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Desperate in Deutschland
ìItís windyî Bob was whispering
Yes, it was windy. Only we were in Munich (Bavaria, Germany), our kiting equipment was 10,000 miles away and so was the next kiteable water body. Oh ñ and it was 5:00 am in the morning.
Bob had his first symptoms of kiting-withdrawal. And we were just in the first days of our Germany vacation trip.
We stayed at my Dadís home in Munich and the family took loving care of us. We spent our time lying in the hammock in the garden sipping cool drinks which Christina my stepsister mixed for us. Then she sat down and we talked about kiting in the Bay area, in Alameda, Sherman Island, Waddell Creek, Crissy Field.
One day we could not stand it any longer and went to the next internet cafÈ. We just had to check how kiting was at home, in the bay area, in Alameda.
We logged in to ikitesurf.com with trembling fingers and the first was to check the current winds in the Bay then the forecasts. We stared on the wind sensor readings for about 1 hour, checked tides and the bulletin boards and almost started crying when we saw what we missed out on. Good windy sessions! Bob was shivering the rest of the day. Kite-fever.
The family got a bit worried when they saw Bobís condition and Dagmar, my step mom suggested that we drive up to Bansin instead of spending the next 7 days in Munich. Bansin is a little vacation-town on the island of Usedom which is in the Baltic Sea.
Bobís eyes got really big and it did not take a long and we all hit the road.
Bansin. The place is gorgeous! Wide sandy beaches, incredible antique Villas lining up at the beach walk. We stayed in one of those villas, directly at the beach, facing the water. The Baltic sea.
And there was Wind. Lots of it. Very gusty, very shifty.
Offshore Wind. Very offshore.
Bobís kiting withdrawal symptoms grew really serious at this point. He had read in ikitesurf thatî Alameda is crankingî written on August 13 2003 by Pipedragon .
Bob could not sleep any more and was fantasizing.
We were at this super smooth huge water body, wide, empty sandy beaches, temperatures around 90-100 F, offshore WindÖ. But no equipment.
Luckily enough we brought our trainer kite. A 2.8 m foil.
So I sat at the beach in a ìStrandkorbî (beach-basket) ñ those are basket-like large seats, made from a woven material where you sit in They are made so you can sit at the beach and be protected from the wind (ha! Funny locals!).
So I sat in the Strandkorb and Bob launched the trainer kite. The kite was violently dancing through the sky, driven by 5-35 mph wind which was changing direction every 5 seconds. Bob smiled happily. This was the last I saw from him for a while. He went out for body-dragging.
The kite was jumping left, right, up down, zigzagging and Bob splashed out into sea. Away from shore and moving fast in offshore gales towards the Polish border.
I jumped out of the Strandkorb, ran to the waters edge, waving my arms:îBooooob!....Come baaaaack! You forgot your passport!î
He made it back, by himself, without the help of the border patrol. Waterlanding the trainer kite, rolling it up and swimming in. It took a while.
He was so happy!
Beachgoers who had witnessed Bobís body dragging gathered around us and asked tons of questions. Some of them hinted that there is another water body the ìAchterwasserî which is usually used by sailors, windsurfers.
Next day we drove to the ìAchterwasserî. On the way we saw a car with a Windsurfing board on the roof. WOW. With squeaking wheels we made a 180 degree turn and began following that car with the board on the roof. We followed him for a few miles and up into his driveway. When he stopped we jumped out of the car and ran up to him to ask all the questions about whether he knows about any kitesurfing, where the best place is and so on.
The dude was a bit shocked but he mentioned 3 people who are kitesurfers in the area and there even was a kitesurfing school!
We took off to the place he described which turned out to be cool little shack with a breakfast bar, organic food, sailing, windsurfing rentals and lessons. And: KITESURFING lessons. Bobís pale face gained a little color at this point.
The owner of the place was the kite instructor and also proud owner of 3 kites and 2 boards. Our only mission was now to convince to him to give us (Bob) his equipment.
ìWe do not rent kitesî
ìBut Bob is a PASA certified instructor and we pay for itî
ìNo ñ I canít do itî.
ìWhen you give lessons ñ do you provide the equipment?î
ìYesÖkite, bar, board, harness, wetsuitÖsureÖî
ìOk ñ then we take a lesson. Here. Right now.î
He was rolling his eyes.
ìhmmmÖ.how good is heÖreally?î
ìBob really is a certified instructor, gave many lessons. He is very strongÖsee his musclesî I pointed to Bobs impressive arms and back, trying to hide Bobís equally impressive front. ìHe is a very safety conscious kiter too, very active in our local kiting communityî.
ìhmmmÖ.okÖa lessonÖ.I give you a lesson and will watch from inside. You take the school board and kiteÖcosts you 50 Euroî.
Bob dressed up to kite, pumped up the 10 m North Rhino and went to the launch. The launch place was a bit sketchy. The safe way there is that you walk out into the water and your launching buddy as well. The only way to launch on land was across a boat launch.
Bob took off.
And Bob was cruising up and down the horizon. A bit underpowered maybe. But cruising on butterflat water in lots of wind. A blissfull Bob.
At this point I knew that we would never ever be cured from that addiction to wind and water. And that it feels really good when you live that addiction to the fullest!
I have so been there! Wind, perfect beach and no kites!!! It makes you realize how drug addicts must feel. It was cranking back at Alameda that day. That is also my fear in traveling. That I will miss a good session back home!!
Hahaha, you guys are too much. Great story. Du hast viel spass in Deutschland gemacht! Sorry about my bad German...
Maybe on trip in the future to visit some family in Holland, I'll bring my gear as the North Sea is fairly close and kiteboarding is huge in Holland.
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