Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Epic Day!

Another epic day yesterday of this 2-week Habagat run. Forecast was 20-25 knots in Boracay so Cebu should get about 15-20. It was Sunday and after the mid-morning coffee, we headed to the beach! I was amazed of the car's ability to carry the rig inside the cabin but the bad news is that the gf have nowhere to sit.

Anyway, at the beach, main wind line was very far from the beach, about 100 meters. But once you reach there, it was heaven. Clear wind and small chops. I adjusted the footstraps inboard and it makes footstrapping easier with lower wind requirement, although lack of control when really going full speed. I actually used the fishermen as my buoy so I will have a point of reference.

After about an hour, I feel I have to go back to the beach. Kingking rigged her sail and we take turns with the board. Due to a smaller vehicle, we can only carry one board to the beach. I also let Mizuki ride with me in her sail just for fun.

Mizuki felt windchill after surfing. So, I made him a cape and now she looks like a superdoggie. :P

Kingking actually enjoyed sailing herself and is tempted to go farther.

I really love her abs. When can mine be like this? hehe

The bad news about Sunday windsurfing is the crowd. You have to be careful not to hit those heads. Here is Kingking killing the engine farther from the beach.

It will be another week or two before another tropical depression sets in. Anyway, next week is low tide so the timing might be perfect. I hope I can get a bigger van/pick-up before next week so we can bring our gears conveniently to the beach already.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A no-work holiday with a perfect Habagat wind

Southwesterly monsoon (Habagat) brings good wind but wet. However, if there's a tropical depression further north of the Philippines, Cebu gets good winds and a relatively higher atmospheric pressure. This translates to a windy and sunny beach day!

Yesterday was perfect. Forecast says it's 15-20 knots, high tide near noon and weather is cloudy to clear. It was also a no-work holiday because it was the late Tita Cory's burial. As planned, we honored her by wearing yellow and attaching a yellow ribbon on our sail. I finally found a good spot for the Habagat in Liloan where the SW wind is clearer.

At the beach, Mizuki keenly observed how to uphaul the sail. Looks like she is itching to hitch-hike with me again.
And yes, she gave it a go. Too bad I already took off. People at the beach were simply amazed of the dog's desire to swim by herself.

She tried it again when I came back from my initial run. I felt cramps on my calves at this time. Im becoming out of shape as I have also reduced my number of basketball days due to work commitments (at work or at home).

I just loved the yellow ribbon on the sail. It shows our nationalistic spirit.

Just a couple of meters from the beach is the main wind line and it's blowing hard while the water is flat. This could have been perfect to practice carve jibing but I chose to just enjoy speeding up and practicing control. I just noticed now that even a 1 cm adustment of the mast track makes a difference.

It looks like I have been shouting with joy. In reality, my core muscles are aching already, particulaly my abs. My calves are closed to cramping and my hamstrings are overstretched. I think it's time to go back to my windsurfing specific workouts in preparation of the amihan season in November.

My gf also was sailing with her sail, also having the yellow ribbon in honor of Tita Cory.

Mizuki's constant pestering of the kids almost put me in trouble so I just leashed her. She was also with her new sister (a Jack Russel Terrier) who was just introduced to the beach and still afraid of the water. In time, she will also be a swimmer, just like Mizuki.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Almost Done

The fiancee just finished painting the planks and we really admired how it turned out to be. It was just perfect for the southwestern atmosphere.

Last Saturday was blowing like nuts. It was around 20-25 knots, perfect for the small sail. I was contemplating on testing the waters but also wanted to do some carpentry works. The rain made the decision easier for me. I thought it was better to stay at home rather than at the beach complaining about the rain and lightning.

And so, I decided to build a house for my tools. These babies helped me a lot in building the house. What was supposedly done in 4 man-hours, I can do so in 1. This means if 4 people can make a cabinet in 1 hour, I can do myself in the same amount of time or if 1 person can build the cabinet in 4 hours, I can do it in 1. Still makes sense?

Funds are limited these days so I made use of the leftover wood from construction and just bought another sheet. The hardest part was arriving at a measurement to maximize the wood available while still having a cabinet that's future-proof (i.e., always have room for one more tool). I ended up something like 14 3/4 for the sides, 15 3/8 for the top and bottom and 10 3/4 for the shelves.

The cutting was done on the floor but the mask gave me a lung-ache the next day. Maybe I will have to buy a battle-grade dust mask in the future for my sensitive respiratory system.

After all the boards were cut to size, here comes the easy part: assembling. It helps to have two drills, one for the pilot hole and one for the screw.

The most time consuming was attaching the piano hinge but it was worth it. It will give enormous strength to the doors. I bought a local hinge (for Php 140) because the top brass brand cost something like Php 2,100 which is not very practical.

I was lucky that the new plywood I got has a very good face which is perfect for staining and achieving that exotic hardwood look. I attached the cabinet to the wall using SIX! 3/8 lag screws on 5/8 galvanized plugs. Drilling a 5/8 hole in a concrete wall is like a having a volcanic eruption. I was filled with dust and have to take a bath right after drilling. These plugs have some 100lb capacity in them which would make this cabinet take 600lbs! That's the Adz' philosophy: always over-build.

Now that the tool house is done, time to put some furnishings. Tools are small items and organizing them is pretty tricky but fun. I started with the rulers, squares, screwdrivers and saws which take up the most space. Next would be the tapes, chisels, pliers and clamps which I would do during my next carpentry session.

Tommorrow's forecast looks promising and it's already sunny. I have also bought myself a yellow boardshorts in honor of Tita Cory, the symbol of Philippine democracy and non-violent revolution, who will be buried also tommorrow. We shall honor her at the beach.
Mabuhay tayong lahat! L-L-L-L-L

Friday, July 17, 2009

Time to finish the construction

This post is totally unrelated to windsurfing, except for the fact that we chose this location for our house because it's nearer to the beach and we can go windsurf in a few minutes notice. The worst thing that can happen to a windsurfer is when he isn't prepared and there's a good blow coming (because the forecast is wrong!). Of course, when you live nearer to your homespot, you can stuff your gears immediately and be ready in no time. See, this is still related to windsurfing after all! :-P

Our house construction began in Dec 2007 and most houses are finished after 12 months. However, we decided to momentarily stop the construction when the windy season starts and resume the construction during calmer days. Hence, our schedule looked something like this:

Dec 2007 - started construction (even if it's Amihan season)
July 2008 - stopped construction (because Habagat is coming)
Sep 2008 - resumed construction (because Habagat is over), paintworks, interiors, etc.
Nov 2008 - stopped construction (because Amihan is coming)
May 2009 - resumed construction (because Amihan is over), fencing, pergola, hardscaping
July 2009 - stopped construction (in anticipation of Habagat)

You see, all the aspects of my life is already about windsurfing. :-)

So, anyway, even though I am an accountant in my day job, I just love to build things from woodworking to plumbing and electrical works. I build all the cabinets and most tables in the house. This explains why I have a complete line-up of hand and power tools at home. The labor money I saved is used to buy the power tools. What better way to justify my power tools spending spree!!!

When the construction began, I only have an electric drill, grinder, jigsaw and a couple of handtools. Most are owned by my dad whom I share genes of this building things thing. During the course of the construction, I have acquired:
1. a Maxsell electric planer during installation of doors (got it while it was 20% off at True Value Ayala)
2. a Makita 6.5 circular saw during cabinet works (should have got the 7.25 but the seller at Cebu Home Builders is very hostile so I went to Belmont and bought there instead).
3. a Yamato 200A welding machine at Belmont for gate steel works
4. an Ozito 18v cordless drill, Ryobi belt sander, Ozito cordless grass shear and hedge trimmer during hardscaping and landscaping works

I should now stop buying tools and build them a nice tool cabinet. I think after 1 house, they deserve their own home.

So anyway, the perimeter fencing works was finished last week except for the gate. What better time to buy a welding machine and learn the art of welding myself. My father have some working theory and experience and I asked him to start for me. Afterwards, I was on my own because he is very busy in his swine business (not swine flu).

One thing I have learned (the hot way) is to use proper clothing and protection since welding creates a lot of burns if you are not careful.
Striking the arc tests your patience big time but once you get the hang of it, it's actually easy and addictive. Welding the frame took about three days inclusive of the cutting and painting.

Our gate is not those fancy wrought iron designs. Just a faux wood (aka concrete board) to go along with the southwestern house design. I love the most part of cutting and installing the boards, except when I have to clip my long legs. It's painful and discomforting.

Fortunately, the fiancee volunteered to do the low side.

In time, she was doing the whole thing! I tell you, constructing a house is addictive.

Then, we remembered. This is the last basic permanent material that forms the house. So, we gave it a good ceremony for the last board to complete the perimeter fence. Kingking just completed the house.

It's amazing that 18 months ago, I just poured the first concrete of this house.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The first taste of Habagat

It's Tuesday, I am on vacation leave, I am still high because of last Saturday's victory, I have fully recovered from the flu and the Habagat is here. Life is good! What more could you ask for?

I waited for Kingking to arrive from her 36-hour hospital duty and we headed to the beach at around 1PM. Windguru registered 20 knots, constantly increasing every 3 hours. It was oven hot outside so I put a modest amount of sunscreen while still at the house.

As expected, the beach is flat as an ironing board. Liloan is at the east side of Cebu so the SW wind is offshore. It was howling and you can see that the coconut trees are swaying wildly.
Yet, I was disappointed. Wind was very gusty, very shifty and inconsistent at best. I can't even go back to where I launched. The most planing I got was around 30 seconds. The picture shows the periodic gusts as seen on the water.
But well, what was I thinking? Offshore winds are never reliable.
But hey, at least Mizuki found serenity at the beach.

...until two creatures came declaring her frienemies:

Big mistake, children! Mizuki loves the water so you cannot just go to the water for protection, thinking she would stop. LOL

I am already looking for alternative beaches for this SW Habagat wind. I am thinking of Cordova which is protected by a reef and having a clear SW view but it's not a recreational beach area so there might be fish nets. Hey, they are working and I am playing so they should have the right of way.

Another might be Tabuelan and Moalboal, both at the west side of the island. They have good beaches and protected reefs so I can finally train for that carve jibe I so long.

So, next schedule will be June 20, in time for my fencing construction to be finished.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soo happy to welcome HABAGAT!

Habagat season officially started last week, I suppose. It was howling last Friday, around 20+ knots. I am, however, unable to go to the beach because I still have some unfinished business in our PICPA basketball tournament. The tournament started in January, in the middle of the AMIHAN season, and is constantly conflicting my schedule to the beach. But because I love to be competitive and dont want to disappoint my teammates and our sponsor, I gave basketball a higher priority over windsurfing.

And so, the last hurdle was last Saturday's championship game. Even though I was having a flu that time, I am ready to give it all. I reckon, 90 minutes of intense energy expenditure is much better than days of frustration and regret for not playing 100%. I was fortunate that our team played very well and the chemistry seems to be there. Though this is supposed to be a blog about windsurfing, basketball is still relevant because you are preparing every muscle for that planing wind at the ocean. hehehe :-) Tip off time! I was sick, I feel I dont have the legs and look, the green guy seems to jump higher than me. :-)
In time, just like in windsurfing, adrenalin comes in and I am starting to feel the rhythm. I dont have to find my shots, rather, the shots find me. It is analogous to sailing in a way that if the wind is not strong enough to get you planing, you head upwind so you get to the stronger wind earlier. (Do I still make sense?)

Our team was dominant in every aspect of the game. We won by a margin of 20 points, not what you expect in a championship game. So either we played very very good or they must have played very very bad. Either way, the team is very happy.

And as icing on the cake, I also got the individual MVP award. After all the sacrifices I made (e.g., not being able to go to the beach when there is a basketball schedule AND/OR have to sleep early for tomorrow's game instead of go out partying), I must say that this victory feels FREAKIN' SWEET.
Thanks team. It's been a pretty good run.
Sunday was howling 20-25 knots but I just feel my body couldn't handle it yet after strenous usage of my back, arm and leg muscles. I feared that it will be SURVIVAL mode instead of FUN mode. And so, I decided to postpone my first taste of HABAGAT 2009 tomorrow, JUNE 2, 2009.


Monday, May 18, 2009

The resurrected sail

Last Saturday was supposed to be the day the newly resurrected sail was to be tested. It was windy. However, I decided not to because my legs were tired and my balance was so-so. I play basketball on Friday and gets drunk afterwards. It used to be no problem before but now, I need another day of rest. Maybe I'm getting old.

I was fortunate that the weather gave me good wind the next day with no rain and no lightning. It's summer and hot so the wind came really as a surprise. We went to the beach at lunch, CAREFULLY rigged the sail and was amazed by the new monofilm panels. It looks like it just came out from the distributor!

The wind was still northeast, 8-12 knots with moderate chops. I was surprised that the sail feels more powerful this time. I could feel the pull during gusts and actually have "moments" of planing. The sail also gives more feedback whenever I am approaching lulls. I think that as the sail becomes more brittle, it becomes harder to sail so a new monofilm would bring back the sail's properties as designed.

As expected, Mizuki doesn't want to be left behind. There was one time when she swam towards me but I was headed offshore already. Fortunately, I looked back and found her swimming offshore, around 20 meters from the beach. The chops were bigger than her and she could drown once her energy is all used up. I immediately tacked and let her sail with me.

I enjoying blasting around, testing the sail at any angles, tacking and gybing. I fell only once at 4PM, which means I sailed for four hours straight. My arms and legs hinted that we are done for the day.

So, there it goes. I got concerned that the sail wouldn't perform as designed with a replaced monofilm and it did exceed my expectations. I derigged and enjoyed chatting with the locals. Mizuki, however, was out of gas.

Notes: I am almost certain that I would need a bigger board to keep me planing in light winds, a 80-85cm wide perhaps for my 190lb frame. I am now eyeing on the Starboard Futura 144 but will have to wait a few more months to free up my budget.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Update on my Sail

My 8.2 Saber broke last April 4 and it was supposed to be replaced by an 8.5 V8. Unfortunately, the deal didn't go through because according to the owner, the cams broke while rigging the day before it was to be shipped to Cebu. He offerred me an almost brand new V8 (2009 model) but would cost twice of the second hand V8 (2007 model). With fencing construction going on, my finances are a little bit tight so new gears would have to wait a bit. I said I'll pass.

I decided to send the Saber to the Sailmaker in Boracay. The cheapest method is to send it via airport-to-airport cargo. However, because the sail can only be rolled rather than folded, it's a real challenge to send it in smaller planes. Planes flying to non metropolitan areas are smaller such as the propeller-powered Bombardier plane of PAL express.

The cargo staff measured the sail, then went to the plane and measured the cargo hold, went back again, and went to the plane again. After an hour or so, they said NO! The 8.2 Saber, which is 2.3m from luff to leach, cannot fit in the cargo hold of the bombardier. I tried other carriers to no avail.

I was desperate.

Fortunately, a larger plane travels to Iloilo where my sister is living. I asked her to bring the sail with her to Boracay in time for her vacation and so we worked out the details. It was a long travel for Saber, 200km by air from Cebu to Iloilo, another 200 km by land from Iloilo to Caticlan, 5 km by sea from Caticlan to Boracay and a few meters by hand to the sailmaker. Thanks, sis! Now you have to repeat the above in reverse order.

Initially, the two panels would only cost 10% of the brand new. After the sailmaker took a look at the sail's condition, he said it's more appropriate to replace ALL the panels, which brings the cost to 20%. The panels are brittle after hours of UV radiation and one small impact would be BAM!, the sail would have to travel again. I figured it would be economically advantageous to just replace all the panels.

One month of non-sailing made my waist line grew so I got very excited of my new cyborg sail. I just picked it up at the airport a while ago and the workmanship seems solid.

Wednesday's forecast looks promising so a vacation leave will be in order. I can't wait to sail Saber again!

Day 3


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Camotes Getaway - Day 2

It's Day 2 of our getaway and we decided to spend the whole day at the beach.

One of the best feelings in life is waking up in a tent, sleeping on hard sand, and just exploring our survival mode roots. Heck, I might try going into an adventure in a jungle, sleep in a tent, hunt wildlife for food and defend yourself from wild animals but that will be in a different blog sometime. :-) Good morning Camotes!

Full moon means noon and midnight will be high tide.  Thus, morning & afternoon will be the opposite.  Low tide means big beach!

We waited for the water to fill the bay. It was really an enchanting experience. We were just running around the bay chasing each other. Kingking was already in her pirate outfit while Mizuki was having the time of her life running and jumping around.

Mini pinschers are not known to be water lovers so we must have influenced her a lot for she felt instantly at home with the water. Here, she was waiting for Kingking to be near ashore so she could have a taste of the action.
Mizuki instantly became the beach mascot because of her colorful personality. When she gave it a go to ride with Kingking, people at the beach were applauding her.

Wind was onshore and water depth was waist high for the big bay. With white sandy beach and picture perfect scenery, this got to be the best place I've ever been to. I could take a picture of the girls in any angle.

Kingking decided to go further offshore where wind is stronger. But as there were rainclouds forming inland, the wind shifted to sideshore, which would make it difficult to maneuver due to the fish sanctuary.  Seabreeze was strong in the area with increasing winds in the afternoon but the bad news is that the tide was already low.  Thus, going there during fullmoon during non-monsoon months is not a good idea (as far as windsurfing is concerned).
I tried the rig and Kingking captured probably the best windsurfing shot in our vacation. I plan to frame this picture sometime.

Kingking decided to broom-surf also. Too much Harry Potter, eh? The water ebbed as fast as it flooded the beach and it was a long walk back. Grr... How quickly the day came to an end and the sun drained all our energies...