First off... I'm sick today... no really I am... I wouldn't let any of you good people within twenty feet of me. In fact when I am done posting this lament, I am going to bed.
So I went to work this morning... because I am about as stubborn as they come, sweet, but stubborn... and by 10a.m. was told to go home. So I packed up and left. On the drive back home I could tell there was a serious bit of wind at play. And like the Siren's song, the vixen that is the wind seduced my good sense, and told me I must fly.
There's a park in Belfair that I had been meaning to check out, so I stopped, and was a bit disappointed to see that the field I remembered was largely surrounded by big honking trees... and the open stretches nearest the water were at a violent pitch. I mean the wind sailing guys were arriving as I was... so you know it was clocking high. But I took out my handy-dandy wind meter and it was telling me six mph with a few gusts... because I was at the edge of an inlet and the tree line, and not out on the point where the guys with the parachutes were going.
So I took out my Silver Fox 2.5 STD (Purple) and a 100ft/150# LGP lines and a stake figuring I could just niggle my way into a zone between the calm and the violence. [What a git.]
First mistake... the only area that would fit a 100ft line was this very awkwardly slopped area between grass and the tidal area (the tide is very low today). Gusts were occasionally slipping in, and so I laid the Fox out dead man to walk out my lines. So far so good.
Second Mistake (likely the worst as it was the most avoidable)... I get to the end and realize I left the stake with the kite bag which was off to one side near the kite. So I just dropped the lines and walked back to flip the kite on it's back hoping it would stay down.... at this point I didn't think there was much point in grabbing the stake as I was about to be flying... so imagine my annoyance when I flip it over and get half way back and it has flipped itself over. So back to the kite I go... and now being dumb as a stump... I turned it over and just hoped I could hurry back faster than a gust could lift it.
But this time I decided to be clever.... [again... what a git.] and I picked up the lines to at least be holding on to the kite as I am walking back... so I have lines running through my hand and I am between them... and just when I got within 8 feet of the handles, I suddenedly felt pull, lift, and the remaining line drag through my hand. I suddendly realized the darn thing was FLYING with me facing BACKWARDS to it. Of course, being barely competent at flying it when facing the correct direction this "Evel Knievel" flying style freaked me out. I tried to turn around only to have the kite smash violently into the sand and stone that is the water's edge on the Hood Canal.
At first I was like "Smooth move!"... then I saw the kite tumble and realized the lower spreader was disconnected and crazy looking... which then turned into "oh crap." Then it flipped over a bit of bank into a small estuary stream that was near where it landed. So I drop the lines again.. and run out to see where it's landed, only to see it's half under water in the stream.
I was more than a little concerned when I saw a spar attached to the lower spreader which clearly was no longer attached to the sail. I slid it out of the water only to realize to my horror that I had split the sail almost up the entire length of the spine
...with a diagonal tear near the bottom of the tail.
Demoralized and feeling like a complete sucker I have to admit I could hear the hubby's voice in my head saying "It's too much wind to fly...." over.... and over..... but I did it anyway... and so I paid a price.
Lessons learned.... Don't fly in heavy winds in a awkward location... and don't be dumb enough not to stake out when you are all alone and in the aforementioned situation.
Lessons yet to be learned.... is it repairable??? Lord only knows. I might take photos of it later, but I'm not sure that kind of carnage is permitted on a PG-13 forum like this one. In any case... someone here in another thread asked if it's ok to buy a good kite if you managed to fly a Micron without turning it into a lawn dart. I'd say sure.... but don't be suprised if/when you kill it.
Only bummer is that this fox can't be turned into a sw@nky stole.
Yours in amused sadness,
PS. Apparently the filter thinks s-w-a-n-k-y is a bad word?