After missing the New Year’s Day kite fly on the beach, we made it out this past weekend for our first kite fly of 2019. The day was sunny, relatively warm with light to moderate winds. The regular kite flyers were there and a couple of our out-of-town flyers had come down for an extended holiday. There were so many kites in the air you would have thought it was a festival.
I spent most of the time photographing the kites and catching up on what flying I had missed over the New Year’s holiday. They all told me it was the best fly ever. I hated to miss it but I must admit grandchildren rate higher than kite flying. And we had a great visit (and second Christmas) with ours.
The highlight of the fly was a group flight of the Randy Tom warrior princesses. Several of us have purchased Randy’s kites over the years and we just happened to have them in our kite bags. I am happy to say I have two of the warrior princess kites and both of them were in the air on this day.
Before leaving I brought out my Rainbow Revolution quad line kite. It’s a special kite I got from a friend and don’t fly it very often. Because I was flying it, there was no one to get a photo. I guess I’ll just have to work out a remote camera arrangement. Though I’d rather carry extra kites than extra camera equipment.
It was a grand day and we stayed longer than usual, enjoying the sunshine. Here’s to hoping that it is a sign of more grand days to come.
Fair Winds All
The weather and the holiday preparations kept us from doing any flying for a couple of weeks. But Christmas Day was sunny and warm-“ish” and gave us a pretty nice day to spend on the beach. The only thing missing was the wind. It was either very, very light or it was non-existent. Luckily I have a special kite bag just for days like that. Filled with kites that prefer days like that. (It’s not a very big bag, I must say.) So Christmas Day was spent with friends, flying what we could and enjoying time on the winter beach.
I’m pretty sure you already know which kites I flew this day. There have been quite a few low wind days this past year and I have taken photos of them every time they have been in the air. But on this day I dug out a kite I haven’t flown in a long time. A first generation super-light wind kite, the Chiroptera by Will Sturdy. Will began designing and building kites when he was in high school. He went on to college and a career and quit the kite building business. But now I hear he has re-designed this kite and is building it again. Perfecting it as a zero wind kite for all the indoor kite flyers. I anchored this kite to a sand bag and it flew for the longest time with the least attention.
I tried to anchor my other kites in order to get a photo of them all together. However, they needed a bit more attention as the wind would gust and then let up. Much like a person breathing. (Mother Nature – breathing.) So the most I could do was two kites in the air at one time. That was enough to catch the eye of the people walking the beach. The Phoenix and the Dunton-Taylor box kites were easy to launch and stayed up pretty well until the wind dropped below one mph. The Wala II took a lot more work and I had to remove the streamer tail.
I really love the winter beach. It is peaceful and relativity empty, not crowded with vacationers. Of course, there is more space to fly kites but also the pace of life seems to slow down on a winter beach. Another reason to like the winter is the ability to drive on the beach. After one purchases a vehicle pass from the local municipality. This reduces a lot of heavy lifting and carrying of the kite bags. And, if need be, provides a convenient anchor for those very large kites.
The biggest hazard to driving on the beach is getting on and off the beach. There are a limited number of access points. This is a good thing as it keeps random vehicles off the sand dunes and controls the flow of traffic. However, as people use these access points, the sand can become soft and even a four-wheel drive vehicle with an experienced beach driver can get stuck.
Just another beautiful day on the winter beach.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!
Fair Winds All
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.
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.
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