After the busyness of kite building and kite festivals, we took a week off and went on a vacation. This meant we missed the usual community kite fly last Sunday. Turns out it was canceled due to cold weather and high winds (which made it even colder). However, we took a number of kites with us to fly on the beach at Myrtle Beach, SC. The weather didn’t cooperate much better there.
We had a couple of days of rain. In between there were days of low temperature and very high winds. Yes, I wimped out and stayed indoors on those days. Then there were the sunny days with very low winds or moderate winds being blocked from the beach by the condominiums. And the condominiums line the beach from one end to another. So frustrating.
Yet, we tried. Got out the light wind bag and pulled out several kites. The Skate would go up and then glide gracefully back to the ground. The Dunton-Taylor box flew the best but would over-fly in a gust and do a nose plant in the sand. The Dunton-Taylor box with banner tail did not over fly but did mimic the Skate and glide down shortly after launch. So much for flying on this vacation.
All was not lost, however. On those rainy days we went to the local kite shop, Klig’s Kites in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
Be prepared to get a crick in your neck as I’ve never seen so many kites hung from the ceiling and the walls as there are at this shop. We had a great visit with Lauren while we were there. She is very knowledge about kites, fun to visit with, had some places and people in common with us and doesn’t mind at all when she has to use a ladder to get a kite down that you are going to purchase. In fact, she had to use the ladder several times during our visit. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time there and are looking forward to our next visit.
And so until the next time we fly (which we hope will be soon)
Fair Winds All
My new kite from Peter Lynn of New Zealand arrived just before the festival. Unfortunately, the winds were too high for me to fly it. So in the middle of the week we made a trip to the beach to put it in the air for the first time. It is really a kite show in a bag. It is made up of a lifter kite and a fish, a skate and a crab to hang from the flying line. I was a little nervous as I never had flown anything like this before but I’m not nervous anymore. It was a breeze to put up and really looked great. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Just like the Carolina Kite Festival this past weekend, the winds were high for the weekly community kite fly. According to a couple different weather apps, the winds were supposed be on the high side in the morning, dropping to more manageable speeds as noon approached. Well, they had it wrong again. The winds only picked up as the day progressed. Since we hadn’t unpacked the kites from the truck after the festival, we were able to select some kites which could handle the wind. And the kites of choice were a variety of deltas.
Another type of kite which handled higher winds is the dragon. And the White Bird dragons flown by our friend Steve added to the show.
For the first time in months, I got out one of my quad line kites, the Vertigo Max, vented for higher winds. Stunt kite flying is a lot like riding a bicycle. You never really forget how to fly, you just get a little rusty. And it all comes back quickly. It made for a fun morning.
Fair winds All
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.