The Weather Is Just Not Cooperating

For the second week in a row, the weather is not cooperating with those of us who just want to fly kites.

Last week it was the cold. You may call me a “wimp” but when the temperature falls below 40 degrees with a north wind (a strong north wind), it is just too cold to be on a beach. On top of that, it rained. We did go to the beach for a while and sit in the truck and watch the foam blow off the tops of the waves. It looked like snow blowing across the sand. After going home, I picked out colors and fabric for my next kite build.

This weekend a winter storm arrived. We got a half inch of ice covering everything. Along with north winds in the teens and sleet. Most of the county was shut down because travel became too dangerous. Temperatures didn’t get above 40 degrees with wind chills making it 10 degrees lower. Things got better after the storm moved on but the ice remains and we chose to stay home and stay warm.

While housebound, I started sewing on a Van Hienen Shield. Instructions for this kite are found on the forum. Each week a new step is published. And the instructions stay online so if you fall behind, it’s easy to catch up later. This weekend is for cutting and hemming. Next is the applique. When the skin is complete, the framing begins.

So here’s to sunshine, more tolerable temperatures and smooth flying winds to come.

Fair Winds All

Squeezing In Some Flying Days

The usual Sunday morning kite fly was a good one. The sun shone, the temperature was mild and the winds were off the ocean in the mid-teens. It was a warmer day sandwiched between the colder days. It brought out several flyers and many varied kites.

Because the winds were higher, I got out some of the delta kites that hadn’t seen the blue skies in quite some time. And, of course, the new delta I got for Christmas. The two older kites were the Premier Mesh delta and the Skydog Illusion delta. Both make a good show with their long tails.

Along with these two, I also put up the new-to-me Premier Stratadelta. Flew it with some ribbon tails but I think it will have more of a presence with some longer, wider tails. A project I will have to work on.

What those who are my friends know that I am a fanatic football fan. I try never to miss a televised game of the Green Bay Packers. The regular season is now over and we are approaching the playoffs. To show support for my team, I made a Green Bay Packer kite and flew it this past Sunday.

The next couple of days were cold, cold, cold. At least cold for this area of North Carolina. So we stay at home and watched the weather forecast. There was supposed to be a warmup in the middle of the week. And it did get twenty degrees warmer than the preceding days. So off to the beach we go to make the most of what pretty days there are. We only stayed an hour or so and the winds were on the light side. However, we did manage to put up a few of our light wind kites. Specifically those made by Flying Wings Kites. One was the Laima, the second was the Wala with the travel frame, and the third was the Emong.

These were just right for this day. No pull on the lines at all. Just hanging in the sky with little attention needed. Perfect for sitting on an empty beach soaking up some sunshine.

We did have one visitor while we were there. A lone sandpiper came walking up to us, closer than I’ve ever seen one come. He/she walked around us several times. Not afraid to come between the chair and the truck or walk from one to the other and stop to look at both of us. At times this bird was so close you could almost reach out and touch it. After several minutes, it flew off down the beach. Whether it was lost, lonely or just curious, we will never know.

As the afternoon wore on, the temperature began to drop and the wind picked up a bit. Not too much for these kites to handle but enough that it felt like it was time to go home. So until next time –

Fair Winds All

It’s A New Year For Flying

Now that the holiday chaos is over, we all can get back to the more important things in life – flying kites. The weather did not cooperate too much for us this past December.

Before Christmas, the usual kite flying day was wet and windy. We were so desperate to go to the beach, we got our morning biscuits and drove out on the sand to watch the waves through the windshield. It was actually a pretty relaxing way to spend some time. And we weren’t the only ones on the wet sand. Christmas Day was a total bust. The winds were so strong that the foam blowing off the waves looked like snow across the beach. The windshield of the truck was soon frosted over with salt spray and the waves were the highest we’d seen in a long time. I stuck my wind gauge out the window just to try to measure the wind. It was 27 mph with gusts near 40 mph. It was shaking the truck. We didn’t stay on the beach long.

The day after Christmas was the weekly kite flying day. And the change in the weather was amazing. The waves were still large and crashing on the shore. But the sun shone and the temperature was agreeable. And the winds were just right for kites. We got out the kites we received as Christmas presents. I got a Stratadelta in my favorite colors – red,white,black,gray. John got the new Manta delta. They flew great.

We were unable to attend the New Year’s Day kite fly. From what I’ve been told, it was great. Several of our flyer friends came from out-of-town and filled the sky with their kites. Hated missing it but grandchildren come first and we had a good weekend with a second Christmas and time with the family.

So on to a new year. Already there are plans for some new kite builds and a couple of new kite gatherings. Hopefully, this year will be smoother and our kiting adventures will continue.

Fair Winds All.

Let’s Go Back In Time

On this past Labor Day the Mile High Kite Festival was held on Beech Mountain, NC.  This is a festival we never miss.  First, because we get to see some kite friends that we don’t see more than once or twice a year and, second, because we get to the mountains for the long weekend.  (And get away from the mad tourist surge at the beach.)  This year was a very unusual kite fly.  There was wind.  At times, too much wind.  The sun shone the whole weekend and the temperature was perfect.  However, the wind was gusting into the twenties.  Because we fly on the side of a steep hill at the top of the mountain, kites are seldom anchored and left to fly on their own.  This was a good thing as no kites were lost to the extreme gusts.  The banners that were put out to decorate the flying field took a beating.  And some of the vendors tents as well.

This year I flew more kites and took less pictures.  Probably a result of having wind.  I got my two latest kite builds in the air; the 3do and the Stretch Tucker parafoil.  Both of these were online workshops as the in-person workshops were canceled this year.  The parafoil flew like a champ.  The 3do needs some extra tweeking.  Not unusual for a new build.  I didn’t realize it until just now that both of my latest applique designs were Oriental themed.  Other kites made it out of the bag off and on all weekend.  That’s a lot for me to fly on the mountain.  Unfortunately, there was no kite builders competition this year.  Maybe because I was the only kite builder to bring something.  So, by default, I awarded myself “Best In Show”.











After sitting home for a year because of the pandemic, walking up and down the hill was quite strenuous.  You never realize the effect of inactivity until you’re inactive for a period of time and then try to pick up where you left off.  We stay an extra day after the festival to sight see a little, maybe fly our kites a little and avoid the holiday traffic.  This year we mostly napped.  We did find a new coffee shop which also had great pastries.  I can only hope they stay open and are there next year.

That’s about it for now.  Stay tuned for more updates and latest kite flying news.

Fair Winds All.