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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.

 

 

 

The Independence Day weekend was hot and crowded.  As this holiday was on a Monday, we had the red/white/blue fly on our usual club fly day, Sunday.  This also kept us out of the insane traffic a second time.  And it was so hot, a second trip to the beach was not desirable.  Okay, maybe it was desirable for those who don’t live here and only have a chance to get to the beach on holidays.

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While there were only a few flyers in attendance, there was a large variety of kites in the air.  All but two red, white and blue.  They included four deltas, a flowform, a powersled, two Joel Scholz eagles, a parafoil and a sky skimmer.  The blue delta had the space shuttle on it which made it patriotic enough for the holiday.  The other non-RWB kite was the black skeleton, being flown by special request.

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Small Joel Scholz Eagle kite and two custom kites – Eagle Parafoil and Space Shuttle Delta

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Patriotic Delta by Premier, a Flowform and a Double Box Delta

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Sky Skimmer by Kites Unlimited

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Powersled 24 by Premier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Large Joel Scholz Eagle kite      

After the single line kites were up and anchored, the stunt kites came out to play.  Not a large number of kites but a sampling of the different types, from dual line to quad line to a stack of Hyperkites.  Two of the stunt kites were vintage, a Star Dart and a Spirit Quad.

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Star Dart by Action Kites and Hyperkites stack

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Spirit Quad by New Tech Kites

To complete the show for this Independence Day, there were a couple of banners placed on the beach.  Actually one was a banner and the other was a Masterpiece Rev that was created by Randy Tom.  One by one the flyers had enough of the heat and packed up and headed for the air conditioning.  There was satisfaction in that we had put on an appropriate display for this Independence Day.

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Fair Winds All.

Father’s Day turned out to be a beautiful day to fly kites on the beach.  The temperature was lower than the past days.  The humidity dropped markedly and the winds were perfect.  Well, actually they were a little higher than predicted but still perfect for the new and larger kites we planned to fly.

We brought one of the two kites my husband received for Father’s Day.  He had said weeks before that he liked a butterfly kite.  So today he flew his own blue butterfly kite.

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Blue Butterfly Kite by Skydog Kites

The slightly higher winds were perfect for the two larger kites we wanted to fly.  The first was the large skeleton kite that is a new release by Premier Kites this year.  They have three styles of skeleton kites in two sizes.  While I don’t normally go for big kites, on a whim, I did get the larger of the skeleton kites.  After seeing it in the sky, I’m glad I did.  The other kite was a one that has been in our bag for two years without being flown.  It is a square-headed dragon kite with a lion motif.  It is a beautiful kite made by Go Fly A Kite, a company no longer in business.

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Lion Dragon Kite by Go Fly A Kite

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Dia de los Muertos Skeleton Kite by Premier Kites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Dixon of Kites Unlimited just happened to bring along the black skeleton in the smaller size.  It took a little maneuvering but we got both skeletons to fly next to one another without tangling.  They looked pretty good together.

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All the single line kites were flying so well, I took the opportunity to get my full-vent Kites Unlimited Rev out and get some much-needed practice.  And someone else took advantage of the fact I put the camera down.  I’ll have to be more careful where I leave it next time.

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Fair Winds All.

 

 

 

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