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This past weekend I was on Ocracoke Island, NC for a photography workshop.  The weather was the best we had had for several weeks.  Sunny, warm and with moderate breezes.  I really hated missing the community kite fly.  I also hated the thought of not doing any kite flying at all.

Not really knowing what the schedule was going to be for the weekend, I still threw some kites in the back of the truck.  Who knows, there might be some free time during the weekend.  And, heaven forbid, I not go to the beach at some point.  So it was that on Saturday I skipped lunch with the workshop participants and took myself to the beach for a “kite fix”.  Since I wasn’t going to have a lot of time, I left the stunt kites behind and only took a couple of the smaller single-line kites.

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The wind was coming from the east which meant it would be rather turbulent coming off the dunes and going to the ocean.  The first kites up were a train of tropical bird kites by Into The Wind Kites.  There should have been three but one needed some repair so only two made it into the sky.  The only other kite to fly was my Drumbox kite.  All the kites would go up for a while and then settle to the sand.  But I made the best of it.

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While I was loading everything back into the truck and preparing to rejoin the photography group, a gentleman walked up to me in the parking lot.  He told me he and his wife enjoyed watching the kites and appreciated my efforts.  This made me feel so good.  And just re-affirmed that a short kite fly is better than no fly at all.

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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.

The community kite fly day has come and gone.  An unwanted guest showed up and caused a cancellation.  The guest’s name — FLORENCE.  Hurricane Florence brought two days  of high winds and three days of rain.  And evacuations and curfews which kept us from the beach.  Even though I had thoughts of taking my Flexifoil out and flying in the higher winds.  Of course, no one would go with me.  And I had no re-entry pass to get over the bridge to the beach after Florence passed.

So let’s go back to a better time when we got together with a group of kite builders for a weekend of building.  The Keystone Kiters  Club of Pennsylvania sponsored a kite building workshop in the month of August.  The workshop is a major trip from North Carolina for a weekend but it is also a time of sharing and learning.  It can get intense.

This year we built a modified edo designed by Mike Mosman, an American Kitefliers Association Grand Champion Kite Builder.  The sail designs were completed at home so the weekend would be preparing and framing the kite.  I had a vision of what I wanted this kite to look like.  And I tried a different technique of appliqué.  After several evenings of sewing the sail was complete.  At the workshop, it took both days to hem, attach the cross-spars and vertical spars and bridle the kite.  The bungee cord arrangement for the vertical spars and the cascading bridle were new constructions for me.  That’s one of the reasons to travel to these workshops – to learn new construction techniques.  Especially those that you would never think of or figure out on your own.

The end result is a kite that flies beautifully, looks the way I had imagined it would and has stitching I’m proud of.  The kite is named “The Koi Pond”.

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.

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