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Went out to join in on the community kite fly this past Sunday.  The weather app on my phone said there would be winds between 10 and 14 mph.  Perfect.  The report from the kite shop before I left the house said the flags were wrapped around the poles and flying was questionable.  Just to be on the safe side, I grabbed my bag of light wind kites, a couple of kites for higher winds and a variety of lines and anchors.  (Here I must admit I forgot my shovel.)

When I arrived at Fort Macon State Park I found that my phone was the most accurate.  The winds were around 10-12 mph.  Grabbing a couple of kites and the bag of lines and anchors, I walked down to the beach to join the other flyers.  This time of year it is just the usual small group of “locals”.  However, each of us put up at least two kites and provided quite a show for all the visitors to the fort and on the hiking trail.

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The first kite I put up was the George Peters Gypsy Moth delta.  It was the first time I flew this kite since I reinforced the trailing edge.  It wanted to leap out of my hand and into the sky.  And the trailing edge did not flutter as much as before and showed no signs of fraying.

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My second kite was my vintage rainbow double box delta.  This one has wooden dowels for spars and really pulls when the wind picks up.  Even on a cloudy day, the colors show brilliantly in the sky.  And I was lucky to find matching tube tails to make it even more of a “showy” kite.

I had brought another delta with me but decided two was enough as the winds were picking up as the morning wore on.  Also out on the horizon was a line of dark clouds indicating a storm front approaching.  Now, none of us wanted to be taking home wet kites so we ended the kite fly a little early and met back at the kite shop before the rain came.

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Despite the fact there was no sunshine, it was a very satisfying morning kite fly.  And, hopefully, there are more to come.

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

 

 

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

It’s been almost a month since we’ve been flying our kites.  Seems like forever.  There are some new kites still in their packaging, waiting to be freed to touch the sky.  And why have we been keeping them captive?  It’s the weather.

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It has just been too darn hot to do much of anything.  The regular flyers have been staying home and the new flyers, who have stopped at the shop and bought a kite or had a kite repaired, have avoided the heat and humidity on the beach, too.  To top it off, there has been little to no wind.  The most activity the kite club has done is stand in the parking lot looking at the flag on the Fort Macon flagpole hanging straight down and sweat.

Hopefully, things will change soon.  We want to fly!!

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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