It’s been a week since hurricane Florence blew through our area.  The devastation is horrible.  So many people have lost everything they own.  So many people have no home to come back to after evacuating.  We stayed through it all and are very glad we did.  It minimized our damage to just a couple of ceilings and shingles lost.  After spending the week cleaning and removing debris, I was looking forward to a community kite fly as a means to get away from it all.  Unfortunately, Fort Macon State Park is closed.  For how long, we have no idea.  They are doing damage assessment and repair and have to see how much beach remains after the storm.

Being on the “right” side of the a very slow-moving storm results in a lot of beach erosion.  Some areas now have a four-foot drop to get to the beach.  Some have lost the beach and the first row of dunes.  And, oddly enough, some areas show no erosion at all.  The quirks of a hurricane.  So it may be a while until there will be another community kite fly.  We hope not.

So I’ll take us back to a more pleasant time.  To a kite building workshop which was held this past July.  A couple of NC kitebuilders decided at the beginning of the year that it would be nice to have Robert Brasington hold a kite building workshop in NC.  One was held four years ago in Raleigh, NC and it was about time for a return visit.  A number of builders from NC, SC and VA were definitely interested so the planning began.  The location this time was Morehead City, NC by popular demand.  Conveniently located so the builders and spouses and families (should they decide to tag along) could spend some time at the beach.

 

Thirteen builders converged, ranging in experience from complete novices to master builders.  The majority chose to build the 3/4 stealth delta kite in varying colors.  The delta was my choice as I had never made a delta before and I truly admired the Brasington deltas.  His technique of using adhesive and multiple templates is very different from what I normally do so this workshop was a learning experience.  But that is why I like to attend workshops.  I’m always open to new ways and, sometimes, easier ways to build a kite.

The camaraderie during the weekend was grand.  Taking breaks from sewing to visit with people I only see once or twice a year was one of the best parts.  Having to hem three incredibly long tails for the delta was the worst.  Unfortunately, some people had to leave early on Sunday and others were in a rush to go to the beach and fly their new creations.  So we missed getting a group photo.  All in all, it was a great weekend and one which many of us are looking forward to doing again.

Fair Winds All.

The community kite fly day has come and gone.  An unwanted guest showed up and caused a cancellation.  The guest’s name — FLORENCE.  Hurricane Florence brought two days  of high winds and three days of rain.  And evacuations and curfews which kept us from the beach.  Even though I had thoughts of taking my Flexifoil out and flying in the higher winds.  Of course, no one would go with me.  And I had no re-entry pass to get over the bridge to the beach after Florence passed.

So let’s go back to a better time when we got together with a group of kite builders for a weekend of building.  The Keystone Kiters  Club of Pennsylvania sponsored a kite building workshop in the month of August.  The workshop is a major trip from North Carolina for a weekend but it is also a time of sharing and learning.  It can get intense.

This year we built a modified edo designed by Mike Mosman, an American Kitefliers Association Grand Champion Kite Builder.  The sail designs were completed at home so the weekend would be preparing and framing the kite.  I had a vision of what I wanted this kite to look like.  And I tried a different technique of appliqué.  After several evenings of sewing the sail was complete.  At the workshop, it took both days to hem, attach the cross-spars and vertical spars and bridle the kite.  The bungee cord arrangement for the vertical spars and the cascading bridle were new constructions for me.  That’s one of the reasons to travel to these workshops – to learn new construction techniques.  Especially those that you would never think of or figure out on your own.

The end result is a kite that flies beautifully, looks the way I had imagined it would and has stitching I’m proud of.  The kite is named “The Koi Pond”.

Fair Winds All

Things in life distracted me and I hadn’t realized that it has been two years since I wrote anything.  To those who were following me, I sincerely apologize.  The good news is we haven’t stopped flying our kites.  So I’m going to try to keep up with posting as things have gotten more and more interesting.I’ll start by saying on the days there is no wind or the weather is against us, I will recap what has been going on over the past two years.  On the days the flying is good, there will be a current report.

This past community kite flying day was rained out.  But we lately got home from the Mile High Kite Fly on Beech Mountain, NC.  We’ve been attending this festival for about eight years.  Some things never change, the winds were light.  The first day was a free fly day.  The serious kite flyers who came to help with the festival and show their big kites, art kites and handmade kites flew what they could.  The public brought their kids and their kites and took over the flying fields.  We all helped many people new to kiting to get their kites in the air.

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The only scheduled event was the kitebuilding competition.  This year I had to decide between three kites on which one to enter.  I decided to enter my modified edo I built in a workshop in Camp Hill, PA.  (More about that later.)  Unfortunately it does not fly well in light winds so the scores in the flight category were low.  But it is impressive to look at and I took extra care with the appliqué.  The final result was I took first place this year.  The comments from the judges were very good and I did learn where I can improve.

 

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The second day of the festival was the day for demos in the roped off flying field.  But just as things got started, a storm blew up with lightning and off and on rain.  We tried to wait it out but after a while we all just packed things up and went back to the hotel.  Luckily nothing got too wet and would dry in the wind between showers.  Kites stayed dry, banners were only damp and canopies were wrapped in tarps to get dried off later.  Despite the weather, spirits were high and the time spent with other kite flyer friends was good.  We all hated to have to go.

John and I stayed an extra day and, of course, the weather cleared and the winds were a trifle better.  We went back to the flying field, set up our canopy to dry and flew some of our light wind kites.  I even got to fly one of my dual line stunt kites.  All in all a good weekend.

Fair Winds All

 

 

It’s been almost a month since we’ve been flying our kites.  Seems like forever.  There are some new kites still in their packaging, waiting to be freed to touch the sky.  And why have we been keeping them captive?  It’s the weather.

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It has just been too darn hot to do much of anything.  The regular flyers have been staying home and the new flyers, who have stopped at the shop and bought a kite or had a kite repaired, have avoided the heat and humidity on the beach, too.  To top it off, there has been little to no wind.  The most activity the kite club has done is stand in the parking lot looking at the flag on the Fort Macon flagpole hanging straight down and sweat.

Hopefully, things will change soon.  We want to fly!!

Fair Winds All.

The heat has continued throughout the week.  After almost succumbing to it on the Independence Day holiday fly, we’ve decided we will not go to the beach without some sort of shelter.  Most people use a 10×10 foot pop-up tent.  Considering we have to walk from the parking lot, up the road and to the beach, that option is rather cumbersome.  So we invested in a new kind of beach shelter – the Cool Cabana.  It is a smaller tent with only a center pole, like an umbrella, but it has four corner legs that are weighted down to make the shelter stable in higher winds.  It is light weight and super easy to erect and take down.  It provides just enough shade for two chairs and a cooler.

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The Cool Cabana

The lack of wind made the heat even hotter.  What we should have done was leave the beach and return to the air conditioning.  That was the easy way out and not for us this day.  The small hardcore group went down to the beach and nursed our low-wind kites into the sky.

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The Skate by Into The Wind and the Penguin Critter Kite by Skydog Kites

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The Laima by Flying Wings, the Skate and a vintage box Delta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The one kite that defied the odds of flying was a vintage box Delta with wooden spars.  By no stretch of the imagination should that kite fly.  It was too heavy for the winds available.  But it did.  Just goes to show what a good design can do.

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Just for fun, one of our club members tried to fly the new Skeleton kite.  After all, the box Delta flew so maybe there was a large enough sail to get that kite in the sky.  Unfortunately, it was a no go.  But it was fun to watch as it danced crazily before settling to the ground.

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Black Skeleton Kite by Premier Kites

With the heat index rising, we decided to call it a day and head for a cool place.  Hopefully the extreme heat will move on and the winds will come up and we can soon fly and fly and fly to our hearts content.

Fair Winds All.

 

 

 

September 2018
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