donderdag 28 februari 2008

This & That

Last Sunday in the beginning it didn't look very windy. So I spent my time doing others things when suddenly it turned out to be windy after all. Dropped everything I was doing and rushed to my home lake with my freestyler & 5.7 in the back of the car.
It became a short ride as the wind went down pretty soon after. Felt a little bit rusty after being out of the water for a couple of months now. But it was nice to be out again anyway.

Tested out the helm cam to see if the angle of filming is right the way I fixed the cam on to the helmet. No special footage so far. Also because there was nobody else on the water. Gonna try to shoot some more upcoming weekend.

Today UPS dropped off the new 2008 Goya's at my office. Just right on time as a lot of wind is forcasted for upcoming weekend. If the forecast stays like this I will have more than enough opportunity to try them out. What a timing!

zaterdag 16 februari 2008

Bright weekend

Sun is shining bright today. Temperature is just above zero. To stay in shape I went for a two-hour-bike-ride today. Tomorrow I plan to go for a long walk. If I can keep up this way of training I will be in excellent shape when the windsurfing season starts again.
In the mean time I am waiting for my new sails to arrive. Very exciting how they will look. But even more how they feel & the handling will be on the water.
Seems like end of the week temperature will be around 10 degrees again. Hope so! This might be a change fo me to get out on the water again. My first session in 2008. I keep my fingers crossed...

dinsdag 12 februari 2008

Home again

According to the travel guide Madeira is not really suitable for windsurfing as there might not be any wind for days. Well, while we were there the wind has been blowing strong day in, day out. Especially on the mountain hills we had to be careful not to be blown off the road. Still, I guess, Madeira probably isn't a really good place for windsurfing as there are hardly any spots to go out in the water properly. At least as far as we have seen it. No sandy beaches on this island. A couple of rocky beaches here and there. The larger part of the island exists of cliffs & rocks. No opportunity to get even near the water at all most of the time. On our last day we did see some windsurfers. In the harbour of Funchal a couple of kids hit the water. It didn't look like very comfortable sailing to us though.

Bodyboarders & surfers are a bit better off at Madeira. We went to Sao Vicente as we heard at this spot big wave contests were held in the past. But when we were there it turned out to be totally flat. We did find some waves in the end by accident in the harbour of Machico after a very windy day. Apperently swell just started kicking in as we suddenly saw bodyboarders and surfer rushing to the beach out of nowhere to hit the water. The riding looked a bit tricky as all the way to the beach was not an option. The boarders had to turn in time in order to not hit rock bottem on the shore. With a nice scenery it was fun to watch the guys for a while before moving on.

If you go to Madeira it is worth while to rent a car to go check out the island. But, be warned: you shouldn't be afraid of hights. Over there it is all about going up and down the hills (mountains). Especially if you drive around at the northern part of the island. But as a reward you get to see beautiful hills and valleys in return. My very first hiking experience was great. Didn't think I would like it that much. Being on Madeira we discovered that Tour operators recommend to walk with an organized group instead of walking around by yourself. We did some trips on our own like many other people we met along the way. Which in fact wasn't any problem. Still being aware of your safety is important as sometimes roads are very small and protection at some points not around.

Walking alongside the levadas, irrigation channels which can be found all over the island, was a wonderful experience. Didn't know what to expect in advance, but after getting used to walking up steep hills it was really fun to do. We used a map to set out our route every day- and got lost a couple of times. Need to get some more experience with that and maybe a travel guide with more detailed routes next time.

After 8 great days we landed back at Schiphol Airport yesterday afternoon. We already got totally into the mood to go surfing soon again cause of the nice weather on Madeira. So we were very happy that it turned out to be less cold back in Holland than we thought. Looking foward to our next hiking/(wind)surfing upcoming June. For now I hope to get out on the water as soon as possible again.

zaterdag 2 februari 2008

Few days off

As of yesterday 16.00 p.m. I am enjoying a little holiday break. Started with a birthday party yesterday evening. My little nephew turned 5 years old. He and his baby sister are wonderful kids. Always enjoy spending times with them.

Mondaymorning at 09.30 I set foot on Madeira. Looking forward to lie in the sun, walk around in beautiful nature, taking loads of pictures, eat Portugues food and drink a glass of wine in an outdoor café somewhere in Funchal. Just two more days to go. Can't wait to be there in real life...