Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jumping Jack Jive..!

Gizmo our pooch doing his favorite thing, jumping for sand..!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What we do when there's no wind

This week there's been no wind or waves here (actually quite unusual this year), so I've been out on my
new bike every afternoon, and like getting a new board it's a great motivator to have a new toy to play with.

I love riding the trails here. There's everything from mega technical single track in the lunar / desert-like volcanic landscape around where I live through to beautiful fast fire roads through the pine forests that start at about 800 metres up in the mountains.

Along with de rad action etc this video gives a glimpse of some of the amazing scenery here (looks great full screen on my 24" iMac).

I might not ride quite like these chaps, but I recognise a lot of the locations and ride some of the same routes - the very last misty shot for instance is where we go in the forest above La Esperanza.

More Mountain Biking Videos

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holiday in the North

We first drove to Masca, which has very winding roads,( not advisable to take this road if you have a hangover or have had a particularly large breakfast though ! ). The views from Masca are spectacular. Masca is a tiny mountain village perched on rocks with fantastic views of the sea .

Our next stop was Buenavista del Norte on the coast where we watched some amazing boogie boarders . Then had lunch on the edge of the ocean in a wonderful restaurant 'El Burgado' which was recommended by friends of ours who are travel writers link.

Boogie boarder at Buenavista

Restaurant 'El Burgado'

Our first couple of nights was spent in Puerto del la Cruz 'las Aquillas Hotel" which is a very reasonable priced hotel you get a one bedroom appartment with Jacuzzi and sea view for 140 euros for two nights half board. The breakfast is huge , it normally lasts us all day until the evening meal..

Puerto del La Cruz has amazing restaurants one night we eat at 'Mil Sabores' the meal came to 120 euros for four , but the standard of the cusine is so high. in London you would pay double for this kind of standard of cooking. The Chef in this restaurant is an artist his food not only tastes amazing but the presentation is beautiful..

Unfortunately I fell off my bike when we went cycling at our next stop 'La Esperanza' it was raining though !, but slamming on the brakes when going down a wet slope was probably not the best decision I have made lately. I basically flew over the handle bars and on my nose and ribs !. I managed to get back to the car , very slowly. I had completely bent my left brake but surprisingly it still worked.

Me at the start of our bike ride before I was covered in dirt..!

When I got back to the car my nose was starting to throb, so I went into a restaurant to ask for some ice for my nose but due to being a bit 'out of it', I forgot the word for 'ice' (helo in spanish) and asked the barman for 'helado' icecream instead. The barman then responded in a confused tone and said "What flavour, vanilla"? . I was by this time getting some funny looks from customers. I soon discovered why, when I went to the bathroom. I looked like someone who had been living in the wilds of the forest for a month. I was covered in dirt from head to toe..!

After lunch in La Esperenza and copious amounts of ice applied to my expanding nose, we made our way to the 'Parador Hotel' Mount Teide. The Parador is a fantastic place to stay to watch the sun go down and experience the silence and of course the rocky, moonscape, vista is incredible.

The evening meal at the Parador was excellant. The first course Richard had sardines with sweet red peppers and salad and I had a pan fried smoked cheese. main course Richard had goat stew in maderia and I had filets of pork in a mustard sauce, yummy !

View out of our window at The Parador late afternoon

Before sunset

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Toys :-)

Just had my birthday ... don't ask how old I am ... I'll just say that I'm well old enough to justify a mid-life-crisis style impulse purchase (or two) ... And no, it's not a Harley / leather jacket / topey (how on earth do you spell that word ? the checker comes up with 'ropey. dopey, to pee etc) ....

And here it is ...

It's a full suspension Marin cross country machine: Rift Zone Quad XCR7. Bought it from the excellent bike shop that we have here in El Medano: Bike Point (check em out)

I put those combination clip / no clip pedals on it (Shimano SPDs) so I can ride with 'proper' biking shoes or nip down to the beach with flip flops.

And the other new toy ? well, not quite so impulse or mid-life-crisis style but a beautifully elegant bit of design - it's this bike rack for our new Opel Corsa. It's actually integrated into the boot of the car and pushes back when not need. You can check out just how cool the design is (sorry, but it just is) in this little video:

So anyway, new toys ... and as you can see ... no topay ("copay, to pay" etc):

Wow what a bike ! Took it for a spin around my usual coastal circuit (Palm Mar - Faro de Rasca - Las Galletas) and did the ride about 15 minutes quicker, with hardly any stops and 25% less effort !

Here's a last pic of my old bike (Specialized hard tail) taken by my biking friend Anna, on a recent downhill ride. If you click on the pic and look closely you can just about make out the summit of Mt Teide in the background. It was taken near the start of the ride at around about 1200 meters and we descended to 800 ms on wonderful single track through the forest and saw hardly anybody else the whole ride. Definitely looking forward to doing that route again on the Marin :-)

Barelling, Mast Breaking South Swell

Hah umm yup, last Monday was quite 'interesting' ... I broke a mast in fact

We had a very unusual big long period south swell which lasted for three days with Monday being the peak. We usually only get this in the winter, and then only with wind from the right (Wly low pressure storm wind). As these pics show, the beach break at La Tajita (next beach around the corner from Medano) was massive, and I also heard tales of a freak monster 10m wave breaking over the port in St. Cruz.

The tide was also extremely high, with HT around 2pm, so this meant that I sailed most of the day in the south bay with a late afternoon session planned for the harbour wall (works best at mid tide). Looking up to the harbour - about 1 km away, the waves were breaking a long way out and then chaotic reformed white water was smashing against the wall (about 4m high) with spray flying high above it

The high tide beach break waves in the south bay were big and powerful, but not as clean as the winter version. Wind from the right is cross off and the south swell waves then peel right nicely, whereas with the normal summer trade wind from the left, these south swell waves were closing out instead of peeling left as per the normal wind swell waves. You had to be patient as the wind was quite light and gusty - I was on my 5.2m and 84l Mistral twin, and the sets were only coming maybe every three minutes, but anyway I did eventually manage get some fairly nice rides on head high + waves.

Around about 5pm I was fairly knackered but determined to check out El Muelle, so sailed up. I had just got there and was waiting for a set while sailing in my normal line up spot (first big mistake). Coming in, not on a wave and looking upwind (to my right, next mistake) I must have arrived at the exact spot where the south swell sets were detonating as without warning (well I would have had a warning if I'd been looking to the left, where they were coming from ) I got picked up, went into free fall, and got hurled over the falls.

Definitely the worst wipeout I've had here ... I was getting churned around underwater for ages, had the boom instantly ripped out of my hands, and then had to swim to the kit and luckily got to it just before it was all smashed up against the wall. So just a broken mast, torn luff tube and a long swim back. Unfortunately I didn't get the reward of at least riding the wave that destroyed my mast, and also the frustration of getting completely tangled up with the moorings of the boats in the harbour. At one point I was thinking of leaving the sail and boom on this fishing boat, paddling the board in and coming back later to get the rig. Anyway eventually got back to the beach with a lift from the bomberos' jet ski for the last few hundred meters - they couldn't get anywhere near the beach though, as there were still overhead beach break waves with loads of surfers on them.

ps many thanks to local windsurfer Ernst for lending me his spare mast.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

'Window to the Sea'

Tried out the Underwater Pentax W90 in the sea , it wasn't clear enough to photograph anything under the water so I just took some waves that were coming towards me, then played around with the HDR toning, etc..

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Wind is Back :-)

After the PWA left town there was a bit of a lull - not that I was too bothered as I was off the water waiting for a big hole in my toe to heal. This week the Kitey world tour is here (Medano is one big surfy party this summer :)) and the wind is back.

Unfortunately the summer grockle hordes are also here, with hundreds of boogieboarding kids and wannabe surfers in the water. This also coincided with some very high tides, leaving hardly any beach and mayhem wherever you looked :-(

So I was forced to escape upwind and sail at the harbour wall at high tide - not what I usually do as you get a nasty backwash from the wall and it messes up the waves. Or so I thought ... Turns out that it's well sailable at HT, and the waves are much bigger - woohoo OK so the water state on the inside makes you seasick, but the waves are much closer in size to the actual ocean swell - yesterday around about 2 to 3 metres :cool:. This has taken me nearly four years to discover, and I'm keeping it as my 'secret spot' (oh shite, that's blown it now :o).

Looks good for the rest of August windwise :) ...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 3

Daida Moreno

Daida Moreno

Danny Bruch

Danny Bruch

Daida looping over her sister

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 1

I watched the last few hours. Highlights for me were two perfect double loops by Koster (the only that I saw while I was there) and an amazing backside 360 airal he floated high over a breaking section. The best wave-riding for me was from Kauli, Danny Bruch, and Jaegger Stone.
Philip Koster

They only got a commentary going late in the afternoon and it was very hard knowing who was sailing let alone who won a heat - in fact following it from the website would have given you a much better idea of what was going on.

The buzz on the beach was great, but overall the action was a bit disappointing. The waves at Cabezo get smaller as the tide recedes (it was actually interesting to watch this happen, I've never spent two hours sitting there watching before) and so as the heats progressed the conditions got tamer - not what you really want. I was also quite surprised by how often they fall - even on ordinary stuff like tacks and cut-backs !

Perhaps it'll be better tomorrow, but a couple of hours was enough for me and made me realise how windsurfing is about doing rather than watching, even when it's watching the very best.

Naalisvaara Tuono

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PWA comes to El Medano (Day -1)

The event starts tomorrow ... so yesterdays post was 'Day -2' (minus two) and today is Day -1 ...

I've just been down to the site and the place is really starting to buzz ...

Mark ('Sparky') Hosegood is one of the PWA judges for the event. He's based here in El Medano and is very happy to be a five minute stroll from his casa instead of somewhere the other side of the world ...

Danny Bruch, one of the top wavesailors in the world, also lives in the town and has been involved in organising the event. He'll have the locals' support and perhaps some 'local knowledge' will help him to do well here ...

Danny's kit

Dario Ojeda recently quit as a pro because of the lack of financial support for professional windsurfers these days, and then went on to get a podium finish (third) at the recent event at his home beach of Pozo. The PWA judges were impressed with his fearless waveriding there, so he could have a point to prove and be one to watch here ...

Klass Voget

Klass's board

Nikki took some pics of the women windsurfers competing here ...

I watched them free-sailing for a bit (4.7m sails) and along with some very stylish stunts there were plenty of big wipeouts and visits to the rocks. This place is not easy to sail well and it doesn't take prisoners when you get it wrong !

Daida Moreno

Eva Ophuis Oude and Fanny Aubet

Karin Jaggi

Tsape Evi

Justyna Sniady

Julia Meijer

Laurie Treboux