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.
There's been some discussion on rec.windsurfing about the various ways to store and rack windsurfing equipment and a request from Windsurfing Magazine to share suggestions. I thought mine was pretty simple so I wanted to share it. I've had this same rack for close to 12 years in two different houses/garages and it's worked great (and low cost). They are simple hang racks with shelve pieces that fit into the hang rack slots. I bought them at Lowe's. I bolted the hang racks into the wall studs....three across the back garage wall. Then I can make several rows of "shelves" or "racks" with the shelve pieces slotted into the hang racks that I can lay my sails, masts, booms, and boards across. I wrap pipe foam insulation tubing around the shelve pieces for padding. Because there are many slot choices on the hang racks, I can change the rack curvature to match the rocker line of the boards so they lay across evenly. I also use this rack system for snow skis/poles and car roof racks when they're not in use. Here are some pictures that hopefully simplify my description:
Welcome 2008! And what a way to start the year...windsurfing. The local Lake Norman windsurfing crew congregated again (3rd week in a row) for WNW winds in the 15-25 mph range most of the day. A lot of folks came out besides myself....Alan, Chuck, Donald, Tommy, James, Jose, Dave, Jeff, and Mark. See some pics below. We've been fortunate to have really good wind the last few weeks. I don't ever recall windsurfing this much on the lake in a 6 week period. And to do it in November and December, with fairly warm weather and water, has been nice. It appears it's beginning to get much colder now after today's session. I sailed Jan 1st in 2007 too but the winds were lighter then. Hopefully, this will be a new tradition each year.
This is also the 1st year anniversary of this blog. What a year it's been. Looking back on 2007 and reflecting on all the adventures...it's been fun. My new year's resolution for 2008? More of the same...get outdoors and have fun when I can...on and off the water (hopefully more on the water), with the family and friends.
WaterTurtle = a nickname some of my friends gave me when we were learning to waterski over 20 years ago because I loved being in the water so much...and still do.
I love to windsurf first and foremost, but I also love mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding/surfing, and snow skiing. I enjoy other outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, sailing/boating, the occasional Panthers or Cubs ballgame and NASCAR race, etc. I am a husband and father to three kids, plus I have a demanding job in the tech field. This keeps me very busy as it is, but once in a while, I do get outdoors to enjoy a great adventure either in the water or on land. I hope you enjoy my online journal of outdoor adventure. Check out the videos, posts, pictures, and other web sites linked from this page.