Van Pough and Kiting (and oximoron)

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Emilio
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Joined: 12/19/2006 - 19:30
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Van Pough and Kiting (and oximoron)

Hi community.
Just to report my experiences of yesterday's 40F, 15G25mph sailing (kiting) at Van Pough.

Due to no other kitter at Old Federal, I decided that it was better to hang with the other "crazy" people in the lake, so I went to VP with Gene. At least somebody can help me or call 911 if anything goes wrong (so I thought) vs being alone at Old Federal.

Windsurfers, VP is all yours....no question asked. Not only you have been here longer (we respect that), but also it is very difficult to practice kite in this location. Definatelly Old Federal is better suited for kitting than VP.

The below explanation wors if wind comes from 260 to 270 degress (WEST), as it was blowing yesterday.

Due to low water level, it is possible to launch from VP with the help of one person carrying the kite as far into the wind as possible. That means literally that the person helping needs to get in the water some 10 ft for the kite to catch some "good" air, otherwise, the islands west of VP make too big of a shadow to have any good wind right from the beach. Once kite is launched, there are additional 20-30ft of swirling wind, therefore you have to go downwind to be able to plane until you catch the really good wind, then is showtime for as long as you can hold it....or as long as the wind doesn't lul long enough so you derive donw wind to guilligan's island just off VP (I know it has another name, but that is how I felt yesterday)....

If you are kitting in VP, and luls below the wind speed required to hold ground against the wind, and you start deriving donw wind, you get sucked into an area where the wind becomes LOCO. That is the space inbetween VP and the island in front of VP (refered above as guilligan's Is.). This space is in front of the beach (left of the pier with wood handrails) all the way to the boat ramp. If you are sucked into this area, it is much better to get to the island while you still can kite downwind, because the alternative if you get blown past the island is a LONG...LONG...walk back to VP.

I did a good 1 1/2 hr sailing and came out with my pride intact, in fact it was quite a nice session. I had this feeling of quiting (kinda of 6th sense) that I did not listen to, and I over indulge with my 2cnd session.... where off course it luled, and I got into trouble.... end of story, I ended up stranded in the island, where I deflated my kite, roled the lines, and prepared for a long swim. Thanks to Gene, that picked me up halfway from the island to VP in his kayak. Yes, he was not just playing with the kayak to kill some time, he went out to a rescue mission... So, once again, Gene saves the day to somebody. Thx buddy!!!.

Second concern when kiting in VP. When you try to get back to shore, you sure has to come in hot...I mean fast, so you still have some apparent wind on your kite for the last 30ft of so.... and I will recomend that you also come in a donwwind fashion, if you want to make it to the beach. Otherwise, your kite just falls from the ski as the wind - when getting closer to VP - gets swirling and kite losses ability to fly.

All and all, VP is a great sailing point with a long fetch, if you have a floating board that allows you to get to the good wind. For kiters it is difficult to launch & to Land the kite, and there is no room for error, or bad luck (the not so uncommon LULS of gusty lanier) cause you get suck into the Lanier's Bermuda triangle of sorts.... So kitters, respect the place, and always use Old Federal on W-wind if you can.. much more friendly to kitesurfing.

rgds,
Emilio.

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 12591

Emilio, welcome to Atlanta, officially. These are many of the same reasons I discourage beginning windsurfers from sailing there. We (windsurfers) can limp out to the wind line because we (usually) float better than you. But the cove we start out of makes the best of windsurfers look like a kook sometimes.

Incidentally, I believe the semi-official moniker of the island you visited is Bozo Island. There is a album in the picture gallery about it - Gene was there maybe 18 months ago.
http://windsurfatlanta.org/modules.php?set_albumName=BOZO_Island_Rescue_3-05&op=modload&name=Foto&file=index&include=view_album.php

Other lucky sailors have ended below that at Chestnut Ridge campground which is a surprisingly long walk and a few folks have had to hitch a ride back from Aqualand.

VP is tough because you have to be able to sail back to a very specific spot; you don't have many good bailout options. Most people get stuck downwind although I, memorably, almost got stuck several miles upwind once. OF from what you and the fellow kiters have written is definitely more kite-friendly and beginning windsurfers are much better off at Sunrise if the conditions are challenging or difficult.

The other thing - we do try to look out for each other on the water. We've been lucky here that nothing has happened over the 30 yrs of boarding. Even TC got lucky when hit by a boat as it was a glancing blow (and still bad enough at that). Glad your story is no more than an adventure.

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gene_mathis
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Joined: 05/17/2002 - 05:00
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Actually, it was Gene & DAVID at Bozo island 18 months ago. And I have had to hitch a ride back from Aqualand and Chestnut Ridge before. Van Pugh, got to love it!

Gene

Gene Mathis

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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I swam back that day from ~ 1/3 of the way to Bozo.
- Richard, not sailing, just reading
Happy New Year everyone!

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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
Posts: 4477

Well, it reminds me of that old saying "Galts sailors never end up at Bozo island."

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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I know Gene is not talking about me. Of course, I have never been Boozoing in my life. He must be talking about the other David.

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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
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Aren't you David B. Wade?

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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webguy
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webguy
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Resue from the lake patrol $100.-, tow in from friend: 1 12 pack... Gene's smile - Priceless.

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Mel
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Joined: 02/11/2005 - 21:15
Posts: 117

Emilio, man Van Pugh rocks for kiting! Hard wind, nice beach, good company, nice ramps... What is it that you don't like? Smile

Kidding aside, I think that on a NW wind it is a nice place to kite. You don't have the wind shadow that made coming in and going out difficult on a W or worse SW. I didn't go down to Bozo Island but I think it was even clean down there judging from the water. Plus you have Gene and his Kayak on rescue watch. Wink

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