Things are changing here and for the better. The past couple of weeks the weather has been so erratic. One day the temperature is cool and the wind is from the north. The next day it warms up and the wind is from the south but very strong. Then there is rain and thunderstorms moving through. Then back to chilly temperatures with north winds again. The better thing is that I have gained access to the beach and have a place to fly kites. I just have to wait for a day with moderate south winds. You see, our beaches face the south and are lined with houses and condominiums. Winds from the north are blocked and swirly. Not the best for kite flying.
But the day finally came and I did something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Put up a show of White Bird dragon kites. They are some of the most beautiful round-headed dragon kites I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, they have been out of production for many years. But I have made it a calling to find as many of their patterns as I can. I have quite a collection and have always wanted to put them all up. I could have done it this time but I settled for flying six at once. And then just sitting in the sun, enjoying the weather, the sound of the waves and my kites.
These past couple of weeks I’ve also gotten some work done on my Giant Hata kite build. Finished all the pockets and sleeves and got the binding sewn all along the edge of the sail.
After framing and bridling, you truly realize how large this kite is. It practically fills one wall of my living room. Now to decide what kind of tails to make and it will be ready for a test fly. Hopefully this weekend there will be a beautiful day with winds from the south and a chance to try it out. And put another show of color in the sky above the beach.
Special thanks to Don, Jeri and Brett of Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, etc.
The Mile of Hope is an annual weekend on the beach for families with children who have cancer. It is sponsored by the Optimist Club of Raleigh, NC. Twenty-five families spend the weekend visiting area attractions, going on a sightseeing cruise and spending time on the beach. It gives them a chance to get away from the routine of hospital stays, drug treatments and therapies.
Saturday morning is beach time. The families spend time on the beach wading in the water, building sand castles and flying kites. Kites Unlimited of Atlantic Beach provides kites for all the children. The Carolina Kite Club members bring some of their “showiest” kites and fill the sky with color for all to enjoy. We’re also there to help the children get their kites in the air and solve any problems they might have.
This year was one of the best years for the kite fly. The winds were moderate and directed down the beach (no obstructions), the sun shone and the temperatures were mild. All kinds of kites were in the sky; dragon kites, critter kites, power sleds, delta kites, a Legs kite, and a Triangulation. The theme of the weekend was “dragons” so we made sure the big green Skydog Dragon was in the air as well as the large White Bird “Friendly Dragons” and their accompanying smaller “Friendly Dragons”.
By the end of the morning, we were worn out from walking up and down the beach. But it felt good to see the smiles on the children’s faces and hear their laughter as they played in the sand. And looking around, you could see that the adults were having just as much fun as the children.
My acquisition of new kites has continued. I obtained two more White Bird dragons on eBay this week. Months and months go by and White Bird kites are hard to come by. Then there is an influx of them as people empty their kite bags for one reason or another. So the latest additions to my collection are a 25 ft. Rainbow dragon and a 25 ft. Sun Face dragon.
The Rainbow dragon completes a set of Rainbow dragons of varying sizes. Putting them up at one time should look pretty impressive in the sky. The Sun Face adds another unique sail design to my collection.
The hard part about getting new kites is not being able to fly them when they arrive. We had house guests for the weekend and we missed the weekly kite club fly at Fort Macon State Park. This seems to be happening more and more often lately. Though I’m not complaining, I do have to get my kite fix or suffer withdrawal. So this afternoon I went to the beach and flew all of my latest White Bird additions. Five dragon kites in the sky. What a wondrous sight.
The two on the left are the latest additions. The middle kite is the White Bird Golden Gate dragon. The two on the right are both White Bird Friendly Dragon dragons. I think of them as the brothers and, true to form, they fought in the sky, tangled their lines and brought each other down. I had to separate them.
It was a great day at the beach. The wind was not too strong and the temperature was not too hot. I would have liked to stay longer but I was given a dinner invitation that I couldn’t refuse. It meant I didn’t have to cook and I didn’t have to do the dishes. And if you’re wondering how one person flies five kites at once. Here’s our secret (which is not really a secret at all). Sand bags made from inexpensive nylon backpacks.