Picture a boatyard with weeds sprouting out of the dirt, chickens running from the occaisional cat or dog willing to give chase, and no real concern for pollution. I have worked in boatyards in the Bay Area, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Key West, and now even Rhode Island; I can assure you that none of our US yards are like this. I have seen men covered from head to toe in both red and blue bottom paint, while only wearing shorts and a t-shirt. The other day Kyber was on the bow, wearing his full face respirator and doing a bit of sanding; meanwhile, the hired pros are grinding for hours with only a bandana over the nose, like Jesse James robbing trains in the old west. That said, they do great work, and it sounds like for a fraction of what this would cost at good old harbor marine. They have boats ranging in size from small Catalinas to multi-million dollar catamarans, and we have been able to get most anything you would find in most chandleries in the states.
As Ben already showed you we got out with our kites a few days. Yes, I got my chicken legs super sunburned the first day (the angle of the sun is totally different here to the wind than at home), and I was wearing my fishworks pants (which are the same material as trunks) the second day. For those of you who get this: I am sure I it made Eric proud. I don’t plan on trying to revive the kitepants movement. Basically, the place we kite has one launch site, and it is between rock jetties. There is coral the whole way across, so you have to launch in the sand that has accumulated on the leeward side of the windward jetty, and edge hard to avoid the coral. Once you get out, there is about the same amount of downcoast current as leadbetter (at least leds on a good day), and twice the chop. You have to go with a bigger kite and bigger fins, and the chop and current combo make it difficult to edge hard enough to do much. There is no surf on this side of the island, plus the coral on the launch would destroy an FCS, so we are sticking to kiteboards. The wind tends to be fickle, and if you don’t make it back to your launch, you get to face patches of coral and urchins till you get to the highway. I have witnessed one fellow get to face that outcome. No one should be too jealous of us just yet . . . . But the light near the end of this particular tunnel is approaching: we plan to splash the boat tomorrow, and the locals have pointed us toward the better parts of this island chain for our watersports.