This past weekend I was on Ocracoke Island, NC for a photography workshop. The weather was the best we had had for several weeks. Sunny, warm and with moderate breezes. I really hated missing the community kite fly. I also hated the thought of not doing any kite flying at all.
Not really knowing what the schedule was going to be for the weekend, I still threw some kites in the back of the truck. Who knows, there might be some free time during the weekend. And, heaven forbid, I not go to the beach at some point. So it was that on Saturday I skipped lunch with the workshop participants and took myself to the beach for a “kite fix”. Since I wasn’t going to have a lot of time, I left the stunt kites behind and only took a couple of the smaller single-line kites.
The wind was coming from the east which meant it would be rather turbulent coming off the dunes and going to the ocean. The first kites up were a train of tropical bird kites by Into The Wind Kites. There should have been three but one needed some repair so only two made it into the sky. The only other kite to fly was my Drumbox kite. All the kites would go up for a while and then settle to the sand. But I made the best of it.
While I was loading everything back into the truck and preparing to rejoin the photography group, a gentleman walked up to me in the parking lot. He told me he and his wife enjoyed watching the kites and appreciated my efforts. This made me feel so good. And just re-affirmed that a short kite fly is better than no fly at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.