ok, so this is kind of an insider joke. way back in ought-one or so when kiteboarding was really taking off it was common to hear “windsurfing has been cancelled” - some of the kite manufacturers even gave out bumper stickers with this slogan. this was because most of the early kiteboarders had previously been windsurfers, and we all frequented the same beaches where the kiteboarders naturally made a point of jumping far higher than any windsurfer could.
fast forward to spring of ought-six. we’ve become the first team in the bay area to start experimenting with kiteboating, thanks to our friend and kiteboat pioneer don montague, who showed up one day in march toting a massive 100m^2 kite, and casually suggested we take it out to the beach to test on our 16 foot catemeran hull. what happened next turned a lot of heads, breaking all expectations as well as our hull. i was on chase boat duty with the video camera and a 25hp engine, only problem was - i couldn’t catch them! so - what’s kiteboating? take a catameran hull, remove the standard mast and sail and replace with a kiteboarding kite. it’s the perfect use for what seems to be a vast collection of old broken catamerans rotting in garages around the bay area. team squid picked up two catameran hulls for $100 over a single weekend from craigslist - and they float!
here’s some photos and video from my next 2 kiteboating excursions:
2nd time out, one of the windiest days i’ve seen at alameda (so much wind, i sadly had to miss critical mass for it!) - 25-28mph wind, the gps clocked a boat speed of 20-22mph. i shot video on the boat, its a bit bumpy but fun. you can see we’re going just a tad slower than the windsurfers and kiteboarders, and our friend eric throws a few jumps right next to us:
here’s my first time out on the kiteboat with my friend pat:
here’s me driving the boat:
1) have a couple drinks
2) get introduced to a lifesize cardboard copy of… yourself
is there a real me?
yesterday we attended the Wired Rave awards ceremony (of which we were a winner).Â quite unexpectedly, i was approached by a young and beautiful woman who asked if i was in fact me, and learning that i was (and probably spotting the growing look of confusion about me), quickly informed me that she was Anna Goldwater, a previously unmet relative of mine.Â anna works for Wired so she had seen my name go by and kept a lookout for me.Â thanks for the photo-op anna!
i spent a bit over a week in france recently, about 1/2 in paris and 1/2 an amiens.Â why amiens?Â daphna has been there working with ‘la poste’ for about a month on improving postal routes.Â i wont say much about paris since i only did the standard stuff there, as it was my first time.Â amiens is a medium-size city dating at least as far back as charlemagne, it has a really exceptional cathedral built around 1300 (so, they had a couple hundred years to practice so it is better than the earlier ones).Â the stonework and woodwork throughout the cathedral was incredible.Â i wonder how much of the GDP these folks put into their cathedrals back then?Â i was hoping to do a lot of biking around northwest france including the coast, but due to some snafu’s i only got to bike for 3 days which were somewhat rainy, i think i did about 110 miles total, all around the countryside near amiens (the somme valley).Â daphna joined me for two of those rides.Â here’s a little video:
biking outside amiens
this is the typical countryside. Â lots of big farms and a small village every 5 miles with a patisserie (no need to carry powerbars!). Â they seemed to be growing this plant on purpose, i’m not sure what vegetable it is:
a wisp, a puff
a dark bat soars
icy sparkles blotted
a cold disc shines
casting them across
i reach towards
but cannot touch
i glide atop
but cannot see
a warm sea
a quiet breeze
it is time
i feel it
the orb waits
the black rushes
all is consumed
in the moment
yellow glow rises
a hazy view
behind the palms
[lest we have a repeat of last time, i will explain as follows: “this piece attempts to relate today’s experience of kitesurfing under a full moon at midnight - in the san francisco bay”.Â This isn’t trying to be profound, just relate a feeling.Â Does it work?
I made this ring a couple months ago, but finally got the photos and commentary uploaded
drunk people staggering about in a daze!
entire neighborhoods built of scrap metal!
watch: Le Pen video
strange and entertaining vehicles!
watch: smartcar video
radial city with bizarre traffic formations!
lots of public nudity!
things that just make you wonder what they were thinking!
need i say more?
Southeast coast of Greenland.Â Two glaciers make their way to the ocean.
i went to the bike shop today to try and rent a bike. this is a confusing affair!
me: vous parlez anglais?
me: [stare at little book for a while]
me: louez un velo?
snail: non [bunch of incomprehensible stuff] non [makes an X with arms]
me: [confused, the sign right next to me says: "location de velo, 5 euros"]
me: [i wonder if i insulted his french pride?]
me: [perhaps some humor will help the situation?]
me: pardon, je ne parle pas francais
snail: [merde! un genie!]
me: [point at bike cleat on my shoe]
me: mais, je parle velo! [big grin!]
me: vous parlez velo aussi, non?
me: louez un velo, sil-vous-plait?
snail: chien americain! partez maintenant et la prise lance armstrong avec vous!
me: un chien? mais ou est la chat?
ok, so that’s how it went down in my head anyway. it turned out that they were just all out of bikes, and he claims they will have some available pour vendredi. i think!