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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

 

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

 

 

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

 

It’s been a week since hurricane Florence blew through our area.  The devastation is horrible.  So many people have lost everything they own.  So many people have no home to come back to after evacuating.  We stayed through it all and are very glad we did.  It minimized our damage to just a couple of ceilings and shingles lost.  After spending the week cleaning and removing debris, I was looking forward to a community kite fly as a means to get away from it all.  Unfortunately, Fort Macon State Park is closed.  For how long, we have no idea.  They are doing damage assessment and repair and have to see how much beach remains after the storm.

Being on the “right” side of the a very slow-moving storm results in a lot of beach erosion.  Some areas now have a four-foot drop to get to the beach.  Some have lost the beach and the first row of dunes.  And, oddly enough, some areas show no erosion at all.  The quirks of a hurricane.  So it may be a while until there will be another community kite fly.  We hope not.

So I’ll take us back to a more pleasant time.  To a kite building workshop which was held this past July.  A couple of NC kitebuilders decided at the beginning of the year that it would be nice to have Robert Brasington hold a kite building workshop in NC.  One was held four years ago in Raleigh, NC and it was about time for a return visit.  A number of builders from NC, SC and VA were definitely interested so the planning began.  The location this time was Morehead City, NC by popular demand.  Conveniently located so the builders and spouses and families (should they decide to tag along) could spend some time at the beach.

 

Thirteen builders converged, ranging in experience from complete novices to master builders.  The majority chose to build the 3/4 stealth delta kite in varying colors.  The delta was my choice as I had never made a delta before and I truly admired the Brasington deltas.  His technique of using adhesive and multiple templates is very different from what I normally do so this workshop was a learning experience.  But that is why I like to attend workshops.  I’m always open to new ways and, sometimes, easier ways to build a kite.

The camaraderie during the weekend was grand.  Taking breaks from sewing to visit with people I only see once or twice a year was one of the best parts.  Having to hem three incredibly long tails for the delta was the worst.  Unfortunately, some people had to leave early on Sunday and others were in a rush to go to the beach and fly their new creations.  So we missed getting a group photo.  All in all, it was a great weekend and one which many of us are looking forward to doing again.

Fair Winds All.

December 2018
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