It finally warmed up a little and I was really ready to fly some kites. It had been over two weeks since I had put a kite in the sky. Then the “Sunday Curse” occurred. Blue skies, bright sun and absolutely no wind. Not even enough to make the sea oats tremble. The weather prediction was for low winds so I had the light wind kite bags out. I even dug out the fighter kites which I don’t know how to fly but was hoping for a lesson or two. Instead I stayed home and planned out the banner tail for the Solar Flier kite
The next two days were nothing but rain, with predictions for two more wet days. Perfect days for sewing up the tail. I decided to edge bind the tail so it would have the same appearance as the kite itself. This either makes me a glutton for punishment or my sewing skills have progressed enough over the past few years that sewing 1/4 inch binding for over sixty feet doesn’t bother me any more. After two intense days in front of the sewing machine, the tail is done. All thirty-four feet of it.
The question now is whether to appliqué matching emblems on the tail or leave it plain teal with a yellow taper end. The little suns would only be four inches across which poses an extra challenge to sewing. Of course, my kite-builder friends say it needs something to break up the long teal color. I may try a sample on scrap material and, if it goes well, add suns to the banner tail. But, believe me, I’m in no hurry. In the meantime…
The community fly day came with a clear blue sky, a bright sun and an empty beach. However, it also had a cold temperature and no wind. Probably would have flown despite the cold if there would have been some wind. Instead the day was spent in front of the sewing machine.
Six panels needed to be appliquéd before leaving for the Maryland Kite Society’s Kitebuilders Retreat. So the afternoon was spent pushing material through the sewing machine and praying that I wouldn’t make any serious mistakes or the machine wouldn’t jam up on me. Last year, the worse happened and my machine ended up in the repair shop mere four days before leaving for the workshop. This year, happily, everything ran smoothly.
All six panels were sewn and the excess material was cut away on three of them. Things were gong so smoothly, I kept looking over my shoulder waiting for something to happen. It was just going too good. The last of the panels were cut away the next day. And, amazingly, after having a late start, I was finished early.
So now I just have to get all of my supplies, tools and miscellaneous together and ready to put on the truck. And take a last look at the weather to figure out what clothes to pack. It is going to be even colder. I just hope there isn’t going to be a snowstorm while we’re there. It’s been a while since I’ve driven in snow and I know I’m out of practice.
The latest kite fly was again cold and very windy. So windy, in fact, I only put delta kites in the truck and grabbed our heavier lines. When I got on the beach, I quickly decided that two of the deltas I brought would have more pull than I cared to deal with that day. So, once again, I only put up two kites and spent the rest of the morning visiting with the other fliers.
We had a couple of out-of-town flyers joining us and they made a point of putting lots of kites in the sky. Looking upwind, kite anchors were popping up all over the beach with no rhyme or reason. Well, there was a reason. We didn’t want to have a lot of tangled kite lines.
One more community kite fly coming up and then it’s off on a trip to Maryland for the Maryland Kite Society Kitebuilders Retreat. This year we’ll be building Chris Hanson’s Solar Cell kite. I’ve still got the appliqué to do on my sail pieces but I, at least have them all cut out and the patterns transferred. I should have no problem getting them done. The big task after that is just planning what I need to take. As usual, I will probably take more than I need. Thank goodness we have a truck.
Looking at the calendar, it’s going to be a busy Spring and early Summer. Hopefully, that means I’ll have lots to write about. So here’s to good winds and good weather.
The past year has flown by and it has been a busy one. But I didn’t realize it has been a year since I had written anything. And it hasn’t been because we haven’t been flying anything. There have been festivals and workshops and just everyday flying. I just haven’t been writing. So here’s to beginning again and hopefully doing better.
Winter weather makes kite flying “iffy”, so the first beautiful day was late January. Winds were very strong and gusty but steadied out as the morning progressed. If fact, it was so nice on the beach, we could have stayed out all day except for the fact we had no food or drink with us.
Because the wind was so strong, I only put up three kites. I only flew one of my latest builds because I didn’t want to risk broken spars and torn skin. I knew my rokakku could handle it. So after some bridle tuning, my Birds rokakku took to the air. To keep it company, I also flew my Green Dragon dragon kite and one of my power sleds.
The power sled and green dragon are patterns that are no longer available. So glad I purchased them when I did. I have the same power sled color scheme in two other sizes of power sleds. Here’s hoping this weekend was a sign of the weather changing in our favor and there will be more frequent kite flys to come.