That was a really pleasant afternoon flying kites on the beach at Walmer, though the wind had its moments and made for a bit of a challenge at times.

Arriving around midday, there were already kites in the sky in the glorious sunshine. The carpark was full due to the sponsored dog walk and also there seemed to be a fishing competition on the beach. But not to be disheartened. we headed out to the beach to add some colour to the sky. The wind was currently blowing in a roughly northerly direction, along the beach from Deal.

Putting up a manta ray was easy enough and it seemed pretty steady in the sky, but then the wind started to move round to onshore, now blowing roughly easterly. As happens, the wind started to drop and we had an extended lull lasting for a couple of hours at a guess. Most of the inflatable kites came down, although we tried to keep them in the sky for as long as possible. Meantime the decorative kites were putting on a great show just along from us. They seemed to be having quite a Brasington moment.

A little later, and the wind, or what there was of it, was slowly drifting round to southerly, and started to pick up a bit, sufficient to get three manta rays into the sky along with some other stuff. The wind was now blowing towards Deal, so had swung through 180 degrees. Meanwhile Mike's beautiful lunar moth was starting to struggle in the stiffening breeze. It is an incedibly fragile kite that in the lightest of breezes just hangs there, but when the breeze picks up it soon gets overpowered, or worse breaks a spar.

Late afternoon and the wind was still swinging round, now blowing roughly south west, coming off the castle and blowing slightly offshore. It had stiffened significantly, and with the trees and hills around the castle was becoming quite turbulent. As the sun started to dip and the heat went out it was time to start packing up and head for home. A lovely afternoon with lots of appreciative comments from the walkers and bystanders, and a good turnout from club members.




Bridle Adjustment

We had agreed to meet up at Lydd-on-Sea, near the Lade carpark. The prediction was for sunshine, the possibility of the occasional shower and a fair breeze. In the event we had quite a strong breeze, warm sunshine, chilly wind and the occasional hailstorm. But it wasn't going to ruin our enjoyment

News reaches us today that Dunstable Downs Kite Festival is no more. This is really sad news. Dunstable Downs is a fabulous place to fly kites, and the festival there has been a long time favourite with club members, whether attending just for a day or for the whole weekend. When the weather is warm and sunny, there can't be many better places to be, and the sound of the swoosh of the gliders coming in to land at the club in the valley below the site will long be in my memory.

We no doubt all remember that Gatwick Airport was closed by drones flying over or near the runway in the lead up to Christmas, and that Heathrow Airport was also temporarily closed bys similar activity shortly afterwards. No doubt we all felt very sorry for the passengers impacted by the closures, the delays to their trips and that maybe some missed seeing family or friends over the Christmas Holiday. So far, no arrests have been made, though police investigations are "ongoing" and airport owners have been forced to improve their detection and response to such activity. The law was about to chainge regarding the registration of drones, and the resultant outcry has led to even more restrictions being imposed.

There can't be many better ways to spend an afternoon than flying kites with friends in glorious sunshine. So on Sunday 24th February a small group of us gathered on the park in Tonbridge to enjoy the gentle breeze and warm conditions. It was definitely a shirt sleeve type of day.