19 January: It’s always great to see your children take off, and that happened literally on the first day of our kitesurfing lesson with Will of Kite Trip Grenadines, when Isabelle and Francis in turn were carried up out of the water and away - for a moment at least. We met Will at the Dinghy Dock with KAPALEI at 8am, and learned we were going to Frigate Bay, a good fifteen minute ride away. Tina and I jumped into the boat with Will, enjoying the novelty of sitting on a wooden bench rather than inflatable rubber for once, and the others followed. It was good to lighten the load on the dinghies as we were taking a route that often seemed to skim shallow waters, and the others needed to follow Will’s path carefully.
Frigate Bay is partially man-made, an edge of the bay formed by the remnants of an old pontoon, built around 20 years ago with plans to create a marina, and now just rusting away. Xavier had done a couple of lessons before but the rest of us were novices. While Tina and I looked after the younger three, doling out banana bread I’d bought that morning from a local boat vendor doing the rounds (“It’s even better than yours, Mum!” Thanks kids!) and with a flask of coffee to keep the adults going,
the older two and Dads first went through the motions with a land-based kite and learning safety procedures, before taking it in turns to go in the water. With so many students of different sizes and levels, Will had his work cut out, but it never felt like that. Those not in the water could work the kite on land, or go for a swim or a snorkel, it was as much a family outing and playtime in rotation with the lesson itself.
I wasn’t really expecting to have a go, but flying a kite is full on exertion and so I stepped in when the kids got tired. Using the kids smaller kite, while Xav and Lars were going out on a larger one further afield, I had never before experienced the sheer power of the wind so directly. I flew out of the water as well at one point, a sheer buzz to be flying. It was a fast-track catch-up session, and within minutes of learning about wind windows and acceleration, I was first waist height, then quickly out of my depth, body-dragging. Xav meanwhile got up on his board, in his element.