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The weather and the holiday preparations kept us from doing any flying for a couple of weeks.  But Christmas Day was sunny and warm-“ish” and gave us a pretty nice day to spend on the  beach.  The only thing missing was the wind.  It was either very, very light or it was non-existent.  Luckily I have a special kite bag just for days like that.  Filled with kites that prefer days like that.  (It’s not a very big bag, I must say.)  So Christmas Day was spent with friends, flying what we could and enjoying time on the winter beach.

I’m pretty sure you already know which kites I flew this day.  There have been quite a few low wind days this past year and I have taken photos of them every time they have been in the air.  But on this day I dug out a kite I haven’t flown in a long time.  A first generation super-light wind kite, the Chiroptera by Will Sturdy.  Will began designing and building kites when he was in high school.  He went on to college and a career and quit the kite building business.  But now I hear he has re-designed this kite and is building it again.  Perfecting it as a zero wind kite for all the indoor kite flyers.  I anchored this kite to a sand bag and it flew for the longest time with the least attention.

I tried to anchor my other kites in order to get a photo of them all together.  However, they needed a bit more attention as the wind would gust and then let up.  Much like a person breathing.  (Mother Nature – breathing.)  So the most I could do was two kites in the air at one time.  That was enough to catch the eye of the people walking the beach.  The Phoenix and the Dunton-Taylor box kites were easy to launch and stayed up pretty well until the wind dropped below one mph.  The Wala II took a lot more work and I had to remove the streamer tail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really love the winter beach.  It is peaceful and relativity empty, not crowded with vacationers.  Of course, there is more space to fly kites but also the pace of life seems to slow down on a winter beach.  Another reason to like the winter is the ability to drive on the beach.  After one purchases a vehicle pass from the local municipality.  This reduces a lot of heavy lifting and carrying of the kite bags.  And, if need be, provides a convenient anchor for those very large kites.

The biggest hazard to driving on the beach is getting on and off the beach.  There are a limited number of access points.  This is a good thing as it keeps random vehicles off the sand dunes and controls the flow of traffic.  However, as people use these access points, the sand can become soft and even a four-wheel drive vehicle with an experienced beach driver can get stuck.

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Just another beautiful day on the winter beach.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

Fair Winds All

Went out to join in on the community kite fly this past Sunday.  The weather app on my phone said there would be winds between 10 and 14 mph.  Perfect.  The report from the kite shop before I left the house said the flags were wrapped around the poles and flying was questionable.  Just to be on the safe side, I grabbed my bag of light wind kites, a couple of kites for higher winds and a variety of lines and anchors.  (Here I must admit I forgot my shovel.)

When I arrived at Fort Macon State Park I found that my phone was the most accurate.  The winds were around 10-12 mph.  Grabbing a couple of kites and the bag of lines and anchors, I walked down to the beach to join the other flyers.  This time of year it is just the usual small group of “locals”.  However, each of us put up at least two kites and provided quite a show for all the visitors to the fort and on the hiking trail.

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The first kite I put up was the George Peters Gypsy Moth delta.  It was the first time I flew this kite since I reinforced the trailing edge.  It wanted to leap out of my hand and into the sky.  And the trailing edge did not flutter as much as before and showed no signs of fraying.

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My second kite was my vintage rainbow double box delta.  This one has wooden dowels for spars and really pulls when the wind picks up.  Even on a cloudy day, the colors show brilliantly in the sky.  And I was lucky to find matching tube tails to make it even more of a “showy” kite.

I had brought another delta with me but decided two was enough as the winds were picking up as the morning wore on.  Also out on the horizon was a line of dark clouds indicating a storm front approaching.  Now, none of us wanted to be taking home wet kites so we ended the kite fly a little early and met back at the kite shop before the rain came.

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Despite the fact there was no sunshine, it was a very satisfying morning kite fly.  And, hopefully, there are more to come.

Fair Winds All

 

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