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.
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.