Thursday, June 06, 2013

Kiting in Virgin Gorda

The past couple of days have been play time.  Actually, the past couple of weeks have been play time.  We've throughly enjoyed the good, clean livin' here in the British Virgin Islands, leisurely sailing from anchorage to anchorage as if we have all the time in the world.  We might have been stuck waiting for weather, but we've been doing anything but sitting idle.  To be in a place where we have the luxury to sail just a few hours to yet another breathtaking anchorage without having to really care about weather, wave height and all that jazz has it's perks.  It's effortless cruising in these parts, and we've learned that we like effortless cruising.  We will be back to this neck of the woods, there is no question about that.

As most of you know, Scott took up the sport of kiteboarding about a year ago and he's hooked.  While I can appreciate any sport that has the sense of humor and audacity to name a strategic piece of gear the "donkey dick", I'm not going to lie, I was not entirely thrilled with his almost overnight obsession with what is - no question - an 'extreme sport' (read: one that is dangerous to life and limb).  I mean, new boat, new baby...didn't we have enough going on?  Couldn't he enjoy a leisurely paddle around the anchorage on our iSUP? Maybe a peaceful jaunt to a coral reef in our kayak?  And then there was the issue of storing all that gear: the kites (multiple kites for multiple conditions), the boards (yes, plural, multiple conditions), the harness, helmet, control bars, lines, and pumps (and, yes, the 'donkey dick').  My inner neat freak had a kitten looking at all that stuff piled up.  But Scott's got the adrenaline-junky gene wedged somewhere in his DNA right next to the expert-packer gene and he'd made up his mind and somehow tucked all that stuff away in our boat without sacrificing any "prime" real estate.  After he pinky swore he wouldn't die and stowed all the gear I became (semi) cool with it.

Kiteboarding (or kitesurfing) is definitely not an easy one to learn; it's physically demanding, condition specific and requires a pretty decent amount of coordination and gear.  If you can get past these things, it can actually be a nice complement to cruising.  Typically, we prefer to sail from place to place in winds under twenty knots.  Luckily, winds twenty knots and above happen to be primo for kiteboarding so the two fit nicely in that regard.  The fact that - as one kiteboarding friend told us - "every kiter I know has had some serious injury; blown out knees, broken bones, whiplash...some even died" is a mere afterthought after the rush of the ride.  Or so I am told.  (This friend did not help Scott's case, for the record).

On a positive note, we've met loads of kiteboarders along our travels who seem to be completely in tact (Scott has an inner radar for them, I am certain) and I can honestly say that they are a very cool, very helpful bunch of folks.  We met up with some yesterday and not only did they give Scott some pointers, but helped him launch his kite, and manned the chase vehicle while I chilled on the beach snapping photos and watched Isla nibble on driftwood.  To say Scott was stoked would be an understatement.  Good times had by all.

In other news, it's looking like we have a little weather window to cross over to St. Maarten (aka 'the land that wifi forgot'), so - if all goes as planned - we should be leaving this evening for the fifteen to eighteen hour passage.  Unfortunately you might not hear from us for a couple of days and won't be able to track us because our SPOT tracker up and stopped transmitting during our offshore passage and they have been incredibly unhelpful in getting us up and running again.  Don't be alarmed by the radio silence and keep an eye on our Facebook Page for updates as I will most likely post there first.


Chris Tanner said...

Get in there Scott! It's one of the most amazing sports out there. I've been kiting for 10 years and still loving the progression. And Brittany - I'm still in one piece, fear not :) Great to see you guys having such a fun time.

Turf to Surf said...

Hoo boy, do I only know your fears too well...from that time kiteboarding landed me in the hospital

I can't wait to get out there again!



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