Kites Surfing

The Joys of Niagara

There are many things to enjoy about Niagara. Not just those on Clifton Hill and in the Niagara Falls tourist areas. Beyond the bright lights and cascading waters, the Niagara peninsula offers a wealth of things to explore. From hiking trails and conservation areas with diverse flora and fauna, to the less obvious. We are not limited to land-based activities here in Niagara. No, siree. We have water-based activities that go far beyond boating and fishing.

We have sitting and swimming, both popular with sun worshippers on our many beaches. We have beachcombing and metal detecting, popular with visitors that stick around once the sun worshippers have gone home and will miss their wallets later. Shell collecting. Bird watching. Photography.

All these activities and more, based around the only Canadian area with access to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Niagara peninsula separates these two lakes, at least until the next seismological upheaval moves the geographical fault line that we call Niagara Falls up or down a few feet. Which is a nice thought I will put in your heads to go to bed with each night.

Kite Surfing

Kite Surfing
Kite Surfing

Also popular with the energetic is kite surfing. Made possible by our unique geography. We sit at the North East end of the wind-tunnel which is Lake Erie. Air is constantly being channeled Westerly down the lake (being the path of least resistance) and coming to a nexus around the entrance to the Niagara river in Fort Erie.

Consequently, this year-round phenomenon dumps in its wake more snow across the border in Buffalo each winter than arguably anywhere else in the lake. Several feet, several times per year. This makes for some spectacular wave action as air is squeezed along the narrowing shoreline like water through a sluice gate in a dam.

The wind often whips the water enough to generate whitecaps on even the calmest of days, and when it really gets up kite surfers can easily go airborne for a quarter mile or more. Kite surfing is a relatively safe activity. Unless you find yourself over land, in which case I humbly suggest you just let go before you end embarrassingly in a tree or a nearby high street. It could happen. In theory. Just let it go.

Buddy system

These two friends of mine happened to be out enjoying themselves as I wandered along the beach one day. Here, they were a couple hundred feet out on the lake. I filled my SD card with images of them over the next hour as they went back and forth at high speed, having a lot of fun by all appearances.

There is a thriving community of like-minded kite surfers in the area that grace the more windy beaches during the year. As I type it is May 20th, a long weekend here in Canada. I hope to get out and take more photos of any kite surfers with my new longer lens, which should allow me to see much more detail, potentially nose hairs. Not that I want to, you understand, I make the point only to highlight the abilities of the new lens. Should be fun.

Onward and upward, as they say. But I will do it on foot with a camera. Not by kite.

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