Monday, January 21, 2008
Merritt Island, Florida
I'm in Orlando with the family this week doing the theme park thing...Disney, Universal, Seaworld, etc. I got a reprieve for a few hours to go windsurfing when the wind forecast looked too good to pass. Barely less than 1 hour away and $3.25 in toll money and I was on the water fully powered on a 6.4 in 20mph winds. Where? Merritt Island, Florida. The wind direction was ENE, which was a great direction for Kelly Park, which is also the location of Calema Windsurfing shop. The video and picture above gives you a sense of the sailing site. Many of you may know Tinho Dornellas from the instructional articles in Windsurfing and Windsport magazines. Tinho owns and runs the shop and has great rental performance boards, sails, etc. I windsurfed for 2 hours before heading back to Orlando and back with the family for the afternoon and evening fun. I sailed in the morning when it was still a little chilly but it did warm up to a little over 70 degrees and sunny. I brought my own 3/2 wetsuit, harness, and booties. If you're ever on a family vacation in Orlando, leave an extra "open" day to go windsurfing in case the wind forecast turns up in your favor. Kelly Park also has a nice playground area and other family amenities. Calema also offers kid's windsurfing instruction and rental equipment (and rents kayaks), so you can bring the entire family. It looks like this sailing site is really good for NE, E, S, and SE winds. There are apparently many other central Florida launches, which I have found here at the Atlanta Windsurfing Club website. Kelly Park/Merritt Island is also right next to Cape Canaveral....so you could conceivably windsurf and visit the Cape Canaveral NASA Space Center in the same day. By the way, if you're ever headed in the other direction to the Tampa Bay/St Pete/Sarasota area, check out Britt at North Beach Windsurfing. He'll hook you up with some nice rental equipment as well. I was on a business trip a couple of years ago and got to windsurf thanks to Britt.