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Arizona Lou

Keys Kite Kaper© - a Real Kaper

Contents:

The boat is a 60-foot, 1992 Carri Craft Cruiser, (catamaran) powered by two, 265 horsepower,  5.7 Mercruisers inboard engines. We will also have use of an electrically powered dingy.

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Venues for Kiteboarding

Departing from Key West, we will have access to spots both to the north and to the south of the keys. The best winds during mid February are typically associated with cold fronts coming from the north. Depending on the weather and the desires of the participants, we anticipate including a mix of flat water, wave riding and some awesome downwinders.

Let us know if you know of or have heard of any good boat-accessible kiteboarding spots near Key West - preferably with GPS coordinates for our skipper. Since our boat has a draft of 3 1/2 feet and we will have use of the dingy, we should be able to get into some awesome places.

We have been in touch with the kite shops in Key West. Nick and Greg will fill us in on the good spots when we arrive. We plan on flying into the Key West airport the afternoon before the first Keys Kite Kaper©.

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Port of Call:

Sunset Marina Key West
5555 College Rd (on Stock Island)
Key West, FL
(Sunset Marina Website)
305 296-7101

  Check out the boat's progress on its way to Key West.

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Schedule Keys Kite Kaper© 09     (revised 2/9/09)
Going later, we can expect warmer water and better winds than our first schedule.
          If you’re curious, you can see how the printable second schedule would have looked if we had a full slate of participants.

Wed Feb 25, 2009 - Mixer and strategy meeting: Contact us for confirmation, but as of this writing we plan to meet at 11:00 am the morning of the first kaper with local kiteboarders and participants of the first Kaper at:
    Hurricane Joe's Bar & Grill
    5110 US Highway 1
    Key West, FL 33040
    (305) 294-0200

Departure
1:00 pm Kiteboarders' Meeting on the dock
1:30 pm We check in with the skipper
2:00 pm Departure - hopefully kiteboarding before sunset

Tue Mar 10, 9009 - end of Keys Kite Kaper© 09
8:00 am Settle up, Pack up, Straighten up and Clean up the boat
9:00 am or thereabouts Seldom's Escape arrives at the dock
The tired kiteboarders go home and act like normal people for a while.
Hope you enjoyed the trip.

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Skill Level and Experience

For the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved, the Keys Kite Kaper© is not for beginners. You will be expected to know how to rig and use your equipment, including the safety systems. You should be able to re-launch your kite from the water and to be able to stay upwind most of the time.

However, non-kiting spouses and friends are welcome as long as we have space available. As of this writing, we have plenty of space. Contact us if you have any questions.

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Getting to Key West

Flying - directly into Key West Airport (EYW) may or may not be more cost-effective than flying into Miami (MIA) and then taking a shuttle to Key West. We found that when flying across the country (as from Phoenix, AZ) it only cost about $50 more to fly directly into EYW.
Shuttles - from Miami International to Key West cost about $100 each way for the 4-hour trip and generally leave Miami every two hours between 11am and 9pm. Return shuttles depart Key West every two hours between 2:45am and 1:45pm. You can make reservations at:
http://www.miamibeach411.com/transportation/key-west-shuttle.htm
or at
http://www.floridasunshineshuttle.com/miami-airport-to-key-west.html

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Accommodations Participants will be sleeping in their sleeping bags on the top deck under the stars for four the nights of each Kaper. In case of rain we'll figure out where to put everybody down inside on the main deck.

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Meals will be coordinated by Eddy. Participants should let her know if they would like a particular menu. Eddy will come up with a grocery list and the participants will do the shopping before they board the boat. These arrangements will be handled through Face Book or email.

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Bring:

Keep in mind that in late February and early March in Key West the normal high and low air temperatures are 77 and 67 degrees. For comparison, the averages are about the same as you would expect in late April at South Padre Island, TX and in June at Cape Hatteras, NC. Compare Key West average winds and average temperatures with other places.

If you think of other things to include on this, let me know.

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Shopping in Key West - Click on Shops & Links for kiteboarding.
We have divided other shopping into types:

For example, if you find that you need more blankets, pillows and jackets than you can carry on the plane, try a thrift store.

You might want to pick up a screw-type doggie anchor and a float to use for launching kites in shallow water.

Here is a printable list of stores . Those nearest our port of call are listed first in each category.

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Reservations - Contact us to reserve a spot. If spots start filling up, we may ask for a deposit with each reservation, but that is unlikely. Seldom's Escape can accommodate six participants on each of the 4-day Kapers.

Click Contact for your reservation(s). Please include your:

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Arrangements and updates will be communicated through FaceBook. We will allow all the participants to read and write on our wall so everyone can find out what everyone else is doing without telling the whole world. That will allow us all to get acquainted, combine taxi fares etc. without sending a thousand emails.

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Expenses

Our hosts have only requested that we cover the fuel costs and bring food. Fuel for each 4-day cruise will probably be less than $200 per person, depending how many participants we have.

At the end of each cruise we will calculate the fuel costs and simply divide it by the number of participants. We are paying our own way for everything just like everyone else - just want to go out with friends, have fun, increase our skills, kite in new places, be responsible and respectful and further the sport of kiteboarding.

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Liability Release - you will be expected to sign a standard liability release before you board.

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History of the Keys Kite Kaper - Late spring in 2008 we were on our way from South Padre Island, TX to Hatteras Island, NC and were kiteboarding every possible place between the two. In New Orleans on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain our bumper sticker, "Drive like me for 28% better mileage," caught the eye of Edwina. That was the contact.

We spent a delightful half day with Edwina ("Eddy"), the first mate, and Cliff, the skipper, in their home - a 60' Carri Craft Cruiser. We found that we had a lot in common, being retired and having gone to the same high school as Eddy. Although they do not kiteboard, themselves, they said they would like to take us and some of our friends kiteboarding from their boat. All they asked is that we cover the fuel costs and bring food for the meals.

One thing lead to another. We blocked out dates when they planned to be in Key West, and decided that 4 four-day excursions would maximize flexibility and fun. We then took a class in web design.

As they say, the rest is history.

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Questions? Contact me if you have any questions.

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Latest Update Information

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PR Tag: Share fuel and food expenses for economical kiteboarding excursions leaving Key West, FL between February 24th and March 10th aboard a 60-foot boat that is home for my friends Edwina (Eddy) and Cliff Long, who have graciously invited us aboard. If you are interested read the rest of this page and, contact Arizona Lou ASAP to coordinate our schedules.

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What REALLY Happened

You'll probably be glad you did not join us when you hear what happened. Things did not work out as planned due to the boat having both weather and mechanical problems. It never reached Key West, but got close.

If we had other participants (which we did not have), we would have been able to share lodging and car rental expenses, but as it was all the costs had to be shared by one - us, so the trip got very pricy.

We had already delayed our Feb 8th flight from Phoenix to Key West to Feb 24th, so showed up at Key West in anticipation of the boat's pending arrival. Not too good of an idea. Howevver, we could not shift the kaper to any later or it would chisel into our 4-month South Padre/Gulf Coast/OBX trip.

We were able to ride about 6 days, including a session on the flats (shallow water to the north) from a boat, courtesy of Nick of The Kite House and to try out an Ozone Nano courtesy of Greg of Key West Kiteboarding.

The boat? Oh, yes. Tuesday, it did make it as far as Marathon Key, 40 miles east of Key West. We did enjoy several days aboard with Cliff and Edwina, but had to drive to Key West for our daily kiteboarding fixes. Total cost of the trip excluding airfare and meals: $1,508.97 ($1,200 more than expected due to the boat not making it all the way to Key West).

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