Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blue Lagoon or Lagoon Blues?

The closest place to Cape Town where you can kite surf in warm water and get the "blue island style" feeling is on the lagoon at Langebaan. This is a very popular spot for kite surfing beginners as the water is nice and warm and when it is high tide then you can walk in knee-deep water for large distances making it easier to relaunch your kite or recover your board if you had to. This is also where I had my first two lessons, none of which went well. The third time I went there was without an instructor and with my recently purchased kite gear. That day I got dragged through the mud and eventually pulled my emergency release to prevent myself from getting dragged over driftwood en eventually over a fence. Ever since then my relationship with Langebaan Lagoon has not been a memorable one.

I eventually taught myself to Kite Surf at Dolphin Beach and I have always wanted to go back to Langebaan to spend a nice day on the lagoon kiting in warm flat water with no worries of sharks and blowing out into the ocean. As a matter of fact I was hoping of getting some nice pictures with my GoPro and possibly some of myself as well. My photographer unfortunately were running after my children so I had to depend on my GoPro footage alone. Two attempts to go to Langebaan after the mud dragging episode did not work out either. The first time the wind was too strong and the second time the wind never picked up as promised by Windguru. Driving out 110 kilometers only to turn around "empty handed" is not my idea of money and time well spent. Today was going to be the prefect day and my family was going with me, so I was rather excited. What I completely forgot was to check the tides. Low tide leaves you with not much water in the lagoon and taking into account fishing boats and the distance you have to walk to get to the water, it is actually better to face the cold water of the Atlantic than to arrive at the lagoon during low tide. With the full moon hanging around the last two days I could have had either the best day or another Langebaan disappointment. When I reached the lagoon I was in for the latter. Spring low and not much water to play on.

I first rigged up my 10. I walked all the way to the water's edge but soon realized that the wind was way too strong for a 10. Fighting my way back to where I left my family and the rest of my kit on drier sand, I changed over to my 7 kite. Pumping two kites in one day is already more than what I am usually prepared to do. I took my board with the GoPro secured and went for my session hoping to get some nice shots, despite everything that has been against me so far. Maybe I could revive my relationship this time.

As usual the water was nice and warm but as expected with not much room to move and in between some rather irritating fishing boats. My GoPro for some reason also did not want to stay up. I took about 20 pictures of my board and not much of myself. The foot clip of my GoPro also broke off and after making sure that I didn't lose my second GoPro in a year I decided enough is enough and packed up. For some reason I just cannot get the rewards that Langebaan Lagoon has given many kite surfers before. The place is beautiful and perfect for kite surfing, but for some reason for me it never works. I guess I will just stick to the cold water at Dolphin Beach and Kite Beach and leave the lagoon for the beginners and other more fortunate kite surfers out there.

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