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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Fair Winds All

Fort Macon State Park is open.  Although the fort itself is closed because of damage from Hurricane Florence.  The early report concerning the weekly community kite fly was encouraging but we couldn’t verify the information because we weren’t there.  Whereas kites are important, grandchildren are more important.  And our youngest granddaughter turned three.  There was no way we were going to miss the party.  As seems to be the rule, the day was perfect for kites and we were absent.  No doubt we will hear about it when we stop at the kite shop.

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The good news is the Carolina Kite Festival will go on as planned.  It will probably have a different “feel” than other years because of the hurricane recovery.  We have no idea how many participants can or will come nor what kind of accommodations will be available.  But there will be color in the sky and camaraderie on the sand.  Of that we can be sure.

Fair Winds All

 

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.

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The Cool Cabana

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.

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The Skate by Into The Wind and the Penguin Critter Kite by Skydog Kites

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The Laima by Flying Wings, the Skate and a vintage box Delta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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Black Skeleton Kite by Premier Kites

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.

Fair Winds All.

 

 

 

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