#20-21: Takes of joy and woe from a windy weekend in New South Wales

Best wind we've seen in ages. Sydney's a sht place for wind. Except
this weekend. Green arrows green arrows galore.

But 4:30pm Friday I was still stuck in the office. Green arrows tempting
me out though. So it was a quick word and a promise to finish things off
on Sunday, a call to ProtoCole, himself ready and waiting at home. I was
in the lift by 4:38 and - having risked life & limb biking through
rush-hour across the city - to the flat, load the van, to Proto's place
- we were on the road, kitted up, the 12 pumped, the lines untangled and
helmets adorned - in the water by 6pm.

Wow. Perfect wind conditions, if anything a tad too windy. No: rubbish,
no such thing? We'd bought a 2nd hand 21m Best Nemesis earlier in the
week - hence the decent wind. I'm hoping we never have to pump here up.
My 12m Boxer - workhorse she is - flew like a dream. Proto kitesurfed.
Yes - kitesurfed - no messing around with lost boards or any other
Chaotic behaviour. The Cap'n himself even got out there. Loved. Loved
it. Loved it.

Wow - what a rush and amazing feeling once you get going, out in the
middle of Botany Bay. Some air; not intentionally of course. But
controlled once up there. And time for a nanosecond of reflection,
realisation, and a crash landing into the water. And controlled
kitesurfing. Best session ever. I even dabbled in upwind action? Not
100% conclusive - I was sure I upwinded, as was the dude on a 16m we
were sharing the beach with. Proto's a tougher judge of angles. Either
which way. I was out there with enough control to even contemplate
working out upwind.

Two sessions each. In the bag. Quit while we're ahead. 7:50pm. Stopped.
Packed. In the van, wind drops. Buzzing. And it was still only Friday!

Kitesurfing rocks


Then there was Saturday. The big adventure up-north. Been biggin it up
all week. Getting excited. Up early, picnic packed, Westfield, Bondi
Junction bit o' shopping, get a car radio installed. Checking out new,
uncharted territory, at The Entrance and the lakes nearby. Virgin
kitesurfing soil, just waiting for two mavericks to discover, to tame,
to make their own.

Well it was a stunning day - the weather. We had guests - some of
honour, having flown all the way from India to experience this momentous
day in the history of Australian kitesurfing.

Here's Tuggerah Lake 1.5hrs north of Sydney Town

E & G were queens of patience, G by now clearly learnt the art of
humouring the ridiculous antics of her worse half, whilst simultaneously
dealing with the relatively well behaved 6mth year-old.

1st up was that penis-shaped intrusion into the lake from the Western
bank (Chittaway Point).

Beautiful on first inspection. However deemed unusable after we heard
the squelching sound of my lower leg struggling out of the stinking mud.
Don't kitesurf at Chittaway Point. Wind was up though - so off, keen
adventurers to find a better spot. No worry, still early, and the wind
should last all afternoon?

Rocky Point? Less mud and more rocks for sure - but no decent landing
spots for us downwind wonders.

Baby fed. Muffins inside of us.

The Entrance it is then. Off to the Eastern side of the lake. Much
scoping out of mud, jetties, wind (now slightly offshore), toilets,
where can the ladies buy an ice-cream, bike hire, mud, picnic tables,
shade, picnickers, domestics, litter, bright sun, some wind, Long Jetty,
Picnic Point, Long Jetty Picnic Point Jetty Long Point Picnicky. And
after much indecision we settled on Long Jetty. Actually, the slightly
less long jetty with all the people on it rather than the longer-one
with no people on it.

Mud. Wind dropping. Kites up. 16 and 12. No 21? Too scary. Too much mud
to navigate. Jetties to negotiate. Nails to tangle in. Seaweed to tangle
in. Our special observer from India was in hysterics.

The kite flew - the 16, sort of not really. We were using the lines from
the 12 and it just wasn't working. Back to the trusty 12. The workhorse,
the star. But even she couldn't fly in these offshore-ish, sub 12
knot-ish conditions. Don't panic we weren't really kitesurfing in
offshore winds. More wading around in the mud in the shallows of the
anyway-shallow Lake Tuggerah.

So after much struggle, and patiences tested, to the soundtrack of
chuckles from the jetty, Proto actually got up on the board. For a good
minute. Maybe two even. I collected him in the car - I drove the few
hundred yards to the next jetty. The pain of it all.

Well there we are. We did get some decent chips and fishing
entertainment in the town of The Entrance before the quiet drive back to

Next time we'll be hiring one of those tourist boats with outboards and
shade to do a serious downwinder across our Lake Tuggerah. If we can
ever persuade ourselves to do it to ourselves again.

Thanks Cuspy for the lend of the 16. Thanks E&G for the shoulders to cry
on, the patience. Thanks the bub for giving the day meaning & purpose.
And Kt for the greencard! x