) , who I met yesterday evening at Windmill Point. In Nags Head bought ear bud covers at Radio Shack, grape jam at Food Lion, then headed south to Rodanthe and Kitty Hawk Kites where I hooked up with Mike.
    - We did the famous downwinder from Planet of the Apes to Kitty Hawk. My first Planet run on a surf-style bard without foot straps. Thanks to a suggestion by Jonathan, Cabrinha kite rep, I found that I completed more jibes if I switched my feet on the board before or after the carve instead of during it. Mike had a kite problem and was rescued by a jet ski.

    • Statistics from today's downwinder:
    • 7 miles from Planet to KHK
    • Kite: Cabrinha Switchblade II
    • Board: Nash custom Fish, strapless
    • Out 1:30pm
    • GPS Max speed: 25.6 mph on the Planet slick (No Ache Island)
    • GPS Distance: 17.9 mi
    • GPS Time: 2:12 hour
      - The contractor's home office nixed the kite drawing for the Waves Village construction workers with no explanation. Now my 12m kite and 170cm board are for sale again.
      - Spending the night in Rodanthe

      Thu 6/11 – Went out to NOR1 again first thing this morning for breakfast, shoulder exercises and to prepare my Oregon Scientific base station for shipping, then to the post office to mail the package then to Ride Hatteras visit a little and to download my checking account statement using their free wifi. Then did a little shopping and drove up north toward the Manteo Library, stopping by Windmill Point to check the wind. Never made it to the library, but did kite strapless on my surf-style kite board with my Contra 14 m. Made three jibes. Four other kiteboarders kited from Windmill Point later near sunset after I returned to the Point from getting gasoline and buying grape jam.

      • Statistics from today's kiteboarding session:
      • Kite: Cabrinha Contra 14 m
      • board: Nash custom Fish - strapless
      • Out 5:00pm
      • GPS Max speed: 22.4 mph, not trying for speed
      • GPS Distance: 2.69 mi
      • GPS Time: 32 minutes
      spending the night at Wind Mill Point, Nags Head, NC after working on my checking account and blog.

      Wed 6/10 – No wind but drove to the first turnout north of Avon (my GPS waypoint HANOR1) for breakfast and to shave. Enjoyed a relaxed morning, which included a thorough analysis of the Battery Guard I am using with my refrigerator and using Sony Vegas Movie Studio to save some frames of my SanyoVPC-2 camcorder focus test videos for analysis. My little Asus eeePc 900HA computer handled the task beautifully. While I was hanging out I polished my headlights (See the results here on my Van Life web page). Did a sun/walk-in-knee-deep-water. Pulse after the three minute walk was 96.
      - Then went to the car ramp to get beneath the van to measure the table mount’s screws protrusion in preparation for the socket. The socket at Buxton NAPA was a surface mount instead of a flush mount – unworkable. Since it was my fault, I paid for the return shipping.
      - On the Internet, later, I found and ordered one with the same part number as the socket in my van floor, which has only the part number - no manufacturer.

      Tue 6/9 – Even less wind today, but got more done

      1. I replaced the emergencyy chicken line with an official one of Amsteel (Amstell?) spectra that is supposed to be non-abradable and included a Liquid Force stopper knob. Now I have a Cabrinha/Best/Liquid Force system. We’ll see how it works the next windy day.
      2. Monitored the wind around the island all day
      3. Sun & Run @ Canadian Hole – pulse 140 bpm after the 3 ½ minute run
      4. Got tires rotated at Cape Point Exxon in Buxton
      5. Added three new pictures and descriptions to The Van Life
      6. Spent a lot of time chasing down the floor socket for my van table – should be shipping today and arrive in Buxton tomorrow
      7. Installed Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 6 (video editing software) from a CD image I made before leaving Phoenix. Seems to work with this little Asus eeePc 900HA using an Intel Atom 1.60gHz CPU and 2gb of RAM
      8. Figured out my finances and shuffled money from my DSFCU checking account to EmigrantDirect.com money market account where it can earn a little more interest.
      9. Spending the night in Avon

      Mon 6/8 – Kickoff did not occur, as I never heard from Brad and he never showed up, even after 2 hours. And to think I drove all the way from Kitty Hawk for this. Probably something came up, but he could have at least let me know.
      - I spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon checking with the other shops to see if they would be interested in participating in the drawing by supplying a harness or safety leash in exchange for a little publicity. None were interested.
      - Since there was no wind (10mph max) I went to the beach in Salvo for sun & run. Took still pictures with my SanyoVPC-2 waterproof camcorder of my cargo shorts pockets modification, which you can see on yesterday’s blog. What a waste of time… maybe. Rounded out the day by working on my website about two and a half hours at Ride Hatteras. You’ll notice an expanded The Van Life, with more on the way. Just before bed, I went to the Avon Pier for my Monday treat night (ice cream sandwich) and to visit with Theresa etc.
      - Spent the night in Avon. Winds tomorrow and Wednesday are forecast about the same as today - lousy.

      Sun 6/7 – Spent over an hour on the pockets of my cargo shorts – opened up areas in the top of the pocket flaps for reading glasses on the left pocket and for a pen on the right pocket without having to pull the Velcro flap for access. Still the flaps stay in place to protect my phone (in the front of the left pocket) and ICD-100 digital recorder (in the front of the right pocket) from damage and sand. The shorts are almost perfect now, except the waist is about two inches too large, which I take care of with a home-made belt.
      - Went to Wind Mill Point (my GPS waypoint haWindmill Point) and got acquainted with the Nags Head Waterworks people, who are bringing the likes of waverunners and parasailing to the former location of Kitty Hawk Kites. Of course I put in a word for kiteboarding.
      - Website got attention later in the afternoon. Got about 23 photos ready for The Van Life web page. That is a chore, taking an 8 mb image and reducing its size suitably. If it is too large it will load slowly from the web – particularly with cell phones and slow internet connections. If it is too small you have no image detail. Check The Van Life for a series of additions over the next week or so.
      - Did some planning for tomorrow morning’s scheduled kick-off of the kite drawing at 9:30. I have not heard from Brad since Wednesday, so hope it is still on.
      - Spending the night at Kitty Hawk Kites in Rodanthe in anticipation of tomorrow's kickoff.

      Sat 6/6 – Boy did I get a lot done today (no wind). As customary, the Cormier’s let me use the house after they left this morning and then turn in the keys. I did two small loads of laundry, cut my hair, showered, cought up on some Internet, sunned on the deck, took a nap, emptied some trash cans and wiped tables and counters. The Cormier's also had a few leftovers. The cheese cake was tasty but full of fat. The rest of the stuff I gave away to not be wasteful and also for good will.

      • It took six stops by shops, the pier etc. to get rid of:
      • two kinds of mayonnaise
      • butter
      • two kinds of dressing, including a vinaigrette
      • an avocado
      • flour tortillas
      • pancake syrup
      • ketchup
      The first time ever, I used a foreign computer's Windows FTP (file transfer protocol) to download, modify and upload a file on my website. I needed to change some times and then print out the drawing rules. That was cool. Also I archived the first part of this Blog so that the page will load faster. You can click at the bottom of the Blog page to see the old entries.
      - This evening I drove north the 57 miles to Wal-Mart for a seam ripper, which I found nowhere on Hatteras Island. I want to use it to open a place in the pocket flaps of my cargo shorts for my reading glasses and a pen. Of course I had other things to buy besides the seam ripper.
      - Spending the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Kitty Hawk.

      Fri 6/5 – Ate breakfast at Ramp 43 south of the Cape Hatteras Light House. Poor wind there. On my way to north Avon and the Cormier’s house, I stopped by the Hot Line Thrift Store in Buxton, and, in Avon, Island Cycle, Dollar Tree (where I bought clips for Kitty Hawk Kites’ air hose with a broken ratchet) and Food Lion. Had lunch, took a nap while the wind built and…
      - Had an awesome solo 2.5 hour 6.8 mile downwinder (with my Cabrinha 8 m Switchblade II and Litewave 130 x 39 Stealth) from Planet of the Apes (my GPS waypoint HAPLAN)to Kitty Hawk Kites (my GPS waypoint HAKHKW) in Rodanthe. Highlights were some pretty high jumps, lots of carves to toeside in the Planet Slick (No Ache Island), working on jumping from toeside to healside and feeling quite comfortable controlling an over powered situation – and two line repairs on the way. Kitty Haw Kites showed 37 mph winds ranging from 29.4 to 40.3 when I arrived there. Kiteboarder Roberto from Panama and his wife took me back to my van.
      - The repairs? During a jump at the Planet Slick my chicken loop line snapped. This is the line that holds you up, pulls you and is connected to the front kite lines. I put the kite up on the island, untangled the lines and tied the broken line together. It broke again on launching the kite, so I used the 6’ kite line I had put in the pocket of my harness to replace the whole chicken loop line. Then I was good to continue the remaining 5.8 miles, even doing two canals and some more jumps.
      - Spending the night in North Avon at the Cormier’s – they head back to Quebec early tomorrow morning. I always enjoy their hospitality and being a part of their family each year.

      Thu 6/4 – No wind after 6am today so I didn't kite. I fixed lunch for the Claude Cormier clan of 6, after doing some shopping for it, got my 14 m Contra kite back from repair by Charlie, helped Claude get his Germen Fortrex 201 talking to his computer and to be the first person to download the waypoints from my website, and took focus test videos with my new water proof camcorder. Trying to get gas tonight and to bed early because tomorrow is forecast to be fairly windy all day, predawn to postdusk.
      - Spent the night in Buxton in anticipaation of Saturday's forecast south winds

      Wed 6/3 – Great day: Started off with a 1-mile downwinder from the first to second turnouts north of Avon (my GPS HANOR1 and HANOR2 respectively) with My friend Claude, who is practicing kite control and getting up on the board. I loaned him my reel leash and 170 cm Gastra that will be a prize in the Waves Village condo drawing. I was under powered with my 8 m kite on my strapless surf board but had a good run.
      - In the afternoon I drove to Rodanthe and met with Brad Kovach, the head of the Waves Village Condos Project construction to work out details of the drawing, demoed a 9 m Ozone kite, courtesy of Patrick and then went out on my 12 m, both with my 130 cm Lite Wave board.

      Tue 6/2 - A good day of building southwest winds. In the morning I did a little shopping, found a ramp and installed a wireless remote thermometer sensor under my van with tie wraps. Now I will be able to monitor the outside temperatures – particularly at night.
      - I spent the afternoon kiting the downwind mile between the first and second turnouts (my GPS HANOR1 and HANOR2 respectively) north of Avon, using my 8m Cabrinha Switchblade II, considering that one is the only one of my kites that is usable right now. The first run was about an hour on my surf board. My technique improved and I was more relaxed. Actually did one proper jibe, along with many disgusting ones. Top speed was about 18.5 mph. The second downwinder was with Daniel, a beginner, who got a lot of experience relaunching his kite and actually rode on his board a little. He was very happy. I mostly practiced my jumps and looked for Jody’s lost kiteboard. My top speed was 24.5 mph in the choppy water. Total distance traveled was 12.8 miles.

      Mon 6/1 – First strapless surf-style kite board ocean experience with my 14 m Contra. There was enough wind to get up on my first try, but not enough wind (or technique) to carve to toeside. However there was enough surf to tear the kite: big tear, but should be rather easy to fix since there is material to sew to. Swam out to get my board. One of the burly guys on the beach said I had a lot of balls to swim out that far.
      - Night in Frisco, after delivering my 14m kite to Charlie for repair

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