My new kite from Peter Lynn of New Zealand arrived just before the festival. Unfortunately, the winds were too high for me to fly it. So in the middle of the week we made a trip to the beach to put it in the air for the first time. It is really a kite show in a bag. It is made up of a lifter kite and a fish, a skate and a crab to hang from the flying line. I was a little nervous as I never had flown anything like this before but I’m not nervous anymore. It was a breeze to put up and really looked great. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Just like the Carolina Kite Festival this past weekend, the winds were high for the weekly community kite fly. According to a couple different weather apps, the winds were supposed be on the high side in the morning, dropping to more manageable speeds as noon approached. Well, they had it wrong again. The winds only picked up as the day progressed. Since we hadn’t unpacked the kites from the truck after the festival, we were able to select some kites which could handle the wind. And the kites of choice were a variety of deltas.
Another type of kite which handled higher winds is the dragon. And the White Bird dragons flown by our friend Steve added to the show.
For the first time in months, I got out one of my quad line kites, the Vertigo Max, vented for higher winds. Stunt kite flying is a lot like riding a bicycle. You never really forget how to fly, you just get a little rusty. And it all comes back quickly. It made for a fun morning.
Fort Macon State Park is open. Although the fort itself is closed because of damage from Hurricane Florence. The early report concerning the weekly community kite fly was encouraging but we couldn’t verify the information because we weren’t there. Whereas kites are important, grandchildren are more important. And our youngest granddaughter turned three. There was no way we were going to miss the party. As seems to be the rule, the day was perfect for kites and we were absent. No doubt we will hear about it when we stop at the kite shop.
The good news is the Carolina Kite Festival will go on as planned. It will probably have a different “feel” than other years because of the hurricane recovery. We have no idea how many participants can or will come nor what kind of accommodations will be available. But there will be color in the sky and camaraderie on the sand. Of that we can be sure.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.