My first kite!

Kiting #3&4: So out on the kite again today and also yesterday. Yesterday (new year's eve) was my final and third lesson. But all conspired to go wrong. Out at ARAWHAI (spelling, not sure) to the east of NELSON. Nice weather. Wind OK as we set up. The instructor was the German guy from Adventure Paragliding and Kitesurfing (can't remember his name - but I now remember that the other girl - the British instructor of the other day is called Sue). And there were two students - me and a girl it transpired was from the local rag - the Nelson Mail - and had been sent to do lesson so she could write up an article - for the 13th/14th Jan. So she was a total beginner. So we went out - me on 6m kite, she on 8m. But I was useless, and kept dropping the kite in the water - but there was f all wind - so kept dropping from the sky. So the instructor got fed up relaunching - and I couldn't't get the thing to relaunch itself either. And I took my kite in so we could share the 88m. Time wasted. And as I get back out again, the other two are coming back in as the 8m has torn. So we set up a 9m. Pump it up from scratch etc. To go out and discover that the wind has completely disappeared! So he showed us a couple of things - for me first time I'd used/had explained the four line thing, depowering etc. And that was that.

Now on to today. 12 midday woke up with a stinking hangover and a mouth like a desert with the disgusting taste of the Edam I raided last night from the campsite fridge - having had our own Camembert nicked by some other bugger. So I headed off down to the shop to get my kite. After the palaver in Wellington/here over finding a kite - I didn't want to miss this opportunity before we head off to walk the Abel Tasman track tomorrow. So I went for a 12m Naish Boxer and a 157cm Naish board and harness for a whopping NZ$3,000, - but that did include the two lessons here in Nelson. And then a bag on top for another NZ$170! But it's about time I treated myself (after a 5 month holiday!) - but it's my reward for pulling off the job in Sydney to start in Feb.

So we took the kite out this av. All a bit dodgy. Hangover. All a bit different to the training equipment. And the first time I'm doing it all alone with no instruction. Kate helps best she can. Lines tangled. Stupidly put the lines on up by the car (we go to TAHUNANUI BEACH - which seems an excellent place for the job) - and end up carrying the thing through the undergrowth and getting all tangled up. So Kate helps me launch. It's an amazing beach - tide out, lovely warm shallowish water, calm water, enough wind. The launch is a bit messy - I can't instruct her as I'm not really sure myself - but the main thing is we get it airborne. then I realise the lines aren't right. Oh well. Do a load of good body dragging in the water and build up some confidence with using this larger kite, and being more aggressive with the power. And land it nicely to Kate to stop and sort out my harness which is not done right and sort the lines. So some friendly bloke comes along to help me launch but it's all tangled up and it is evident I don't really know what's going on. So he helps and I think is astounded by my lack of knowledge - to the extent that i don;t know what the lines are called or where they go - they'recolour coded you see (as were the ones when I was learning).

Me with the kite on Tahunanui beach

It really is me!

Others doing it properly

We get it together. he launches and I have another good session body dragging and playing around. The wind drops and i retire for the day. Next time I'll be on the board - but must get a leash first!