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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

07/02/2016 Blackheath

Brisk SW breeze mostly 18mph but often gusting considerably higher so Xtra Vents with 4 wrap frames today. Mostly cloudy with occasional breaks of sunshine which almost countered the considerable wind chill even though the temperature was almost in double figures centigrade… Some called moves today but also plenty of confident close free flying. Someone just has to write the figures but it might be better to try and describe the ‘rules of engagement’. It would be a bit like flying fighter ki

Felix

Felix

 

31/01/2016

A no fly day. The rain might have stopped at midday but at that point I had set about unscrambling a ‘password’ issue and could not let that go until I had resolved it. Ironically it was all about the number of characters allowed… We are almost set for Cervia and Berck is shaping up subject to the team confirming individually. I still do not have details of the new kite from Revolution. It will be interesting to see how the bridle works! Felix

Felix

Felix

 

24/01/2016 Blackheath

A later start today c11:30 and completely different temperature wise, well into double figures. Wind was from the South and mostly 10mph+ so vented sails with race rods again. Quite a lot of called flying today but only in a leisurely sense, no way ‘practice’; just for the simple enjoyment… We should be able to firm up on plans for Berck and Cervia in the next few days. Portsmouth and Exmouth are straightforward and Dieppe is a distinct possibility this time. Felix

Felix

Felix

 

17/01/2016 Blackheath

There was evidence of overnight snow in Hackney and on arrival on Blackheath there was a melting residue which had all but disappeared by Midday. High clouds thinned at times to let a bit of sun through; just enough to see shadows on the ground. Wind was from the SE and much lighter than forecast, c1-3 mph so diamonds in full 1.5 sails. Nothing called today but early on there was some close smooth following searching for the wind window. Always a treat in light winds… Felix

Felix

Felix

 

10/01/2016 Blackheath

There was an extensive potentially thundery cloud system looming to the south as I set off from Hackney this morning. Even in the time that it took to reach Blackheath it became clear that this system was tracking quite quickly to the SE even though the local wind direction was from the SW. 10-20mph so full vented with race rods felt very comfortable. Once the sun appeared from behind the high cloud there was almost a balance between wind chill and a slight warming effect, but definitely full

Felix

Felix

 

01/01/2016 Blackheath

The forecast looked better for today than Sunday 3rd so we made an appropriately late start under thickening high cloud. A flier was close to our usual pitch on the heath with some two line kites and also a couple of Revolution sails. It was Damon Meheux making an occasional visit. He was in the process of packing up so we exchanged seasonal greetings before setting up. The breeze was from the SE and initially we thought it was going to be a full sail day but even as we wound out the lines i

Felix

Felix

 

27/12/2105 Blackheath

There was a bit of drizzle in the air on the way to Blackheath but it stayed dry for a while on arrival. C20 mph from the SW again with similar temperatures to last week. We started with full vented and race rods but switched to four wrap. This felt a bit rigid and on reflection I would have preferred Xtra Vents and race. It is time to start making arrangements for the 2016 events. I will have to make some difficult decisions all too soon about the time I will be able to take away from work

Felix

Felix

 

20/12/2015 Blackheath

It was a showery SW airstream today with un-seasonally high temperature of c14 centigrade again. Full vented 1.5s with a variety of race rods and 3 wrap felt comfortable. Some called moves today along with plenty of close freeflying. Lots of sky-scapes including the one I have attached to this message. We’ll probably fly next Sunday and then New Years Day just because… Felix

Felix

Felix

 

13/12/2015 Blackheath

Very wet underfoot this morning under a low almost featureless cloud ceiling except for a slight brightening to the south early on. 3mph Easterly breeze so full 1.5 sails with diamond rods were mostly smooth and precise even with a bit of movement required on the ground. The wet lines did occasionally ‘lock up’ but that was mostly transitional and there were only a couple of accidental landings. No calls today but a lot of close interactive flying. As ever the potential ‘figures’ were quite

Felix

Felix

 

06/12/2015 Blackheath

Arrived at about 11:00am. 14 degrees celcius, wind from the SW about 18mph gusting to 30. The lulls gradually stretched with 10mph or less occurring more frequently. Xtra Vents with 4 wrap were fine to start. Close, slow, not called moves worked well with a few formal sequences. Berck, Cervia, Portsmouth, Bristol, Exmouth and Dieppe are on the agenda for 2016. We will confirm events in due course. Felix

Felix

Felix

 

29/11/2015 Blackheath

The forecast was not very optimistic but we did make the journey ‘just in case’. Arrived later than usual and the wind was much as predicted, mostly 25mph with gusts up to 38-40. Xtra Vents with 4wrap were OK most of the time and as at South Shields the other year we decked the kites during the stronger sustained gusts. There were a few moments of ‘brightness’ and the contrast between buildings and sky to the south was somewhat remarkable. The occasional squally shower eventually sent us pac

Felix

Felix

 

22/11/2015 Blackheath

While it was only about 3 degrees centigrade in the shade the light c3mph NW breeze and the clear sky meant that it did not feel too cold on the Heath today. Full 1.5 sails with diamond rods were mostly fine for free flying. Holding the diagonals for team moves did occasionally prove difficult but we did persevere to some degree. I didn’t actually wear gloves but that was probably because I had taken serious measures to avoid getting cold; lots of layers! Conversationally we realized that in

Felix

Felix

 

15/11/2015 Blackheath

11:00 am on the Heath with a strong SW breeze, Mostly cloudy with occasional breaks of sun or views of blue sky. Still unseasonably warm so no gloves yet! Xtra Vented kites mostly with race rods only occasionally felt over stressed. No calls again with only the occasional touch disturbing the sequences. Sometimes the kites overlap without touching… Exmouth is now the last weekend of August in 2016 so we should be able to muster a full team. I’m still waiting to hear about work commitments

Felix

Felix

 

08/11/2015 Blackheath

A bit of a late start today. Local road closures in Hackney and post fireworks cleaning on Blackheath might have interfered with our plans but on the day were not an issue. The southerly breeze today was fairly consistent and not as strong as forecast so it was full vented with race rather than xtra vents. Plenty of no call rolling moves today and some patterns are becoming evident. I’m particularly interested in a ‘stalled’ follow where the lead kite travels the full distance but the follow

Felix

Felix

 

01/11/2015 Blackheath

The fog was even more dense on Blackheath than in Hackney or ‘en route’. The grass was saturated again but ‘new boots’ were effective <grins> There was a slight N or NNE breeze so setting up was not too difficult but the wet line magic was in place again. Occasionally the disk of the sun was just about visible but the church spire was beyond the ‘cotton wool’ environment. It was a fairly energetic fly today. Getting home was a bit tedious as the tunnel was backed up to ‘Sun in the S

Felix

Felix

 

25/10/2015 Blackheath

There was no discernable air movement when we arrived on Blackheath today. The grass was dew saturated and the boots that I thought were on their last legs almost a year ago finally leaked. We set up with diamond rods in the assumed direction of the breeze with the usual magic wrapping of wet lines. I actually had to add more brake to get a comfortable grip on the little air movement that was occasionally evident. The 9 degrees Celcius did not feel ‘cold’ at all… Ashley did call a few seque

Felix

Felix

 

18/10/2015 Blackheath

I was a bit late arriving on Blackheath today. Maybe it was in anticipation of the clocks changing next weekend. The daily homebound cycle ride commute is already almost completely dark… The anticyclonic spell continues so there was a light NE breeze mostly good for full sails and Race frames. Some good ‘no call’ interaction with the kites close in the sky and we had complimentary remarks from one of the Sunday footballers. Talk was about impending change at the ‘office’ and the possibi

Felix

Felix

 

11/10/2015 Blackheath

Another sunny anticyclonic autumn day today as the remains of a hurricane dissipated over Portugal. The easterly breeze was less than forecast earlier in the week and was about 7-15 mph. Full vented and race frames felt mostly relaxed except when attempting to stack the kites in the air when it was a bit light… At least this year we did get to fly on the OSOW date. Jade had put up a selection of SLKs to mark the day before we arrived and they mostly stayed aloft with only the occasional tan

Felix

Felix

 

04/10/2015 Blackheath

On arrival at 10:30am the sky was cloud free and there was a very light southerly breeze. Conditions were just right to follow on from last weekend and to try and see if we could really feel the difference between the diamond and green race verticals. The simple answer is that we could but that once the windspeed was making the diamond frames ‘feel’ fragile there was no reason not to switch. This obviously follows for stronger winds making the green race rods in vented sails ‘feeling’ fragile

Felix

Felix

 

28/09/2015 After Vienna

It was very wet in Vienna on Friday afternoon and there was the prospect of further rain on Saturday morning. A quick stroll to St. Stephens and after that, a pause for coffee and cake set the tone very well indeed, especially for Saturday when the hospitality was almost overwhelming… It was occasionally damp on Saturday morning but six fliers set up with the JMH re-made sails and stress tested the diamond rods again in the light but occasionally gusty NW breeze. After snapping one vertical w

Felix

Felix

 

20/09/2015 Blackheath

A ridge of high pressure had arrived to provide a dry weekend just when we needed one. Bright sun and a light slightly variable breeze from the SW so full 1.5 sails with various flavours of race rods. It seemed as if every time Ashley decided to call some moves the breeze dropped out or shifted but despite that we did run through some of the longer team sequences nominally in preparation for next weekend, of course! We had to prepare the flight box for the Vienna event with a lower weight lim

Felix

Felix

 

13/09/2015 Olympic Park

Today was one of those where nothing quite works. Blackheath was off limits because of a music event. Our fall back site at the north end of the Olympic Park was, we found, all too late also unavailable due to an event yesterday. There was a slight breeze on the remaining ‘lawn’ but little room to manoeuver. We could have gone to the east end of Victoria Park but somehow the prospect of finding a route home around Hackney Carnival put paid to that as well. Some times it’s best just to ‘go w

Felix

Felix

 

06/09/2015 Blackheath

We did a brief detour to Stratford station today so arrived on the heath just after 11:00am. No breeze at all to start with so we set up 1.5 sails with diamond rods assuming a SW wind direction. On taking off I quickly found that there was air movement from the NW, that being the forecast direction, but it remained intermittent and light. High cloud was moving from the NW and eventually cleared to blue sky but the cumulus clouds then established quickly. There is a music event on Blackheath

Felix

Felix

 

30/08/2015 Blackheath

We flew the new 1.5 JMH sails on 100ft lines for a short while on Saturday in a light southerly breeze at the Aquarius event. Jacob then had to go and play his set with Jonah’s Raft. By the time he came back onto the flying field the rain had set in and wet lines and kites were not going to work. Today on Blackheath there was a consistent Easterly breeze, about 6 – 7 mph under featureless grey cloud cover. After the disappointing conditions over the last few weeks it was a real pleasure to ‘

Felix

Felix

 

23/08/2015 After Bristol

We arrived on Friday afternoon at the new site and set up the vented JMH 1.5 sails with 4 wrap as the wind was blustery. At ground level, though, there was often very little consistency and it was difficult to lift the sails. All rather frustrating! Saturday was very warm and the southerly breeze was often very light. Our first team demo opened the event at 11:00am and this was flown with Rev 1s with our standard 4 and 3 wrap configuration to music selected by the ‘event’. We switched to 1.

Felix

Felix

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