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  #131  
Old 07-31-2008, 11:15 PM
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This Photo Of The Day is in honor of the upcoming Adventure Sports Miami Bimini Winds Event this November. Sounds like a LOT of fun, it is a great event to checkout. On to Bimini, been going there for a very long time. Will have to locate and dig out slides from there over 30 years ago. The place has changed but it is still a great place to go kite, dive, walk around, party or just hang out. More at: http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6942


Wreck of the Gallent Lady, a fairly recent addition to North Bimini





North Bimini Beach, white sand and deep blue water out to the 60 ft. mounds and dropoff beyond





A 180 degree view of the south end of North Bimini.
(Click photo for full sized image)





I think I read somewhere long ago if you wolf down a couple of dozen of these purple flowers you will get a slight buzz. Who figures this stuff out anyway? Hmmm, just grab a Kalik instead, it's easier.





The event will occur in Bimini Sound, in the "crook" of north Bimini just a bit north of this view. It's a vast area of shallow, clear, calm water pretty much rideable in wind from all directions.
(Click photo for full sized image)





A look over Bailey and Alice Towns on North Bimini and some of the great blue water in such abundance in the Bahamas. The contest area is just north of this area. It really is better in the Bahamas, why not find out why?



Photos by Rick Iossi
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  #132  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil xrated View Post
Wellmini season is over, hope all had fun. We sure did at Tiki Beach,
This just in from Neil, think he took the photo too!

How did it go out there?
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  #133  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:35 PM
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Here's a funny story in commemoration of Mini Season ...


It took place in a land far away overseas and decades in the past. It happened to someone I know but who shall remain nameless. He had just been coasting along over a couple of miles of reef just looking around. He had no bugging gear with him as it happened. He came up on a tire on the sand in about 15 ft. of water. I think they call them "condos" these days but back then, just tires. The hubs were long gone but they were fairly sprouting with antennae.


Like the Bug Coop only deeper
From: http://flickr.com/

Not the easy broken chromed aluminum variety but those bound to Panulirus argus, Spiny Lobster. He thought, hmm maybe should bring some bugs home to dinner, uh, for dinner. Problem, he had no gloves and had experienced the slice and dicing that comes with barehanding bugs that don't want to be manhandled.

The ever inventive mind hatched a solution, take your bathing suit off, wrap it around your right hand and you're good to go. So, hand clothed and privates free to the deep blue sea he descended to address the bugs. Tires have the unique quality of making lobsters feel more secure and providing an infinite distance along which to travel, in circles at high speed inside the rim. Catching them is easier than shooting fish in a barrel, even without a gun. Just plop your hand in the inner recess of the tire and wait for the bugs playing Roller Derby to slam into your open fingers. As this was long ago and far away in a distant land, he tailed the bugs making it easier to hang on to them. Five lobster were gathered in this fashion sans bug bag and off to shore again.


Do these guys have attitude or what?
From: http://dive.scubadiving.com/members/divetips.php?s=682

The guy was uneasy about putting his burden down and covering up his privates lest a greedy triggerfish fly in and scarf up the bootie, the bugs that is. So, cupping the tails in both hands he swam in au naturale for a time. Doing the odd barrel role to look around he happened to notice a permit fish in tow. A BIG permit and an eager one at that with a strange look in his eye?


Permit on the hoof
From: http://antiguaisland.blogspot.com/20...7_archive.html

The diver was back peddling facing the permit hands in front along with everything else as it happened. It was a good sized one about the size of a Thanksgiving serving platter. The fish would rush in and then back off. This was starting to unnerve the guy more than a bit, considering a) he thought permits were midwater feeders, no crustacea or annelids in their diet b) despite the presence of bugs there was other potential fodder. There is a certain degree of irrationality that comes with certain types of threats to guys. This was one of those touchy situations and trophic analysis aside, Ockham's razor aside, it wasn't clear to the guy what was in the permits mind or on the menu. The damn fish kept charging in! The guy kicked it THREE TIMES and it still kept running in, dammmuh! He had kicked sharks only twice in the past and the toothy tiburons had fled. Not so our permit though. New problem, the water was getting shallower. He is envisioning running up on the beach holding the bug tails, flapping about with a permit dolphining in his wake to the general entertainment of the bathers on the beach. Understand in some cultures, having your right hand covered and nothing else ... means absolutely nothing?



The offending fish saying ahhhh. LOOK at the size of that mauw, gives me the willies!
From: http://captaintadburke.com/the_fishing.html

Coming down to the moment of truth and precious little water, he decided to throw the permit a bone, uh tail. It was the biggest one too, damn! The permit glided up, sniffed it and charged along after the diver AGAIN. In about two feet of water and shoaling at this point, kicked the fish one more time with feeling and it whipped around to gorge on the bug tail on the bottom. He was then able to drop the tails for a second, don his suit and walk out with what shreds of dignity the permit sneak attack allowed.


Moral: Five bugs in the hand are good, but four and safely covered privates are better if permit'ed!?


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  #134  
Old 08-07-2008, 10:15 AM
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A postcard view of an old fortification on the quay at Antibes. Likely before Gilpatric's time but it captures a sense of the place I think.
From: http://www.leuchtturm-welt.net/HTML/...AL/ANTIBES.JPG


It was the 1930's in post WW I Europe, France was rebuilding and about to descend into another tumult. Guy Gilpatric, an American, not in Paris but in Antibes on the Côte d'Azur, proceeded to explore a new realm, free diving. Equipment was crude and participants were few. Guy, an acknowledged author wrote some introductory pieces to the sport of "goggling" in his regular contributions to the "Saturday Evening Post." His musings eventually amassed into a book, "The Complete Goggler" first published in 1934. Skin Diver Magazine way back in 1957 published an expanded version of the book with "new" images of the sport and a forward by James Dugan. I received a copy of the later in 1975 as a discard from a very kind librarian at my alma mater, Ft. Lauderdale High School. She was probably impressed by the number of times I had checked it out in my years there. I subsequently found and bought copies for some of my close diving buddies. Since that time the book has become a fairly scare and valuable collectors item. Excerpts from the text follow.



The cover page of the book showing Guy in his element




As a teenager, this impressed me probably as much as anything in the book. Free diving without fins or proper mask and spearing without any means of propulsion other than a well coordinated kick, stroke and thrust. I was intrigued by the feet first entry and timing of the exhalation of air to reduce buoyancy. Weight, we don't need no stink'n weights!? I had quit spearfishing before this time but could still appreciate an arcane art when I saw it.




It was a new time for a very old, new activity. As with kitesurfing, innovation was rampant in the secluded areas in which the discipline was practiced. Here is a nifty speargun AND compressed air breathing apparatus. Wonder how SCUBA diving would have suffered if developments continued directly along these lines?




The goggles. The only ones you could equalize were the ones with the squeeze bulbs shown at the bottom from Japan. Ama divers had developed this provision long in the past to my knowledge and yet Guy wasn't all that crazy about them. Here's what he had to say about mask squeeze "At depths exceeding twenty feet, you will notice that your goggle rims cut into you uncomfortably and that your eyes within them feel as though they were being sucked out. Down around forty feet, this "suction" may deform your eyeballs, hinder your vision and cause you to miss your fish." He left out that part about acute headaches and perhaps losing your vision in extremes and with regular repetition! I want the ones with exposed aluminum rims, who needs soft rubber? I think my eyes would start to be squeezed out around 5 ft and 40 ft.? Amazing, core divers back in the day.




Some more home crafted gear. I was so taken by this that I made a similar side mounted knife carrier as a teen using a steak knife, kids!




The weapon of choice. Note no surgical or other drive bands, just a handle. He did use rubber bands for retaining the point cable. Just needed bigger rubber bands, soon. The detachable point with keyway is well conceived. It isn't so far different in concept from some contemporary points.


Thank you Guy for your contribution to free diving. I understand Skin Diver eventually gave copies of the book away with subscriptions and even threw some away sad to say given the lack of interest at the time. The book was said to be in the library onboard Cousteau's Calypso and in Hemingway's library. Got mine fortunately and it actually influenced my perspective on free diving growing up along with other books like Robert Marx's "Always Another Adventure" (e.g. Big Anthony striding around at depth on the bottom off Little Tobago on a breath). More about the book and author here.






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Last edited by ricki; 08-11-2008 at 08:25 PM.
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  #135  
Old 08-08-2008, 09:13 AM
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Back to this year's Pier To Pier Naples Kiteboarding Race ...



Setup time, looks like the wind might actually build to what we need.




Getting close to the start




Organizer Enrique of SW Florida Kiteboarding and some of the troops that made this event possible. Thanks guys!




From whence we came




The wrap party




Winners all, way to go!


Photos supplied by SW Florida Kiteboarding. For more great photos of the event checkout:
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=5612

And, for more about the event in general, checkout:
http://fksa.org/forumdisplay.php?f=100


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  #136  
Old 08-11-2008, 08:59 AM
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Off to Cabarete, D.R. to see what Paul Menta of The Kitehouse is up to. He has been down there in recent times to do some T & E of new Cabrinha gear, kite tow-in, standup sessions and generally hang out in all that wind. More shots from the camrig and towing-in HERE.



Here's an overview of Cabarete Bay with Bozo Beach to the west followed by Kite Beach. The wind is usually out of the east with thermal augmented trades in late morning on. You can see the reef and the swell zones it sets up. No wonder Bozo and Kite Beach go off in strong winds with nice swells. What's up with "X Kiter?" Is that the name of a Marvel comic, could make a great movie.



Paul is out playing in the waves with a camera up on an 8 m kite and a surfboard lower down. Mighty nice waves off Cabarete over the reef. On this day winds were east around 20 kts. with solid head high surf and what Paul calls "surprise waves" on tidal changes. Hey Paul, what's a surprise wave, something like a rogue wave only unannounced and smaller?




Paul was sliding along when he saw this guy kite down and drifting north offshore and towards the wave breaks. They were about a 1/2 mile out inside or south of the "X marks the spot" area. The guy got caught and gobbled by a breaking wave. His fifth line rig got all twisted up after to where relaunching wasn't feasible. This can happen fairly easily too so it is good to have a good way to deal with things.




Paul went out recovered the guy's board and brought it back to him. He figured the guy had two options. Including; 1. Paul could ride his board and drag his kite in while the kiter could paddle Paul's surfboard in, or; 2. He could self-rescue and sail in.


The kiter setup for Self Rescue by sailing in using the kite. Paul mentioned he often sees people simply turn the kite upside down and use it as a raft ignoring the substantial advantages of being able to sail in using the kite.




Once the kite was in position the kiter made shore in no time about 20 to 25 minutes and from a 1/2 mile out. You can see the rider with kite bent perpendicular to the wind from the east and tooling nicely shoreward to the south. Paul kept orbiting by to make sure he was doing ok throughout which is always a good policy when someone is making for shore in this way.


It can't be emphasized enough how vital it is for all kiters to know and have practiced bailing out using the kite to sail in on the water. A new kiter was found on their kite raft hours after dark, expired from hypothermia this year. Not sure if they could have sailed into shore or not without the effects of hypothermia stealing their options away. When severe cold effects are creeping in you need to move early otherwise options fall away. Then again in strong wind you can make up to a few knots and short distances can be covered fairly quickly. We'll never know. There have been still other serious cases out there.

I once used this to sail in from over a mile off the north shore of Antigua. Did the trip fast and easy and considering there was no way my kite was going to launch again before hitting shore, it was a good thing.

How do you do it? There is a video of one approach at: http://kitefilm.com/video/rescue_techniques_part1.wmv

The above example is with a small C kite in good wind, one of the easier scenarios to do this in. When they say watch out for (and EXPECT) lines to catch and tangle on you underwater believe it and be careful. Some advise winding at least one kite wing span of a single line (your kite leash line) on your bar first before winding all the lines up as you work towards the kite. In either case be very careful of breaking waves catching your kite and perhaps you as well with a stray line. More often than not you may have a flat kite and a larger one at that. The trick is to get enough of the kite canopy folded over perpendicular to the wind and making for the shore. You may need to let a little air pressure out of some leading edges to be able to fold them over. Just don't let too much out. Practice this before you need it for real to be able to better judge what you need to do and how it all comes together. With flat kites I've had some success working from the center of the kite wing tips up as shown in the second photo above. I will then pull in on one of the bridles from the shoreward facing wing tip, arching the kite over me. There is no need to hold both wing tips together with a larger kite as long as the wind sees enough of the kite canopy. You can control power or bleed it off if excessive by how far back you work along the leading edge towards the wing tip that is in the water. You can even steer very slightly closer to the wind by pulling the wing tip above the water across the line of the leading edge in the downwind direction. You can even lie on your back on the leading edge with one leg on top of your kite and sail in partially out of the water. I've even been able to mouth inflate the leading edge to be able to do this years in the past when the leading edge valve plug blew out on impact with water. Lots of ways of doing this, you just need to be practiced with a few. So, no excuses know how to do this. btw, wearing appropriate flotation/impact vest and carrying a knife may come in handy. If you are taking Pro Lessons make sure your instructor will teach you how to do this, don't take no for an answer.


Photos by Paul Menta's kite, what's it called, Wilbur?


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Last edited by ricki; 08-16-2008 at 01:21 AM.
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  #137  
Old 08-12-2008, 08:51 AM
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Sometimes we get a bit too comfortable with kiting. We start to do marginal (aka dumb) things. Doing errands around the car with a kite aloft falls in with that lot. You know, ill advised activities that can rip an arm off, move your face to the back of your head or even do some impromptu redesign on your ride. Skill is no factor in this either, really good kiters can still have a bad day if they set themselves up for it with poor decisions. Sort of like the following ...


Here we have Tophat, Felix Pivec and an involuntary kiteboarder, a minivan?! Yup, the minivan that didn't want to screw with kids, moms, it wanted to go kiting. Reminds me of another van years in the past that was into kitelooping cleverly holding the bar in a wheel well and shredding stuff on adjoining less hip vehicles.

As Felix was trying to collect another kite out of The Hat's van, he caught a line on the sliding door, the kite gets dosed on angel dust, goes ape and the bar rips the poor van's door off and flings it ten feet into the air! Anyway, Felix came out of it ok with some limited contusions and lacerations, as a minor miracle. The minivan was so traumatized that it slipped off that night, grabbed a flight to Italy to be converted into a cappuccino machine. It figured it might come into contact with a saner class of guys only suffering from caffine addiction as opposed to a compulsion to loft automobiles piecemeal.

More photos and details at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2350534



Felix on the prowl for vans in the surf, not finding any but still looking!
From: http://www.kitesurfmania.com.br/



Tophat attending Erik Eck's astounding lofting in Oahu in 2002. What is it about toppers and the bizarre?
More about what might have gone wrong that day HERE.
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  #138  
Old 08-13-2008, 12:02 PM
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Just because something appeared almost 45 years in the past, doesn't necessarily mean it isn't a lot of fun or even practical in today's world. Set the Wayback Machine to March 1964 Mr. Professor and let's look in again on the then latest issue of Skin Diver Magazine.


There it is the Rebikoff Pegasus. A torpedo like DPV complete with airplane controls for steering, diving and ascending.




Page 1, these things were a blast to fly vertically towards the surface and burst free like a breaching whale, Polaris or something as shown in the photo. The Pegasus was too top shelf for the likes of us with the expensive battery pack. So we used a very similar device with the exception of a long power extension cord (100 yards+). The cord was used to tow a large, 220 V, 40 A diesel generator around in a 13.5 ft. Whaler. Seems awkward but it worked. You didn't want to take it out into too large a sea though. The guys found this out the hard way of Viecas, Puerto Rico when 6 to 8 ft. seas caused the craft to turn turtle and be pulled to the bottom. So, that is how you can sink a whaler, with a huge weight bolted into it. They were on a Navy job surveying reef conditions in the bombing range. So no worries, just send a Huey out and winch it up off the bottom and fly it to shore for cleaning.




Playing around with the device, it is easy to do. The Pegasus/Remora was designed as a survey vehicle with numerous custom designed UW arch lamps, cine cameras, photogrammetric cameras and the like. I can recall how thrilled we were to find a digital depth gage, an old Farallon, for our Remora to serve as an artificial horizon during photogrammetric surveys to preserve scale. It was the first digital depth gage we had heard of and a steal at $500. in 1976! We used these gadgets in the mid 1970's well after this SD article.

I see Jerry Greenberg shot these photos. Lots of us may have copies of his UW photo books of the Florida Keys. You know back in the day when they still had Elkhorn Coral? Times do change. I have some images of my own of the Remora in action along with some photogrammetric composite images. I'll have to find them and put them into a POD at some point in the future.


Noticed this Dacor ad and thought I would throw it in. How about those prices and nifty gear?





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  #139  
Old 08-15-2008, 09:27 AM
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Weather ... now there's a mouthful and something we spend a lot of time pondering through the year. The more we wonder, the more the wx gnomes create on the Internet for us to try to figure out what is going on. Click on the images to be taken to realtime conditions within the area shown.



Here's an interesting one out of Weatherunderground. An interactive map imposed over google satellite imagery. You can see a system moving over Puerto Rico.



What are conditions like across the Bahamas or in the Turks and Caicos? You can get an idea here. Weatherunderground has assembled data from a lot of privately owned weather stations and some public ones in this display.




Zooming in on the Tampa Bay area and a very pronounced August cold front? They guys have been getting lots of wind out of this one.





What is going on in the Keys?


You can even view livecams if you click that option.


Speaking of weather, here's news ... tropical weather season is in full swing. Realtime images, maps and model charts from several sites have been assembled for easier viewing at the link below. Best to keep an eye on things.

Hurricane Prediction And Tracking Resources




One image via the above page from Weatherunderground.com
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  #140  
Old 08-27-2008, 12:06 PM
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Hope to start a new page ...
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