Hey! Where did the summer go? It is Labor Day already and before the week is out, Susie and I will be off to Dieppe and Marseilles in France. Some of you may remember that we were on our way to Marseilles the morning of September 11 last year. The trip got canceled and they were kind enough to ask - or insist - that we come this year.
The Gombergs spent an infrequent weekend at home getting ready for the trip. I was actually wondering what to put in the Update when a great email arrived this morning. I'll include it below for your amusement and education. And just so you don't think we've been loafing for the past few weeks, I'll also review the new products we've introduced in August.
It was my first time. I was a little nervous. So I finally popped it out of the bag. "My god! Look at the size of that thing! she gasped. And the ball's covered with spikes!" I just smiled and said, "yeah, and that's the small one".
Yes, as you've probably already guessed, I finally got a chance to fly my Pilot 75 today, with all of the matching line laundry I've received so far.
First, I'd like to thank you for the great instructions for handling large kites on your website. Frankly, I think you should make people file an electronic affidavit swearing they've read the page before they're allowed to buy a big lifter. Second, now I understand why you pushed to get liability insurance for AKA members - It's not just the members, it's also the !@#$%bystanders!@#!@#.
So here's how my day went... After we got to the beach, we walked down away from the crowds and found an unoccupied spot, with lot's of empty area around us, to have a nice safe place to fly. I picked out a spot to anchor from, back near the dune line, so it'd be out of the way, dug a hole and buried my sand anchor, went and got my friend who was helping, issued him a pair of gloves, and talked him through the safety instructions. We ran out 300' of flying line off of my big reel, larksheaded off to the carbiner on the sand anchor, and I left him there to watch the anchor and keep an eye on things on that end while I went down to the other end and attached the Pilot and laundry and tails to the line.
Everything's going good so far, I check the line, we're clear, so I start to launch. I had a small problem with some of the bridle lines being crossed, but I got that straightened out, get the foil inflated, the laundry's ok, etc., so I turn around and start to walk the line up. I kid you not, some people had wandered up behind me, near our spot on the beach where I was anchored, and were busy setting up a volleyball net ACROSS MY FLYING LINE!!! Yikes!
Fortunately, my friend at the other end had seen what was going on, and had just finished walking over to them and was explaining that this was a Bad Idea! So, they and their volleyball net moved off to the side and I was able to continue to launch. Thankfully, I knew better than to just let the line go after I got the kite started, otherwise I shudder to think what might have happened.
So, after I walked the kite up the line and got back to my anchor point, I made sure they were setting up a safe distance away, and went over and explained to them that the kite line was a Dangerous Thing, and to be careful of it. They were receptive to that, and in fact the person I spoke with told me he'd gotten crosswise of a kite line before and thanked me, so then I went over, sat down and enjoyed the show. I got some nice compliments, including one person who wanted to know how long it took me to make the kite. So I was happy, the volleyball people were happy, and a good time was had by all. For about an hour or so...
Then, the volleyball player's friends decided to strike their camp further down the beach and started to move everything (including a BBQ smoker that was already lit) down closer to the game. You guessed it, about 10 feet from my anchor. So, I decided that was going to be it for the day, got my friend, and then went and told the volleyball picnickers and players that I was going to bring my kite down, this was somewhat dangerous, and so would they mind moving away so I could do this safely. They agreed, and moved off, so I started to bring the kite down, and my friend stayed near where to group of other's were, to make sure they stayed away from the line. So, as I'm pulling the line in, one of the volleyball player's knocks the volleyball back into the dunes, runs after it, and hops over my flying line as I'm pulling the kite down.
I yelled some impolite things at him at the top of my lungs, and he decided to go the long way around on the way back and not cross the line again. So, when the next guy knocked the ball into the dunes when I had the kite almost down, he decided to wait until I finished before retrieving their ball. Thankfully.
In spite of all of that, I had a great time today! Thanks! Anyway, the moral of the story is, they say once you go with Gomberg Kites, you'll never go back. I'm afraid you've ruined me for lesser kites.
And of course, no e-mail would be complete without an order... so please send the following...
to protect the vallyballers...
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