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The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone.  This year we did have the time to go to the beach and fly some kites.  Unfortunately, the wind was high and coming from the mainland, passing over homes and condos before reaching the beach.  The result was gusty, “squirrelly” winds.  Not very conducive to dong much flying.  Sometimes it seems we just can’t get a break and have a good flying day.

Did my best to fly a White Bird dragon kite.  Usually one I can depend on in higher winds.  This day, however, I spent most of the time picking it off the sand and relaunching.

What made this day special was the inaugural flight of the Peter Lynn Manta Ray, a recent purchase by some good friends.  It was not the best day to attempt flight but, as most of you may know, when you get something new you just have to put it in the air.  It is really an impressive kite with its black and white pattern and its blue eyes.

We missed the Sunday community kite fly.  It was a little chilly and the grandchildren were visiting.  It was a joy to have them with us and we did visit Fort Macon with them.  From there we saw the kites in the sky.  And a pretty impressive show it was with quite a few Randy Tom art kites in the air.  Hopefully next weekend will be a better weekend and we can put some kites in the sky ourselves.

Fair Winds All.

We finally made it to a local community kite fly.  The winds were low to moderate which made it hard to decide what kites to haul down to the beach.  As we get older, we find ourselves only picking two or three kites to fly and not pulling the cart with a ton of stuff.   Most times we make the right picks but sometimes we don’t have the right stuff and have to decide whether to walk back to the truck and change kites or not.  This day we picked kites that would fly at least for a while.  Until the wind died completely.

Weather-wise it was a great day to sit on the beach and watch the waves, the birds, the boats and, of course, the kites.  Temperature was comfortable with a hoodie and there was sunshine, blessed sunshine.  Just a small group of the regular flyers were there.  So relaxing.

I did put up my kite show kit.  I love how I can handle the lifter and all the associated line laundry by myself.  The lower winds actually added a new aspect to the kite show.  The crab was often just barely above the ground, so it looked like he was scuttling across the sand instead of flying above it.  I also flew a new delta kite.  Really wanted to put the tube tails on it but the wind was not quite strong enough.

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Some of the serious stunt kite flyers may take offense but there are times when it is just seems like too much work to put out the lines and assemble a stunt kite.  This was one of those days.  The quad line kite stayed in the bag.  Instead time was spent visiting.

Hopefully we will have the chance to fly on Thanksgiving Day before feasting.  We will see.

Fair Winds All

 

After the busyness of kite building and kite festivals, we took a week off and went on a vacation.  This meant we missed the usual community kite fly last Sunday.  Turns out it was canceled due to cold weather and high winds (which made it even colder).  However, we took a number of kites with us to fly on the beach at Myrtle Beach, SC.  The weather didn’t cooperate much better there.

We had a couple of days of rain.  In between there were days of low temperature and very high winds.  Yes, I wimped out and stayed indoors on those days.  Then there were the sunny days with very low winds or moderate winds being blocked from the beach by the condominiums.  And the condominiums line the beach from one end to another.  So frustrating.

Yet, we tried.  Got out the light wind bag and pulled out several kites.  The Skate would go up and then glide gracefully back to the ground.  The Dunton-Taylor box flew the best but would over-fly in a gust and do a nose plant in the sand.  The Dunton-Taylor box with banner tail did not over fly but did mimic the Skate and glide down shortly after launch.  So much for flying on this vacation.

All was not lost, however.  On those rainy days we went to the local kite shop, Klig’s Kites in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

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Be prepared to get a crick in your neck as I’ve never seen so many kites hung from the ceiling and the walls as there are at this shop.  We had a great visit with Lauren while we were there.  She is very knowledge about kites, fun to visit with, had some places and people in common with us and doesn’t mind at all when she has to use a ladder to get a kite down that you are going to purchase.  In fact, she had to use the ladder several times during our visit.  We thoroughly enjoyed spending time there and are looking forward to our next visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so until the next time we fly (which we hope will be soon)

Fair Winds All

 

 

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.

Fair winds All

 

 

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

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