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About this blog

My personal observations

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Blackheath 25/10/2020

It was raining quite heavily as I set off for Blackheath from Hackney this morning.  There had been an indication that showers would clear by 10am.  On Blackheath there was some sign of clearing from the west but the shower cloud was slow in moving. We set up full sail 1.5 Revs while it was still raining and were eventually rewarded with blue sky and sunshine.  The wind was SSW and steady but nowhere near the forecast 11-22mph. No JMH kites today as it was just too wet underfoot and th

Felix

Felix in Decs Sunday

18/10/2020 Blackheath

The synoptic chart was lacking in isobars so I was not expecting much flying today. Zens with green race were ok when the air was moving. The new meter did show 2.5 - 3mph maximum. Having figured out some minimal editing with iPhone video I have been planning to try the GoPro5 on the field again, on a tripod mount. I will do some more work on this but suspect that the best viewpoint is going to be at head height which should be possible if the tripod is weighted. Did a small trial today but

Felix

Felix in Decs Sunday

11/10/2020 Blackheath

There is still talk about changes in the Pandemic regime but we did get to fly today without issue.  The breeze was quite variable when I arrived on Blackheath and it was really full sail 1.5 Revs that worked in the lighter moments. With the Revs it is quite easy to take them all and choose the appropriate one on site.  For the JMH kites a little more planning is required.  The forecast was for 8-9mph gusting 16-20mph.  On that basis I had hoped that we would be able to fly the 1990 and 199

Felix

Felix in Decs Sunday

04/10/2020

During lockdown which ended in the middle of May there was one Sunday when the weather would not have been conducive for kite flying.  Since then there was one day when there was no practical breeze so we were walking the Rev Zens.  There have also been a couple of windy days! Today was very wet, relatively cold and very windy so we simply did not make any attempt to fly.  When the remaining projected festivals cancelled back in June a decision was made to concentrate on flying, photographi

Felix

Felix in Decs

27/09/2020 Blackheath

Low flat grey clouds occasionally thinned to  fleetingly show the disc of the sun.  There was a Northerly breeze which measured about 11 - 15mph once I found the magic key press on the new wind meter!  It was initially showing ‘hold’. RSS Revs were fine until shortly after 1:00pm when there was a longer lull which provided a convenient hint that it was time for lunch off site.  Terry Riley Assassin Reverie, Tread on the Trail played by Arte Quartett had just come to an end as well… Ear

Felix

Felix in Decs Sunday

20/09/2020 Blackheath

The week of the Dieppe festival in 2014 was sunny throughout but we were not there as a team.  It was another sunny day on Blackheath with a fairly steady NE breeze, mostly about 8-10mph. Full vented 1.5s again were ‘on rails’, a pleasure to fly.  After a Terry Riley piece ‘Tread on the Trail’ we had Bersarin Quartett, Methoden und Maschinen, Composer: Thomas Bücker on the sound system.  Quite a change!  Some of the silent calls worked very well today <grins>. On the JMH front I

Felix

Felix in Decs Sunday

13/09/2020 Blackheath

Another glorious September day, the last late summer burst of warmth spilling up from the south with a light SW breeze.  I had been following the forecasts all week again and was hoping for the 10mph that the Met Office had been suggesting.  We got a bit less. Even so, it was full vented 1.5 kites that we set up initially although a mid vent was all that was available for an extra flier today.  There was a short called session with Bill Frisell providing accompaniment. The JMH project

Felix

Felix

06/09/2020 Blackheath

A glorious September morning with a light westerly breeze, 6mph and gusting to quite a bit more occasionally. Zens with race rods were sparkly in the sunshine and similar to the clouds that started to form and melted away initially.  Musical accompaniment from the start was Bill Frisell Valentine, a recent release! While I had originally expected to fly the JMH parafoils today, plan B, in the lighter wind was his 1995 Edo.  The 17 bridle lines came clear with only one loop through so t

Felix

Felix

30/08/2020 Blackheath

A similar forecast to last Sunday but the wind was from the North today and the cloud cover gradually thickened. Full vent 1.5s with race rods were fine again.  We did manage to get the sound system set up properly so had the benefit of Bill Frisell for our final flying session which helped cover the background noise from the Bank Holiday fairground on the other side of the A2.  Mr. Helicopter was unusually on our side of the road today doing all his trick flying but fortunately he didn’t s

Felix

Felix

23/08/2020 Blackheath

The forecast was for 10-11mph gusting maybe twice that and for fairly dense cloud and that is basically what we got although there were some brighter moments. Full vent 1.5s felt very comfortable and we even had a bit of jazz piano accompaniment by Andrew McCormack.  A new one for me and might be interesting long term!  For some reason the UE Boom 2s wouldn’t pair up which was irritating so it was a mono playback. I had hoped to fly and video the JMH Della-Porta: Four Rhomboids and whi

Felix

Felix

16/08/2020 Blackheath

We were not anticipating much breeze and there was some doubt as to what direction it would be from. Our initial set-up of Zen sails turned out to be in the wrong direction for much of the time when there was any breeze at all. I had charged the UE Boom so we had an accompaniment of the new Bill Frisell release followed by a bit of John Scofield. As there was so little variable breeze I did not put together the JMH Edo that I had taken, ‘just in case’. As there was a distictl

Felix

Felix

09/02/2020 Blackheath

It was hot on Blackheath as forecast but the NE or E breeze held up most of the time so we had a good starting session with full sail 1.5 Revs. I had decided that any other kites flown should be simple to put together or even requiring no frame at all as in the parafoils. Having prepared a new spreader for the JMH 1987 Delta I obviously was hoping for the right conditions after the previous spreader break at launch. I might have been a bit overcautious today but we set the kite on

Felix

Felix

02/08/2020 Blackheath

Lighter breeze today, 8mph was forecast but it was often less.  Full sail 1.5s with race rods were very comfortable and as there was not actually much in the way of thermal effect the breeze felt steady.  (Quite a bit of sun and I did remember to keep the hat on after last weeks scalp burn!) There were some directional shifts that caused issues when we set about building the JMH Asymetric Stack 1995.  Part of the problem arose from some tangling or looping of the sets as we laid them out an

Felix

Felix

26/07/2020 Blackheath

The forecast suggested 11mph gusting 25 but we probably did not get that most of the time.  We did get blue sky, sunshine and impressive cumulus with only one light shower actually crossing the Heath.  There was one torrential shower that passed north of the river and it did hit Hackney. Full vented 1.5s today so less wind than my expectations.  We did a couple of free flying sessions today as well as a brief fly before finally packing up and leaving at about 3:30pm.  Chris Beel had joined

Felix

Felix

19/07/2020 Blackheath

Low clouds, a light northerly breeze, sometimes the forecast 7mph, often less and intermittent light rain which being very fine/small droplets would be called ‘drizzle’ in may parts of the country!  Even in the light breeze it was arriving horizontally. I set up the small Peter Lynn pilot kite on 4mm polyester braid for ‘target practice’, but really to see how it behaved in marginal conditions. We flew full sail 1.5 Revs with race rods without calls and with occasional interaction with

Felix

Felix

12/07/2020 Blackheath

By contrast with the last two weekends today was almost a flat calm.  There was occasionally sustained air movement from most of the compass points! Zens with green race and a Robertshaw sail were occasionally in the air. I had hoped to fly the early JMH delta kite having been wondering how to re-spar it since breaking a bamboo component at the previous flight last year.  I had prepared some 18mm dowel and aluminium connectors.  I was aware that there was a potential weak point and so

Felix

Felix

05/07/2020 Blackheath

Another windy forecast had me looking back at notes for July over the last few years to find that it had generally been a light wind month.  I can remember Washington Tyne and Wear events with blustery conditions, not least when a Cody train broke loose. On Friday afternoon the forecast windspeed for Sunday was 19-38mph but it was a bit less on the day c16-32mph. So we were all on RSS kites.  These have proved to be a very successful design, lightening the line loading but maintaining

Felix

Felix

28/06/2020 Blackheath

The forecast was for c15-30mph and cloudy.  We had the wind but the cloud was broken so there was quite a bit of sun as well. RSS kites and an Xtra Vent because Martin arrived first.  There were some lulls but mostly it was constant with gusts blowing through. My plan for today hit an early problem which was not resolved on the field today.  The pilot kite that I had planned to use needed tuning and while I found that small incremental corrections to the bridle did make a difference I

Felix

Felix

21/06/2020 Blackheath

Another week of weather watching and once again we have been fortunate that early rain moved away to a drying breeze which was strong enough for our needs. Ironically, when I arrived on site there was a bit of a long lull in the breeze, sufficient to set up a full sail 1.5.  I had been expecting to use a full vent and so it proved after a third flier arrived on site and set up a full sail.  We quickly changed to full vent with green race and had some subtle no calls interaction. Then,

Felix

Felix

14/06/2020 Blackheath

I had been watching the weather forecasts all week and was hopeful for a settled steady southerly breeze with some brightness.  We got the breeze but actually had some good sunshine as well. I set up a full sail 1.5 with race rods and was just about airborne when Martin arrived.  I was then able to collect the additional kit from the car. My plan was to see how many of the JMH  Rhombus shaped kites 1985 we could put up.  We have flown up to three sets previously.  I had undertaken quit

Felix

Felix

07/06/2020 Blackheath

The wind was lighter than forecast soon after my arrival but strengthened later.  Full sail 1.5s with race rods were just holding in the lulls and we did fly a bit closer today as the rules have changed. I had hoped to fly the Peter Malinski train in full today as I thought that I had cut spare sticks and put them in the new bags for each set.  Seems like I had only replaced broken ones and so we only managed four sets again today using ‘spares’ from the fifth set as we inevitably broke som

Felix

Felix

31/05/2020 Blackheath

So next weekend we can fly six kites together providing we keep 2 meters apart.  Unlikely that there will actually be six of us but at least it is now allowed. Today was full on blue sky, just the odd clouds off towards the horizon and plenty of swifts to keep us company in the air above.  A fairly steady easterly breeze meant that full vent 1.5s were just about comfortable most of the time with green race frames. Having had recent experience of the JMH Della Porta kites and some succe

Felix

Felix

24/05/2020 Blackheath

Another breezy day so I was flying the RSS kite today.  There were two other fliers nearby but we were not sharing kit so they were flying the Xtra Vents by Bazzer.  Flying was ‘at a distance’ except for one moment when a family group came a bit close.  Should have grounded the kites really… A further session on the Hex Pilot and this time the breeze was consistently strong enough to keep the kite at the top of the window which turned out to be really quite high.  Except, of course, for whe

Felix

Felix

17/05/2020 Blackheath

It was strange to be driving to Blackheath today.  I was quite prepared to turn around and drive home again if there was any indication of congestion on the site.  While there were people about, many in pairs at a distance, there was plenty of space at our usual spot. Mid vent 1.5 for a while just to remember how it felt on a dry surface with some sun breaking through the high cloud.  I then set up the Hexagonal ‘pilot’ kite that was sewn up back in the autumn as a possible replacement for

Felix

Felix

11/05/2020

Website distraction yesterday in a good way.  I had found some details of the two kites that were raffled in aid of the Bristol Kite Festival 2009.  They were in the original JMH design from 1991 but in the 1.5 format, one yellow, one blue. After a bit of further research I found some images by Laura Berg from Long Beach WSIKF 2009 and Laura was able to send me higher resolution versions for the web site. It was good to pin down that episode and to be reminded that Rich Comrass who Jak

Felix

Felix

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