Another beautiful day on the beach with good winds and good temperatures. I pulled out a kite bag containing kites that hadn’t been flown in quite a while. For a couple of them, it had been years. It was a show of square-head dragon kites.
I find this style of dragon makes a great show in the sky and, at the same time, is very easy to handle. The head is framed with two spars crossed and it has a three-point bridle. Essentially it’s a della-porta kite with a large attached tail which has a slight taper down its length. Each kite is about twenty-five feet long. It takes a while to wind everything up at the end of the day but it’s worth it.
Two of these kites, the Green Dragon and the Dog, were made by Skydog Kites. The Dog is the logo of Skydog Kites and is still in production. In place of the green dragon, Skydog Kites now makes a pirate motif on a square-head dragon kite.
The other three dragon kites were made by Go Fly A Kite. A company that is no longer in existence. I guess that makes these kites collector items. After some research, I found the lion and tiger motifs were also used on smaller round-head dragon kites. They were advertised as the Wildcat Dragon kites. The Joker kite reminds me of my father. He liked to play cards with friends and, every now and then, would vacation at a casino.
It was a wonderful, relaxing afternoon; sitting in the sun, watching our kites dance in the wind. The walkers on the beach seemed to like watching the kites, too. Quite often, a cell phone would come out for a picture or two. As the sun went down, the temperature cooled a little and it was time to pack everything away for the day.
Luckily, the Sunday community kite fly at Fort Macon State Park has started up again. So there was an excuse for flying more than once. This week the winds went up a notch and made flying somewhat of a challenge. I only put up one kite, the Illustion Delta kite by Skydog Kites. It had a hard time with the rising winds and after a couple of crashes, I figured it was time to pack it away and return home.
Now to figure out the theme for our next trek to the beach.
Fair Winds All.
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.
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.
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