March 15 was the last day that we could drive on the beach. So we made a point of going and flying a kite or two a couple of times during the before the end. The winds had changed and come from the north. Which meant they passed over and between the houses before getting to the beach. Not the best wind for kite flying. There was a weather front moving through too so it was partly cloudy to cloudy. Not very pretty but still beach days.
Only flew a couple of kites, the Illustion Delta by Skydog and the Prism Flip kite.
Also flew a small, very old rokkaku that I received as a bag raffle item. I was really surprised it flew at all. The sail is printed on heavy ripstop-like material. After flying it that one afternoon, I see some modifications that can be made so it will fly better and more stable. I am adding it to my “to do” list. Though at a low priority.
Hate to admit but I forgot to put my camera in the truck and had to take photos with my phone. I really dislike using my phone for photos and, as you can see, if the kite is moving around high in the sky the quality goes down. Sorry.
The following day was sunny though the winds were no better. I did get the Illustion delta kite up for a while. And got a better photo of it.
Because driving on the beach is no longer permitted, our flying location for the community kite fly will change next week. It’s back to carrying our kite bags from the parking lot to the point at Fort Macon State Park. Believe me, the number of kites I take along will be reduced and more selective.
So we’ve had two days in a row of kite flying. Can you believe it? One was the community kite fly day and the other was a day too beautiful to stay home.
The weekly community fly started out chilly. It never really warmed up much but was rather pleasant since the wind was low. No wind chill. Yes, the wind was low so it somewhat restricted what kites I flew. I pulled out two of my go-to light wind kites bag. The Skate by Into The Wind and the Dunton-Taylor Box. Both jumped around in the sky as the wind was coming out of the north and having to pass over and between the beach houses. tried to fly my Emong, a glider kite by Flying Wings, but it preferred to glide back down rather than catch the wind and climb.
It just felt so good to be back on the beach with kites in the air. A sure sign spring will arrive soon and we will be flying more often. And, believe it or not, the following day was even better.
The temperature jumped up at least ten degrees and the wind picked up and came off the ocean. The best kind of kite flying wind. We put off a few of the household chores and headed back to the beach. This time with the intention of flying some new acquisitions.
This was to be the inaugural flight of the cellular kite I built at the Maryland Kite Society Workshop. I named it Sunshine (for obvious reasons). And I wanted to fly the mermaid kite I made at the Keystone Kiter’s Workshop last year, the Tametomo. She hadn’t seen much air time.
During the Maryland workshop, we picked up some kites to add to our collection. And, of course, we had to put them up as soon as we possibly could. John got a square-headed Skydog dragon kite. It has the Skydog logo on it and matches his Skydog rokkaku kite. I got a Joel Schulz parrot kite by Go Fly A Kite. Both are in perfect condition. And both loved the wind and looked great.
Here’s hoping for more perfect flying days to come.
Another Maryland Kite Society Kitebuilders Retreat is in the books. We spent four days with other kite builders and non-builder friends at a resort in Maryland with the intention of bringing home a unique kite. The presenter was Chris Hanson from Washington state and brought the plans for completing the Solar-Flier kite, a cellular kite of his own design. To make sure the kite would be completed on time, we were to pre-cut the panels necessary and pattern them as desired.
The first day was for unloading and setting up your work station in the ballroom. while it seems like you take a lot of “stuff” to a workshop, you never know what you will need or what will be handy at that time or what someone else may need. And, yes, all my kite building things are in matching totes and bags. It keeps me organized and together in a room full of people with their totes and bags and things. On a side note, the long black container is a fishing rod holder for transporting rolls of ripstop fabric.
Sewing didn’t begin until first thing Saturday morning. All through out the weekend, there were short talks by several members of the host kite club. These highlighted topics on kite building and uses of kites other than recreation. Of course, one can’t sit in front of a sewing machine for eight-plus hours. Especially when it was seemingly endless hours of sewing edge binding on each panel. Everyone wandered around the room, taking breaks, talking with friends, seeing what others were working on and generally enjoying the day and the time together. Also a bag raffle was set up in the lobby. You could come-and-go as you please, checking on items and soul-searching as to “want” versus “need”. “Want” usually wins out.
Saturday night is a banquet catered by the restaurant in the resort. A time to sit and talk and eat great food and rich dessert and drink wine. Of course, I ate too much. Then it was back to the ballroom for the auction. The loud auction. And to get the results of the bag raffle. I came home with several new-to-me kites, some ripstop and the books I wanted. Mostly pretty good deals. And, I’m happy to say, I didn’t spend as much as I thought I would.
Sunday was assembly day. Time to sew together all the panels, make the pockets for the small support rods and slide them in place, and attach end caps and bridle. The tricky part was to make sure all the panels were facing the right way. It was so easy to have the right side facing in instead of out. Especially on the inner panels with the cutouts for the rods. It felt so good to finish without any major errors.
This year there was something different. Take-out Chinese. Sunday night we had a Chinese buffet. A large amount of Chinese food was brought in from a local Chinese restaurant. Paper plates, plastic utensils and help yourself from the takeout containers. It was fun. And there was a variety of food to sample. Of course, dinner could be on your own if Chinese was not to your liking. But it was fun and I have to find out what restaurant was used for our next trip and a dinner on our own.
Monday was finish up, pack up and clean up. And many, many good-byes. I did get a bag made to bring my kite home. Now, I have to make a tail to match. Two options here – fuzzy tail or banner tail with sun motif. Decisions, decisions!
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.