Yet another gloriously sunny Sunday at the Haven, the freshening breeze off the sea meant it was never overly hot unless you were sitting out of the wind which I was at lunchtime, found that I was sweating just sitting still !!!
We had four folk there in the morning and four in the afternoon but not the same four, Margaret, Bruce, Roger and me were there in the morning, Bruce had to leave early afternoon but not long after he had departed Amanda came up for a fly.
An early disaster was avoided first thing as we found that I had brought up the wrong Quechua shelter, being the proud owner of more than one, the usual shelter I bring has stronger peg's and a hammer in the bag, today's one didn't, thankfully it had rained just enough the previous day to let us put the normal peg's in using a well placed size ten, only bent a couple.
The fairly strong breeze meant that it was full vent's today, had to do a double take as Roger put together his very nice full vent rainbow Rev, not seen that kite for ages, Roger said that it needed an airing, Bruce and me flew our Chinese full vent's, by late morning the wind had dropped slightly and was lovely and smooth so that we were able to do some nice precise flying.
We were not the only ones flying precisely in the wind, during the day we had the pleasure of watching a Kestrel hunting along the hedge rows, I have tried to get a picture of it before but it's not easy as it flit's about, it must have known I wanted to take it's pic as it sat on the vent pipe from the drain long enough for me to grab the camera before it went hunting again.
Amanda was keen to get flying coming up straight from work, her kite a Rev 1.5SLE full vent was soon put together and lines attached, after a short fly we said she would get a better response from the kite by changing the 1/2" leading edge spar for a 1/4" one, this meant it was much more suited to the wind condition's, always like seeing that kite as it is the first one I vented for someone else.
Once again we had to make a repair to a Rev, usual problem, the rubber washer on top of one of the leg spars on Amanda's kite broke, happens so often we keep spares, not a hard fix to do on the field just annoying.
Not having flown for a while Amanda was soon in the groove, leading us round the sky pretty quickly, she does like to fly fast, me and Rog needed a breather after a while so we used the excuse of practising some formation landings to slow things down.
Very soon Amanda had the hang of roll over landing's getting more precise each time, then we did a landing we call Roger's landing as he thought of it, it's a downward curving side sliding formation landing from right to left, can only do it well when the grass is short, once landed we can take off in an upward curving side slide usually in the opposite direction.
We stayed till six o clock as the day was so nice, Margaret didn't really want to leave but all good thing's must come to an end but fingers crossed and I will say this very quietly, maybe this summer weather will hang about a bit longer.
Sunday 4th August
Another great day at the Haven
I am not surprised anymore when the weather folk get the forecast wrong, today they predicted rain lingering into the morning and showers in the afternoon, we had neither, what we did have was sunshine from dawn till dusk, temperature's into the 20's and a wind coming in off the sea to keep thing's nice and fresh, the grass on the Haven would probably have liked to have a bit of rain on it as it is now parched dry and has gone from green to light brown.
It was a bit of a job to work out where to put the shelter today as the wind kept changing direction, something it did for a lot of the day meaning Margaret was having a game of musical chairs as she had to keep relocating to get the best of the temperature, location, location,location.
Roger and me at first put together a couple of mid vents but the wind kept increasing in strength, so as not to have to keep changing kites we opted for the Chinese full vent's as they have a good capability when the wind goes light, we had a nice leisurely fly before morning tea break.
Daz came up for a fly mid morning for a few hours, we have not seen Daz for a while as he has been to a few flying event's around the country, was nice to hear what he had been up to and to hear about what had been going on at different places and about the new kites he had seen, when Daz was packing up his kite I could not resist landing my kite on his back and giving him a pair of wing's, the Angel of the Haven ?
As a few folk were about enjoying the sun we did a bit of a three kite routine led by Daz, and a nipper was lucky enough to get to have a go on Daz's Rev, we also had to be careful where we were standing as the Rabbits had been busy scraping away at the dry ground trying to find something nice to nibble, think we may have to make a slight alteration to our usual spot on the Haven if they continue to make holes in it !
It was good to see quite a few folk out flying kites today, we saw some nice deltas, a 3D Dragon, a Ship and an Easy Fly to name a few, some were having greater success than others with a lot of arm waving going on and a fair bit of head scratching, they all persevered and ended up having a good time.
Our little friend the Kestrel was out hunting for a good bit of the day, makes me wonder if it has some young un's about, if so we may well be lucky enough to be about when Mum and Dad give them their first flying lesson's, as we were a couple of years back.
Someone was very keen to get a good look at the new wind farm out at sea as they had a very impressive looking telescope with them, or were they looking at the Thames sailing barges, the sea today was a lovely sort of bluey green colour and fairly smooth considering the strength of the wind.
All to soon again it was time to think about going home, and a lot of water was needed on the shelter pegs to encourage them out of the dry ground, why can't every day be a Sunday ?
Another great day, I know, getting boring.
Was slightly overcast as I drove into the Haven car park at 9am but was quite warm and a good wind of about 14mph from the SW, Roger and Margaret parked alongside me a few minutes later just as the Sun came out, and out it stayed all day only fleetingly passing behind a bit of light cloud.
Put the shelter up in a slightly different place to usual as the Rabbit's had been busy, thought it prudent to have all their scrapings in front of us, worked out well as the wind was blowing along the Haven towards the Radar tower, did find that a fair few irresponsible dog owners had failed to clear up after their " darling little pooch's " found a handy bit of stick that doubled up as a number nine iron so their little present's were soon chipped into the rough,eat your heart out Mr Wood's.
As Margaret wandered off for a bit of beach combing me and Rog put together a pair of Chinese full vent's, flew them all day, and I mean all day, the smooth and predictable wind was a nice change to last weekend, unusually the little Kestrel that sit's and watches from various perches was happy to sit on the ground today, must be getting used to us and the kites, if it ever perched on one of the kites what a picture that would be, talons may not be to good for the rip stop though.
Amanda came along just before 11 am and with her she had a new kite, bit of a sucker for anything that is Red/Black, this time she had brought a Delta Conyne for £6.99 while on holiday, Amanda is getting to be an expert at putting together her quad now, no fuss or tangles, and yes it is Red/Black, we did a bit of following with Amanda in the lead and it was noticeable how smooth and controlled she was flying, reaping the benefit of being able to get in a bit of regular flying.
Bruce came along for a bit of fresh air, no kites today as he only had a little bit of spare time, just the other essentials a chair and a flask of tea, when we had a late morning break for a drink Amanda put together her new kite, looks very nice and flew pretty well and after making a slight alteration on Bruce's advice it flew really well, a family group out with their nippers had some photo's taken with the kites, we reckoned they were using the day to have a practice putting up their new tent as it was very large and was only up for a while.
While we were having lunch with the kites all " parked " nice and neatly together a chap decided to throw a ball for his dog to catch right through our kite lines, the resulting tangle took three of us a good 15 minutes to sort out, I know kite lines are a bit hard to see but a bit of common sense would have been useful, oh well takes all sort's I suppose.
Not too long after a midday break Bruce had to leave, not before having a quick go on Roger's kite, and then a little while later so did Amanda, as she took down her quad me and Roger could not resist parking our kites on her, another Angel ? as she laid down with her feet in the air we landed the kite's on the soles of her shoes, made a few folk passing bye stop and look, could almost write a song about that, instead of diamonds " kites on the soles of her shoes ".
Late afternoon we heard a roar of engines out at sea and were treated to a fly past by the Red Arrows, ten of them as they had the spare plane and pilot in the formation instead of the usual nine you usually see, as I have said before you never know what is going to turn up at the Haven.
With the Sun getting low in the sky, well it was 7pm !!! we headed for home, with FULL stomach's, folk who weren't there missed a real treat, don't know why we have not thought about doing that before on a Sunday, not a bad day, ten hours at the Haven with the kites, a fly past by the Red Arrows and something very tasty at the end.
I want one….I want one….which one shall I keep?
The day started a bit overcast but the weather folk said the sun would appear in the afternoon, in the end we had sun from about 10am and a NE wind of about 15mph blowing along the Haven all day.
In the car park upon our arrival there was a large group of Twitchers ( Bird Watchers ) all looking and pointing towards the Marsh, they said they were on a general bird watching outing, we thought that was a Red Herring and reckoned that something unusual had turned up, all we could see was a Pigeon and a Sea Gull, and not a Herring in sight.
As they moved off towards the new viewing area by the entrance " our Kestrel " made an appearance and landed on it's usual perch right where the Twitchers had been, then as the Twitchers moved to another viewing spot by the sailing club the Kestrel took off and landed on another of it's perches once again in the opposite direction to where they were pointing their camera lenses, very much a case of " it's behind you ", after the heavy rain of the previous day the Haven was looking a lot greener and the pegs of the shelter went in without the need of a hammer,
Roger, Bruce and me put together three full vents, after flying mine for a few minutes I reckoned there was enough wind to try out the new quad I had made, a black Mega Vent that has white trim around the mesh panels, even in the wind we had I was pleased with how it flew, and a little while later I was even happier as after Bruce had cast his expert eye over it he said I had made a good job of it, I flew it for a good part of the day and found that as the material gave a bit and settled down the handling became even better.
During the afternoon we were beginning to wonder if someone had put and advert in the paper " if you want to know about quad kites go to the Haven on Sunday " as we had a fair few folk coming over and asking about the kites, Margaret was kept busy handing out info sheet's that she had put together for us when we were doing demo fly's in the arena at the Peterborough Kite Festival last year, three guy's were very interested and asked a lot of question's, two were local and one came from Horndon on the Hill.
One chap Ian took up my offer of having a go on one of my older Rev's, a full sail SLE, after the usual bumpy start he started to do really well considering the kite was a bit overpowered, I always think that it is better for a new flyer to have a slightly overpowered kite to get to know the " feel ", we said we were going to be at the Haven on Monday if he fancied another go, he said he might just pop along.
Unfortunately the toilets have been vandalised again and were shut, a bit of an inconvenience for us, pardon the pun, but could be a real problem for the organisers of the Tendring Triathlon that is taking place on Sept 7th/8th at the Haven as they anticipate having 600 or more people at the event over the two day's, also means we will have to find somewhere else to fly, maybe Cudmore Grove or the Zoo, hopefully the toilet block will get repaired a bit quicker this time, certainly hope so, bit awkward flying with your leg's crossed.
As we were coming back the next day we packed up at 5pm and drove home after a great days flying.
Bank Holiday Monday 26th
The weahter today was a repeat of Sunday, although a bit warmer and a smoother wind.
We opted for Chinese full vent's as the three that Roger, Bruce and myself have are very colourful and make quite an impressive sight in the sun, and that became even better as Peter came out to join us at the Haven, and he put together his Chinese full vent, even though all four kites are different colours they do seem to compliment each other.
As we had four flyers we did a bit of team flying and drew a round of applause and some thumbs up from people that were watching, another reason I was glad Peter came today is that he is also very knowledgeable about British birds and said we had a male and female Kestrel as they were different sizes, the female always being bigger than the male.
There were a lot of folk about at the Haven today, some having bar-
Quite few folk were flying kites or attempting to, one chap and his nipper had us crying with laughter as Dad was well and truly hit by the kite he was helping his lad fly, and even better I got it on video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR_SV7hopTw
Ian, the chap from the previous day, was as good as his word and came along in the afternoon for another go, this time as he had a bit of time I put together a Rev SLE full vent, went a little bit further along the Haven so as not to be in anyone's way, and gave him a few more pointers about how to use the brakes etc and how to get the kite in a launch position.
Ian is a quick learner and as I thought he was at a point where he wasn't going to hurt himself or anyone else I wandered off and left him to it, although we did keep half an eye on what he was doing, just in case, Margaret came to his assistance once when the kite got into a bit of a muddle, turned out that had been caused the the usual problem, the rubber washer by the top of one of the legs had broken, Roger asked why I hadn't tied the bungee's like the Chinese do their's, they don't use a washer, going to add that to my to do list.
While I was with Ian another chap with his kid's came along and spoke to Roger about the kites as he was impressed at what you can do with them, although he and his family came from Chelmsford they come to the coast fairly regularly so we may see them again as well, yet another info sheet was handed out, will have to print some more at this rate, at the end of the afternoon Roger and me did a bit of shadow flying.
Once again we didn't really want to leave for home but it was nearing six o’clock.