The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. This year we did have the time to go to the beach and fly some kites. Unfortunately, the wind was high and coming from the mainland, passing over homes and condos before reaching the beach. The result was gusty, “squirrelly” winds. Not very conducive to dong much flying. Sometimes it seems we just can’t get a break and have a good flying day.
Did my best to fly a White Bird dragon kite. Usually one I can depend on in higher winds. This day, however, I spent most of the time picking it off the sand and relaunching.
What made this day special was the inaugural flight of the Peter Lynn Manta Ray, a recent purchase by some good friends. It was not the best day to attempt flight but, as most of you may know, when you get something new you just have to put it in the air. It is really an impressive kite with its black and white pattern and its blue eyes.
We missed the Sunday community kite fly. It was a little chilly and the grandchildren were visiting. It was a joy to have them with us and we did visit Fort Macon with them. From there we saw the kites in the sky. And a pretty impressive show it was with quite a few Randy Tom art kites in the air. Hopefully next weekend will be a better weekend and we can put some kites in the sky ourselves.
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.
The Mile of Hope is an annual weekend on the beach for families with children who have cancer. It is sponsored by the Optimist Club of Raleigh, NC. Twenty-five families spend the weekend visiting area attractions, going on a sightseeing cruise and spending time on the beach. It gives them a chance to get away from the routine of hospital stays, drug treatments and therapies.
Saturday morning is beach time. The families spend time on the beach wading in the water, building sand castles and flying kites. Kites Unlimited of Atlantic Beach provides kites for all the children. The Carolina Kite Club members bring some of their “showiest” kites and fill the sky with color for all to enjoy. We’re also there to help the children get their kites in the air and solve any problems they might have.
This year was one of the best years for the kite fly. The winds were moderate and directed down the beach (no obstructions), the sun shone and the temperatures were mild. All kinds of kites were in the sky; dragon kites, critter kites, power sleds, delta kites, a Legs kite, and a Triangulation. The theme of the weekend was “dragons” so we made sure the big green Skydog Dragon was in the air as well as the large White Bird “Friendly Dragons” and their accompanying smaller “Friendly Dragons”.
By the end of the morning, we were worn out from walking up and down the beach. But it felt good to see the smiles on the children’s faces and hear their laughter as they played in the sand. And looking around, you could see that the adults were having just as much fun as the children.
The club kite fly this week was called because of weather. We have become weather wimps in our “old age”. However, the call of our addiction was so great that we went out on the next pretty day and had the beach to ourselves.
We went “back to our roots” and flew only single line kites. My husband put up his Ghost Delta and I selected some of my White Bird dragon kites. I’m continually trying to expand my collection of White Bird dragons. These were three that you don’t see too often. They put on a show in the sky no matter what pattern in on the sail.
The Ghost Delta is made by Gomberg Kites. It comes in other colors but the white seems to be the favorite. Like the dragons, the flowing tails really make a statement in the sky.
Flying in the evening is a relaxing end to any day. As the sun went down and the air began to chill, we packed up and strolled to the truck. We were already making plans for our next flying day.
My acquisition of new kites has continued. I obtained two more White Bird dragons on eBay this week. Months and months go by and White Bird kites are hard to come by. Then there is an influx of them as people empty their kite bags for one reason or another. So the latest additions to my collection are a 25 ft. Rainbow dragon and a 25 ft. Sun Face dragon.
The Rainbow dragon completes a set of Rainbow dragons of varying sizes. Putting them up at one time should look pretty impressive in the sky. The Sun Face adds another unique sail design to my collection.
The hard part about getting new kites is not being able to fly them when they arrive. We had house guests for the weekend and we missed the weekly kite club fly at Fort Macon State Park. This seems to be happening more and more often lately. Though I’m not complaining, I do have to get my kite fix or suffer withdrawal. So this afternoon I went to the beach and flew all of my latest White Bird additions. Five dragon kites in the sky. What a wondrous sight.
The two on the left are the latest additions. The middle kite is the White Bird Golden Gate dragon. The two on the right are both White Bird Friendly Dragon dragons. I think of them as the brothers and, true to form, they fought in the sky, tangled their lines and brought each other down. I had to separate them.
It was a great day at the beach. The wind was not too strong and the temperature was not too hot. I would have liked to stay longer but I was given a dinner invitation that I couldn’t refuse. It meant I didn’t have to cook and I didn’t have to do the dishes. And if you’re wondering how one person flies five kites at once. Here’s our secret (which is not really a secret at all). Sand bags made from inexpensive nylon backpacks.