So it was no surprise that kiteboarding would now attract my curiosity. Two years ago, Sam had brought his kite on to Pratique when he crewed for me. Later on that season he told me he spent a few weeks on Cas en Bas beach in St. Lucia on the windward side, where he found Kitesurfing St. Lucia, run by a very cool lady named Beth. It was time to try it!
Cas en Bas Beach is "chill." (I have been dying to use that word in this blog!) For no other reason, it is worth going there just to hang out at Marjorie's and watch the scene. It has to be a lot less raw than in the earlier days, when Miss Marjorie set up her beach bar. Nothing but sand, wind and some interplanetary debris!
|Nice day at Cas en Bas Beach for learning to kite!!|
|I wait for my lesson to begin. Dog is unimpressed.|
The first two lessons were mostly in the shallow water learning kite control and how to body drag with the kite.
|A very patient Beth showing me the ropes.|
|I think I can do this!!!!|
|But the dogs remain skeptical . . . .|
|Beth is thinking it may be time to try it with a board . . .|
|. . . .but the 2 local guys are more interested in talking about giving the photographer a price for a fish!!|
|I did great, so I get to ride the jet ski back!|
My third lesson in Cas en Bas was devoted to getting me up on the board. It was really windy and a bit rougher than I would have liked that day. I went out with one of Beth's local instructors who was great following me around on the jet ski, and picking me out of the water, running me back upwind, and trying the whole thing once again!
|"You can do it!"|
Cue the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey" when the ape rises!!!
By the way, all of these photos were taken by Susan who was great behind the zoom lens during these three days. Great job, Susan, especially since one second after these two shots I was upside down in the water! Susan also overheard my somewhat amused, somewhat concerned instructor telling Beth at the end of the lesson, "Ya, mon. Dat guy crashed a lot".
|"Hey, am I a club member now???"|
The new puppies on the beach were also impressed!
|"Did you see that guy trying to kite?"|
Later in the season I had two more lessons, one at Frigate Beach in Union Island where they decided I needed more practice learning to body drag and self-rescue (very important skills for independent kiting, but not for "just wanting to get up") and one "group lesson" at the Club Med in Martinique. Neither of those two places were as fun, engaging and focused as the Cas en Bas experience!
Next time maybe one of these Union Island kiters will be me?