I don’t really care about the Christmas season in a religious sense, but I do enjoy any excuse to get together with friends and there’s nothing like an Aussie Christmas at the beach!
I haven’t been able to catch up with many of my friends since before I left for my Asian trip in September. So I jumped at the invitation from Stuart and Mai to go to a barbecue at Clovelly here in Sydney. Stuart owns a yacht charter company and surf tour company in Indonesia and is overseas quite often and Mai is an artist who has been very busy working on her next show so I haven’t seen them for a while. If you’d like to see some of Mai’s latest work, click here.
Clovelly is a lovely little family beach, nestled in a small cove between Coogee Beach and Bronte Beach. I particularly like Clovelly, as it doesn’t tend to be very crowded, and the people who go there seem quite mellow and relaxed. Another thing about Clovelly that I really like is that it has very good free barbecue facilities. I just think it’s great that I live in a society where the government provides cooking areas for people to have barbecues on electric hot plates, completely free of charge.
Since there are usually sea breezes on the coast, my wife and I took our kites in the hope that we would be able to give them a bit of fly. We weren’t disappointed as there was a good breeze.
It’s quite amazing how many people actually enjoy flying kites. Quite a few people stopped to watch and they all had smiles on their faces.
I think kites bring out the kid in us all. In the picture below, of my wife and Stuart, you can see that the wind at times was strong enough that two people had to hang onto the kite string.
This beautiful double star kite, my wife and I made together, based on a design we got off the Internet requires a fairly decent wind to fly well.
We’ve been having some storms and lots of rain in the Sydney area over the last several days and today the weather finally relented enough to go kite flying.
My wife and I went down to my in-laws holiday home at Tallong (about 2 hours south of Sydney) for the long weekend. It’s the Queen’s birthday, so we get an annual holiday tacked onto a weekend in June. I guess there has to be some benefit to not being a republic (don’t get me started about the referendum as I’m still disgusted that we didn’t vote to be a republic). Since the wind was blowing fairly hard we took our Conyne Kite for a fly.
The Conyne is also known as the French War Kite. The Conyne flies in fairly light breezes; is a reasonably robust design and it’s also easy to make. If you would like to make a Conyne kite, click here for the plans.
The kite is a 2M (about 6ft) diameter double star. The panorama below shows “Engogirl” with the kite waiting for some wind.
We made the kite just before Easter and we’ve been keen to fly it but the wind hasn’t been strong enough ever since (typical!). The wind still wasn’t very strong today but at least we got the kite to fly out the whole length of our kite line (100m or about 300ft).
Unfortunately the wind kept on dropping and at one stage I wasn’t able to reel in the kite fast enough and it fell over the cliff wall. We had had a few panicky moments at the kite got snagged on a bush we couldn’t see over the edge of the cliff. We couldn’t get near the edge of the cliff because the edge was at a steep angle and covered with loose rock. Even though the kite took about 50 hours to make we weren’t going to risk our lives for it. I eventually walked to the end of the headland, to a point where I could see the kite snagged in a bush half way up the cliff. Fortunately the braided kite line is very strong and I was able to drag the kite out of the bush using some “brute force and ignorance” to get it back up over the cliff edge.
The kite is made of ripstop nylon and carbon fibre rods making it quite strong and it wasn’t damaged by the cliff incident. The wind picked up a little later on and we were able to get the kite up once more.
For plans to make this kite click here
Over the last month my wife and I constructed a new kite.
It’s called a double star and we got some very well prepared plans from this website
The material is ripstop nylon and the poles are made of carbon fibre. The kite is 2M across.
We finally got to fly the kite on the Easter weekend. Naturally the wind speed dropped (as is the way of the world) as soon as we brought the kite out and it hasn’t been windy enough to fly it again for the last three weeks.