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Topics - PonoBill

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Random / Gorge Gowns and other COVID response
« on: March 25, 2020, 08:28:08 PM »
I got this email from Maui Meyer this evening. He's been spearheading a team to make PPE gowns using local resources. Also making hand sanitizer and face shields for emergency workers. It's a pretty cool effort that can be repeated anywhere there are sewing facilities. The design plans will be availabe to anyone once the santizing and production protocols are set.

Greetings funders, great news from the Gorge!

It's here! We are live, with HMB 50, an Oregon not for profit to procure and donate PPE to health and public safety workers in the Gorge and beyond.

HMB 50 stands for "Hand Made Brigade, 50". 50 is the number of hours from when Dr. Laurel Berge, called me asking for help until the time we donned (and doffed, which apparently is a real word) the first tyvek prototype. (which was prototype 5) It's been a quick 5 days.

It is time to redeem your pledges! If you would like to donate, to our tax deductible organization online, please do so here:      Use the pull down menu to designate that the donation is being made to the Hand Made Brigade 50. If you would like your donation to be directed towards a specific area of concern (Masks, Shields or Gowns)  Please note that in the comment section.

If you would like to donate via check, to our tax deductible organization, please mail the check, made out to "The Next Door" and send it to 965 Tucker Road, Hood River Oregon, 97031, with HMB50 in the memo line.

If you DON'T CARE ABOUT THE DEDUCTION, Please send a check made out to HMB50 and Mail it to 1002 Oak Street, Hood River, Oregon 97031. If you would like to venmo me, It's @Maui-Meyer.

Our fiscal sponsor for tax deductible status, The Next Door, Hood River's leader in community development, and community social service.  Janet Hamada, a person whom I am lucky to call a friend, is the director of this organization. She is a "Super Titan" in my book. I am honored that they have taken HMB 50 on as a client on such short notice and with so much uncertainty.

Your contributions have been so generous, and so important. We have, in the last 36 hours:

secured the ability to produce our gowns locally. The first production of this type, in the nation that I am aware of.  50 gowns a day by next week is targeted and at full run, (hopefully in 10-14 days) and more to come.  The bulk of the gowns will be donated to Hood River County's Emergency Response Center, who will, via the regions mutual aid agreement, point the gowns towards the areas of most need.  (The gowns are also being reviewed at the national level, and we plan to release the patterns free of charge to similar production facilities across the country, once we have production/sanitation protocols understood, and in place.)

Ordered 350 gallons of hand sanitizer produced locally to be donated to the Emergency Response Center, for free distribution.

Assisted in funding the production of 3,000 top of the line face shields, for distribution through the Emergency Response Center, to the region. 

There is more to come. I have not looked down yet. Nor will I

Stay Safe, Be Well. And. Thank you all. Please send your money, and please share this email far and wide.

I have photographic evidence, though as tiny as the picture is it could be anybody. Water temperature 43 degrees F, air temperature 48F. Admin, Chan and I went wing foiling. The wind was good though it had lots of dead spots. Admin and I got in the water about the same time. I have a new O'Neill 3/4.5 technobutter 3 front zip with zip off hood. I wore the hood and gloves but I didn't have my booties. I probably have ten pair up at the shop, but I figured I'd just go in compression socks since my feet don't seem to get all that cold. What a dumb fuck.

Both Admin and I were up and flying right away, maintaining social distance throughout, which is easy to do on a mile-wide river with very few other people out. He was on a 1020 Axis foil with a 4.2 F-one wing. I was on my 101 Axis with the 5.0 F-one. The 101 seemed to appreciate 10 pounds less of blubber to lift, though I'd bet my wetsuit adds most of that back. I popped up easily and was able to pump through the lulls. I got kind of stuck a little on the Washington side because the wind was a lot lighter near the shore on that side, but once I got clued in to stay a few hundred feet out from shore it was easy money. I didn't make a single jibe up on the foil, but my touchdowns were relatively brief. Some of them. Okay, two, but they were good. More or less. On the Oregon side, the wind started right at the shore.

After mowing the lawn for a while I noticed that my feet weren't going where I told them to go. They were no longer cold. It was more like they were no longer under my command. I did a few more runs and decided to call it good. Admin came in right behind me, and to my complete shock Chan came down the Luhr Jensen steps carrying her board. We got out, she got in. She had a perfectly good excuse to bail, but she didn't. When I left to go jump in the steam shower and see if my feet would still work she was still going. Chan probably has about half a cup of body fat. I have about 50 pounds still, well distributed. Admin doesn't have much either but he's certifiable. I though Chan would sit in the car with the heater blasting.

Wrong. Illusion shattered, she's as whacked as we are.

Next time--booties. That was dumb. Nice to wingding on the Columbia though.

Fun day wingfoiling at the Harbor. Kanaha and Ka'a are closed. I heard it was for tree maintenance but that didn't explain the tow trucks and police.

Anyway, the wind was light in the morning, so I got out the 6M F-one wing and my relatively new 101 Axis foil. Damn I love that foil. Fast and smooth. I can't turn it for shit, but I say that about everything. I think it could be me. As the day wore on the wind increased steadily. I lent Chris Pagdilao my 5M, but about the time the 6M got way too nutty for me, the 5M got nutty for Chris. So I switched to that. I stayed on the 5 until the wind got insane and went down to the 3.5M. I was having so much fun I didn't want to quit, but around 1:30 the fuel tank went on reserve. I felt like a toddler who didn't want to stop playing. All I had to eat to support 4+ hours of gentle to fairly extreme wingsurfing was some biscuits I made at 6:00 AM and tea. By the way, the secret to GREAT biscuits is White Lilly flour--no debate possible.

I hated to stop but decided I was getting dangerous. Went to Whole Foods for a quick lunch. Unfortunately, when I got back to the harbor my lunch decided what we really needed was a nap. Lunch won. Went home, took a shower, laid down on the bed to read and woke up three hours later. Damn.

In general, I feel pretty good but my hands are aching. I tell everyone "don't grip the boom, open your hands." I guess I need to listen to me.

Random / The new Funmobile
« on: February 01, 2020, 11:33:41 PM »
It's a bit on the unremarkable side--totally incognito for now. A 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan with 35K miles on it. Bought it from the Hertz sales folks. A reasonable deal. There's no point in getting something more interesting in Maui since everything rots away here. I don't need big, I don't need cool, I don't need towing power. I just need to haul foil boards and wings. The lady said, "The other minivans are nicer looking and drive better, but all the surfers buy this one." I could see why as soon as I started folding down seats. Everything disappears into the flat floor. Both rows drop into holes in the floor, all that's left is rug and two front seats.

So here's a shot that going to make all my surfing buddies fall off their chairs. This rig will never be this neat or this organized again. I made a rack to hold the boards by cutting up an old exercise machine and welding it into this masterpiece. My cheesy MIG welder feeder tip got sticky and I couldn't find a replacement in my shop, so it's not done to design, but it works. I dug a wooden box I made for RC models out of the storage loft, and voila:

Enjoy it while you can. It will probably never again look this organized or smell this clean.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / FOMO attack
« on: February 01, 2020, 09:42:18 AM »
Jeremy posted a video on Facebook of an epic southside downwinder. I had an immediate attack of acute FOMO (or maybe it's AAMO when it's in the past--Anguish About Missing Out) and I posted this bit of crying towel wringing: Damn. I stayed on the north shore, foil surfed in the morning, then winged with my 6-meter F-one wing. I had barely enough wind to stay up, but it didn't matter much when I got into the waves. I want to do another wing foil downwind so bad I can taste it, but I'm still not ready (at least mentally) for Maliko. If I had known there were good conditions on the south side I would have been there in a heartbeat. I picked up a 101 foil wing from Mark Raaphorst yesterday, so I'm set to go on the equipment side. Now all I need is some wind. It doesn't look like that's gonna happen today. ***Hey, wait a minute, I watched the video again. Devin on a downwind board?? Not likely, she's as addicted to the foil as I am. Ah, three years ago, I didn't notice that. My FOMO attack has calmed down, I guess I did the right thing after all.

Foil SUP / I really need to start paying attention
« on: January 23, 2020, 05:21:10 PM »
I had a rough morning at Ka'a. The surf was big, Like 10-15 feet at Ho'okipa with Peahi going off for the paddle-in folks. Ka'a gets shadowed, but still, the only guy I saw going to the outer reef was Eddie Ogata, and he was barely surviving the drop, though once he was in the waves he ripped it up as usual. I stayed in the lagoon with most of the other foilers, taking the reform waves, or the waves that were small enough to make it over the reef without breaking. I had one good ride, though it felt weirdly unstable. The chop on the reef was nasty, and I fell a few times, but then I caught another wave, never got the wing under control and just banked right into the face of the wave. I did this two or three more times, got exhausted, started falling even more (once it's in your head that you're going to fall, you're gonna fall). Finally paddled in.

I went to the harbor and ran into Dave Kalama, He spent the morning doing hero stuff at Tidy bowls, and was considering foiling. I went back and forth on going out given my tuckered state, decided to get some coffee and come back. While I was walking back to my car from Maui Coffee Roasters I noticed this "little" bend in my mast. No wonder I couldn't get the thing to go straight. I'm not sure when I did this, though there were a few incidents over the last week that might be the culprit.

I kind of noticed it last night but thought it was an optical illusion. Duh.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Fly free little wing...
« on: January 19, 2020, 09:01:18 PM »
I had a little more adventure today than I planned to have. I fiddled with electronics all morning while the wind came up and then headed to Kihei to do a wing foil downwinder. But the wind was offshore so there wasn't much along the shore. I elected to "mow ze lawn" going back and forth, Kihei Canoe Hale to McGregor point. On the first pass when I got close to McGregor the wind got really weird. The gusts were coming from behind me, toward Lanai while the steady wind was straight out toward Kahoolawe. I did my cheap-ass touchdown version of a jibe and got the heck out of there.

It's a long, long reach, but I made it all the way back to the Canoe Hale with one touch down. It's really like I'm flying over the surface. When I got back I was thirsty, so I took a break to drink some slightly skanky water that's been in a water bottle for about a month.

I went back out, popped up on the foil and ran out about halfway to the power station. Coming back I had a moment of inattention and the wing flipped. I was getting myself situated to go again while the wing did the flopping around in the wind thing. And then suddenly the jerking on my wrist leash went away and my wing sailed about 50 feet away. Nasty feeling.

I got down on the board and prone paddled as hard as I could sprint with a wide SUP board dragging a foil under it. I almost got to it when the wind got under it and it flew a few hundred feet away. While I was bracing for another sprint it picked up again and started cartwheeling away. No way to catch this thing without a paddle or a motor.

So I pointed the board for the beach and started paddling. I had plenty of time to perfect my technique--I was out perhaps half a mile. For what it's worth if you're way out on a wide SUP that leaves you with the arm span of a penguin, the best technique I found is to roll shoulder to shoulder as I stroked, reaching out further and going for a little glide. When I got about 100 yards from the beach I spotted Stephen Ross waving, and then a fire truck pulled up and a whole passel of emergency folks piled out to watch me finish the last 50 yards. Firemen, a lifeguard, and an EMT. Out beyond where I started my long-ass paddle, there was a coast guard boat doing search patterns. These folks don't mess around.

I convinced them I wasn't dying. One of the guys got on the radio and directed the jet ski, that apparently had scrambled from the Kihei boat ramp to go look for my wing. I met the ski at the ramp and he handed me my wing. It was fully deflated and the valve wasn't open. He said, "it's done for, sorry". He'd stuck it with a knife I guess. In those crazy conditions there wasn't much choice since he probably didn't know how to use the deflation valve and probably couldn't have screwed with it anyway. No big deal, I'll get it repaired. The lifeguards aren't in the equipment retrieval biz and I'm glad to get it back in any condition.

My leash didn't break, it looks like it just came untied. I reworked the way the leash attaches to the wing after hearing about Shep Nelson having the weenie little sewn-in leash fixture rip out and pop the bladder. It looks like I need to rethink that. I generally try to have critical things like leashes either be super-stout or have a backup.

It was a long paddle in, but it's good to know I can manage it. My shoulders felt great after the long haul--warm and loose. I don't recommend this as an exercise, but clearly, I need to spend some time on a prone board.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Wing Maui
« on: January 16, 2020, 12:19:15 AM »
Easy money today, 25-30mph and a little north in the wind so making way upwind was easy at Kanaha. I stayed out for about two hours on my 4.2M wing and 1020. I kept over foiling with the big 1020. Should have come in and got the 920. One day on that thing and now it's my goto. I switched to the short fuselage and I'm using the 440 stabilizer. I may actually be pumping in a manner that is visible to other people.

Or not.

So much fun chasing the waves at uppers. I do need to do a little tuning. Whenever I foil over the top of a wave I come right up on the very edge of blowing out of the water, and have to hang there on my tiptoes, pressing hard on my front leg and praying that I'm not going to faceplant.

I've got a HUGE improvement in my foiling jibe completion rate. I've gone from 1 out of 40 to 1 out of 20. Amazing. I still don't know WTF I did when I make one, but maybe that's okay. Maybe they'll just go straight to muscle memory and I'll be 1 for 1 without having any idea of what I'm doing. That would work for me.

For some reason, I was really tired when I got out of the water. Not muscle tired--fall asleep on the beach tired. No idea why. I was a danger to all around me when I drove home, so I pulled off and took a short nap. Way better than wandering across the line into oncoming cars.

I did do my highest speed ever crash today, but it was in the water, on a wave. So I got that out of the way.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Make a wish...
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:41:25 AM »
A recent conversation and related experience have me thinking about an issue I hadn't considered. Most of us have a wing leash on one arm and an ankle or calf leash on one leg. A tangle issue, but generally just irritating--until you get into larger surf. Which I did yesterday, and getting worked had me thinking I was a wishbone from a thanksgiving turkey. The wing goes one way, the board goes the other, and I'm in the middle feeling maybe more like an extra in a remake of Ben Hur.

Obviously there are solutions, I could move everything to a waist belt, but I don't want to lose everything to one failure. That would be both expensive and dangerous on its own. I could stay the hell out of larger surf, but that ain't going to happen.

I look forward to your experience and suggestions.

Beasho may have thought of this if he's contemplating a wing. In the waves he rides this would be an instant Really Big Problem.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Golden God of WingFoiling
« on: December 28, 2019, 10:23:48 PM »
I am a GOLDEN GOD of wing foiling. Sort of. I went to the south side this morning fairly early, like the crack of 10:00 AM maybe. The plan was to do some out and back, wait until Bill Boyum showed up and then we could do a downwinger.

After a few little warmup runs I got up on the foil going on my bad side (goofy foot/starboard tack) and was smoking along. I decided to keep going until I crashed or dropped off the foil. I got all the way to the lineup for the tourist whalewatch boats to get into Maalea harbor without a touchdown. More than few "almost lost that you idiot" and "oh shit I'm going way too fast" moments but I got there on the foil, blazing. Then I turned around to the happy feet side and ripped back without a wobble. SO MUCH FRICKEN' FUN. Whenever I'd see a nice swell I'd chase it down, catch it, let the wing go slack and stay in it as long as I could. Awesome downwind practice. My line took me well upwind from the Canoe Hale, almost to thorn beach. As I neared the shore I looked down and saw nothing but reef. OH SHIT! I've been all over this island for 40 years and never saw that reef before. Some of it was super shallow and all of it looked gnarly. I got way up on the foil and looked for something sandy. Finally found a spot to turn in where flubbing the turn and losing height would have no serious consequences. Good thing--I totally blew the jibe.

A few more out and backs, then the wind got flukey and I came in for a break and some grinds from the ABC store. WTF was I thinking. A can of coconut water, two of the worst Spam Musabes on the planet--the rice was so gooey I couldn't pry it apart. I went to the Heroin store (the bakery) and got a beef pot pie. Diane and I are binging on the British baking show (yeah, I know, I'll make somebody a great wife, fuck you and the horse you rode in on) but I critiqued the pie. Soggy bottom, not enough liquid, huge space between the filling and the top crust. Minimal flavor. The big guy would have told the little older brit lady "I don't recommend that you taste that", but I did. Hunger makes up for a lot of flaws, all of which are suddenly apparent.

Diane showed up, Bill Boyum showed up, yak, yak etc and I haded for Kanaha since the wind was dying fast.

Kanaha was fun but messy, gusty, inconsistent, with set waves that nailed me while I was wobbling around with no wind, but it was fun and worth the pain. The wind died and left me out on the reef. Long slow spinnaker ride to the beach and an associated walk-of-shame, but really, a great day. I started at ten and I got home as the sun faded. Maui 10.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Downwinging
« on: December 27, 2019, 08:34:02 PM »
Had a great downwinging session today from the Kihei Canoe Hale to Mana Kai. Lots of crashes, but it's starting to work. Bill Boyum and Peggy King came in not far behind. Mt second downwinder with a wing, though the first didn't count for much besides taking a beating and not crying.

I used my 5M Fone but didn't have my fake boom--it's in Jeremy Rigg's truck, and I missed it a lot. I would have had much better transitions if I'd had it. And yes, Julie Shreyer, I missed having a Duotone window. Now I get why you insist they are so important.

I've been wanting to do a south side downwinder with a wing foil, and we finally had wind. Stormy and nutz on the north shore, but a bit more controlled on the south side--sort of. Boyum (Headmount) said he was going on a SUP. I was supposed to meet him at the Andaz to drop rigs, but I wanted to get an idea about wing size--the wind was fairly crazy, probably gusting to 35 or more, but some big lulls too. So I went early to try my setup.

**update--iWindsurf says it was a bit windier than I thought--35 gusting to 50mph. So yeah, a little nutty**

I rigged up at the canoe hale in Kihei and headed out with my Axis 1020 with a 75CM mast and 440 stabilizer using my new F-One 3.5. It was plenty zippy going out and back a few times. I figured it would work but might be a little under-powered downwind and I considered using the 4.2. It took longer to figure this out than I expected. When I called Bill he'd been trying to get hold of me for some time. We decided I'd stay at the canoe hale and just catch their ride back. In fact, I decided to launch immediately so I wouldn't hold them up if I was slow.

Turns out the Hale was in a significant shadow and the outside wind was more like 40mph and the gusts were out of control. I flopped around a bit, then got my shit together and did a few nice broad reaches, up on foil and barely in control. Okay, not, but I was generally saving the nutty parts. I tried to head more downwind and caught some nice bumps, which takes a bit of adjustment. As hard as the wind was blowing, when I caught a bump going downwind the wing kind of flopped around in front of me--trying to rip out of my hands in the gusts, and threatening to drop a tip in the lulls.

Still, really fun, and I was getting some fairly long runs before losing it. The bad part was that when I'd crash I was in a maelstrom, with the wing going nuts and the board flipping over, threatening to shred the wing with the foil.

I kept going, feeling a little more confident with every longish run. Then about half a mile from Kalama park, the wind went gave one last wicked blow. spindrift everywhere, and then turned off. Bill and the guys caught up to me right about then while I was bobbing around in zero wind, so Bill and I agreed I'll pull in to the park and get picked up there. On the way in I fell off, dropped a foot down and found a Wana--spiked me in two toes. I hate that.

The guys showed up about an hour later with Jeremy's truck. We loaded up and they shuttled me back to my rig. Short run, but action-packed. I can do this, I know it. It's going to take a while to be good at it, but I felt the downwind rip. It's gonna happen.

No. the little video is not from today, it's in the harbor, shot by my daughter Elizabeth Babcock. Just representative.

Random / It's that last 3%...
« on: December 06, 2019, 12:20:26 PM »
I love this picture, it sums up my life so well. Good execution for the first 97% of a project.

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