Thursday, October 2, 2008

October Windsurfing Trip to Corpus Christi

IMG_2862Wind Addicts, lets have a windsurfing adventure in Corpus Christi starting Friday 24 September October, and ending Sunday 26 September October. You can see photos from previous windsurfing trips here.

We'll be surfing near Worldwinds. If you need lessons or to rent gear, they'll take care of you. Beginners will glide around the Laguna Madre within an hour.

As usual, we're staying in hotels located in downtown Corpus. This allows us to walk to some of the best restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in the city. Nothing beats a stroll along the city sea wall before sipping your morning coffee at Agua Java.

If you'd like to come, just follow...

...The five simple steps.

Feel free to invite your friends. Call all or email me if you have questions.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

October Windsurfing

WaterstartLets take a three-day weekend to visit Corpus Christi and windsurf in October.

Let me know your preferred weekend in the comments below. If you can't take Friday off, let me know that too.

I'll try to pick a date and send out invites this weekend.

Friday, September 19, 2008

September Windsurfing Blitz Trip

SliverI think I've contacted all of the usual windsurfing crew, but just in case: we're windsurfing in Corpus Christi on Saturday 20 September - Sunday 21 September.

As usual, we're staying in hotels located in downtown Corpus. If you'd like to come you can find a to-do list here:

The five simple steps to Join in the fun.

Everyone is welcome. Feel free to call or email if you have questions.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

September Windsurfing Trip

Waterstart TripletsHey everyone, lets get a group together for a trip to Corpus Christi in September. If you don't know how to windsurf yet, now is a great time to learn.

Let me know your preferred weekend in the comments below. If you can't take a Friday off, let me know that too.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trip Report 25-27 July 2008

Jason Cruises.The July trip to Corpus Christi gets filed under "success". Freddy, Gumbo, Jason, and Mo (the new recruit) joined me.

Clowning Around With Wait Staff


Friday Afternoon, Freddy and I stopped for lunch at Hooters on the way to the beach. Our table happened to have a tiny pile of lettuce. The waitress carefully swept it into her hand before tossing the greens on the floor.

"I saw that," I joked, "we're from Corporate."

She suddenly looked concerned. Apparently throwing lettuce on the floor isn't in the employee handbook. I reassured her that we were just joking around.

The waitress spent a lot of time with us. She even told us we were her favorite table. Was it because she though we worked for Hooters Headquarters? Or was it because Freddy and I are hilarious pranksters? The world may never know.

Good Winds

Freddy The leftovers from hurricane Dolly provided great wind for most of the trip. Friday and Sunday were great planing days with winds from 20-30 MPH. Saturday wasn't as windy, but it still gusted into planing speeds.

Freddy took the beach start class, spending almost an entire day popping out of the water. He also practiced the harness, which will come in handy since he's getting close to planing speeds.

Mo had a downwind adventure his first day, but he quickly got up to speed. On his second day he took the harness class. He managed to stay upwind and to get lots of time hooked in.

Jason started to attempt the front foot straps while rocketing around on plane.

I spent more serious time with both feet in the straps. I'm getting pretty comfortable sliding into the back strap, although my technique could still use a little refining.

The Birthday Cake

On Friday night, Freddy and I split a big bottle of Duvel before visiting Havana for a meal of Tapas and Mojitos.

Our waitress was Michelle, and she remembered us as "the fun table" from months ago! The pressure was on: we had a reputation to maintain.

We munched on "El Infidel", goat cheese, and fried yucca. A birthday party gathered at a nearby table. Ideas started to form.

When Michelle returned to ask if we needed anything, I requested a slice of birthday cake.

"No," she claimed, "we don't have birthday cake."

"But they do," I pointed to the nearby table. Michelle laughed, but the answer was still no.

When Michelle came by again, I eyed the cake and requested forks and plates.

"No," Michelle laughed, "you can't steal their cake! It's theirs!"

After Michelle left, I ran to the birthday table. I snagged two discarded plates, complete with cake crumbs and forks. I placed one in front of Freddy, one in front of myself.

When Michelle returned, she laughed hysterically, "No! You didn't!"

Mission accomplished.

Cover, No Cover

Wienermobile Freddy and I strode to Katz 21, still laughing from our prank at Havana. Inside, two ladies told us there was a $5 cover. Freddy handed over a five just as I insisted that they should let cool guys like us in for free.

"That's true," Freddy chimed in. Freddy's five hovered over the cash register while we bantered. We both went back and fourth with the ladies, joking about how awesome we were and how we were good for business.

Finally, one of the ladies actually returned Freddy's money, declaring "No cover."

Again, it wasn't clear if we got in for free because we were cool, or because we were annoying. I'm going to hope that annoying people don't get discounts at clubs. Either way: victory.

Aristotle and the Hostess

Saturday night, Freddy, Jason, Mo, and I ate at the U & I Steak House. When we checked in, the hostess asked for a name for the waiting list. Freddy developed a wicked grin and answered "Aristotle."

The hostess started writing down "ARI..." before giving up on the spelling. She crossed it out, laughed, and walked away. A few minutes later, she returned. "Okay Aristotle, you're table is ready."

We enjoyed a fabulous meal of mesquite-grilled steak and seafood, and orange juice Mexican Martinis. When the waitress came with the check, she asked "Aristotle" if he was married. She handed Freddy a slip of paper with the Hostess's phone number. Freddy had a new friend.

Crazy Ladies

Electric Sails Freddy and I had some strange encounters with the Corpus ladies. First, an older lady with giant punched-in-the-mouth lips fell in love with Freddy.

Between spells of dancing, she would sit down with us and pout at Freddy. Whenever she left, she was careful to leave a drink or bag near Freddy to mark her territory.

On Sunday, Freddy spent several hours at Agua Java with the world's most talkative woman. Freddy was kind enough to introduce me. The millisecond we shook hands, she launched into the most incredible stream of consciousness narrative I've ever heard. Car accident, ear-locating metal detectors, legally dead, ball-bearing elbows, glass eyes, world records, and so on.

It was an incredible experience, but I didn't know what to make of the odd carnival sideshow narrative. It was odd, delightful, confusing, and nerdy all at the same time. What exactly does one say to a pretty lady who happens to be crazy?

Freddy and I said goodbye to crazy lady and picked up some burgers from What-a-burger Headquarters. As we drove back to Austin munching our food, we pondered our many adventures this weekend.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August Windsurfing

DemoI'd like to get a group together for another Corpus Christi Windsurfing trip in August.

Let me know your preferred weekend in the comments below. If you can't take Friday off, let me know that too.

Hopefully I'll set up a date and send out invites soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Corpus Christi Trip: July 25-27

Don't let Summer pass without a few lazy Windsurfing trips to the coast.

If you're a new recruit, you can get a feel for the experience by reading the previous trip posts on the blog. You'll see a pattern: we carpool directly down to Worldwinds where we spend several hours windsurfing on warm Laguna Madre. The beginners will be cruising around on the water after an hour of instruction from the Worldwinds crew.

After enjoying the beach, we drive to our hotels Downtown. There we desalinate before walking to a restaurant to fill ourselves with fresh seafood, tapas, sushi, homemade Italian, or hamburgers. We'll wash the food down with a few beers, margaritas, or Mojitos. After that, we may play a few rounds of foosball, walk along the shoreline at night, or simply enjoy the nightlife. The next day, we do it over again, starting with fresh coffee and a nice breakfast.

Follow these five simple steps to Join in the fun.

You'll need a a place to stay one night starting Friday the 25th, checking out Sunday the 27th. I suggest sharing rooms and carpooling. Most hotel rooms in the Corpus area have two queen-size beds.

You can check out the suggested packing list here. Feel free to comment, send me a mail, or give a ring if you have any questions. See you on the beach!

Trip Report 13-15 June 2008

A passing stranger asked me what size sail I was rigging early Friday afternoon. He got a funny look on his face when I said 6.5 meter. I felt the same way. A bigger sail would have been nice for the light breeze. But I only own one sail. On windy days I sail a 6.5. On still days I sail a 6.5.

Lucky for me, the wind didn't wait long to get serious. While the wind grew to fit my sail, the stranger struggled with an overpowered 8.0.

I was thrilled to get enough wind to plane. My goal this weekend was to get my feet into both foot straps, and a light breeze wouldn't cut it.

Up to this point I had only managed to slip in the front straps. When I mentioned this problem to Angela at Worldwinds, she said the back strap was much easier than the front for her.

With this encouraging thought, I returned to the water. I easily planed with my front foot strapped in. I could easily get my back foot next to its strap too. But when I lifted my back foot to slide it in, the board immediately carved upwind. I was sinking the rail, but I couldn't really see how to prevent it.

Just like the harness and the front foot strap, the maneuver felt a lot more dangerous than it was. Even as I flubbed the back foot strap, 80% of the time I was able to recover by stepping to the mast and tacking, or by simply turning back downwind. When that didn't work, I simply fell over backwards with almost no speed.

After rocketing around Laguna Madre for several hours, I drove downtown to the hotel to clean up. I met Jonathan and Marty at the Executive Surf Club where we played a few games of foosball before dinner at Waterstreet Seafood Co. After that, we watched a band play at Bourbon Rocks.

Saturday morning, I met Jonathan and Marty at the City Diner for breakfast. We carpooled down to world winds as we listened to You Look Nice Today. Jason met us at the beach.

Jonathan and Marty practiced for a while before their class with Olivier. Much to their surprise, Olivier had them wear a harness for what they thought would be an intermediate class. Despite their initial reluctance to strap a sail to their waist, they did well. It was difficult to believe this was their second trip to Corpus.

Meanwhile, Jason finally pulled the trigger and purchased his own windsurfing rig. He got a completely new rig: a Maui Sails "Switch" 6.4 meter sail, a JP Australia X-cite ride 160 board, and a very light 55% carbon mast.

After surfing, all of us met Carlos and Vincent at Aka Sushi for dinner. Jonathan, Carlos, and Vincent left a little early to set up for their performance as Milhouse. The rest of us then met up with them at the Mug Room to watch the show. Although the bar was freezing inside, the show was quite entertaining. I think everyone agreed it was sophisticated too.

Sunday morning, I got coffee at Agua Java before we all met for breakfast at La Bahia.

At the beach, Marty and Jonathan rigged up with bigger sails for more harness practice. I went out to take a few more shots at the back foot strap. Meanwhile Jason assembled a new roof rack on his Civic.

Jonathan was really hauling on a 180 liter board. Both the Worldwinds staff and I tried to convince him to get a smaller board or bigger sail, but he seemed content to practice harness with the board he had.

After a few hours on the water, I came in for a break. While I was hydrating, I told Randy of Worldwinds about my frustration with the back foot strap. He suggested that I put the toes of my back foot directly on top of the back foot strap. Once I got stable in that position, I could pivot my foot into the strap without lifting it.

I returned to the water and tried Randy's suggestion. I easily put my foot on top of the back foot strap, but I had a hard time using only my toes. Gradually, through sheer force of will, I pulled my toes back to the edge of the strap. As my toes fell off the top, I pushed them under the pad. For a tantalizing instant before the board lost power carving upwind, my toes were in the strap.

Determined to get it to work, I repeated the exercise. This time, I focused on keeping the sail powered, and struggled to keep the board level by pushing with my front toes. As soon as my back foot found the strap's opening, I jammed it in hard. The board again turned upwind slightly, but this time I corrected the motion by getting low and pushing through my toes.

It took a few seconds for the exciting truth to register: I was finally planing in both straps. I did it!

As I experimented with my stance in the straps, I found that I could really lean out and back now that I was anchored to the board. I could also lean the sail back enough to nearly touch the foot of the sail to the deck. Going upwind was also much easier; it felt like I could rocket directly into it. Straps are fun.

Like many windsurfing skills, the straps felt almost trivially easy after only doing it once. After I tacked at the end of my first back strap run, I jammed my feet into the straps like I had been doing it all my life. What was the big deal again?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Ultimate Windsurfing Tool

Since purchasing my own windsurfing equipment last year, the largest bane to my windsurfing existence has been my mast. The mast comes in two halves; the top of one half slides into the bottom of the other half to make a really long pole. After a few hours of compression in the sail, bouncing on waves, and cooking in the sun, the two halves cement together almost inseparably. This causes a giant headache at packing time; disassembly will require tug-of-war with a friend.

Sand, salt, or dirt are the real problem. Little particles of whatnot in the joint act like glue holding the halves together.

Yesterday I unveiled my new secret weapon: a $2 bottle brush. I vigorously scrubbed both sides of the connection before assembling the mast. As always, I used a bit of electrical tape to seal the joint. Then I surfed in Lake Travis for three hours.

When I returned to shore to pack, I felt the usual dread. Would the mast come apart this time? I removed my fin, twisted the boom off, released the downhaul, and pulled the mast from the sail.

My apprehension increased as I peeled the black tape from the mast. I grasped each half of the mast in one hand and pulled. To my surprise, the two halves slid apart easier than uncapping a pen. Victory!

I love my bottle brush.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi Trip: June 13-15

When the temperature gets into the 90's, nothing feels better than windsurfing on the coast. Since summer is here, I'm forced to conclude that nothing could feel better than joining us Wind Addicts in Corpus Christi.

If you're a new recruit, you can get a feel for the experience by reading the previous trip posts on the blog. You'll see a pattern: we carpool directly down to Worldwinds where we spend several hours windsurfing on warm Laguna Madre. The beginners will be cruising around on the water after an hour of instruction from the Worldwinds crew.

After enjoying the beach, we drive to our hotels Downtown. There we desalinate before walking to a restaurant to fill ourselves with fresh seafood, tapas, sushi, homemade Italian, or hamburgers. We'll wash the food down with a few beers, margaritas, or Mojitos. After that, we may play a few rounds of foosball, walk along the shoreline at night, or simply enjoy the nightlife. The next day, we do it over again, starting with fresh coffee and a nice breakfast.

We will be joined by rock stars this trip. The Austin Band Milhouse will be playing at the Mug Room at 9pm on Saturday the 14th. They may even join us windsurfing!

Follow these five simple steps to Join in the fun.

You'll need a a place to stay one night starting Friday the 13th, checking out Sunday the 15th. I suggest sharing rooms and carpooling. Most hotel rooms in the Corpus area have two queen-size beds.

You can check out the suggested packing list here. Feel free to comment, send me a mail, or give a ring if you have any questions. See you on the beach!

Friday, May 23, 2008

July Windsurfing

Unbelievable. I haven't even sent out invites for June and folks are already itching to plan a July trip to Corpus Christi.

You can vote for your favorite July weekend by commenting on this post. Please also express your opinion on three-day vs. two-day trips. I personally prefer a three day trip so my vacation feels like more surfing and less driving.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trip Report: 17,18 April 2008

I was excited to pick up my board at Worldwinds Saturday. The repairs look nearly seamless, and the cost came in a bit below estimate.

The wind on Bird Island blew around 8-10 MPH. Since wind was light, Angela kindly gave Jason and I a dry-land demonstration of backwinded sailing and how to perform a helitack to return to normal sailing. In English, backwinded sailing means standing behind the sail -- the lee side -- and pushing rather than pulling on the boom.

For obvious reasons, folks don't try this freestyling feat on windy days -- the sail would simply flip the rider into the water. Even in light wind it doesn't take much to get swept into the drink.

Since the mechanics reverse on the back side of the sail, pushing with the back hand sheets the sail in. Since sheeting in makes the sail try harder to crush you, Angela suggested avoiding the issue by sailing with only the front hand holding the boom.

The helitack (technically I think it's just the bit at the end of a helitack) is a trick for flipping yourself back around to normal sailing from backwinding. To achieve this miracle, one simply tilts the mast forward, pushes on the clew side of the boom, and spins with the sail. Now you're sailing clew-first. Finally, you release the clew hand and let the sail flip back to the normal mast first position. Easier said than done.

On the water, backwinded sailing proved tricky. My first attempts mostly became accidental tacks. The other attempts were downwind sail smashes and board-flippers.

I am an uphauling machine. I uphauled so much that I actually learned new tricks to get the sail up. Instead of pulling straight up, I found that pulling the sail first in the direction of the mast made life significantly easier. If the mast lies to the right of the sail, pull the uphaul to the right, then up. And so on.

I got backwinded sailing working a few times, but I wasn't able to helitack the sail. Not even close. Even my successful backwind reaches only lasted a short time.

After sailing, we ate dinner at Waterstreet Seafood. While waiting for a table, we hung out at the "Tiki" bar in the courtyard and drank margaritas. Sadly, there was nothing Tiki about the bar. They didn't even have umbrellas for the drinks, much less bamboo and carved idols. The poor bartender complained to us about being left out to bake in the afternoon sun and of having the worlds worst bottle opener -- a coin-sized slab of metal roughly in the shape of Texas.

We were starving. Once inside the restaurant, Jason and I gorged ourselves on piles of food. First we ate two loaves of bread. Then we split a plate of dynamite sticks. Then salad followed by the entree. I forgot how uphauling breeds a huge appetite; water starts have made me lazy.

After dinner, we decided to get mojitos at Havana. We were both shocked to discover the windows papered over and Havana closed. We were able to peek inside where the decor was partially disassembled. I was very sad! We walked to Cassidy's Irish Pub to drown our sorrows in a dark glass of Guinness. We later learned from a Hooters waitress that Havana was just renovating.

After leaving Cassidy's we returned to the Hotel where we caught the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Fun film, but the scene where the tank drives off the cliff is just about the worst special effect ever. Whoever was responsible: better luck rotoscoping next time.

After Indiana Jones, Timeline came on. For those who don't know, this was based on a Crichton novel. The one where someone who mostly isn't Bill Gates invents a time machine so that irritating archaeologists and marines can visit Medieval France. I can't believe that anyone watched this in the theaters and didn't ask for a refund. I have to rent it for a future movie night -- it will be funnier than ducks.

The film starts with a pile of cut scenes arranged like it was reviewing the last episode of Lost. Of course, there is no previous episode: it's a dang movie. The film was just performing the jitterbug through major plot points. Warp speed to the time machine! The story became so insulting that we were forced to turn it off.

The wind wasn't much better on Sunday, but at least the sun didn't hide behind the clouds. I cruised around and practiced my backwinded sailing. Backwinding became easier once I convinced my brain to see the similarity to tacking. Instead of pointing the board into the wind, I just hopped around the mast and tried to balance with the sail pushing against me.

Once behind the sail, the biggest trick is maintaining course. Turn too far upwind or downwind and you loose the mojo. Despite some improvements, I still spent a lot of time in the water. Sometimes I think light wind days are more challenging than howling gales.

One mistake I think I made was stiff-arming the sail when backwinding. I didn't really think about it until I reached I-37, but keeping my arm bent probably would have made balancing easier. That way I would have room to shove the sail both back and forward without changing my posture.

I summoned the bravery to attempt a few helitack spins from the backwinded position. Sadly, I always ended up with the sail irretrievably low when I got around to the windward side. Sometimes I fell with the sail, sometimes I was just left standing on board empty-handed. Still, even a failed helitack had excitement to spare.

I look forward to future light wind days.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

June Windsurfing

I just consulted my calendar and found that June comes after May. Oh no, the year is almost half over!

If you'd like to come down to Corpus Christi for more windsurfing, let me know by commenting below. If you can't make it for a particular weekend, let me know by commenting below.

Thanks guys. I hope to see you on the beach!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Trip Plans: 17-18 May 2008

Another month means another trip to Corpus Christi. And that means more sun, more fun, and more surfing.

If you're a new recruit, you can get a feel for the experience by reading the previous trip posts on the blog. You'll see a pattern: we carpool directly down to Worldwinds where we spend several hours windsurfing on warm Laguna Madre.

After enjoying the beach, we drive to our hotels Downtown. There we desalinate before walking to a restaurant to fill ourselves with glorious seafood, tapas, or hamburgers. After that, we may play a few rounds of foosball, walk along the shoreline at night, or simply enjoy the nightlife. The next day, we do it over again, starting with fresh coffee and a nice breakfast.

Follow these five simple steps to Join in the fun.

You'll need a a place to stay one night starting Friday the 16th Saturday the 17th, checking out Sunday the 18th.

You can check out the suggested packing list here. Feel free to comment, send me a mail, or give a ring if you have any questions. See you on the beach!

P.S.: Due to the lack of enthusiasm for taking Friday off, I've changed this to a Saturday-Sunday trip.

Trip Report: 19-20 April 2008

The first challenge of Saturday was securing my damaged board to the top of the car. As you know, my previous system -- a Yakima Strap Thang -- utterly failed at 70 MPH. Instead of hugging my precious board, it threw it to the asphalt of I-37.

To replace the Strap Thang, I had purchased an assortment of inexpensive NRS 1" cam straps (as suggested by Cool Tools) to anchor the board to my roof rack. These straps are rated for 1,500 lbs. I'm fairly certain now that the rack will uproot before the straps fail.

Unfortunately, I underestimated how much strap I would need to secure the board. I had purchased one 4' loop strap for each of the two rack crossbars. Both were about 2 or 3 inches too short to reach over my JP Australia X-cite ride 145. On the bright side, I had purchased an assortment of other 1" NRS straps for odd jobs. Using these extra straps I was able to securely lash the board down.

I safely arrived at the beach, board still firmly attached to roof. When I showed my scarred board to the Worldwinds staff, they had a curious reaction. Instead of expressing horror at my board damage, they laughed. "That's nothing," they said. "No problem." What a relief.

I rented a little blue Tabou Rocket 135 -- part of the Worldwinds test fleet -- and a 7.5 meter Ezzy sail. The Rocket may have been only 10 liters smaller than my JP, but it felt a lot smaller to me.

My biggest difficulty with the board was sinking the nose. Off plane, I had no problem submarining the Rocket. This was probably more my fault than the boards, and I should note that it didn't prevent me from tacking or from water starting. In fact, I'm really starting to get the hang of this water starting thing; I'm often getting up on my first try.

My other difficulty was turning the board off the wind. Those occasional times that I would sink the tail or pull a slower tack, I struggled to turn the board downwind again. Perhaps this is because the board has a pretty smooth underside compared to my JP. The bottom of the Tabou only seems to have a slight smooth bulge along the centerline, unlike the harder chines on the bottom of the JP. User error again, of course. Sinking the tail is bad.

I was able to get the Tabou on plane, but I wasn't able to get into the straps. The board just felt really sensitive to my foot movements. I also had difficulty jamming my foot in even with the straps pretty loose. Mostly though, I simply didn't feel confident enough on that board.

After windsurfing I attempted to check in to the Omni Bayfront Hotel. Things went smoothly until I tried to find room 623. Naturally I went to the 6th floor, but the signs outside the elevator indicated room numbers starting at 625. I asked a housekeeper how to find room 623. "Oh, that's for the other hotel down the street." What?

I went back to the service desk to see if they would have a more accommodating answer. They didn't. This time I was told that the hotel had two "towers". This key was for the other hotel -- the less fancy one without the usable balcony. Oh well.

After cleaning up, I met Matt and Karen at the hotel bar. We decided to try Mamma Mia's for dinner, a restaurant suggested by one of Karen's friends.

There was one thing I immediately noticed about Mamma Mia's. This seemed like the sort of place where students take their dates for the Prom. In fact, the place was full of kids dressed up for the prom. This isn't a negative thing, but it does establish the sort of reputation the place has: fancy date place.

This impression was reinforced by the menu. No credit cards. The cheapest entrée was about $19. Salads cost extra.

That said, the food was good. Maybe not great as the price, but who is counting?

After the meal, the three of us had a Mojito nightcap at Havana.

Sunday morning, I met Matt at Agua Java for breakfast. As Matt and I sat chatting, we were approached by a smiling lady brandishing a $20 bill. She was named Julie, and she is one of those interesting happy people that make you feel like a boring sourpuss by comparison.

Julie was an expert in painting murals and faux finishes. At the moment, she was on a vacation roadtrip with her husband. The twenty was her proposed payment to use Matt's laptop to buy plane tickets. Matt politely refused the money and offered the use of his Macbook for free.

As she ordered tickets back to Tampa -- she and her husband were tired of driving -- she told us funny tales of painting Epcot, eating in Louisiana, Pantone colors, feeling sick in Louisiana, drinking in Corpus, paint, language barriers, the housing collapse, and raising kids. Who says talking to strangers is bad?

After breakfast, I rented a 2008 JP Australia X-Cite Ride 145 and a 6 meter sail. Except for a few minor changes and the lack of holes, this board was nearly identical to my busted 145. Home sweet home.

The 145 felt much more stable than the Tabou Rocket. After a little practice, I was able to summon the courage to try the front foot strap. I was rewarded with victory. Oh yeah: the front footstrap isn't scary. Silly me.

After surfing for a few hours, I started my journey back to Austin while my board stayed at Worldwinds for repairs. The weekend past without major injury or incident.

Monday, April 7, 2008

May Windsurfing

I see May on the horizon. Before it gets here, maybe we should plan a windsurfing trip.

Want to come? Please communicate your availability by commenting below.

Trip Plans: Blitz Trip 19-20 April 2008

This is a two-day blitz trip. Do you have limited vacation? Just want a quick and inexpensive intro to windsurfing? This is the trip for you.

We sail April 19th. I'll be leaving at around 7am on Saturday. That way we can enjoy a full day of surfing both days.

If you're a new recruit, you can get a feel for the experience by reading the previous trip posts on the blog. You'll see a pattern: we carpool directly down to Worldwinds where we spend several hours playing on the water.

After having a suitable amount of fun surfing, we drive to our hotels Downtown. There we desalinate before walking to a restaurant to fill ourselves with glorious seafood or hamburgers. After that, we may play a few rounds of foosball or enjoy the nightlife. The next day, we do it over again, starting with fresh coffee and a nice breakfast.

Follow these five simple steps to Join in the fun.

You'll need a a place to stay one night starting Saturday the 19th, checking out the 20th.

You can check out the suggested packing list here. Feel free to comment, send me a mail, or give a ring if you have any questions. See you on the beach!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Trip Report Sunday 23 March: Part Two

I met Freddy and Gumbo back at the Best Western where he had been camping out and reading. Since he had already eaten lunch, I hit the mega What-a-burger drive through for lunch. Freddy kindly offered to drive while I ate my lunch.
"Bad: surfboard floating on the highway. Worse: on the highway at 60 mph." -- Yakima Website
Freddy had been driving on I-37 for some time when it happened. We were listening to The Drabblecast at the time.

Thwap. Thunk. Thwang. Thunk.

Freddy and I turned to look out the back simultaneously. My board, my JP Australia X-Cite Ride 145, was flying through the air behind us. Noooooooooooooooo....

As I yelled at Freddy to pull over, I considered the Yakima StrapThang. You know, I though, I always felt a little nervous about the design of that board strap. The Yakima rack itself rocks. They way it attaches and detaches from my Honda Element in seconds really impresses me. The rack always felt rock-solid too.

But consider the little rubber straps of the Yakima StrapThang. They were very convenient, sure. You just put the board on the rack pads, throw the two straps over the top, and hook them over the end of the crossbar. Attaching a board only took seconds.

But would they hold up? When I got the straps about six months ago, I must have fallen for the bold marketing. Surely they wouldn't joke about surfboards smashed on the highway if they had any doubts about their product. Right?

Despite this, I was always careful to remove the rack from my car when it wasn't in use. I didn't want sunlight to weaken the straps. Likewise, I was careful to always take a look at the straps when I attached the surfboard. Despite my care, my board just soared down I-37. It had been lying undisturbed on the rack for hours of highway driving. Now it just flew off.

Once Freddy managed to safely pull over, I sat for a few seconds cursing up a storm. I pocketed my cell phone and ran across I-37.

As I walked along the median, I contemplated my board. Would it be totaled? More cursing. Maybe it landed in the grass. Or maybe a semi ran it over. My stomach sank.

As I crested a hill, I saw it laying on the shoulder about 100 yards away. In a panic, I started running. Could it be in one piece? Would it be possible to fix? I cursed the gods of roof racks.

As I passed a broken chunk of StrapThang, I scooped it up. Grrrr. Dumb expensive piece of garbage. I laughed insanely as my stomach churned.

Finally I reached the board itself. I couldn't believe my luck. It was in one piece. Yes, there were scrapes, dings, missing paint, and a few large holes. Some of the holes even exposed the foam core of the board.

But one piece. And nothing had run it over! Somehow it stayed in one piece even after surfing down the highway at 70 MPH. It even landed on the grooved pavement shoulder. JP Australia: you rock.

I tied the StrapThang piece to a board strap to use as a handle -- not that I trusted it. I lifted the board and started the long walk back to my car.

I suddenly felt foot shy in my ancient Teva sandals. Might I discover some dangerous critters with my tender toes? I wasn't sure which I was more afraid of -- an infested median or slaloming tractor trailers. Another curse to my failed StrapThang. I watched my toes and dodged trucks as I plodded back along I-37.

I finally saw my car again, and raced across the highway carrying my unwieldy load. As I approached, I thanked my lucky stars for buying a car with enough interior space to hold my board. I did not look forward to the cramped ride home.

At the car, Freddy helped me lift the board into the car. We placed the board alongside the passenger seat, nose down. Gumbo growled. He didn't appreciate the idea. I used some bungees and fragments of the self-destroyed StrapThang to anchor the board.

Freddy volunteered to ride under the damaged board. The adventure apparently had reduced his enthusiasm for driving. We both cursed Yakima for good measure, and I hopped in the driver's side. Freddy reclined beneath the board.

As I started the engine, my cell phone rang. Jason. Just as I opened the phone, he hung up. Simultaneously, his car pulled onto the shoulder ahead of us. He came running out to ask what happened.

We told Jason that we weren't hurt -- just terrified. We gave him a brief overview of the story, but declined to go into details. We were still too jittery to really want to talk on the shoulder of the road. We just wanted to get back to Austin. Jason wished us well, and we both started on our way back to Austin.

Freddy and I listed to Car Talk to calm our nerves. I occasionally laughed like a maniac at what a miracle it was nobody was hurt. Even if my board is totaled, I'm quite relieved the damage was limited to stuff. The only injuries were to the board, the StrapThang, and a small area on the roof of my car.

None of us had further adventures on the way home. Thank goodness!

Trip Report Sunday 23 March 2008: Part One

You may already know about the disaster of Sunday afternoon. For dramatic effect, I'll put that story in another post.

With Sunday morning came gray skies and high winds. While Jason and I visited the beach, Freddy remained behind at Agua Java to hang out and read with Gumbo.

At Worldwinds, the anemometer read winds in the high 30's with gusts pushing as high as 48 MPH. Since I only own a 145 Liter board and a 6.5 Meter sail, I knew I would have to rent today. I decided to wait and see how Jason did in the gale before venturing out.

Jason rented a wetsuit, a 130 Liter board, and a 4.2 square Meter sail. As Angela was wearing Jeans, she asked if I would help Jason rig. As I carried the sail out I couldn't help but notice how cold the water was. How the usual bath water at Bird Island spoils us!

Once Jason made it out to deep water, he attempted a water start. After the wind toyed with him for a bit, he managed to stay aboard. Even completely sheeted out, Jason blasted along. I'm sure he was only barely not planing.

I couldn't let Jason have all the fun. I rented a 123 Liter Fanatic Hawk and a 4.5 meter sail. This is the smallest board I've sailed so far. I donned my thin neoprene top, a harness, and walked the board out to the water.

After a couple of tries, I water started without an immediate launch off the board. Clearly one of the challenges with a board that sinks is getting up without submarining the nose in the chop. At the same time, you have to watch the tail too. Stand too far forward and you plow the nose. Too far back, and the board swings into the wind.

Once I did manage to properly mount the board, the wind immediately slapped me on plane. I don't know if the smaller board caused me problems, or just the abundance of wind. Either way, the board seemed much more sensitive than I'm used to.

The slightest tilt or shift in balance produced dramatic reaction from the board. The sheer speed of the board over the water had me worried that I'd be blown to sea before I could get comfortable with the controls. I didn't have to worry long. As I tried to shift into a more comfortable position, the board spun out. The board turned upwind while the sail and I slammed downwind.

As I stood draining water out of my ears, nose, and mouth, I tried to understand how I messed up. I decided that I needed to get my weight lower so I could pull down on the sail more. Feeling the strength of the gusts, I decided I needed to pay attention to conditions upwind more too.

I water started again, bounced onto plane, and nervously watched for approaching gusts. Again my speed felt rocket-like, especially riding on such a small board. As my heels dragged a bit over the rail, the cold water sprayed me. A little sun would have been nice.

As a gust approached, I braced myself for impact. I lowered myself to pull the boom down. My butt dragged in the water, much to my surprise. I've never been that low before. As I tried to get a little more altitude, the wind chucked me and the sail right over the top. Shoot.

I decided to stand in the water and shiver a bit while my bravery returned. Clearly I had a bit to learn about these smaller boards.

Hopping back on the board, I thought now would be a good time to turn around. I pulled the sail back and started a turn upwind. As I stepped in front of the mast, the nose sank into the waves. I found myself standing once again on the muddy bottom of Laguna Madre. Ah. Perhaps a sinky board means no tacking.

Mentally I raised the Jibe class higher on my to-do list. I felt that I had accumulated enough ice-cold defeat for one day. I much prefer eating dirt on warm sunny days, thank you.

I jumped aboard again and sheeted out enough to keep be just below planing as I slogged back to shore. Jason was getting an impromptu water starting lesson on the beach from Angela when I returned my board. I listened in for some pointers.

After his lecture, Jason hit the water again like a trooper. I shot the breeze with a few Worldwinds loiterers. One of the fellows I talked to claimed that his son had tried all the different stand up paddleboards currently on the market. He claimed that his son measured how far each board went with a single stroke, among other things. He said the Mistral Pacifico won, although I wonder how scientific the test was.

Convinced that the weather wouldn't magically get warm, I packed in, said my goodbyes, and started for downtown to get Freddy and Gumbo.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Trip Report Saturday 22 March 2008

Freddy and I got the usual breakfast at Agua Java before cruising down to the beach around noon. There wasn't much wind yet, maybe the occasional puff upto 8 MPH.

I decided to borrow the stand up paddleboard from Worldwinds, a Mistral Pacifico. A stand up paddleboard is a long surfboard intended for paddling from a standing position. At around eleven feet, the board looks gargantuan compared to the usual short boards.

Worldwinds didn't have the proper paddle for the Pacifico yet. Instead, they made a Swiss Family Robinson paddle using a canoe paddle, a chunk of mast, electrical tape, and probably some coconuts. It works, even if it probably cost a few hundred dollars less than a proper paddle.

I asked Rob for advice on how to use the Paddle Board. Rob is a windsurfing pro who has been hanging around Worldwinds for a while. He gave me a few pointers on the operation of the board before I embarked.

Of course, the first thing I did was to step on the side of the board instead of the middle. Duh! After stumbling I remembered to step on the centerline. From there, it actually felt fairly stable as I took position on the board.

Unlike a normal surfboard, the standard position on a paddleboard is to face squarely forward, legs shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Unless you're riding a wave, but not many waves disturbed the face of Laguna Madre today.

The top of the Pacifico (entirely covered with a nice foam pad) is marked with a nice tan oval. Rob advised to keep my feet within the oval for stability. I could walk towards the nose to raise the fin in shallow water, or towards the back to lift the nose.

Although keeping my feet wide near the edge of the oval felt strongest and most stable for paddling, walking up and down the board this way felt tippy. Walking along the centerline felt quite stable.

I paddled in the shallow water to get my sea legs, and then decided to go investigate some curious man-made structures along the shoreline. Paddling the board isn't exactly fast -- I'm fairly certain that a kayak or canoe would have been faster (although I admit the problem could be my paddle technique). However, I think I prefer standing up while moving. The view is better, and standing feels a lot more comfortable than the typical canoe or kayak seat.

The Paddle Board also can be a lot more maneuverable than a canoe in certain cases. If you trot to the tail and sink the back, the board becomes quite easy to spin around. If you're in a contest to turn around, the Paddle Board will definitely win over a canoe.

As I tried to return to Worldwinds, I discovered why Rob warned against paddling back against the wind. Even though the wind came from the side, I had difficulty keeping the Pacifico tracking straight. Unlike a canoe, which generally has a keel to help the worst paddlers move straight, the Pacifico only has a fin at the back of the board. Proper technique, and forward headway is critical to staying on course. I'm not saying I had either, but I think it would have helped.

Also, I suspect that there are better places to stand on the board when the wind picks up. Since my body probably acts like a sail, maybe the place to stand is further back, closer to the fin. Honestly though, I just brute-forced it. I paddled stronger, really putting my knees into the stroke. That helped.

Once I got back comfortably close to Worldwinds, I noticed that Jason had finally arrived and made it out on the water. He was out trying to perform a water start. I was able to paddle right up to him and have a chat.

There is something to be said for not having a huge sail hindering you when you're just trying to stand on your board and chat. As I discussed water starts with Jason, I got to stand tall astride my golden Pacifico. Jason got to stand in the muddy bottom of Laguna Madre. I bet Paddle Boarding with friends would be a bit more social than windsurfing -- but where are the beer holders on this thing?

As I paddled away from Jason, I attempted to show off with my fancy tail sink 360 move that probably has a real name. I fell into the water instead. Of course! My first time falling off a Paddle Board, right when I'm showing off. Pity.

After fooling around a bit more, I returned the Pacifico and broke out my own gear for some windsurfing. Unfortunately, the winds remained mostly light with the occasional gust clocking from odd directions.

I spent most of the day sailing with my weight and the sail forward to help me follow the changing wind directions. Occasionally I got pushed briefly on plane, but mostly it was a low wind day. I'm not complaining though, the weather was at nice, and any day on the beach is a good day.

Freddy, Jason, and I all got off the water early so we could get to Cirque Du Soleil's Saltimbanco on time. For dinner, we stopped at the Island Italian Restaurant and devoured their awesome sandwiches.

We all met in the Best Western lobby after cleaning up. From there, we walked along the sea wall to the American Bank Center Arena. I thought it was neat how a mix of tourists, joggers, and Saltimbanco audience were wandering on the sea wall. As we approached the arena, we knew we were going the right way because the concentration of well-dressed Cirque goers increased.

Inside the arena, a brightly colored stage was partially covered by a white tent, obscuring the middle and back portions. Suspended above the stage, a decorative circular structure of interlocking rings held lighting equipment.

As everyone got their seats, some colorfully dressed performers came out on stage and began performing skits. These skits mostly involved pantomime, funny sounds, and audience members. If you want to become part of the show, front row seats are your best bet.

Finally the show actually started and the "tent" was pulled back to reveal the stage, some acrobatic apparatus, and a live band. From that point on, the show became intense.

There were trapeze girls who hung from each other's feet. A biker who rode a bike just about every way imaginable. Acrobats launched from giant swings to land on the shoulders of colleagues. In each act, the whole stage was alive with performers crawling and rolling and running as if they were catnip addicts.

After the show, we walked to Havana to get another round of tapas and mojitos from Stephanie. As we ate "El Infidel", we reflected on the crazy awesomeness of Cirque.

To round out the night, we paid visits to Club 21 and Bourbon Street. Other than accusing a few women of following us around, we didn't get into too much trouble at the clubs. Returning back to the hotel, we discovered several women riding hotel luggage carts down the sidewalk. I interrupted their fun to chat and try out the luggage cart.

One of the cart racers insisted that she had never at any point worked for the hotel. Of course she had. Who else would know how to ride a luggage cart? How else could she have recognized me as a hotel regular?

Defying death in a luggage cart seemed like a good end to the night. We said goodnight to the ladies.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trip Report Friday 21 March 2008

As expected, Freddy, Gumbo, and I woke at the crack of dawn for the drive to Corpus Christi. On the way to the beach, we stopped to drop Gumbo off at the hotel. Hilarity ensued.

The previous weekend, Freddy had left his cellphone charger in the hotel room wall socket. He called the hotel the very next day to ask them to look for it. They agreed to investigate.

We now asked the front desk about it in person. Did they find the charger? Nobody knew. But they did have "hundreds" of chargers for us to look at. None of them matched Freddy's phone.

The desk attendant agreed to contact housekeeping about the charger. What was the brand of the phone? Kyocera. What? Kyocera. Not Nokia? K-y-o-c-e-r-a. Okay...

In the mean time, Freddy and I decided to get Lunch at the Hooters on the way to Worldwinds. This time I got the "Three Mile Island" sauce on my buffalo chicken sandwich. Much better -- this sauce had flavor!

At the beach, the wind was gusty. I managed to get on plane a few times, and I pulled off a few water starts. Freddy practiced using his harness and performing tacks.

After a day of sailing, we cleaned up and paid Havana another visit. We ordered Mojitos and a bunch of tapas: an "El Infidel!" sandwich, Ropas Viejas, and roasted plantains. I enjoyed all of it, especially El Infidel.

We asked Stephanie the waitress about the sauce for "El Infidel!". She read the menu and told us it was cilantro aioli. Somehow the word aioli struck our funny bones. It became the official word of the trip.

Over Mojitos, Freddy and I devised a fantastic prank. You see, at a particular company, all the executives get Starbucks coffee in their break room. The engineers get coffee that nobody could even be bothered to name: Brand coffee. I'm told that Brand approximates the flavor of dried, recycled Folgers grounds combined with a hint of paint thinner.

We came up with a plan that combines princess and the pea and the Folgers taste test. Our hero would sneak into the executive break room and refill a sack of Starbucks with Brand. Ideally, a nice fresh pot of Brand could be made too.

Do you think the big-shots would pretend to like it if the bag was labeled Kopi Luwak?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trip Report Saturday 15 March 2008

At breakfast, we all met at Agua Java for the traditional coffee and treats. Freddy and I planned our brunch, while James and Jolyon braced for the long drive back to Florida.

Near noon, Freddy and I paid a visit to Hooters. We had (at least) two goals in mind: eating spicy food, and gathering intelligence on the nightlife. Valarie was able to help us with both. Sorta.

I ordered a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (hot) with bacon and cheese. It tasted OK, but I didn't feel that bacon and cheese really added to the flavor too much. Next time I'll skip it. Also, I found the "hot" sauce weak. I'll go three-alarm in the future.

When we asked Valarie about the nightlife, she asked us if we knew where Staples was. Freddy and I immediately laughed at her. Do the ladies dig office supplies? Nooooo, Staples is a street name.

At Worldwinds, the wind teased us. It frequently gusted me on plane, but never kept me there long. In addition, I noticed a second group of windsurfers sailing in a nearly perpendicular direction to my own.

I ran into Freddy and Randy just as Freddy's harness class ended. I mentioned the weird shifty wind, and Randy pointed out to me how further up the beach the wind came from a different direction and stronger. Strange!

I sailed out to the mystery wind and managed to get on plane for a bit longer than before. Quirky.

After using up the wind, Freddy and I returned downtown to desalinate. For dinner, we decided to try something new. We went to Havana to drink Mojitos and eat Tapas. We enjoyed "El Infidel!" sandwiches, some Cuban bread, Arroz con Pollo, and some tasty marinated steak.

After trying to get our waitress to laugh, we got bad directions to Club 21 and attempted to follow them. Freddy and joked as we walked how all directions in Corpus Christi have you go two blocks in "that direction", make a left, and walk two more blocks. Do the natives navigate by smell?

After proving the directions wrong, I asked some random girls how to find Club 21. "We're not from here. We're from Austin!" was the proud response. We responded the same, and learned that they were really from Georgetown or some such non-Austin place. Busted!

Eventually we found the bar -- really called Katz Club 21. The place was nice, but not the hive of women we were promised. The bathroom attendant explained that all the women were at some concert -- usually the place was packed with them! Hmm. I don't care much for the bathroom patrol or the ratio.

Freddy and I discovered another bar inside the Katz restaurant: a small, empty lounge. The general manager was hanging out here, and chatted with us for a while. Freddy and I returned to the main bar to watch the band and the dancing drunks.

As we chatted, some mystery admirer bought us some shots. Since no princess came to join us, we figured the GM sent them our way. We enjoyed club 21 for a while more before trying Bourbon Rocks, which felt even more gender imbalanced than club 21.

After the bars closed, we returned to the Best Western where we discovered three women chatting in the hallway. They didn't seem to want to chat with Freddy or I. Time to escalate.

When Freddy and I got to our room, we unveiled the ultimate weapon. As Gumbo ran towards me to lick my fingers, I took two steps into the hall. Missiles away...

Awwwww! Puppy!

We spent the next two hours chatting with the hall monitors, watching the spring break drama unfold in the other rooms. One room had an unintelligible argument concerning fidelity and slamming doors. Another had a constant train of odd characters intent on violating the hotel smoking policy. It lent a nice Spring Break atmosphere.

Trip Report Friday 14 March 2008

Friday morning we all woke up early for the drive to Corpus Christi. James and Jolyon left at 7:30 am so they could arrive in time for their beginner lesson. Freddy, Gumbo, and I soon followed in The Orange Toaster .

Freddy and I got subs at Island Italian after dropping Gumbo off at the Hotel. At the beach, the wind was adequate, but not quite planing speeds -- at least for me.

While James and Jolyon took their lessons, Freddy rented a 180 x-cite ride and a 5.5 meter sail. I used my personal rig: a JP Australia X-Cite Ride 145 and a 6.5 meter sail.

As the day wore on, the wind increased in strength. Gradually the wind grew until I was able to stay on plane the rest of the day. To top it off, the few times I needed to, I was able to beach and water start. I even was able to really steer while on plane. It was probably the best windsurfing day I've ever had.

Freddy had a good day too, he swapped his 180 in for a smaller 160 liter board. James and Jolyon enjoyed the surfing too. James thought he preferred traditional surfing, but Jolyon seemed really into windsurfing.

For dinner, we ate at Waterstreet Seafood Co. I enjoyed a Wasabi Seared Tuna. So did Freddy. So did James. After dinner, we walked around the Marina before calling it a night. We were all pretty tired from the surfing, driving, and waking up early.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Windsurf April

April drifts closer. Lets start planning the next trip to Corpus.

Communicate your availability by commenting below.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trip Plans: Corpus Christi 21-23 March 2008

We sail March 21st. As usual, I'll be leaving at around 7am on Friday. That way we can enjoy a full day of surfing all three days. Due to popular demand, this will be the second of two Windsurfing trips in March. If this weekend isn't good for you, look at the Spring Break trip.

Matt and Karen pointed out that the Circue du Soleil will be performing in Corpus on Saturday the 22nd. The show is at 7:30pm and the arena is not far from the hotels.

Are you new to Windsurfing or Corpus Christi? You will find tons of information on this blog. During these three day weekends, we spend a few hours each day windsurfing, and the rest of the time eating good food, enjoying the nightlife, and exploring Corpus.

Follow these five simple steps to Join in the fun.

You'll need a a place to stay starting Friday the 21st, and checking out the 23rd.

You can check out the suggested packing list here. Feel free to comment below, send me a mail, or give a ring if you have any questions. See you on the beach!

How To Prepare for a Windsurfing Trip to Corpus Christi

Taking a trip to Corpus Christi is pretty simple if you don't procrastinate. Hotels, classes, and board reservations can fill fast. Get this stuff done early so you can relax.

My currently suggested class sequence is as follows: beginner, intermediate, harness, beach start, fast tack, planing in the harness, water start.

If you're planning on taking a class other than the beginner, Worldwinds (and I) strongly suggest that you practice for an hour or two before the class. If you haven't been windsurfing for months, you may wish to practice for a whole day. You don't want to waste class time struggling to remember the basics.

The five step recipe for fun:
  1. If you have a trip invite please respond. If you want to get added to the invite list, send a mail to john AT windaddict dot com. If you get me your contact information it'll make it easier to meet up for dinner, breakfast, and beer.
  2. Make reservations at a hotel / vacation rental or arrange to share a room. You might find my Corpus Christi Hotel advice helpful. You are responsible for your own hotel reservation.
  3. Call Worldwinds at 1-800-793-7471 to schedule your classes (see below) and reserve a board for the weekend. You are responsible for reserving your own board and classes. Please tell them that you're with John Knox's group. Be sure to show up for your class 15 minutes early. Classes are 100% on the water instruction, you can't just sneak in late.
  4. Arrange to carpool and share your room. There is a per-car entry fee to Padre Island National Seashore, and a usage fee for the Bird Island Basin. Hint: the annual passes only cost about 2x the 1 time rates. Feel free to post comments on the trip post asking for rides, riders, rooms, roommates.
  5. Pack your stuff. You can check out the suggested packing list here. Be sure to read the comments there for some good hints.
Comment below if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

*Updated 7 April 2011 with new hotel and class information.
*Updated 28 July 2011 with new hotel information.
*Updated 4 March 2012 to move the hotel information to a separate article.
*Updated 17 July 2015 to add Park information

Trip Plans: Corpus Christi 14-16 March 2008

We sail March 14th. As usual, I'll be leaving at around 7am on Friday. That way we can enjoy a full day of surfing all three days. Due to popular demand, this will be the first of two Windsurfing trips in March. If this weekend isn't good for you, keep an eye out for the next dates.

If you're a new recruit, you can get a feel for the experience by reading the previous trip posts on the blog. You'll see a pattern: we carpool directly down to Worldwinds where we spend several hours building our windsurfing skills.

After having a suitable amount of fun on the water, we drive to our hotels Downtown. There we desalinate before walking to a restaurant to fill ourselves with glorious seafood or hamburgers. After that, we may play a few rounds of foosball and enjoy the nightlife. The next day, we do it over again, starting with fresh coffee and a nice breakfast.

Follow these five simple steps to Join in the fun.

You'll need a a place to stay starting Friday the 14th, and checking out the 16th.

You can check out the suggested packing list here. Feel free to comment, send me a mail, or give a ring if you have any questions. See you on the beach!