Some good winds between Christmas and New Year here in SEQ. Decided to dust the cobwebs off the buggy and get the bearings turning.
Running Sysmic 2 Buggy with Midi XL tyres.
Kite- Ozone Edge V8 with 24m lines.
Location - Skirmish Point Bribie Island (Beach)
Today, Extreme Kites releases a World Kite Records section that allows us to look at the past whilst stepping in to the future.
The new World Kiting Records section is fully uniform with drag & drop uploads for your GPS images and optional GPS data. It's fully searchable with a set of filters allowing you to really drill down in to the information that has set each record. You can filter to find out whom the fastest pilots in your country are, perhaps you want to know what the top speed set on a GT-Race buggy is? Even better, what about finding out the top speed set on Discs with a Peter Lynn Vapor? All of this and more is either possible today, or within the next month as more information gets added to the database.
Previously we've all been limited to records being maintained in Wiki's, Forum Threads and Personal Blogs. The one thing that all of these inherited was that they are all up to an individual to maintain whether it was here in our Community or elsewhere. Instead we've built a system so that there's a whole team from today and forever in to the future maintaining a database of peoples' personal achievements.
This is just the beginning, last year we went through a whole site redevelopment explaining after years we had to finally take two steps back to be able to move forwards and bring you the type of online experience we wanted. We did this by launching the new website, then following on with sections like Blogs, Reviews etc. The Kite Buggy Speed section is just the first, over the coming weeks we'll include more sections along with other kiting disciplines like Landboarding, Kiteboarding, Kite Skates and Snowkiting. We aim over time, as a team to build the most comprehensive, searchable database of World Kiting Records available.
@.Joel just helped me fix my kite that I ripped a couple weeks ago, the rip went the whole way through, from the leading edge all the way to the trailing edge. We used a product called Kite Aid (which Joel sells). Its amazing stuff, you just iron it on, wait 5 minutes and go kiting. There's no longer any need to mess around with sailmakers and expensive sewing repairs. Ive used it before on small rips but never on a tear this large, lets see how it holds up.
Fingers crossed, Ill come back to this post when iv'e had a chance to fly it and let you know what happened.
Had the kite up yesterday in 15-20 knots, just to test it out.
Good news is that the repair worked great, it was rock solid!
The bad news was that I had the lines caught around the bar and punched the kite into the ground again, it blew out on the other side
Conclusion: - its getting too fragile and is no longer Rob proof. Time to retire the kite, its fu%^&*d...
The following weekend we got out to sandy Point for our first run, 3 of the GT's got there toes wet, Nigel didn't make it because he had a problem with his tyres. We had really good wind on Saturday, Mary went up on the dunes with the windmeter and said it was 25-30 knots. I was only taking it easy so I could get a feel for the buggy and I still reached 68 kph. You don't even feel like your going fast and when you take the pressure off the footpegs the buggy just keeps on going straight. If I did that in my old buggy I would be all over the place. I also managed to get my bar caught through the steering line and pounded my kite into the ground, ripping it from top to bottom. Luckily it was my 4m Air Rush LEI which has been worn paper thin and was ready to die.
On Sunday the wind the wind was a more onshore but only started out light, maybe 12-14 knots, by the time we packed up it was probably 18 knots. I had my 7m IKON Blind2 LEI and I could really feel the difference in pull, my front wheel was skidding all over the place because my hotwire was too far forward (I knew it would be), I'll have to work on getting it further back without wrecking my nice new seat. So I tried with my harness, not a good idea, I felt like I was going to be pulled straight out of the buggy. My buggy has been made a bit large for me so I can easily get in and out and does not hold me in. The one thing I notied is that kites have way more power with something heavy to pull against. My heelstraps arent working for me yet either, one of my feet also slipped over the top of the footpeg at speed - lucky that the buggy wants to track straight.
Its time for a bit of tweaking with the buggy and hopefully I can get another run in with the boys before I head home to Port Lincoln.
My buggy is the white one, it looks small here but dont let the picture fool you, it is still a big heavy buggy
We had a good long run, from the point of the inlet nearly to Waratah Bay
Our new GT Race buggies arrived The next week our, it feelt like xmas, Gotta love new toys! 4 of us imported them from the Netherlands, Joel, Nigel, Doug and myself. The other guys all got GT Rapide's while i got the slightly smaller GT Radical. We all got together for a bit of a BBQ and an assembly day.
The other guys all have this buggy
Heres a time lapse video of us assembling my buggy, you will want to flick through it cause it drags on a bit
I havn't updated my blog for a while, every time I sit down at the computer I just cant get into it, so now its time to pull my finger out and catch up on it all.
The Extreme Kites crew at the annual pilgrimage to Sandy Point located 2 hours drive South East from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 4 days of fun (and hopefully a little craziness) over the Melbourne Cup long weekend. We didn't get any record breaking winds this time, but we still had a great time. Just nice easy flying on the main beach, beautiful weather and great company. The last day was a blustery one on the Inlet. We had no wind to start with and then it came in strong, it must have been 20-25 knots and crazy gusty. Where we kite at the Inlet is only a small area and on, its very boggy in the middle and this occasion there were some bad stingray holes, it was also a public holiday and there were people everywhere and lots of kitesurfers setting up on the beach. Consequently there was barely enough room to skid off speed. Doug put up his small 2m broozer so I decided to play it safe and started to pump up my small 4m air rush LEI, when i saw him put down the broozer from lack of power i stopped setting up my small kite and pumped up my 7m Ikon C kite, big mistake. I was then quite overpowered and without the room to run off the speed it was getting a bit dangerous
Main Beach Sandy Point
OK so my son Axel has started exams so I got to go fly as I waited for him.
place Belmont rec.res.- wind almost - kites Mitzel lite,Raven, 12m zip tip Peel and Dharma
first the wind
By crushing a chunk of dry grass to a fine powder from 1.5m up the finer bits drifted about 400-500mm so about bugger all gusting to minus bugger all wind direction west = or - 180o
first out of the bag was the Mitzel lite I can't imagine the UL version of this
made of one peas of icarex with a bit of reinforcing mostly icarex
this kite originally had a 4-4.5mm carbon tube frame but I found far to flexible so I beefed it up using P2 graphite (probably about the same weight as the fittings are bigger , this thing flys well at this wind wind speed up to about walking speed(sornter) at a fast walk (2 1/2-3 1/2mph) it start to make a lot of noise and is out of it's comfort zone.
this thing is just chill on strings it will trick a bit but you have to allow lots of room as it's so lazy but 360 are less than a breeze with it. a nice kite but very limited, surprisingly absolute shit indoors.
Next of the block the raven
this kite has amazed me,it flys in almost nothing and keeps going up the wind till about 15mph, made in rip-stop nylon with a 5.5mm carbon frame tricks very OK for a 20 year old kite,bout this one as it's the same profile as one i ordered custom made from the same guy (Edd Shanks) cost $90 US and is the best value kite I've ever owned. I give this kite to beginners as it's slow and rugged, I fly it my self as it's awesome in light winds dos lots of tricks a 360 is a breeze, what can I say this kite will get fixed for ever or till I can get an other.
And on the next day the wind was whistling (some wear ells) but there was was a bit more draft so here is some footage of two Tim Benson kites the Outer Space and the Phantom Ellette. well soon
Chapter 1 history
The first time I flew a two line kite I was about 16 or 17, my dad got a Peter Powell (a blue plastic diamond with an ally frame sprung at the tip) I flew it a few times but I had other more pressing things on my mined (motor bikes, boos and girls in that order). By the time I got to 18 I dropped the boos as the bike was now a T500 two stroke twin (about 120 125hph) and speed was king (I've never lost the love of bikes just too broken to ride any more).
I then discovered caving and pot holes, becoming totally obsessed with it, to the point of missing out on the pub sessions, this worried some of the club member. the little hard core group managed to get to places visited by only a very few people and on occasions going where no one had gone before. I even took up cave diving (not the type seen on TV the type you have to remove your gear under water to force your way through a squeeze and visibility was less than swimming in a week old pot off billy tea).
This all stopped (the caving) when I moved from Yorkshire to Scotland the caves were just to far away (little did I know). I'd moved to Bridge of Don, Aberdeen and one day whilst riding my mt. bike along the esplanade I spotted 3 guys flying kites, so I pulled over and went to chat, next thing I'm flying a kite (think it was ether a swallow tail or a phantom) instantly I was hooked, the next week I got a skynasour delta (the only thing available). The next time I went down to Yorkshire to visit the folks I popped in to Leeds corn exchange to visit Mark at Leading Edge Kites (home of Fizz and Tim Benson) and came away with a Phantom. From then on more kites came in the mail, visited more shops and started to go to festivals (average 850miles,1300k round trip) and at my first festival I picked up my first buggy.
next instalment may include fling to Wildwood NY USA visits to Oz, love, moving to Oz, marriage, kids and disaster
or it may be a load of old toss. But eventually it will get to flying.
may your winds blow freely
and in the words of Mel I am not a number BBC 065
Add for my first kite
Chapter 2 Flying high
So now I’m going to as many kite festivals as I can 2 or 3 a month and in Aberdeen the days are long in the summer so I fly after work and am oft seen riding the mountain bike with the front wheel of my buggy strapped on the rack and several bags of kites strapped in the buggy. It took me a long while to get round to buying a car (don’t like cars or lamingtons)and just use a hire car on the weekends I travelled down south or share a car. My girlfriend at the time reckoned she was a kite widow and this was wears than being a golf widow. I was having a great time and getting pretty good but the long winters where starting to drag, work was getting harder as a contract designer in the oil industry I was working about 6 months a year but getting more cash than when I was staff, the hours where interfering with my flying time (about 10 to 14hrs a day some times more)(that’s the work not flying time).
Then bad new hit, nephew had incurable leukaemia, my brother and family had migrated to Australia a few years back and shortly after discover the leukaemia and went through all the treatments. So I went to my boss explained the situation to him and since we were in a lull between the sales proposal and getting the order I got 3 weeks of and flew out to Perth. Over the next 6 months to see him. It was during the first of these trips that I met Neil Taylor and after meeting only ones or twice I was looking after his shop so he could go to an Indonesian kite festival.
I loved it in Oz so much I sold my flat in Aberdeen put all my furniture in storage and spent a year out hear toward the end of my year I met a young French women how I later visited in Sydney during The FOW 1996 we met up later before my visa ran out and I had to go back to the UK where I was offered a job working the kite festivals (a dream come true). But after a visit from Muriel (I’d learnt her name now) over new years and visiting her family in France plans changed and we got married on the 4th of July (dependents day) 98 and lived in Sydney where we had our first baby on Friday the 13th May 99 moving to Perth 6 months later, as you may imagine my flying days started to diminish and by the time we had our second December 2001 it had just about gone. But that’s OK life goes on and as they grow I can teach them, that plan went wrong as I had my own personal 9-11 but in 2002
next instalment may include details of disaster and may be some flying may your winds blow freely
may your kite not touch the ground till you won’t it to
and in the words of Mel I am not a number BBC 065
I was living in the suburbs of Perth a place called Yangebup and riding home on my GSXR 750 after a 10hr day grinding chamfers with a 9” angle grinder thinking has Osama bin Laden given us an anniversary present, when a guy in a Land Curser Ute pulled out in front of me. I reckoned I had no time to brake so I tried to go around and missed. I clipped the bull bar getting my left arm between it and the front of the ute, having remodel my arm I continued along the bull bar till my knee contacted a shovel tied there(the surgeon later told me he’d put his hand in). I then proceeded to slide along the road where I lay for what seemed like hours listening to the sirens of the ambulance that had taken the wrong exit off the freeway. In E R I finally got to look at my arm and it looked like I’d no forearm, just elbow then hand to which I said “looks like that my sex life don for a while”. The Doctors were so busy with my arm that it didn’t come to their attention till 3 day later that my hand was broken. Then followed 6 months of therapy several operations on my hand and arm and after nine months I’d had enough the pain killers wern.t working I was bored out of my skull. So I went back to work armed with a fist full of pain killers and another full of ant-depressants, my work station supplied by the Australian Rehabilitation Service, as a structural drats man. Now as you can imagine the combination of pain medication (supplemented with over the counter pain killers) and ant-depressants had something of a soporific effect and to counter this I consumed 6 or 7 coffees with 6 shots each. After a while I was taken for my review and told my work was suffering, I decided to stop the medication( 1 the pain killers seemed to have little effect 2 I was depressed because I was in pain and my life was really shit(these being facts and not imagined, depression was the correct reaction to the situation)( at a latter review I was told I was a lot more productive but a lot less funny)can’t win em all.
Kite flying went out the window and if I saw kites in the sky it would bring me to tears, it was not till 2009 that I got over this and then another 3 years till I could fly for more than An hour, now I’m doing well if I keep at it for 3 hours.
Now a days I’ve learnt to keep the pain at bay by mental effort, and adrenaline works well, the price for the metal effort is I can no longer read books and find it very had to concentrate for long (which is why this is in chapters)
So said I leave you with the wish your kites fly well and the sun stays behind you.
Its that time of year again when i have to leave paradise and start moving down the coast. Before i left we had another week camping at Archers point up near Cooktown. It was a great way to end the season up here, we had super low tides and some really good wind as well. Its really warming up now and theres talk of crocs being quite bad around cooktown, we didnt see any but the ranger saw one at Archers point while we were there.
Im currently in Yeppoon and have been for about a week, its been a bit quiet here but now we've got a few days of 20+ knots directly onshore.Thursday I had my 7m Ikon kite up and I think i was a bit overpowered, whenever i tried to pull the bar in even a little bit I just went sideways. I still managed to reach 68 kmh..
Friday was great, it was 20-25 knots most of the day. My 5m kite went flat on me so I was forced to use my baby kite ( 4m Air Rush DNA), I did a couple of runs down to the point. I used to think it was a long way to the point but when your doing 70 kmh the whole time its a very quick run!Ive put my sysmic midi-xls on the back of my Peter Lynn and it feels like a new buggy, no more shacking the buggy to pieces when its over 60 kmh, its amazing what a difference straight wheels make.
Today was more of the same, it was probably my best day kiting while ive been here. I think ive had my fix now and the wind is easing off tomorrow so its time to move on..
There's been a lot of attention lately towards GT-Race buggies in Australia and I'm unashamedly responsible. Earlier this year @nigel and I discussed to great length and in detail finally making our move towards owning the best production race buggies available. Our decision came about by the competitive blood between us when we're out kiting together, it's nearly a diagnosable medical condition and something that we've enjoyed for over 10 years together.
Back in July our original plan was to order the XXTreme Apexx, a buggy we've seen first hand up close when @domenic first purchased his in 2008. We put up a discussion in the Buy & Sell on Extreme Kites to also feel if anyone else was interested, the end result was @igeighty was also showing interest. With three confirmed individuals I approached XXTreme in the Netherlands with our intent on purchasing three Apexx buggies and having them shipped to Australia. Without creating undesired consequences of sharing our unfavourable experience lets just say that communication during this process was incredibly poor.
Delays in communication mean idle fingers wander, and wander they did stumbling upon GT-Race's website. We took a closer look at the information available online, then spoke with two GT-Race owners (one being in Mark Van den Berg the Dutch National Champion) and then finally approached @GT-Race (Martin Faber) directly. From the outset Martin's communication pre-order was amazing in the speed of which he delivered answers to our questions, the manner in which he fielded our questions and overall the secure atmosphere he created surrounding the purchase by never leaving any query unanswered.
After a week of comparison, reading, searching, discussing with pilots of both buggies the three of us decided that the logical choice in this situation was the GT-Race Rapide. If the Apexx was the gold standard in 2008 the Rapide presented as years of evolution on this original idea. On the surface areas of difference which we felt drew us closer to the Rapide were features such as the integrated backrest, fork lock and flat foot plates. However when going further in to detail we felt the way the headstock connected to the downtube and facilitated the mudguard was a better solution, also the rear axle joint system made for quicker assembly and disassembly. Beyond that we liked little changes like how Martin had stepped the downtube welds and used 20mm head stock bolts that counter-sunk in to the fork. Overall the three of us felt that whilst the Apex was an incredible buggy the Rapide was just that few steps ahead having continued to evolve in increments.
With our decision made we approached Martin and placed the order, however we were surprised to note that the Rapide ++ was due for release and that we would be in the first 10 built to receive the ++ version. In short, the ++ version brings together Martin's extensive build experience on the FL, refines it and makes further evolves the manufacturing process to produce a better finished product. It's not so much an evolution in features as it is an evolution in Martin's manufacturing process.
With this in place and Martin now building 3 custom Rapide ++ buggies for us @roblukin stepped in to the mix. Originally his plan was to order an Outlaw from Peter Lynn New Zealand, however again you would have more success trying to arrange your affairs through two paper cups and a piece of string than any other form of communication. So again we turned to Martin and explained Rob's personal situation, his strengths and weaknesses regarding his physical condition and physical disabilities he has to manage as part of his buggying process. Virtually instantly Martin stepped it up a gear, and then the goal to manufacture a modified GT-Race Radical for Rob became the goal. There was some considerable discussion, about cutting some weight from the buggy, changing slightly part of the materials used and the manufacturing using those changed specifications. Over the course of a week everything was discussed and a 4th Buggy was ordered.
GT-Race's strength isn't only about producing the highest quality, most technically advanced production buggies. GT-Race's strength is also the personalised customer service that Martin Faber spends each weeknight providing and each weekend turning orders in to fulfilment. Presently there are 4 GT-Race buggies being manufactured, assembled, checked over and packed to make their way to Australia.
Kite Buggying in Australia is back on a growth trajectory since we launched the new Extreme Kites website in June this year, GT-Race is going to be front and centre of many Australian achievements going forward.
Friday morning at 7.30am the big trip west begins. Work is slack during September so I figure I have the time to do this trip now, so I should do it while I can. Not looking forward to the first day drive from Ballarat to either Crystal Brook or Pt Pirie, somewhere around the 900km mark. I figure I'll go via Mildura and skip the drive through Adelaide. From there I'll head to Fowlers Bay which is another 700km, and I'm hoping to arrive there late afternoon on the Saturday. Huge dunes and whales seem to be the main attraction there. Not sure how soft the dunes will be and whether they will be buggyable or not for me but there's one way to find out. Figure I'll stay and explore the place on the Sunday and Monday then head across the Nullabor on Tues stopping to take lots of pics of the cliffs. Hopefully, there'll be some wind to get the kap rig up over the bight for some interesting photos. Overnight somewhere around Cocklebiddy then off to Lefroy on Wednesday....unless the wind is wrong and it's wet, then it will be down to Esperance and maybe have a buggy on the beach with Chook, Gumnuts and DJsylk.
Will try and use the phone for some updates and pics as I go and should have a shirt load of photos & vids when I get back. I'll keep an eye out for good buggy spots on the way over and can always stop and spend a day or two on the way back.
Last time I went to the optometrists and had a change to my prescription, I forked out $150 each for a couple of pair of glasses. And that was about as cheap as I could go. No fancy anti reflective or hydrophobic coatings just plain Jane lenses. I think the frames were $40 or $50 and the lenses were the rest. It's real easy to double and quadruple those prices on glasses bought in-store.
Now I'm all for supporting local business and I feel bad when I don't, but there is a point where too much is too much. The last few pairs I've bought I've ordered on-line from overseas and I can get reasonable frames but really nice lenses and all the anti reflection/hydrophobic coatings I want for around $70AU delivered to my po box. The same glasses would cost me at least three times the price in store here. One of those pairs was a pair of multifocals which I had always wanted to try but not willing to risk the $300 plus in case I hated them. I had even gone into SpecSavers during one of their sales.....and then, of course they start saying stuff like, 'oh, you'll need to pay for the extra strength prescription ($50) and you'll need to go the better lenses and then you'll want to add on the coatings....the 'special' soon started looking more like $400. So I payed the grand sum of $60 to Zenni and got some really nice lenses and ok frames - they're great for going out to eat or shopping when you need to read stuff as well as focus on everything around you, but turns out I can't work in them as when I rake stuff up, I'm looking at my feet, which through multifocals are all out of focus. So had I forked out $400, I'd be feeling a bit ripped off.
Speaking of being ripped off, this is what cheeses me off about buying glasses from the store - part of my prescription is -3.5 cylinder in my right eye and this get's me the 'extra strength' penalty. From the optometrist, that's $50 extra. From Zenni (where I buy my online stuff from) it's $9. Same sort of deal with coatings - Zenni's premium anti reflective, oleophobic (oil and fingerprint resistant) coatings are $14. Tinting is $5 or thereabouts. I can understand why optometrists charge more for their service and their frames etc to pay for staff, rent, equipment etc and I'm fine with that, but not when a coating or charge is 6X the price. That's not what I consider 'fair'.
So for the last couple of years, my glasses have come from overseas. I think Zenni has their office in California, but everything is made and sent from Hong Kong. And they do a damn good job on my prescriptions - certainly better than OPSM ever did. Coatings are great - for your next pair, go for the anti reflective and hydrophobic (or oleophobic) coating - they're the best lenses I have ever had. Water just beads off them (wears off after a couple of years), super easy to clean and no reflections (the last two seem permanent on my 3 year old Zenni's.) I will never go back to plain lenses again. Online frame choice is a lot more hit 'n miss however. The very first pair I ordered online from a store in Melbourne have the crappiest most awful frames ever. Certainly most of that is my own fault for not understanding frame width, lens height, temple length and bridge spacing - stuff you need to know before you order anything along with your prescription and interpupillary distance. The first you can get from measuring your current favorite pair of glasses, the last two you can get from your optometrist. It's your prescription and it belongs to you - they cannot withhold it from you.
Another thing I like about Zenni is that they print your reviews - good and bad, so you can always get a general consensus feel for what people are saying about a particular model. I should say that I did get one pair that was tinted a little more darker in one eye than the other and a couple pairs of frames I ended up not liking, so ordering online is not all beer and skittles and I'm not cheeky enough to go into my local optometrists and ask them to fix glasses I bought from overseas - that wouldn't be fair either. But overall, it's been a big win for me with lots of money saved and I've been able to afford to try out different scripts and styles without fear of losing hundreds of bucks down the gurgler.
This is not me btw and I tend to steer clear of plastic frames now - if they're not quite right, I don't have the gear to bend 'em. Steel/titanium frames seem more versatile in that regard...
My name is Joel Theodore, I live in Australia and I have been kiting since 2003. Throughout my journey I have experienced and enjoyed a variety of kiting disciplines, starting with a kite buggy and learning ground based freestyle then moving to aerial freestyle and buggy jumping. After a few years I moved on to Kiteboarding and enjoyed many seasons on the water, however after a bit of a break i'm back in the buggy and this time chasing my goal of outright speed.
In 2006 I joined Extreme Kites and my involvement over the years with the community grew. In 2011 I took on ownership of Extreme Kites to preserve the website in an endeavour to keep the Land Kiting community in Australia together. After a few of life's events and some time away in 2014 the flame to chase speed records has re-ignighted.
In 2015 I launched the new Extreme Kites website with the help of a newly appointed Team and moved ownership to my private company, this has enabled me to lay back a bit and enjoy partaking in the community in a more relaxed role. My role here is now Website Support where I code, develop and create new and exciting features for the Extreme Kites community.
My goals going forward for Extreme Kites are that it continues to foster a positive, welcoming and warm community spirit for those entering the world of kiting. Over the years I have seen various websites, communities, blogs and social media platforms come and go, however for more than a decade Extreme Kites has stood by and supported the spread of kiting knowledge. I believe information for those interested in kiting should be made public and available, it shouldn't be hidden behind paywalls and closed groups unable to be found. The easier we make information accessible here the greater the community benefits, so I hope the time I spend on improving Extreme Kites enhances your experience here with the community.
See you around the website or when I'm out with a kite in my hands.
I'm in the development stage of making a dogstake to fly my kites through. Dogstake I hear you say. It's where you fly your kite with the strings looping around a pulley so you are facing the back of your kite. Like line bending but with a specific piece of kit. It's not a new concept, was first introduced by Lee Sedgewrick in the late '80s. I have been doing line bending using the soccer goals at the park across the road from my place. But looped around a pole is far from ideal. Hence the idea to make a dogstake. Or rather, to make up a set of pulleys to attach to a dogstake and use that.
I got some pulleys that are pretty good but short of making the trek to a sail hardware wholesaler the D shackles have been a bit of a pain. I need the extra wide mouth to accommodate having 2 pulleys per shackle. Think I'll have to bunk out of work early and trek to Whitworths or bite the bullet and pay for delivery.
After a couple hours of buggying, it's good to have a break...stand up and stretch the legs. Take in the awesome scenery. Grab a drink and a bite to eat. And speaking of a bite to eat, have I got a recipe for you. Exclusively on Extreme Kites is my Honey Oat slice recipe!! Ok, it's not really my own invention - I've been mucking around with it for a couple of weeks, changing a few things here and there and adding a few bits to see how it would go. Anywhoo, this is yumo.
Melt: (I chuck it all in a saucepan and stick it on top of my woodheater for 20min or so). 300gm Butter 4 tbs Honey (can substitute 1 or 2 golden syrup) 1 tsp Vanilla essence
Mix in bowl: (a big bowl!)
2 cups of rolled oats 1 cup of rice bubbles 1 1/2 cups of plain flour 3/4 cup caster suger 1 1/3 cups dessicated coconut 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup of sultanas and or currants
Add melted butter/honey/vanilla to dry ingredients and mix well. Press ingredients into 18 x 28cm slice pan lined with baking paper. Press too hard and you'll get a pretty heavy and dense slice, too light and it will have trouble keeping together. Pop into oven at 180C for 30 min (give or take depending on oven) Heat up 2-3 tbs Honey and pour over slice when it comes out of oven. Cut while still hot - it will be pretty soft. Leave in pan to cool.
Store in airtight container for up to 10 days. (yeah, right, like it's gonna still be there in 10 days).
mmmmmmmmm.... forget the shop bought rubbish, this is the read deal!
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We have been going up to Cooktown a bit lately, weve been going to a place called Archers point. Its not a great buggy spot but it is a beautiful place to go camping and the wind is fantastic! Its a few hours north of Port Douglas and the trade winds come in there properly. The wind is a garanteed 10 knots stronger than here. Its not a very long run, maybe a few hundred metres but its great to get the adrenalin pumping.
We ran into Jason (Briskites) and the Brissy crew. It was also school holidays so it was fairly crowded on the water. At low tide no-one can kite so I had it all to myself.
So to paint a picture, Its blowing 25 knots, I'm flying down the beach and looking for a spot to turn, got my bar fully out but the buggy is still accelerating! Then i cross the shallow creek between the sandbars, the buggy does a bit of aquaplaning and comes unstuck for a bit. I'm now running out of room and have to turn, skidding the buggy sideways doesnt seem to do much to slow me down so I throw a downloop and do a big carving turn and hope I come out of it before i slide into the deeper creek on the other side!
It was during one of the downloops that I had a bit of an 'OH SHIT!" moment, got the timing a bit wrong, went a bit wide with too much speed and ended up with a steering line wrapped around the axil. Shit! the kites gone into a death loop, I pulled my safety and miraculasely the kite stops death looping for a bit. I roll out of the buggy, crawl around the back and try to unwind the steering line from the wheel, got it half undone when the kite decides to take off death looping again. Theres nothing I can do now so I let go, the buggy gets dragged over me and towards the mangroves, I wave goodbye to it and am thankfull I got away without getting hurt. Eventually the kite ran into a mangrove tree and stopped.
I didnt see any crocs butt theres supposed to be a big one lives just around the corner in the next bay, a bit later the boys (my mate and Jason) saw me sitting on the sandbar without a buggy or kite, they came over and rescued me. I'd been lucky, the kite had dragged between the rocks missing them all, and ended up stopping micely on a mangrove tree and without any damage.
As summer draws to a close and the weather starts to get a bit colder I usually find myself trying to escape the winter and make my annual pilgrimage northward, kiting wherever I can along the way. As most of you know, I am currently im currently in Port Douglas. Most of my winters are spent up here, it is one of the few places that is both windy and warm at this time of year. Most of my days here are spent playing with the kitesurfers and just splashing around in the puddles ...
I'm going east at the end of September for the new incarnation of the Kira Kite Festival on the Gold Coast. I have started to try and plan how to get my kites over without the airline 1) losing my bags or 2) breaking anything. With my revs it's not too bad as I've got some spare frames complete and a hole in the sail just needs a bit of tape. It's the dual line kites that are, delicate isn't the right word, a bit harder to fix or replace. I've got a plan. I'll break down the duals fully and put inside their bags. I'll take the revs out of my rev bag and roll up with my duals in my dual bag. Then roll the whole she-bang up in my rev bag. Like one big burrito. I might even wrap that all up in plastic sheet to prevent any bits falling out. Now, let's hope that all comes under the 23kg weight limit...
So during my day (between shifts) I help out a friend who rehabilitates Australian Wildlife back into the wild. Here are just a few since February this year who have made a full recovery and are on the way to be released again. Good Luck Kiddies!
Charlotte - an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. She has successfully be released and is living a wild life.
Abby - the Wombat. She was born with an undeveloped palette and when she was bottle fed (as her Mum was killed in a road accident) she would stop breathing. She is currently still at the shelter, with her mate Luke, getting over a case of mange.
Luca and Sienna - eastern grey's. They are at their soft release shelter, where they will stay for about a month, before the pen doors are opened and they can venture out into the wild.
Luca and Sienna - Sienna had the tip of her tail removed because when her Mum was killed, she fractured the tip and it was just a dead weight. This does not prevent her from bounding around and will live a very normal life.
The cutest of the group, WInta and Stevie. 4 month old wombat joeys. They have a long way to go before they can be released. None the less though, in good care.
Introducing my two favourite night-time visitors, Sophie and Joey. Sophie's been visiting since 2008 and had Joey around Christmas 2012. Since then, Joey has had three young of her own. These two in particular, stayed on to be regular visitors, even (and I know some of you will apposed) they will come to their names.
About 5 months ago, the house next door was pulled down and Joey lost her den (Sophie was happy to hang out in the shed) So as soon as we knew when the house was going, Doug and I made up four boxes for the garden, which are happily being used.
Anyway, here are some photos back from when Joey was young. Enjoy
Was about to get out for a KAP session this arvo when this Border-Leicester Ram appears in my front yard. Coffee will have to wait, so I puts on the gumboots and try and herd him back up the driveway where I assume he came from. He started trotting back up the road - with me encouraging him - no problems, but then he decided, no, he wants to be with my ewes. Turns out this bloody ram must have been a hurdles champion. Over the fence and into the ewes. Poo. I have three main paddocks and one small ram paddock with the ram and two black pet sheep in it. In that paddock are my actual yards which we use for separating sheep and general handling needs. So, I run around and lock my ram and two black pet sheep up, then call all the ewes up for a feed into the ram paddock. The rogue ram comes along and I manage to get him into my yards by himself. Excellent. For about 20 seconds. He looks at the railings and says 'hey, I can jump this and off he goes. Hmmm... let's give it another try. So after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I get him back into the yards again. Sproing! Over the fence he goes. Well then, that's not going to work. So then I have to try and get all the ewes and their lambs out of my ram paddock and out into the main paddock and leave him in the ram paddock by himself....but with lots of room so hopefully he stays put. By this time, the best part of two hours has past but finally I have him separated. I know he can easily jump the fence if he tries, so I'll back off and give him room. Now, where the heck did he come from? Ring the neighbor at the back....nope. Neighbor at the side....nope. Neighbor down the road....nope Neighbor WAY down the road....nope. Anyone lost a ram? Meanwhile, my poor pets and ram are locked in the yards while this rogue wonders around in their space. He's got an ear tag and one of my neighbors has said he might be able to track down where the ram came from, so that will have to be my next step. That's if he stays put. All my sheep are fairly short and can't jump my yards or the fences. But this mongrel can so I'm not even sure I can hold him. So, that's what I did instead of kite aerial photography this afternoon. Great. (heavy sarcasm).