Note: While not kiteboarding, I plan to update my blog infrequently, or when something special happens.
Mon 11/1 through Wed 11/3 - Final packing and preparations for Brazil.
Thu 11/4 through Fri 11/5 - Took off from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport for Brazil this afternoon. This involves about 24 hours of flights and waiting around airports. Arrived Friday afternoon and did some kiteboarding before evening. Everything went smoothly except:
Sat 11/6 -
Unfortunately in the vicinity of Dallas on my flight down here my netbook computer died. I have been unable to revive it by reseating the RAM and the hard drive connections. Therefore I will probably have to spend the rest of the trip without updating this blog or my website... unless something major happens or I can find a suitable computer to use along the way. My true ignorance will become self evident as there will be no spell checking. Tonight I am using the hotel´s computer. Slow and awkward.
- Today, my second day kiteboarding in Cumbuco, Brazil, I did my first down kiteloop carve from healside to toeside (in both directions)on my 5´2 Naish Custom Fish without footstraps.
Sun 11/7 - The official gathering and start of our Kite Adventure with Alberto, our guide; Jeff, dentist from Canada; Nathan, web guy from Canada; Bill, ER doctor from San Francisco and me. We rode locally then did a Downwinder from our motel to the famous Caupi Lagoon with Antonio and Carlos (from Portugal) joining us. I made it about half way with my 8m kite and Naish surfboard without footstraps until I got humbled by 4-5 foot shore break and tore my kite. Had dinner with the group in the evening at a pizza place that had lots of other things too.
Mon 11/8 - Got 8m kite fixed for $105 in the morning and, in the afternoon, did the same downwinder with the same equipment as yesterday only I made it. I was the first to cover the 5.4 miles from our motel, past Cumbuco to the Cauipi Lagoon. It took me 1 hour and 12 minutes. My top speed was 19.5 mph. Then I rode on the crowded lagoon for about two hours, switching to my twin-tip. After I got on the water the others could not stand to see me having all that fun so also went out. The group was Jeff, Nathan, Bill, Antonio, Carlos, me and Alberto, our guide who gave us support. Evening dinner was in Cumbuco at a chicken place with the group and Alberto, a new kiteboarder from Spain joining us, followed by some Foosball challenges at a nearby bar.
Tue 11/9 - 11:00 we loaded up and drove to our Atlantic downwinder, put in at Tieba Beach where there are good waves. The four of us completed the 8 +/- miles to Paracuru together - me on my 8m kite and 130cm twin-tip board with foot straps. This was probably my best ocean session yet, riding some waves into the shore (sort of) and only getting off my board a few times. Everyone else in the group is better in the waves than me.
- Nathan, Bill and I shared a hugh fish with all the trimming at the out-door café at the Paracuru kiteboarding spot. Spending tonight and the next couple in Paracuru, CE at the Aideia Curumicuara Pousadas
Wed 11/10 – This afternoon we did the same downwinder as yesterday, only, at the suggestion of my companions, I started with my 5’2” surf board with big loose-fitting foot straps. It was surely easier getting across the shore break, but the turning carves were not as easy and the foot switches were even more difficult than without the foot straps. So I came in and removed them then did fairly well until I fell off the board, crashed my kite into the water and came across some barely submerged rocks, all at the same time. On the rocks I left a little skin from my left are (about 12 x 20 cm) and, later I discovered, my Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS receiver. After that I switched to my twin-tip and had a good run to Paracuru where I stayed out playing on the waves for almost an additional half hour.
- This evening our group was complete with the arrival of Isolde. She brings our number up to five.
Thu 11/11 – Kiteboarding today was, again, all on my 8 m kite. Alberto took the other three guys to Tiaba beach to start an ocean downwinder to the Tieba lagoon and then Isolde and me to the Tiaba Lagoon for some flat water action. The other guys made it to the lagoon and joined us there. With my twin-tip I tried several starboard spins, made one real smooth one (caught on video camera), tried my first back roll and had a good jump (also caught on video camera) and did a few jump transitions. Then with my 5’2” surf board I did a few carves, and a jump switch (also caught on video camera).
- Next phase was an ocean downwinder with my twin-tip (I got in the thick of the shore break) from Tiaba to the point with the wind mills. At that point, due to a sore on my right foot being abraded by my foot strap, I wrapped up my things and headed to Paracuru in Alberto’s dune buggy being towed by a friend due to engine problems. We met the rest of the group there at the Paracuru kiteboarding location where us four guys shared a huge fish dinner.
- This evening, the group had a good visit and watched some of the Tieba videos from today.
Fri 11/12 - Drove to Lagoinha in two Land Rovers and put in to the ocean at the beach there for our 18-mile downwinder. Isolde lasted about 15 minutes and I lasted about 12 miles surfboarding strapless until I got my 8m kite in the waves and tore it. We had a good lunch then drove on to Jeri for the night. We arrived about 10pm due to one of the Land Rovers breaking down. Alberto did a good job recovering from the mishap by ordering a replacement Land Rover and buying everyone a round of drinks at a cute little outdoor cafe that just happened to be near by.
Sat 11/13 - The group piled into a Land Rover and drove about 5 miles northwest of Jeri for a downwinder on the ocean to the Guriu River. I got to the river first with my strapless surf board. We were all micely powered on 6m kites except Isolde who was overpowered with her 7m kite, her smallest. We came back to the hotel for lunch.
- About 4pm Bill and I went out for another run. The younger kiters stayed back at the hotel because they did not have what it takes. Old guys rule! Bill put in a couple miles earlier than before with an off-shore wind, using his strapless surf board. He had a fantastic session as he blew by where I was putting in - the same spot as before. With my 6m kite and strapless surfboardc I got out before the Guriu River as it was near sunset and it gets dark suddenly this close to the equator. I measured the average wind at 33mph gusting to 35.
Sun 11/14 - Two of our group did not kite today. One figured how to maximize the party factor by going to bed right after supper last night then waking up at 11pm for a night on the town, drinking mostly with the locals of Jeri. He arrived back at the hotel this morning in time to join the rest of us for breakfast - very happy, with blood-shot eyes and funny, but not making a whole lot of sense. The other cut his toe pretty badly while dancing in party mode on the beach.
- That left only three of us for kiteboarding. We went SE of Jeri for a couple Atlantic downwinders. I got pounded by the breaking surf trying to get out with my strapless surfboard, but did OK after switching to my twin tip until the wind decreased and I was way underpowered with my 6m kite. My torn 8m kite would have been ideal but it was back at the hotel drying. Isolde is doing amazingly well on the ocean. Bill was his usual good rider, strapless on his surf board. After Isolde and I were finished for the day he continued on to the point at Jeri.
- This evening Isolde helped me tape the tears in my 8m Cabrinha and found that the guy who repaired the kite in Cumbuco sewed in used material when he replaced the two small panels. The both started to tear so I had to tape them up also. The group had an excellent time at supper.
Mon 11/15 - The entire group was back on the water today. We started about 11:30am with a warm-up ocean downwinder from NW of Jeri to the Guriu River. Then we drove SE of Jeri to Rancho du Kite, near Prea, for lunch. The three young guys put in several miles farther SE while Isolde and I put in at the Ranch, itself. Isolde and I took out in about 8 miles where we had planned. I was nicely powered on my newly repaired (done right because I did the repair myself) 8m kite and mostly on my 5'2" surf board without foot straps and actually played in the surf some with it. Jumping up with both feet at the same time seems to be the best way for me to start out in the shore break. Wind was 15 gusting to 18 mph. The three young studs continued all the way to Jeri, around the point there and on to the Guriu River where they arrived about sunset. I would guess they covered over 20 miles in this session. What a splinded way to end our kiting for this Kite Adventure!
- This evening I spent about an hour and $R20 trying to engineer post cards to mail. I ended up with only six not the right size and not cropped like I wanted.
Tue 11/16 - The offical last day of our Kite Adventure. We rode to Cuimbuco in two Land Rovers after packing all our gear up. About 3:30 pm Bill, Isaolde and I were on the water from the beach at the Golfinho Hotel in Cumbuco. I measuired the wind averaging 18 mph with gusts to 23. My 12m kite and strapless surf board were a good call. I went upwind and did all of my jibing carves switching my feed in the middle of the turn when the board was pointed straight downwind. I actually made most of them and found that placing both feet side-by-side helped with the transision. I got some good videos of me doing beach jumps, courtesy of the videography of Ralph, from southern Brazil.
- Tonight at the Golfinho Hotel will be my last in Brazil Tomorrow night I'll be sleeping in the air on the way to Dallas. Tonight a hot pelting shower did wonders for my painful lower left back. The kiteboarding and beach jumps with my waist harness did not seem to aggravate my back.
Wed 11/17 – Everything went like clockwork today until we were scheduled to board the plane. I got up at 8am, had a big breakfast courtesy of the Golfinho Hotel, packed both of my big equipment bags, carry-on suit case and my back pack, laid in the sun by the pool, took a shower, checked out, was ready to head to the Fortaleza airport at 12:30pm with my driver, got to the airport, met Bill and Nancy, retired missionaries who had previously lived in Brazil and found that the plane to Sao Paulo was expected to be about two hours late. Bill and Nancy made my flights to Sao Paulo and Dallas a lot more relaxing, as they knew the language and all the ropes. Also on both flights was Doug, a kiteboarder with whom I had gotten acquainted at Paracuru. He was returning back home after a multi-month stay. We made our connecting flight ok at Sao Paulo.
- My seat mate for the overnight flight to Dallas was Chris Kovacs who lives in Tempe, AZ, almost my neighbor. He was returning home from a business trip for Honeywell’s aircraft GPS and electronics systems. Very interesting. Hopefully we will be able to get together occasionally; maybe at Gangplank on a Wednesday.
Thu 11/18 – The plane arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport at 10am and my neighbor, Mike, picked me up and brought me to my home sweet home. It did not take long for me to get settled in and organized for getting my dead Asus EeePc 900HA repaired, my Garmin Foretrex 401 replaced and, maybe purchase an automobile battery charger that also monitors the battery voltage and has an alarm. This would replace the Ctek Multi US 7002 I bought before I left for Brazil (see my TECHNOLOGY web page).
- Since I had no food in the house and had not been in the gym for over two weeks, I spent most of the afternoon with Mildred. We went shopping at Fresh & Easy, Food City, and Sunflower Market then to Bally’s Fitness where she had her chair aerobics class while I did my arms workout.
Fri 11/19 – Today was mostly taking care of my dead computer day. I called tech support and the tech and/or I tried removing all power including the battery, booting into Safe Mode and a hard reset – all to no avail. He gave me an RMA number and emailed me with instructions to send the computer in. I also called Master Card, with which I had purchased the computer, to get the information needed to obtain their double warranty coverage. I got the computer packaged up and to UPS in time for a Wednesday delivery and then went to LA Fitness for my torso workout.
Sat 11/20 – Arranging catch-up, schedule & things for the next few days
Sun 11/21 – Catching up on some finance which means shuffling accounts, downloading statements, paying credit card online etc. Also I started a daily aggressive lower back heat/exercise/chill routine using my fancy high tech Iceman water circulation system. This evening I drove over to Mesa, AZ for supper at George & Cindy’s (brother).
Mon 11/22 - Pulling backups together to restore the data on the dead eeePc 900HA that I sent in for repair.
Tue 11/23 - Annual physical w my PCP, Dr. Dwivedi - I'm in pretty good shape; Resolved checking; Converted one of my Vanguard funds to Admiral Shares to earn higher interest; set up automatic semi-monthly investments from my checking account.
Wed 11/24 - Added my boxing career to my About Lou web page; bought a replacement Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS receiver from REI; measured my Toshiba full-sized laptop battery endurance at 1 hour, 39 minutes.
Thanksgiving 11/25 - Washed the raised white letters on my new big, wide B.F. Goodrich van tires; made a second "train" horn and tuned it to a St Louis-Southern locomotive in Hutchinson, Kansas (the first horn was tuned to a Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe locomotive in South Phoenix; went over to Harold (x brother-in-law) and Bernadette's and had an enjoyable visit with them, their kids, grand kids and great grand kids. Everyone had fun and were blown away by my train horns. It was neat to be able to offer a grand nephew a $200 match for opening a Roth IRA. At just 15, if he follows his plan he will retire a multimillionaire.
Fri 11/26 - Put up my outside Christmas lights - the first one in the neighborhood; sprayed my and some of my neighbor's weeds; changed the yard drips from three to five days.
Sat 11/27 - Researched and ordered an after-market 6600 mAh battery for my Asus eeePc 900HA for $50 - about half what a 4400 mAh replacement would cost from Asus.
- Today's big trip was to LA Fitness (workout), Walmart (Bluetooth), Fry's Electronics (Bluetooth), Best Buy (Bluetooth) and Big Daddy's BBQ in Scottsdale (Saturday night Ham Feast). At Best Buy I bought a new Jawbone Icon super noise-canceling Bluetooth headset to replace one that I lost. It works better and has more features than any I have ever used.
Sun 11/28 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ME! Spent most of the day just relaxing. Checked out the world's most expensive home theater, weighing in at $6 million.
Mon 11/29 - Experimenting with my new Jawbone Icon Bluetooth telephone headset.
Tue 11/30 - I've been reading and highly recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life by Georgene Lockwood. Today I purged my medical file and rearranged the top shelves in the hall closet where I keep my hats and stuff.
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