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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…