Saturday, March 26, 2011

Surfing (finally)

well - we have finally gotten there, surfing has begun.  The conditions are right and the boys are psyched.  I have many, many pictures from since we have gotten back to the island from Florida but I know people are anxiously awaiting photos from the boys surf lessons.  So I am doing a post with these pics and then I will share the others (lots of science project action).
As many of you know the boys got surf boards for christmas and they have been chomping at the bit to get started.  Unfortunately winter time on the island lends itself to very windy conditions and big waves.  The boys are taking surf lessons at the Quicksilver Surf School at Le Galion on the French side of the island.  The surf spot is out on a reef so we have to take a boat out - the boys were really excited.

Surf Central

this is the boat that takes us and our boards out to the reef

the boys boards - ready and waiting

dillon was pretty excited to get things going

the boys were checking out the anchor system

of course we brought Alexi along (she had no idea what she was in for)

the surf shack from the water

although it appeared to be perfect weather when we arrived as we were riding out on the boat the weather turned on us - some gusty wind and rain clouds began to appear

the boys were a little apprehensive

this photo is a little grainy - alexi could not find the zoom button hehe and she was on the boat - which is a little ways from where you catch the waves - but I am on the left with the two boys.  they braved the conditions and gave it a try - although ro required I swim out by him (really wishing I had brought a board at that point)

ro resting on the boat after some time in the rough water

Alexi planned on coming with us just to check things out - she was interested in giving surfing a try but wanted to how it all worked first.  Well, little did she know she was going to give it a try right then.  I think she had a good time - even in rough conditions we got her hooked.  So that was our first day of surfing - a bit of a rough start but as we were going to bed that night the boys and I chatted - it would take some time getting used to a new surf spot and when it is sunny and less windy we would have an even better time.  The plan was to go back the next day.........

with the sunshine out and the plan for mom to paddle out with him (this spot is unique for the boys - you dont walk in the water from a beach and go catch a wave - you are in the middle of open water and it can be a bit intimidating keeping track of your surroundings)-ro was feeling a little more postive about day 2.  dillon immediately commented that today will be a better day when he looked out on the water and the conditions were much more appealing

dillon made sure we brought his thick surf shirt to prevent the purple lips and shivering he had the day before

alexi was ready for a full on lesson this day

we think she is a natural for sure (the funny thing is the waves look tiny in this photo and they definitely were not)  perfect for learning though

dill catching a nice one - day 2 was definitely a success, we all caught at least a few waves, the sun was out, it was not as chilly, the winds were gone and we all had a super fun time.  I took the boys for another lesson later that week - it was another successful surf day.  The next week conditions were a bit big for the boys but their instructor Frank told us a northern swell that was coming should bring some good waves to Plum Bay, one of our favorite beaches that is close to our house.  We invited our friend Karla and her three boys to come hang out with us at the beach and she so kindly took pictures of Dillon and I out in the waves (that ended up being really fun) and some really great ones of the rest of the boys playing on the beach.

getting ready to head out

the waves in the middle of the bay were big enough for dill to catch and we did not have to paddle to the point but this was still a ways out there

they were definitely rolling in - but with no rocks or reef under him to worry about dillon was going to try to catch some

the water was constantly changing colors

dillon did great

great action shot - thanks Karla

I do not have my own board (hoepfully that will change soon) so I borrowed Ro's to paddle around and hang out with dill (there is no chance I will ever catch a wave on his little board)

the water was amazing to watch as it changed

love this one with the beautiful sailboat in the background

haha - dill got caught a little side ways on this one

just hanging out together

dill and I had a great time - it was exciting to see him gain the confidence to go to a new spot and find some waves, learning how read them and give it a shot - it feels good to figure it all out on your own  - to paddle hard and catch your own wave.  I have really enjoyed getting out in the water with dill and ro and look forward to many, many more surf sessions together.  This week we went back for another lesson and Ro caught some really beautiful waves - his eagerness to keep catching waves is kicking into gear (he is also happy just chill'n on his board in the middle of water).  Yesterday I was so proud of the boys out on the reef - they really support each other - dill told ro "I saw you get that one - it was really big - good job" and vice versa from ro - this is what you always hope for with your kids - to see the loving support they give each other and at the same time enjoying one of natures most amazing gifts the ocean.  Now the hard part is finding ways to record/photograph all this fun........Karla thank you so much for taking these photos, it means alot to me - so much fun to look at them and remember that fun day - I am going to do a post with all the great kid photos you took of the boys that day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

From Sea to Land

OK - so here goes, this is the final post from our trip to Florida (remind me next time not to take as many pics or do anything fun - haha).  On one of our last days we went on a fishing trip in the morning and a horse back ride on the beach that afternoon (that is where the title of the post came from).  Because all of us could not fit on one boat we split the 12 people interested in fishing into 3 boats - Boat #1 was Steve, Serena, Brandon and Jaime.  Boat #2 was Hopi, Oma, Anna and Sophia.  Boat #3 was Carlos, myself, Dillon and Ronan.  In the hopes of some friendly competition the boat with the most fish would win.  It was a rough start to the day when we got up and the temps were in the 30's.  Not prime fishing weather out on a bay that is windy - but hey we went with it and we did have fun.

notice the reflection in the shades - that would be Ronan bundled up in a ball to keep warm

the towels around his feet are to keep his sockless, shoeless toes warm

notice the name of this boat?

this one is for you ro -

we headed up the canal to try to stay out of the wind until the sun came out -

we saw many different funky boats

how many birds do you see?

a perfect spot to sight see from

a fleet of shrimping boats

down to business

carlos caught a flounder

isn't that a pretty face

action shot

fishing boys

whenever we stopped somewhere the sun would warm us up and then we would go somewhere new and the wind would freeze us again - this was our attempt to stay warm during transit

look, its a bird, its a plane



the smallest creature of the day

the three boys took a nap on the way back to our dock

the best part of the fishing trip - the boys each got a turn driving the boat - well of course ronan tried to run over the birds

the fine art of gutting a small flounder

this would be boat #1 - they caught 2 trout that had to be put back because they were to small

this is boat #2 and their catch for the day was no fish but a whole lot of fun

horse safety briefing


Dill riding Little Bit

Sophia riding Buck

everybody loved buck with his furry coat

ro on Krissy

ready to go

steve on Harley - very appropriate

Hopi's horse did not like to hang out with the others

sophia, dillon, ronan and oma


heading on to the beach

jaime, serena, anna, brandon and steve

ro, oma, jaime, serena, anna and steve

a perfect late afternoon ride


on our last evening carith caught this bird on the dock

carith also spotted this beautiful red cardinal who paid us a visit

it was a beautiful last sunset to a really fun family vacation.  the boys and I had a great time and look forward to seeing everyone again soon.  oma and papa thank you so much for everything.