Monsoon weather. Good or Bad? 
Quote of the day:
"Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet."
Roger Miller

The wind dying in Bali, it was time to return to Phuket. Barely more wind here allowed me to have a few unexciting sessions in Nai Yang with the Flydoor 155. Rain is back with a vengeance and is here to stay till November. There is going to be a lot of windguruing in search of dry an windy spots the weeks to come. The most likely place of interest in the region remains Sumbawa. We'll have to check on that, preferably in situ.

I am shuttling between Bali and Phuket for a reason: the seasons are inverted (being in different hemispheres), the dry season of one being the rainy season of the other. The good season of Thailand starts cool in November and ends hot in April, the prevailing winds coming from the North-East, whilst in Bali the nice season starts in June and lasts three short months, with winds coming from the South West sector.
Having said that, the "bad" season of both places provides sometimes superb conditions; as for example this year, we had fantastic weather in Nai Yang in July, with 2-3 meter waves, wind for 8 to 10 m2 kites and hardly any rain during 2 weeks solid. You have decent waves in Thailand only during the wet moonsoon season. Bali offers similar conditions occasionally during the rainy season in Canggu (west coast), with the difference that good waves occur also in the dry season.

We might be in the wrong place altogether if wind is our criterion of choice: our French friend Jean-Yves just returns from Rhodes (Greece) and the French southern coast, where he had continuous winds ranging from 25 to 45 knots during the month he was there!

But let's not knock the miserable weather; how would I have started the day's blog?


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On the use of GPS watches to analyse tracks 
This blog is about the use of GPS watches to analyse the track of your day's riding.
"What's the point?" or "Your gimmicks are spoiling the spirit of the sport?" are objections I hear before even posting this topic.
Since it isn't even related to ram air kites, this blog will definitely bore those who are expecting stuff about foils. Perhaps this is why I am posting it so early in my blog, so we are done with it;-).
Let's get to the point and see what can be readily done with all the GPS watches available that I know: a Google Earth view of a typical track (it has a .kml extension)
If the export to this file format it not provided by the manufacturer's software, there are plenty of utilities such as GPSbabel which will convert anything GPS to any mapping applications.

http://www.nautikites.net/nav/My_Activi ... 8-2009.kml

A screen capture of the same:


On the 22th August 2010:


And from another day and other place, Nai Yang, Phuket:



But this is boring, as it doesn't tell more about your track than what you see on GE.
There are two excellent and freeware (the two are often connected) programs which enable to really analyse what you have been doing. Let's see some screen captures, from Sporttracks (http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/)



As you can see, Google Earth view is integrated in "Satellite" view of the route.
In the summary window, you have the time and distance information, as well as climb and energy, which you are going to ignore as the software was made primarily for joggers.
You don't need the proprietary software of the GPS watch to download the tracks, as it includes drivers from all the best known manufacturers to do this job.
You can export you track in multitudes of formats, which include Google Earth of course (kml), and gpx, which is a Garmin eXchange file format. One main interest of the latter is that it is one that can be read by the amazing tool which is GPS Action Replay (http://gpsactionreplay.free.fr/), which was designed specifically for sailing crafts.
It will tell you not only the distance run, but your average speeds over distances that are user paramtrable, your velocity made good (that is the speed towards or away from the wind). It is beyond the scope of this post to describe all the functions of the program, but to have an idea of the basic ones, here are some screen and html output from the freeware version:















http://www.nautikites.net/nav/Sanur270809.html

You might be interested to know that those average speeds of about 20 knots on a broad reach were done when the wind was certainly not more than 11 knots and optimal VMG at 60 degrees from the wind (see max and average plots). No LEI in sight, except a couple downwinders along the beach. Gear: SA15 and Mako wide. Location: Sanur, Bali. The gpx file of the 27th Aug. is 960 kB, for a distance run of 53 km. Google Earth:

http://www.nautikites.net/nav/My_Activi ... 8-2009.kml

A knoll for more on VGM :
http://sail.navas.us/why-vmg-matters.html

As far as I am concerned, this gimmick doesn't spoil the fun: it enables to re-live your runs on windless or winter days at home.
It is also quite helpful in a racing context.

Questions welcome,

Cheers to all,

Alex



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Very first Nautikites blog entry. 
Hello everyone,
Since this is my first entry after adding a blog page to the Nautikites/Flysurfer Asia site, I don't know yet how it will look and should be seen as a test page.
Our Max returned to Fuerteventura from the Flysurfer Importer Meeting in Como where the Speed 3 was officially presented. Over 50 importers were present and the conditions were perfect. Unfortunately the SE Asia and Australian reps couldn't attend. Ian (FS Australia), Mika (FS Indonesia), Thierry (Nolimit, FS Thailand) and myself had our own mini FS meeting in Bali and though we had great fun, we could only speculate on the qualities of the Speed3, as we are all still waiting for our orders to come through.
So we had to content with Max's short first comments from Como:
"Nice people and very nice kites ;) you will love the speed3. Massive depower, loooong hangtime and very fast."
Lots more comments however in forums (TubelessKiteForum, Foilzone, Kiteforum...)
Forecast for the days to come is FS wind: 6-9 knots. So the great Sanur lagoon will be left to the few Silver Arrow privileged.
Cheers,
Alex

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