Father’s Day turned out to be a beautiful day to fly kites on the beach. The temperature was lower than the past days. The humidity dropped markedly and the winds were perfect. Well, actually they were a little higher than predicted but still perfect for the new and larger kites we planned to fly.
We brought one of the two kites my husband received for Father’s Day. He had said weeks before that he liked a butterfly kite. So today he flew his own blue butterfly kite.
The slightly higher winds were perfect for the two larger kites we wanted to fly. The first was the large skeleton kite that is a new release by Premier Kites this year. They have three styles of skeleton kites in two sizes. While I don’t normally go for big kites, on a whim, I did get the larger of the skeleton kites. After seeing it in the sky, I’m glad I did. The other kite was a one that has been in our bag for two years without being flown. It is a square-headed dragon kite with a lion motif. It is a beautiful kite made by Go Fly A Kite, a company no longer in business.
Don Dixon of Kites Unlimited just happened to bring along the black skeleton in the smaller size. It took a little maneuvering but we got both skeletons to fly next to one another without tangling. They looked pretty good together.
All the single line kites were flying so well, I took the opportunity to get my full-vent Kites Unlimited Rev out and get some much-needed practice. And someone else took advantage of the fact I put the camera down. I’ll have to be more careful where I leave it next time.
It’s been over two weeks since I’ve flown a kite. I am feeling some withdrawal symptoms. That may sound strange to some people. But flying kites brings relaxation and a sense of accomplishment. Relaxation from watching the single line kites floating in the sky and accomplishment from improving on my control of a stunt kite. And when the weather is good, the wind is right and you don’t get out to the kite field, the days seem wasted.
After not flying for a while, it is dangerous to walk into a kite shop. There is inevitably a kite that is new and begging to be flown. And it is sure to be a kite you’ve been debating about buying for a few weeks. The end result is an addition to the kite bag, a show kite for special occasions and festivals.
Tropical Storm Bonnie played havoc with any kiting plans this weekend. Not because of high winds nor lots of rain but because the rain came in irregular squalls That made us very reluctant to take our kites out to the beach. The weather predictions said rain all day, all weekend. The actual weather was warm and sunny with unexpected showers that would drench anyone and anything and then blow through, leaving more sunshine in its wake. It was aggravating to see all that sunshine and know that as soon as you walked from the car to the beach, it would start to rain again. So there was no kite flying on the holiday.
What was scheduled was a talk for an OLLI group (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) from Duke University at the Trinity Center in Pine Knoll Shores, NC. This is a group of retired individuals living around Durham, NC who do not believe that retirement means you sit at home watching television for the rest of your days. The institute coordinates continuing education classes at the university and group trips to visit new places and gain new experiences. As part of this trip, the group was learning about kites and kite flying. Don Dixon of Kites Unlimited gave the presentation and my husband helped by bringing kites to show and talk about what we like to fly. My part of the program was to show the kites I had made. As there were quilt makers in the group, this brought up discussions about the techniques used to make the kites. The group was small but they all were interested and a few came to the kite shop the next day and bought kites to take home.
The weather cleared up the day after Memorial Day. Most of the weekend visitors had left the beach so we went out for a short afternoon fly. I really needed some practice with a quad line kite so the only one I carried was the Shook Mesh Revolution. The Shook Mesh is only made by Elliot Shook of Flying Smiles Kite Shop in Corolla, NC. However, they are available from our local kite shop, Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach, NC. It was the perfect kite for the winds that day and we had a wonderful couple of hours on a relatively empty beach.
The weather wasn’t the kindest to us. It was actually threatening. Dark skies and low winds. Only a couple of the regulars showed up and then we stood in the parking lot for a while debating whether it was worth the hike to the beach. In the end, it was worth it. Three of us made the trek and one went home.
There were two motivating factors for those of us who stayed to fly. One factor was the possession of a new kite and wanting to see it in the air. Our friend just got an Astro Star. It’s an interesting cellular kite with lots of color within its black borders.
Unless you have a tie to the military, you probably didn’t realize that the day before the kite fly was Armed Forces Day. It was created by Congress to conciliate all the individual days for each branch of the military into one day recognition. It often slides by unannounced and unremembered. So to honor this day, a red-white-blue stars and stripes sled was flown.
Keeping in mind that the weather could change at any minute and we would have to run for shelter, every kite was hand-held. I flew the Wisp II for a bit but the wind was a little strong for its light build. I also put up the Skate, which handled the wind quite nicely for a light wind kite.
The only other kite flying lately was during a vacation trip to Corolla, NC the week before. And it was done by our grandchildren, not us. They came to visit for a day and spend some time on the beach. It was a little chilly and the beach stay was short. But kites were in the air and we had a good time together.