(Underway, Caribbean Sea)
Two days of watching countless kites fly by the boat and I had worked up the gumption to strap myself back in. To date my very short kiting career has been less than successful, so I’m getting a little tentative towards the launch.
As Greg continues to preach at me “learn by watching”, I felt I was more prepared to give this whole kiting thing a whirl. The set up I had down pat, launching was a moody operation I had deciphered in the Bahamas, and turning had dawned on me like swift smack to the back of the head. Obviously that’s how it works! Strapped in I quickly got a couple of smashes into the shallow water and sand out of the way and I was flying my kite. When it’s pleasantly soaring above me like a colourful birthday balloon I wonder what I was ever trepidatious about. It’s in that tiny carefree moment though that it takes a screaming dive and lurches me one way or the other. Regardless, after a while I had the hang of it and was controlling the kite body dragging back and forth in the little bay. An accomplishment Greg assures me is worth noting.
Since we’re now a couple with one kite I got my kiting fill and handed over the lines to Greg. He was up and gone across the bay in the time it takes me to reposition my bathing suit bottoms after an unexpected kite power up.
After our morning of successful kiting we headed back to the boat to lift the anchor and get underway to Panama. We got Oceanna prepped to go and fired up the engines and controls. When I took the covers off our electronics one little screen made stomach knot.
These last days we’ve had kites zipping back and forth all around Oceanna. It was real fun and I loved waving to the guys throwing up the hang loose sign as they whizzed by our back steps with a huge smile on their face. All fun. This morning as we were packing up my kite Greg let out a big laughing sigh and swore he just watched a more intermediate kiter run their kite into Oceanna. As we watched though, he got things back under control and sped off indicating nothing had happened. Now I’ve never seen any official stats, but in a kite vs sailboat battle I’d say 99% of the time the sailboat would come out on top. Well today was our lucky day.
I was now staring at our wind indicator that was displaying three dead lines instead of its extremely informative wind direction and speed. I barely wanted to tell Greg but knew I had no other option. A quick trip up the mast revealed that we no longer had that $400 instrument mounted up there anymore. Thanks kiter. Now don’t get me wrong I’m sure sailors sail all around the world with no wind indicator all the time, but Greg and I are not seasoned pros and had come to quite enjoy the information pumped out by that little guy.
With no other alternative we lifted anchor anyhow and set sail for Panama speaking not so kindly about the one Colombian kiter who didn’t even have the decency to tells us he’d busted up our controls. See ya Colombia.