Monday, June 29, 2009

Where's The Wind! The Guys at Vass!


2208 (local time)

Ahh how frustrating! For about 1.5 weeks there has been no wind... I know this must sound greedy to all the windsurfers back at home... but honestly, when you come to Vassiliki you kinda expect wind at least every second day...

Whats been happening is that there has been a massive storm cell sitting over the top of us, which is killing all signs of wind. But it has made some of the sickest viewing of storm clouds ever, as they brew up over the mountain behind us.

So what have I been doing to keep myself amused and entertained...

Well, this last week just gone, I’m now a qualified (almost) Intermediate Planing Instructor!!! Which is totally awesome. All I need to do know is complete 42 more hours of Start Windsurfing Instructing until I get my ticket, 50 hours is the pre-requisite to get it.

I had a spoke to Andy “Barnsey” Barnes and he thinks my sailing is totally up to scratch all I need to do know is stop talking during my presentations on the simulator, and pretty much get more hours on the water. Because I have only been windsurfing for 1.5 years, I still haven’t totally figured out the sport. Andy recognised this, so he set me a few things to concentrate on. I reckon, that becoming an instructor is one of the best ways to improve your sailing. Anyway! Enough about windsurfing.

My plan on this blog was just to chat about the environment, conditions and the people that I hang with at Club Vass!

Righteo, Club Vass is set up into 5 main categories, there are the beach team, counter staff, kitchen staff, housekeepers and management.

Ill start off with the beach team, because this is where I work. All the boys and girls that I work with are super relaxed and super sick windsurfers. Really, really helpful. Generally when there is no wind, we are just chilling on the deck relaxing and taking it easy. But if the cross-shore wind comes through, its all systems go! There are normally 2 people out in rescue boats, 1 person on the tower watching over everything, 2 people in the sail rack putting away sails and 2 people in the beach hut looking after everyone. When the cross-shore comes in, everyone works off a sailing rotor, if there are more than 5 people working the beach hut, the 6th person gets a 40 minute sail, and it rotates through everyone every 40 minutes.

The top sailors at the beach hut are, obviously Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers, Oli Scott, Max, Rik, Jay, 2-Pumps, Ed and Colin. Colin had a bit of an accident at the pub where he fell off the monkey bars in the club and ended up breaking his leg... top form I reckon! They are all super cool dudes and constantly want to help you out. Then there is Danny (the Mountain Bike Super Star) and her boyfriend Andrew, the Scottish champ! We push each other heaps to bust the new tricks! Really cool dudes!

We will then move on to the Kitchen staff, I have worked out an agreement with the head chef Jamie, that if I work in the kitchen as much as possible, I get free food on certain days and im allowed to come into the kitchen to make myself food. Its been awesome, because I’ve been learning to cook all types of different food. So at the moment I work in the kitchen on Tuesday’s and Thursday, also and as of Sunday, I have moved in with Jamie for a bit, because they have run out of room for me in the other spots! Its good to be living with people, because where I was before I got a bit lonely!

The rest of the staff I don’t deal that much with, but everyone that works at Vass are pretty cool people.

There’s two other people that I hang with, and there names are Laura Slater and Ally Warr. These two are the resident photographers at Club Vass! Laura is awesome fun to hang with because she always is wanting to teach you something about photography, plus she is just generally a cool person! “On ya Lozza” Whilst Ally, chills out with the lot of us, going for casual windsurf’s and we give each other shit... or BANTER as the pommies call it!

Anyway, Tonight, I just got a phone call from Andy Young, “Youngie” who I hung with for ages in Turkey, he is coming down for a visit in Vass, which I’m really looking forwards for!

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for me!

I jazzed up my blog site, so if its cool let me know!

Chat soon guys!!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fish Course, Club Vass, The Skaf's and The Cruise


2311 (local time)

Fantastic!! Im absolutely having a ball overseas at the moment! It feels as if everything is going my way!

Ok well ill start with the finishing of my flying fish course! It was a pretty amazing experience! Getting taught by some amazing instructors!

So after four weeks, it had finished and now I’m currently a Start Windsurf Instructor! So I’m qualified to teach beginners how to windsurf. During my four week course, my aim was to make a good impression upon all the Club Vass staff. So on my first day of arriving to my flying fish course, I went there and introduced myself, and straight away asked if they needed any help.

For the rest of the four week course, I always made an effort to help out, either carrying peoples sails from the beach, or helping them de-cage the sails and boards.

By the third week, one of the owners of Club Vass, arrived so I waited around to ask him for a job.

The thing that makes it hard to get a job in Vass, is that it is a UK based company, which means that only people with a British Passport and a British Bank Account are allowed to work there, and since I don’t have either of those, it makes it quite hard for me to find a job, as Club Vass can be fined heavily if the tourist police arrive and find out that I’m working for them.

So my job at Club Vass involves working the sail rack, helping out in the beach hut and tonight... I helped out in the kitchen cooking and washing up for a free meal... It was awesome, lots of fun and really exciting.

Right... but more importantly, the Skaf’s arrived on Friday, from Athens on a round Europe trip for a month. Seeing them was fantastic... I had been looking forward to seeing them since I arrived in Vassiliki. Anyway, on Friday it was my last day of the Fish course so it was the testing and evaluation day, this was also the day that it blew about 40 – 45 knots... (for people that don’t understand that, 45 knots, will blow dogs off chains) it was bloody windy! So all of the on water stuff got cancelled... and as a funny joke, the Flying Fish trainers pulled an epic joke on us, and convinced most of us that we were going to have to re-sit the last day because it was just too windy... lucky it was just a joke... Anyway, sorry I got sidetracked again... On Friday the Skaf’s rocked up, Leanne spotted me first as I got off the water in my ‘smurf’ wetsuit. It was great to see them because all day I was waiting for them.

Anyway, that night it was the Club Vass BBQ, and even though Jess and I missed most of it, because I cooked dinner for Jess. Anyway, Jess was able to see the entertainment of the night. It was called the plate dance, I’m pretty sure the photos will indicate what it was all about.

Right, so the next day it was a pretty cruisey day with a light onshore wind, I thought it would be a cool idea to take Jess sailing on a Hobie 16. We boosted out, and got her sailing around. It was loads of fun... I had Jess steering and everything, we were a pretty top crew!

For the rest of the day, we chilled out and just took it easy.

On Sunday, Leanne booked our ferry tickets to Scorpios Island and Meganissi Beach, which is pretty much, head out of Vassiliki Bay and turn left and just go...

It was awesome, it involved chilling on a boat, getting rid of my ridiculous watch tan, doing plenty of swimming, checking out some caves, hanging out on a beach, eating some food, sleeping in a really unstable hammock, seeing some dolphins, watching Jess get a red nose and looking like Rudolf and then getting back to Vassiliki at 6pm on the dot, ready for me to go for a easy 1.5 hour windsurf... Really, how can your day get any better... well it did. I had a huge hamburger for my dinner and found the apartment where I’m staying this week. But, I had to be ready, tomorrow was going to be my first day at work, but on sad note, the Skaf’s were leaving.

Well, I had a lovely sleep in my new apartment, not to sure how long I’m staying there for, but what I do know is that I have a huge pool outside of my apartment, on the inside, I have two single beds, a TV that doesn’t pick up any stations, an air conditioner that doesn’t turn on, but I do have my own small little kitchen! Its pretty awesome! I’m impressed with it.

Anyway, I got up bright an early for my first day at work, all the boys were giving me a hard time but all in good fun. The only thing that sucked, is that I knew at 9ish the Skaf’s were going to arrive to say their goodbyes. It was a pretty sad part of the day, because I probably won’t see anyone from home for ages...

Later that day, I realised that the ‘Ginge Ninge’ aka Ian was coming that day. Ian is one of the boys I sail with out in Melbourne to work a good part of the season at the Dive Centre that is right next door. Its cool hanging out with someone from back home, trying to out-do each other with different tricks. He has brought a custom board that he made back at home, over here, so I’m looking forward to giving it a red hot shot.

Anyway, I had an absolutely awesome day, with plenty of sailing time.

The Vulcans are defiantly there, so im looking on to Spocks now! Cant wait!

Hope everyone is well! Chat soon guys!


PS: Enjoy the photos and feel free to drop some comments! I really enjoy reading them J

Seeing Jess and Leanne for the first time... in my smurf wetsuit!

The plate dance... nuff said!

Jess and Leanne on the ferry!

I took the photo using Jess's camera... i think it wins photo of the year award!

Another photo i took... again photo of the week award!
Looking out toward Vassiliki Bay!

I think this is Megannisi beach... not sure! just off Vassiliki bay.

In my new Hawks top... hanging with Jess at her hotel!

Hanging with Jess next door to her hotel!

Looking out at Vassiliki Bay!

Jess and Leanne looking out at Club Vass Resort!

Having a cheap feed, at the local restraunt!

Getting ready to start our epic adventure on the ferry!

Always causing trouble on the ferry!

Jess and me having a dip at Skorpious beach...

Having a glance over the menu... Omlette for me that day!

Post Omlette, having a nice nap, in the unstable hammok!

Hows work going dad... this is the med!

What a legend!

Jess in her greek godeess robe!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Two Towers! & Vulcan Master!


1211 (local time)

All righty! Well, there has been a lack of posts coming out, because ive been too busy windsurfing… gee tough life I hear you ask… well actually it is! Its quite draining. Definitely better than being in an office… (suckers)

Well on Thursday the 4th of June, I got up at 6.30 am, had a super quick breakfast and peddled down the Club Vass, because today we were going on a 3 hour bike ride up a massive hill to the two towers.

I was pretty pumped for it, got some stuff together, Camera, Apple and a Banana, put them in my “Gay Mans Bag” and set off. I got to Club Vass, with everyone waiting (I was a tad late). When I got there, I realized that I had left my battery back at Fish House, so I had a camera with no battery!!! AWESOME!

Never mind, didn’t have enough time to go back for it, just had to use other peoples cameras. So off we went on this epic bike ride, is started off on a flat bit of tarmac that turned into an uphill battle… I kid you not, this uphill went for about 1.5 to 2 hours. It was just hectic. Some bits were mega steep whilst others were just a uphill. None the less though, it was bloody tiresome. We went past different little towns and quite little communities that were up in the mountains. It was pretty awesome.

Anyway, we arrived at the town, only to realize that we had only really gone half way… Now, do you know how heart breaking this is, knowing that you have already been peddling UPHILL for about 45 minutes, only to realized that we were only half way to the top. Its like buying an ice cream, tripping and dropping it all over the floor… It can bring a grown man to tears. But never mind, I took some photos, and we headed off again.

Guess what… it was more uphill, the only thing that was running through my head… apart from how sore my ass was getting from this seat, and my right nut chafe-age was this epic downhill… But it did worry me, that I would get a flat, and have to walk my bike all the way down the hill.

Well after another 45 minutes I could see the top of the mountain, I could see the two mobile phone towers on top of the hill, but before that, was one of the steepest up hill sections ever… and to make matters worse was that it was off road. I let out a huge sigh and worked my way up this last hill. I HAD FINALLY MADE IT! My legs felt like jelly, my ass hurt and my right nut, felt as if it was on fire… but I had made it. We took a few photos, had a bit of a sit down and chat, and we had to set off again.

Right, now it was time for the downhill section, the down hill section went for about 30 seconds, until there was a short little uphill again, but what made this different is that Andy Barnes who was leading skidded to the side, then the person in front of my road over something brown in the middle of the gravel path, and then this brown thing slide just in front of my front tyre, it was a snake, chilling on the road. Pretty cool stuff.

The first bit of proper downhill was epic double track, on really loose gravel with lots of twisty corners and hair pins, I was three-quarters down, when I heard a bang, followed by a hissing sound, then my front tyre went completely flat… I couldn’t believe it… I couldn’t be stuff so I kept going, my hands were getting shaken off the handle bars but I could see the bottom of the first bit of down hill. When I got down, there were a few people waiting for me, I showed them my flat, lucky they had plenty of spares so we all fixed it, and sorted it out. No worries at all. Apparently the cause for a front tyre flat is poor technique... i don’t think this is true, because I’m probably the best rider ever... but all the boys were giving me shit for it...

No worries, we fixed the flat, waited for everyone, and then set off again. More down hill! Woo hoo!

The next down hill, was not very technical but very fast! So we flew through it all... it was awesome! So fast!

We then got to the bottom, for the last proper bit of down hill... Super technical, really slow speeds and really tight corners. For me, this was the favourite part of the ride. You have to be so well balanced to get your bike around the super tight corners, and at very slow speeds, it can be very tricky... but alot of fun.

We made it to the bottom, road straight to the super market... because I wanted to treat myself for such an epic ride... so I bought some coco-pop type cereal for a ridiculous price, but I didn’t care... I was going to treat myself. They were bloody nice.

When we made it down to the beach the wind was starting to build, which was awesome, so I got some kit together and headed out.

The first 30 – 60 minutes were awesome, I was constantly trying Vulcans and getting really close, but it ended up getting really crowded and gusty, and I was getting nailed every time I tried one, so I threw a bit of a hissy fit and went in for an hour and a bit to just chill out...

I went out again for the arvo session with all the pros, I was sailing next to Andy “Bubble” Chambers, Max, Oli and Phil the Canadian. They were all busting tricks everywhere. I was happy again because at least I had someone to sail with and it wasn’t so crowded, because all the beginners had gone in.

I had my own little area to practice my tricks, and a few people were watching me get nailed, which was pretty awesome... Anyway, I came in for one of my last runs, it felt good, I had good speed, spotted a place where I was going to pop, did a smooth pop, transition went well, sliding backwards got the rig, and quickly water started out switch stance... I had just completed my very first Vulcan!!! All the people watching me were cheering! I was so stoked!

It was a pity the next one I tried was a failure, but I didn’t mind, I called it a quits after that with a massive smile on my face!!!

I went home that night, planning on having a big one... planned on having a quick hour nap, then get on the piss... that one hour nap turned into a 10 hour epic sleep!

I had an awesome day!

Peace out


1st time Vulcan Master!!!