The morning seemed a sleepy one. The night before Sam tried to invite by chat to go to Lakawon Island for a windsurfing trip on a monsoon season. I knew from past experience the place would be ‘rockin’ and indeed it was at 30 -35 kts. but I declined due to the fact I still had a job to finish and by all accounts I’d be unfit to “hold” on to slalom equipment at which my smallest sail would be rated at 25-max 30kts and flat water including my level of fitness. Pros certainly could hang on with ease but not me at this moment. And so the group went on however what struck me was it was a Saturday morning and if i could have a few hours of sleep I could easily go for a quick ride locally using windsurfing or kite equipment. I woke up at around 1pm and decided I should be able to sneak-in a quick one. I initially thought of Bredco port but decided to go to Bong’s place instead and when I arrived the tide was so low. So comes the kite equipment, was I glad to have brought it. I could sense it was at least blowing 15kts outside the walled compound. Me and the help Gilbert didn’t waste much time and laid out the lines, pumped up the 12mtr.kite and with a few instructions launched. I brought two GPS units but chose the Foretrex 201 for now as it was easier to reset the max speed if there was a chance for speed runs. If not for poor Gilbert who was watching in the sun as a precaution I wouldn’t have stopped. It was good to see people tending plowing the low tide water for crustaceans and small fish and it was an indicator for me how deep the water was. With the center adjustment straps and pigtails at full depower boosting up on air was still a bit hairy as the wind had gusts to 18kts. But the part that I really enjoyed was getting wet for the first monsoon season.
I’t been awhile to be on water once again. The chances of having light winds in Pulupandan a municipality about 20kms. or so south of Bacolod City as a bit risky. I checked out Windguru and it says 8-10kts so maybe I could take a chance and go for a lightwind kiting session. This place is either too light or very blusterous winds, extreme really. Well wifey was going on a get together with her officemates and my daughter Annika was playing with her cousins so that really left me with no other choice. I’d like to bring windsurfing equipment but I don’t have big sails. So with wifey’s car off I went not knowing they were following me on another car going to their picnic place. Winds were very shifty at first. It was so trying to punch through the white water and on to flatter water that I decided after 45minutes to call it quits. But since I traveled that far might as well make the most of it since there was none to do the whole day. I told the two buys who tended the kite to have some lunch first then when they come back I’ll decide if I go out again. And when they did come back. The wind’s picked up to a very consistent 11-13kts. There were gusts that got the 14mtr. kite with a pull that suddenly picked me upright even when depowering hence at least twice stumbling on wavelets.
Boy was it good to get wet again immersed in cool brownish water and get windswept. It was pure cruising up and down the coast meeting fisherman across the way with only white teeth that could be seen when smiling. There was this old man who was waving thumbs up for me and wanted me to go nearer to him as he tended to his nets. But at this time my knees and calves where trembling with such a short time kitieboarding. I guess it has to do with a more static stance than the usual running. I really was so happy and contented driving home and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Ahhh! good to be back on the water after more than two months of no wind for windsurfing. The Habagat(southwest monsoon) season has arrived. Lakawon island was the first sailing spot to be sailed and it always gets windier by 5-10 knots than most places in Negros Occidental. The nice thing about it there seems to be no rain when you could see the whole of the main island full of grey and black clouds bearing rain.
It’s a first for me not to bring any smokes on the island just to get my lungs up to par. It sure did but my grip and forearms weren’t. I wasn’t really fully tired only that I was getting a bit cold but happy about the quick session. We were hit with a twenty minute squall without rain bringing around 30 plus knots and whipping up sand that we just had to take cover as we got pelted in every open crevice. The wife and friends of Bong did much hiding with most of their beach clothing up to their faces. Plastic plates and all light items had to be secured till it simmered down to 20 kts.
Fun! It was the only word I could describe it. It has been a long time since I sailed a Hobie 16 with the Philippine team that placed 3rd in the national games. It was fun hiking out and manning the jib. The skipper became deadweight on the middle and his own crew became the tiller guy. We weren’t all out but it was good to be sailing on a different craft with two other guys.
I kept calling the speed in knots on the GPS every 2-3 seconds so the the skipper could tell the difference beating upwind and screaming downwind. We crisscrossed the 20 Optimist sailors while they were having their last and final heats. Winds were at 10-14kts and how I wish it was a steady 12-18kts. and flatter water. But at the end of the sail it reminded me of years past when we were having fun doing it.
It wasn’t fair the seas weren’t ‘following seas’ it was a mad boiling pot of diagonal swells and machine wash chop. I thought it would be a GREAT time to break records. But as for anyone there always be the right time and conditions. I didn’t last long as i was bouncing off chop and swell without intently doing it.
I kept looking at my GPS every run I made because it furiously felt fast only to see sub 29’s but I don’t mind. It’s the nature of the game. Even so if it wasn’t for this piece of electronic device attached to my forearm I wouldn’t be going really deep off the wind. It’s a boom or bust game. My thoughts were locked on attacking the chop and forming swells but I could only do so much.
Tiring day! I guess three days straight of water play does get to you. Especially if the winds are a bit strong and shifty. I enjoy every minute but the tiredness is setting in. It’s good for the body though. If one part hurts on the muscles I know something is either improving or just overworked. The beach looked fun today with lots of sunbathers out on the water as the tide was just right. Chepit was enjoying his runs but was getting overpowered. I am lucky to hit 30kts. on some runs. The course was very choppy because of the crosswinds but who would complain.
The little guy who sells us peanuts-unshelled, garlic and honey roasted is starting to open up to us. He’s a cute kid who keeps counting his hard earned money and keeps asking us if the new 20 peso bill is authentic. He thinks it’s play money. He likes to hang out around us now and for once he can now sell us peanuts in an open tone of voice.
A bit windier today as I turned the bend going up the seawall leading to Villarosa beach. Darn I should have brought the windsurfing kit. Am amazed about this place when all is dead calm in the city which is close to the sea there isn’t much wind you could feel but get to this place and a venturi effect happens.
469 calories is what all it took to finish the GPS track. I requested Sam to recalculate the formula for calories and says he will adjust mine to a lower level. Now this will really thin me out. I hope am doing the right thing. I told him yesterday why the ‘heated run’ had only 300 plus calories while most of the kiteboarding had 1 thousand plus. And he did adjust on the kiting tracks. I returned a reply to him a few minutes ago that it “was nice and 2 cheeseburgers worth of calories”.
Back to the run..It was a bit cloudy with the sun jutting in and out. And it was nice to see whitecaps forming all over. It was choppy all right. I was a pogo stick if not for my knees and calves. I tried to do fast runs but couldn’t control it. Nevertheless, jumping was a really fun aspect of today’s kiting. The two boys Popoy and Ardee where on hand to give me a launch and retrieval with their pics on this page. It’s a blessing to have these kids help us all out rigging windsurfing equipment, launching, etc..they enjoy being around with us.
It’s always fun to outwit mother nature. I almost thought I’d be going nowhere. Light winds were the order of the day as not as much whitecaps can be seen but wrinkled waters which were around 8-10kts. So I took out the 14 meter kite and the Airush 144 Switch which proved to be effective in those conditions. I was really in a zone and every puff I could feel and translate to power the board. I tired out easily though most probably from yesterday’s ‘heated run’ but then it’s always refreshing to be gliding amongst the bobbing people on the water unmindful but smiling as you pass by.
The timing couldn’t be perfect. Beautiful skies and sunshine. My problems really gone for the duration of the GPS track. I had a wonderful conversation with the boys(kite-tenders) about life in general outside of the usual subject. It was good to make a quick dash and back from the beach. Really soul-cleansing.
The Bacolod squad was out in full force minus one guy. We all went early around 8am hoping to get a hut were we usually rig before someone gets it since it’s a Black Saturday. Unusually quiet for a long weekend. No karaoke’s, portable boom boxes or auto speakers it was just laughter and waves crashing. Nice! I could see whitecaps about a kilometer out but decided to kite first then when it fills in windsurf again. And so I did.
Since it’s two tracks on the GPS which is Kiteboarding and Windsurfing I simply call it Wind powered.
It’s good to have small talk and forget about life in general. We were all huddled in the hut and just talking nonsense about anything imaginable. It was an easy day and we had time to de-rig and pack up for a slow drive home.
Arrived early at Villarosa beach around 8am to get a headstart kiting on the water before the crowds come pouring in. The wind was just good enough at 12-14kts. and so I used a 12mtr. and the Cabrinha lab rat with homemade fiberglass fins. I knew I was doing good runs warming up from 23 to 24kts. Even though I don’t have speed equipment I’d like to think it is. Well I think the pure essence of kiting would be cruising, jumping and tricks but since I don’t know how to do the latter might as well do speed. http://www.sportstracklive.com/track/detail/JPCuaycong/Kiteboarding/Villarosa-beach/fun/167572 Am happy with the GPS tracking of 22kts on the 500mtrs. I crashed on one of those runs when the board couldn’t hold it’s grip on the water. Not much power I guess going really downwind. So I re-adjusted and went for it again but the winds weren’t holding it’s course but wavering from side to onshore. Still at 24kts. plus that’s good enough for a peak. If only the fin didn’t break loose. Siggghh..can’t have everything. Another day another time and I can better my personal best. http://www.ka72.com/TrackRecalc.aspx?fid=13746
Started jumping and twirling around smiling people on the water it was a lot of fun. I tried to pick up a loose ball but unfortunately too slippery and crashed the kite hard. That’s one cardinal sin I wouldn’t do next-never lose sight of the kite. It’s a Black Friday and by the time I got back to the beach I was amazed at how many people, karaoke’s and cars were parked. Still it was nice to be solitary with nature but smile at someone on the water or getting a wink in return.