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This past weekend was the 31st Carolina Kite Festival at the Sands Villa Resort in Atlantic Beach, NC.  This festival is sponsored by my local kite shop, Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc., also found in Atlantic Beach, NC.  We had no idea how this one would be attended as Hurricane Florence hit us hard and many people are out of work and out of their homes.  Also, many of the hotels and condo units were damaged which made accommodations in the area harder to find.  But it didn’t deter most of our regular out-of-town flyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend started with very high winds and chilly temperatures.  It rained the Friday before and was cloudy most of the day Saturday.  The winds kept a lot of the attendees from flying their single line kites as no one wanted to have a broken kite.  Luckily, the winds were blowing steady down the beach which made it much better for the large kites to fly.  And there was a grand show of large kites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weatherman was both right and wrong about the weather on Sunday.  The sky cleared and the sun came out which warmed up the afternoon.  But the winds never let up, came across the buildings along the beach and became more turbulent.  Fewer big kites were flown.  But there were more people with their single line kites out on the field.

A couple of our special guests this year were Ray Wong and Randy Tom.  Both are makers of art kites and hail from California.  And both brought kites to be sold at the kite shop..  Photos of their kites are on the Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc. Facebook page.

The Bay Area Sundowners Kite Team came from San Fransisco to perform both days.  They are always a joy to watch.  They perform routines flying stacks of thirteen hyperkites in red, white and blue.  Many spectators come year after year to see them perform.  Saturday’s wind was a little too high but they gave it a try anyway and did a good job.  The slighter winds on Sunday were better and the team flew a couple different routines throughout the day.

On the third kite field, the stunt kites were flown.  Dual line and quad line stunt kites were in the air as the wind and the whim of the flyers allowed.  Along with all the flying, there was a kids’ kite building table for children to decorate and assemble a small sled kite and a candy drop from a high-flying delta kite.  A few brave souls even went out on the beach Saturday night to fly their kites with lights on them.  I emphasize “brave” as it was very cold after the sun went down.

Although it seems that I spent most of my time running around with my camera photographing the event, I did get to fly a couple of my single line kites, a friend’s quad line kite and visit with kite flyers I hadn’t seen in quite some time.  The festival was deemed a success and plans are already in the works for next year’s event.  For more pictures and some video from the festival, check out the Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc. Facebook page (Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc.).

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.

 

 

 

The Independence Day weekend was hot and crowded.  As this holiday was on a Monday, we had the red/white/blue fly on our usual club fly day, Sunday.  This also kept us out of the insane traffic a second time.  And it was so hot, a second trip to the beach was not desirable.  Okay, maybe it was desirable for those who don’t live here and only have a chance to get to the beach on holidays.

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While there were only a few flyers in attendance, there was a large variety of kites in the air.  All but two red, white and blue.  They included four deltas, a flowform, a powersled, two Joel Scholz eagles, a parafoil and a sky skimmer.  The blue delta had the space shuttle on it which made it patriotic enough for the holiday.  The other non-RWB kite was the black skeleton, being flown by special request.

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Small Joel Scholz Eagle kite and two custom kites – Eagle Parafoil and Space Shuttle Delta

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Patriotic Delta by Premier, a Flowform and a Double Box Delta

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Sky Skimmer by Kites Unlimited

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Powersled 24 by Premier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Large Joel Scholz Eagle kite      

After the single line kites were up and anchored, the stunt kites came out to play.  Not a large number of kites but a sampling of the different types, from dual line to quad line to a stack of Hyperkites.  Two of the stunt kites were vintage, a Star Dart and a Spirit Quad.

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Star Dart by Action Kites and Hyperkites stack

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Spirit Quad by New Tech Kites

To complete the show for this Independence Day, there were a couple of banners placed on the beach.  Actually one was a banner and the other was a Masterpiece Rev that was created by Randy Tom.  One by one the flyers had enough of the heat and packed up and headed for the air conditioning.  There was satisfaction in that we had put on an appropriate display for this Independence Day.

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Fair Winds All.

I’m sitting on the balcony of my hotel room on the Outer Banks of North Carolina watching it rain.  My plans for kite flying on the beach are foiled.  So I am reflecting on the last two weekend kite club flys and what marvelous weather we had.

Two weeks ago we pulled some oldies from our bags and gave them some air time.  One was a Mesh Delta and the other was the Gecko Totem both by Premier Kites.  The mesh delta flew like a champ, with transition tails and a hypo twister attached.  One of our regulate flyers put up his Brasington Waif train and a hexagon fish kite he made in a workshop.

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Mesh Delta by Premier Kites and Brasington Waif Train

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Gecko Totem by Premier Kites

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It seems to be the day for creatures as the Owl and the Butterfly also flew.  Then they were joined by a new offering from Premier Kites, the Skeleton.

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Owl Critter Kite by Skydog Kites

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Skeleton by Premier Kites

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Butterfly by Skydog Kites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The line up for the day was completed by the Martin Lester Legs kite and the Firefly made by Jeri Dixon at the Kites Unlimited shop.

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Martin Lester Legs by New Tech Kites

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Firefly by Kites Unlimited

The following week proved to be just as good a day weather-wise but not quite as good wind wise.  Things started out great with a friend from out-of-town putting up a couple of gorgeous kites, one of which he made himself.  The first was Jon Burkhardt’s South China Sea and the second was the Lighthouse.  The background for the Lighthouse kite was hand-dyed to appear as the layered oranges of a sunset (unfortunately the photo makes it look yellow).  Joining them was a cute Elephant and a newcomer, the Fox.

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The Lighthouse

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Jon Burkhardt’s South China Sea by Premier Kites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Fox by Premier Kites

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Elephant Critter Kite by Skydog Kites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of us were out flying some dual line kites and one flyer attempted to put up an old large Stratoscope.  At the time it even seemed like a good idea to get out the Tri-Tail Delta.  But before I could get the camera out, the wind completely died away.  Everything fell to the ground.  Not just once but repeatedly as we kept trying to get them back in the air.

Before giving up for the day, I did get out the Revolution Reflex.  It does fly in light winds and in this case almost no wind.  The hardest part about this was I am not a “no wind” flyer and I have to learn to adjust to a slower and softer type of flying.  It may take some practice but I will get there.  Hopefully when this rain stops and I can get back on the beach.  Until next time…

Fair Winds All.

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