A Day at the Beach, September 1, 2002

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I just got a new Nikon D100 digital SLR camera, and I wanted to take it for a spin. We had been by Waddel Beach last weekend and the place was full of kitesurfers. This sport uses a small surfboard with foot straps and a giant kite to zip around over the water. It seemed to be the perfect place to try out my new camera.

On the way to the beach, we stopped in the Santa Cruz mountains to try to find a geocache that had eluded us on two previous occasions. After more hunting, I was about to give up, when Chris said "Here it is!" She left a log entry and we headed on to the coast.

As we headed by Waddell Beach, we could see that there were no kitesurfers. We headed another 10 miles up the highway to Pigeon Point Lighthouse to look for another geocache. We couldn't find this one, but the lighthouse was beautiful in the shifting fog.

We had lunch, then headed back to Waddell Beach. There still weren't any kitesurfers, but we parked and looked around. There wasn't much wind, and that was what was keeping the kiters out. While Chris stretched out in the sun and read, I walked around and took some pictures. I came across a guy who was untangling the strings to his surfing kite. While he worked on them, we talked. His name is Art, and he's been kitesurfing for a couple of years. He was waiting for the wind to pick up. He expected it to do so soon. He asked me to try to get some good pictures of him surfing. If they came out well, he would buy some from me.

While we waited for the wind, I took some more pictures of the beach and the regular surfers. Finally, around 2:30, the wind was strong enough, and several kiters started launching their kites and heading out. I put the camera through its paces, taking pictures of the coloful kites and their riders as they zipped around the from the breakers to a quarter mile out in the ocean.

We had to leave at 3:30 to get ready for a party. Chris had finished her book and thoroughly enjoyed relaxing on the beack. I had a blast with the D100 and couldn't wait to see the results on the computer. Here are 25 of the 173 pictures I took.

- Dale

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