Things are changing here and for the better. The past couple of weeks the weather has been so erratic. One day the temperature is cool and the wind is from the north. The next day it warms up and the wind is from the south but very strong. Then there is rain and thunderstorms moving through. Then back to chilly temperatures with north winds again. The better thing is that I have gained access to the beach and have a place to fly kites. I just have to wait for a day with moderate south winds. You see, our beaches face the south and are lined with houses and condominiums. Winds from the north are blocked and swirly. Not the best for kite flying.
But the day finally came and I did something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Put up a show of White Bird dragon kites. They are some of the most beautiful round-headed dragon kites I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, they have been out of production for many years. But I have made it a calling to find as many of their patterns as I can. I have quite a collection and have always wanted to put them all up. I could have done it this time but I settled for flying six at once. And then just sitting in the sun, enjoying the weather, the sound of the waves and my kites.
These past couple of weeks I’ve also gotten some work done on my Giant Hata kite build. Finished all the pockets and sleeves and got the binding sewn all along the edge of the sail.
After framing and bridling, you truly realize how large this kite is. It practically fills one wall of my living room. Now to decide what kind of tails to make and it will be ready for a test fly. Hopefully this weekend there will be a beautiful day with winds from the south and a chance to try it out. And put another show of color in the sky above the beach.
Special thanks to Don, Jeri and Brett of Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, etc.
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.