I’m taking the next week off for vacation to drive down to Florida and visit a friend down in my college town of Melbourne Beach. I took the off chance to divert slightly on my route and stop off at Isle of Palms to try to catch a kiteboarding session. There has been absolutely NO wind for 3 weeks in IOP, which is very strange for this time of year, when it normally fires every afternoon like clockwork due to the lowcountry thermal. Coastal Marine Forecast indicated a chance for late afternoon wind, so I took a chance. It wasn’t looking promising on the 2.5 hour drive down from Aiken, but as I made the final approach into Isle of Palms, I saw a number of kites in the air. Oh Yeah!!
Because there has been a wind drought, everyone was there and I saw quite a few of my kitebudddies there. Wind was pretty light, 14 – 16kts, so I went out on a 14meter and a strapless surfboard. Had fun for about 20 minutes, there were waist high waves, which were hittable. I saw a storm coming, but it didn’t look threatening, until I heard the ominous crack of thunder as I was tacking out close to a mile offshore. Nothing will get me heading back to the beach more quickly than thunder, when I have a kite up, not even a fin from Mr Gray.
Waited it out on the beach in the driving rain with my friends for a while, and eventually about half of them gave up and bailed. Zack had 2 SUP’s on his truck, and he was kind enough to let me borrow an epoxy Infinity 11’6″for an hour while we waited for the wind to fill in. He is the standup paddlesurf soul ninja, I am a rank beginner, but had fun nonetheless.
Eventually it cleared up, the sun came out and the wind returned. We put the kites back up and had a great session for an hour or so. The direction shifted, making the lefts totally slappable on the inside, loads of fun. A blazing red sunset dropped beneath the clouds which made for a pretty classic session in the glassed off connections. Total session was about 12.5 miles, include the Stand-up Paddlesurfing, according to my Garmin Connect trace
We hit the beach tired and grinning ear to ear, which was the perfect finish to a tough week in my business.