The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

No KAP, Just Kites

Posted by Tom Benedict on 09/12/2010

It’s been a rough couple of weeks at work.  We’ve had issues with a couple of our instruments, and we’ve been going at them pretty ruthlessly.  My days have more or less consisted of waking up, making coffee, going to work, cranking hard, coming home, eating dinner, doing the dishes, and going to bed.  Not much joy there.

Last night I came home just after the sun had set, but still about an hour and a half before dinner time.  There was a gentle kona breeze, it wasn’t too cool outside, and my kite bag was right there.  Forget cleaning up the living room!  I grabbed my bag and went outside.

The wind on the ground was pretty minimal, but I got my 6′ rokkaku airborne and climbing high without too much trouble.  As the sky darkened, I eventually lost sight of the kite.  I just had this line stretching up into the night sky.  Of course I had to play!  One of the kids went inside and came back out with one of our book lights.  We clipped it onto the line and sent it aloft like a little wobbly star of its own.  Things got pretty dim up there, but we could still see it even after the sky was pitch black and the kite was nothing more than a hint and a mystery.

We all had a blast.  No cameras, no KAP rig, nothing but kites and a sense of fun.  Night kiting is really cool!  The book light survived the flight with flying colors, but it left me wondering if I could get some small lights to tack onto my kite sail.  I did a Google search and found some nice magnetic blinking LED earrings that would attach to a kite sail with ease.  I was all set to order them when my wife showed me something even cooler on the Into the Wind site:  Glowire.  It’s electroluminescent “wire” that you plug into a high frequency source (9V battery plus a high frequency inverter) which then glows like neon.  The kit sold by Into the Wind comes with the inverter and two five foot lengths of EL wire.

I begged Santa to remember I really had been pretty good this year, and that coal was hard to come by in Hawaii.  Then I mentioned to Santa that my AKA membership got me a 10% discount at Into the Wind.  Santa let me place the order.  But I promise to act suitably surprised when I open it!

It looks like we’re going to have gentle kona winds again tonight.  Lights or no lights, I’m getting out with my kite.  It’s a great way to end the day, regardless of how the day itself went.

– Tom

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