Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't leave!! OK, if you're going to leave, don't die!!


Izzy can be dramatic.

After the thunderstorm rolled through, the winds were near calm.  I decided to toss the paddleboard in and get some practice.

Heading away from the dock...


It was close to Izzy's lunch time when I shoved off.  Her reaction...


"Don't go!  Don't go!  You haven't fed me, yet!  Oh my goodness, what if you die on that stupid board?  Momma doesn't feed me as good as you do - I'll starve!!  Don't gooooooooooo!!"


Yep - just a bit dramatic.  ;-)

The paddling went well.  I did a couple laps up and down the canal... and lived... to tell the tale AND feed the cat...


Back to the dock...


Joan asked why I don't make my arrival standing up, then just step up onto the dock.  Yeah, I'm going to have to get more solid on that whole standing thing before I consider lifting one foot off the board.  ;-)

---------------------

After I cleaned up, we went out for a late lunch at our favorite local Italian place.  Great food and some left over for supper tonight.

After lunch, Joan wanted to pick up a few things at the store.  "Don't you think it will be kinda crazy there?" I asked (Holy Week).

It was.  The parking lot looked like the weekend before Christmas.  Almost all the cars had Mexican license plates.  The store was packed... at the risk of not being politically correct, they drive shopping carts the way they drive cars... mayhem!  Kids running all over the place.  Carts left in the middle of aisles... sideways.  Joan went on ahead... "Throw me the bread, I'm going long!"

I think we were the only ones in the store that didn't have a cart that was overflowing - I expected the checkout to take forever, but a checker saw our measly bit in the cart and said, "I'll open this express lane, if you're ready."

"Yes, ma'am!"

Traffic going through town was more like spring break.  And Izzy was worried about me making it back on the paddleboard??


Rumbling...


Not my belly.

We laid in bed this morning, listening to thunder rumble across the sky.  I was going to go out for a paddle this morning.  Maybe not.

While surfing this morning, I came across this link...

http://www.zillow.com/blog/whats-it-like-living-in-a-houseboat-132119/?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=houseboatliving

I like those floating houses; not really "boats" the way I think of 'em.


(file photo from last summer - in Victoria)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dinner and a movie (and a blast from the past)...


Well, more like lunch and a matinee.

This is "Holy Week" - one last tourism push on South Padre Island before the summer season begins.  This is a holiday week for many in Mexico.  Quite a few condos on the island are owned by Mexican nationals.  There is an influx of Mexican visitors this week.

We thought it would be a good time to take in a movie, before the traffic gets thicker on the island.  Lunch at BurgerFi!  Joan wanted to see Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner.  The movie is about the behind the scenes happenings of the NFL draft.  We both enjoyed the movie; Costner is believable and charismatic as the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns... the last minute trades and negotiations were fun to watch.

Two thumbs up from us.  Two thumbs up for the lunch, too.  ;-)

We stopped at a surf shop on the way home to pick up a leash for the paddleboard.  In the parking lot of the surf shop, we came across this...


Yes, that is a genuine 1964 Honda 150 Dream.  Same year and model of the first motorcycle I owned.  In my mind, it was bigger back then... maybe it just seemed bigger, compared to all the Honda and Suzuki 90s that were popular back then?  Maybe I was smaller back then?  When she saw it, Joan said, "Goodness that is little-bitty."  Yeah, that's exactly how I'd describe it.

Turns out, the bike is newly acquired by one of the guys in the surf shop.  Not in pristine condition, but it still runs.  Not bad for a 50 year old motorcycle.  A fun little blast from the past.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oh, sure - NOW it's clear...


Full moon tonight, no clouds.  No "blood moon," no eclipse.  Still pretty...




Didn't get mooned...


I was looking forward to the red moon and the lunar eclipse last night.  I got up at 2:45... cloudy.  Windy.  Cold.

I made up for it with a nap this afternoon.  ;-)


Monday, April 14, 2014

Here it comes...


20 minutes ago, it was calm.  Joan just got back from the grocery store and said it is starting to sprinkle on the other side of town.  Then, the gust front hit...

video


If that doesn't work for you, here's a YouTube link...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNV6ZTWfRs4&feature=youtu.be

Temperature is dropping fast.  It was in the 80s, heading to a predicted low around 50º.  In April.  If Mother Nature has a facebook page, I'm NOT clicking "like." ;-)

Glad I got in the maiden voyage of the paddleboard earlier.


Baby steps...


Well, maybe that should be: baby strokes?

When I got up this morning, there was a light breeze; already in the 70s and really humid.  Overcast.  I checked weather: current conditions was showing the wind at 10 mph.  The hourly predictions were showing it was going to increase.  A Wind Advisory for this afternoon, with winds from 30 to 50 mph!  A good chance of thunderstorms.

But, right now, it was light.  I debated - should I toss that board in the water?  A few minutes later, I looked at the trees across the canal... those are my anemometer... it was calm.

Calm?

I put on some swim trunks and went out to get the dock ready: I put a piece of carpet at the edge of the dock and tied a line with some hand-holds tied in to an upright.  I put the fin on the paddleboard, assembled the paddle, tied a short line with a loop to the front D-ring on the board.  I put on a pfd and plunked the board in the water!

Now what?

I have been looking at YouTube videos - they said to start in the kneeling position.  Getting from the dock to the board was easy...


I didn't know Joan was out there with a camera.  After the fact, I am glad she took these.  I paddled away...


I went down the canal a ways, practicing what I had seen in the videos.  Yep, I can turn; can even paddle reasonably straight.  I was pleasantly surprised that balancing in the kneeling position felt pretty stable.  On my way back to the dock, I saw the Blonde with the camera...


"Hi!  Look - I'm paddling!"  (reference to Bob, tied to the mast, in the movie "What About Bob?"

I made a 180º turn and pulled up to the dock.  "How was it?" Joan asked.

"Well, with a whole 10 minutes into it - not bad!"  The tide was good for being able to reach out and pull myself onto our dock.  We visited for a bit, while I worked up the nerve to try standing.  I stood by the dock... wobbled... sat back down at the dock.  Thinking to myself, "Self, this is probably not a good idea, standing by the dock... if I fall, I am likely going to whack myself on the dock."  I sat back down on the dock.

The videos said you will be more stable when standing with your paddle in the water.  I positioned my feet again, gave a little push off from the dock and stood up... not sure how it looked, but I felt like a baby giraffe right after it is born - there was some weaving and wobbling.  But, I remained standing...


The wind was coming up again... probably 4 mph, gusting to 5.  It felt like the gale-force they are predicting for later today.  I paddled down the canal...


I practiced some turns.  Tried going straight.  Tried to "look out" like the video tutorials said to do, but found myself looking at the blade of the paddle and where it was going into the water.  I tried to "feel it" - using my core instead of just my arms.  Oh yeah - I feel that in my stomach.  I went down the canal aways, did my best 180º turn... felt like I was flying... I'm sure I was zipping through the water at 1, maybe 1.2 knots.  I may have to put off racing until my next time out.  ;-)

Kidding aside, I was happy just to not be swimming around in that canal.  Heading back to our dock...


You can see by the big rooster-tail behind me that I am really flying!  Or, not.  One more big decision before I came up to the dock: approaching it standing or kneeling?  I decided to gracefully drop to my knees...


What was that loud noise?  Ohhh... that was me, plopping down... maybe it wasn't as graceful as I thought?  BUT, I was down and reasonably dry!  Well, except for the sweat pouring out of me... humid, warm, not much breeze (are you sure?), and a bit of fear.  Back in our skiing days, the saying used to be: if you aren't falling once in a while, you aren't pushing it.

I go with a different saying these days: it takes longer to heal - try not to fall, dumbass!

I made it back to the dock without incident and pulled the board out of the water.

All in all, I'm calling this a successful first outing: I wasn't sure I was even going to try standing, so I exceeded my initial goal (of not drowning).  Didn't break anything (equipment or bones).

After some rest time, I do feel like I been doing sit-ups... and I can assure you, that is not the case.  This may turn out to be good exercise.

:-)

(Thanks to Joan for bringing out the camera!)