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This past weekend was the annual Earth Day Celebration at Fort Macon State Park.  It brings out several government agencies, local non-profits and businesses to educate and promote good environmental stewardship.  There were activities and demonstrations for kids and adults and live music. Civil War re-enactors were also present to assist with cannon firings and historical demonstrations.  The Carolina Kite Club was asked to put a lot of color in the sky down on the beach for the visitors.

The days prior to this event were sunny, warm and blustery.  That is to say the winds were ranging from 14 to 20 mph.  We were all hoping those strong winds would calm enough so we could fill the sky with large kites and long tails.  Temperatures dropped a little on the day of the fly but the winds did not.  Ever the hopeful group, we took the kites we planned on flying and went down to the beach.

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Our first order of business was to put up the banners.  After they were up, we began to think this was not such a good idea.  Wind gauges were measuring 18 to 22 mph and the sand was beginning to blow across the surface of the beach.  One intrepid flyer did launch a large HQ flowform with long tube tails and then immediately went and added extra sand to the anchor.  Another put up a mesh delta which handled the wind quite well.  I anchored out my large ground bouncer caterpillar.  The rest of the group decided it was too much wind but would wait a while and see if anything changed.

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And change it did.  The wind got stronger.  The wind was now blowing 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. We huddled behind a dune to get out of the blowing sand and watched the banners bend almost down to the ground.  That was it!  We all packed up and called it a day.

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It is such a disappointment when you’re asked to fly at an event and then are unable to.  Even when it is through no fault of your own.  We just hope that the organizers understand and know that we will be back to try again at the next Earth Day Celebration.

Fair Winds All.

The Carolina Kite Club joined Fort Macon State Park in celebrating Earth Day.  Local groups and organizations set up demonstrations and exhibits concerning ecology, conservation, animals and nature in the visitor center.  The club put up a display of kites and banners on the nearby beach, all of which were easily visible while driving into the park and walking about the Fort.  Quite a few people walked down to the beach to see the kites close up and talk to the fliers.

Earth Day at Fort Macon State Park

Earth Day at Fort Macon State Park

Large flowforms, power sleds and deltas dotted the sky.  Many of which had long tails which added to the display.  Because it was a special occasion, the park ranger brought one of his trucks onto the beach to be used as an anchor for some extremely large inflatable kites.  We were able to launch a large gecko, a smaller trilobite and a large crab.

Flowforms, Deltas, Power Sled, Rokkaku

Flowforms, Deltas, Power Sled, Rokkaku

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Gecko, Trolibite and Crab

Gecko, Trilobite and Crab

All of this was a major feat as the wind was not in our favor.  The weather predictions were for 10 to 15 mile per hour winds.  What we got were 5 to 7 with periods of no wind at all.  I gave up trying to fly my collection of Xelons and flew a couple of  Skates, a Dunston-Taylor box and a Fled.  All low wind kites.  Some stunt kites were up for a while but no one flew anything  for long.

The sky remained cloudy all day and toward the end of the event, it tried to rain a little.  Just enough to make us all take the kites down and pack them away.  As the last of the large kites were being stuffed into their bags, the wind jumped up to around 25 miles per hour.  The sand was swept across the beach with such force it looked like clouds skimming the surface.  We were thankful that there were no kites up, especially the very large ones, as they could have easily broken loose and been lost.

Sand Blowing Across the Beach

Sand Blowing Across the Beach

All in all, it was a good event.  Kites were up and we got to visit and catch up with some of our out-of-town club members who came to add to the “color in the sky”.

Fair Winds All

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