15 Jan 2012 - Topping off a huge weekend


Location : Hampton-Altona
Kite : 10m Switchblade
Wind: 20 knot southerly

It has been an amazing 3 days - kited all 3 days - 4 hours on the first day, 2 on the second and 3 hours today.  And had a big night on Friday, and did a lap of Lysterfield on the mountain bike with Jamie and friends.  
So how could I top the weekend off ?  With a fantastic kiting session and a bay crossing from Hampton to Altona.
The session was magnificent - nice and warm, beautiful water and perfect wind.  Managed to land a board off (back foot) but didn't have quite enough power on landing to pull away - its close though.  So a couple are real close - front loop transition and board off.
After waiting for Tarren for a fair while, I decided to follow Pete out when it looked like he was headed for the beacon.  Pete stopped along the way and said something to me - I didn't really understand but I figured he was heading for a crossing.  The wind seemed good and although my legs were a bit fatigued from the mountain biking in the morning, it still seemed a good idea.  It is a fair way out to Fawkner beacon - and it is kind of lonely out there so you do not want to have any kind of gear failure.  There were two main things I was looking out for - trying to avoid a bird flying into my kite, and avoiding a line breaking.  My lines are fairly new, but I didn't want to test them so I didn't do any jumps during the crossing.  
The beacon marks the start of the shipping lane.  There are some big ships so it is best to motor through - this would not be the place to be floating around.  There is quite a decent swell out in the middle of the bay - some big rollers come through.  Once through the shipping lane, I glanced over my shoulder and saw a kite not all that far behind us.  I figured it was some kiter that thought he would tag along to the beacon.  I checked another couple of times and he was still coming - it couldn't be Tarren as he had a demo kite and it would be a gutsy call to take that on a mission across the bay.  As he came closer, I realised it was the Venom - ballsy move by Tarren riding a foil across the bay.  It was great to have him on board - good thing to do as a group.
We hit the shore north of Altona at the Cheetham Wetlands - the water was nasty and not much of a beach so we had 5 minutes break and decided to go back across.  On the way back I spied a small boat - which turned out to be the Spirit of Tasmania heading through the channel.  We gave the big shipping containers lots of space - you should avoid these at all costs.  
Once back into Hampton I was going to get a bit of air but my legs were so knackered there was no point.  Awesome to have done this - and totally unplanned.  A real highlight.

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