When we got back to La Paz we had a distinct list of items we wanted to complete: change the engine oil, replace transmission hose, fix windlass electrical problem and change the generator oil. While Tim was working on these items I would catch up on graphics projects for my clients and we would be super productive before we headed right back out to the islands.
Tim promptly changed the oil in the engine (turns out you had to warm up the oil before you pump it out of the dip stick tube), and I completed some Christmas graphics just in time for the holidays. Feeling good about our accomplishments, we dropped everything and went to La Ventana for kiteboarding lessons! We had a couple of friends who were down there already, and Tim had been talking about trying it out since we bought the boat. La Ventana is a huge kiteboarding and wind surfing beach. We thought we would give it a try to see how it goes. I, Tim and our friend David made the 45 min trip south of La Paz.
When we arrived there was no wind and a very quite, quaint little town. We decided to camp in our car at this cool spot on the beach with our friends who were already there. Next day, wind, and lots of it. Our first day of lessons was in 20 to 27 knots (1 knot is slightly more than a mph) of wind, and the beach and water were cluttered with kites.
As it turns out kiteboarding is way more involved than any of us were expecting. You don’t just casually give it a try. It would certainly take 2-3 days of lessons to get anywhere safely with those kites. We were all really impressed with the Elevation Kiteboarding school at Baja Joes. The instructors were some of the friendliest people we have met yet. We lucked out because we happened upon a girls camp that started exactly when we arrived, so they decided to let me join even if it was for one or two days. It was wise because women and men learn differently and would have different comfort levels with this sport. My instructor so thoroughly explained everything before we tried it and made us feel safe. You start by flying a little trainer kite, then a little bigger kite then the huge powerful ones everyone else is using. I could not believe how much power is behind those things. That is why safety is so important.
By the end of the first day we were body dragging with our instructor through the water with the kite. I had never drank so much sea. I couldn’t believe I was even doing it. Day two, we used the kite to drag ourselves down the beach by ourselves with a radio helmet for helpful tips and corrections from the instructors.
Then, they add the board. That was a whole other element to consider, and a whole other way to eat sea water. It was a really tough day, but so fun. I was able to get up on the board for about 10 seconds… which I saw as an achievement. We wanted to go for one more day, but we couldn’t afford it. It was cheaper than learning in the states, but certainly not a part of our budget. Merry Christmas, lets give each other kiteboarding lessons!
Now we are back and helping a friend with his dog until tomorrow. That gives us a deadline to finish our projects and get back out to the islands for a wonderfully private Christmas. Who else is snorkeling on Christmas day? It has been kind of hard to get into the Christmas spirit here. It is still pretty warm and we miss our families a lot. We are doing what we think will make a special holiday for us, but it is tough not being near the ones we love. We got a tiny tree and we are going to cover it in sea shells and lights. We have been collecting shells and will decorate it soon. I can just imagine all the holiday cheer at home.