Friday, January 29, 2010

Could Friday be the day for Bird Island?

I know it is still 6 days away but Friday 5th looks set to be a good one. I am starting to wonder if it could be a good day to attempt a Bird Island crossing?

The crossing would be fun but I am concerned that there will not have been enough time for the sea state to rough up enough, it takes a couple days here for the slight swell to develop. Certainly it looks like the windiest day of the winter so far.

Looks like a great day for the speed course too... Need to fly Andy out with his gear!
More to follow!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How dark is too dark to sail?

Well finally the wind came back today, typical that I had to stay late at work and even when I managed to get home in time to catch the last glimps of daylight I realised that I had left my harness in Liz's car! Luckily it wasn't long before she arrived home and I managed to get out at dusk. Was great just to be on the water and tomorrow looks quite good by Amwaj standards...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wind on the way - At LAST!

Well it does look like it will happen, all I have to do now is get out of work in time! Looks like a great day for Bird Island but cannot get out off work and into a boat - gutted! Will be happy to get on the water though, could be one of the better days, or nights depending on the traffic, may need torches.

Check out the forecast

Fingers crossed more will follow...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bike travels

I went for a bit of an explore this morning on the bike and have included some shots from my travels. It is hard to get off road here because as soon as you do it tends to be too sandy.

Amwaj Lagoon, completed 18 months ago, still not open.

Bahrain off-road trails or it is a building site?

Fishing huts, it is amazing to see the old way of life still going on

More fishing boats

Seems to be windier than of late so maybe the forecast is coming good?

More to follow...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bang comes the wind

Could the winter wind finally be here? I know that it is Elnino is Hawaii and they are getting gangbuster surf and light winds but when the wind turns off here there is nother, nout, nada, niente!

When it is windy there is a hope that my spot can be fun port tack jumping with onshore riding - which is strange as there really is no shore in sight. My spot still nameless actually is about 1km out from Amwaj but to get to it you need to make you way upwind about 3km first. Close up to the wall that surrounds Amwaj islands it is a little like the corner in Pozo and you can get some decent air just be careful not to hit rock.

The above screenshot from Windfinder / Amwaj Isalnds predicts the best period of wind that we have had since arriving back from Hawaii in Aug, so to say that fingers are crossed is an understatement. Now I am trying to not too focussed just yet - it was meant to be windy today, it is not!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hydrophis lapemoides found in Amwaj

Also known as the Arabian Gulf sea snake seems to be living in the water here! I didn't realise that there were sea snakes here!

"The Arabian Gulf sea snake can be identified by its striking patterning, comprising 33 to 35 dark bands along the length of the body, contrasted against a background colour of yellow or pale green. The bands become significantly wider on the upper surface of the body relative to the sides, but are thin on the tail, which has a dark tip. The body is noticeably thicker and wider than the head, which is relatively small with a narrow, yellow band in front of the eyes. Like most sea snakes, the tail of this species is flattened and paddle-like, and helps to propel the snake through the water. Other adaptations to the living in the water include valved nostrils, which close when this species is submerged"

My friend's dog found one of these on the beach here at Anwaj islands... I wonder how many are in the water? Wanting to find out more I conducted some research; while there have been very few reports deaths from sea snakes worldwide bites from these little beasts can be fatal.

There are apparently a further 9 species of sea snakes in the tropical waters of the Gulf.

Hopefully there will not be more on this post!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kite set up

About time to try the set up and see what dummys ebay has sent me! Kite seems ok, pumps up fine just need to sort out a 5th line which shoudn't be too hard. Bar is a different story, its a bit of a mixed up mess, well it was cheap! Declan gave me some good tips and with a bit of work I should have a serviceable bar and lines to get started.

Not the best bar in the world!

So no flying for a bit but some ground work to do.

More to follow

Trainer kite sessions I and II

The first step in learning to kite is learning about the power zone and things like 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock, all new to me but I've heard people talking it for years. Last night I borrowed my friend Declan's trainer kite so that I could practice launching and flying with the small kite before setting up the 14m.

Session I (4-5 knots)

I must be honest to say that I struggled at first with keeping the kite in a stable position and crashed time and time again. Poor Carl had to keep running up and down the beach to rescue the kite. After 20 minutes or so things seemed to calm down a bit and I was starting to control the kite, just not very well. After one crash Carl called over to ask whether the kite had a hole in it when I got it! Arhh... end of session.

Session II (5-6 knots)

After trying to think of ways to tell Declan that I had ripped his kite (which he needs for a lesson later today) I thought that I would give it another go as the wind seemed to be a bit stronger. Actually tried a different spot with less rocks and a wider open space (Amwaj Marina). At first I was crashing all the same but it must be the motivation of having to run back and forth to fetch the kite on your own meant that soon I was startintg to keep the kite in the air for longer. 

OK time to try the drills I had been given. After about an hour I was starting to feel very confident flying the kite through the power zone and controlling where I wanted it to be. It was great to feel the power even with a 2m kite. So it seems time to go for it with the big kite.

Some good news - on returning the kite to Declan he told me that the rip was already there!

More to follow