September 17, 2007
Family Fun in San Francisco

Jump on a plane and fly to San Francisco for the weekend. Fly kites on a grassy field at the edge of the bay as sailboats flow in and out of the marina. Soak up the perfect weather. Work with lovely people. And then fly home. How do you beat that??

Marina Panorama

The event was the Family Fun Kite Day on Marina Green. Organizer Ron Young had done kite events there about 20 years ago. Now he was back with a new generation of performers and friends to put a show in this high traffic and high visibility location.

Jose Sainz and Ron Gibian graced the fields. AKA President Susan Skinner planted a "lady bug farm".

Chris Shultz and Troy Gunn came in from Texas. Rakesh Bahadur and Darrin Skinner showed the crowd fighter kites.

David Sabilino powered buggies around the field.

Brian Champie, Blake Pelton, and I lofted big stuff and the upwind edge of the field.

A healthy crowd was on hand for kids programs, light-hearted competition, and good fun.

Guest Fliers

Kite Boat

Being right next to the water, it was natural to try and merge kite traction and sailing into the festival program.

I’m not sure how many spectators made the connection when Dean Jordan used a giant kite to tow a barge across San Francisco Bay, but we kiters sure noticed!

Saul Griffith sped across the waves in a kite powered catamaran that left the conventional sailing craft way behind.

It was a fine flying day on the Green. But you may have heard we suffered one small mishap.

The grass fields are about 130 feet wide and wedged between a busy street and a the Bay. Winds were bumpy and that occasionally tossed the larger kites around.

Sunday afternoon, the Manta Ray took a dive. I was sure the Pilot line wouldn’t reach the street, but I hadn’t calculated the miniscule odds that it would hit the big flagpole.

Actually, a “hit” would have been easy. But in this case, the Pilot dropped over the pole and straddled it with three sets of bridle lines

Marina Fly Marina Fly Marina Fly Marina Fly
We tried to fly up and off, but were locked by the flag. We tried to slide down but were snagged by the illumination lamp. In a matter of minutes we were stuck good, 40 feet off the ground and really, really visible.

It took half an hour but eventually, we were able to use banner poles to thread a Kevlar line over the kite. Three strokes and the bridles were cut. The Pilot settled softly – and safely – to the ground. Five minutes later, the bridles were replaced and it was back in the air. Disaster averted!!

You can find more news on the Family Day Kite Festival here.

I flew home late Sunday, and was back in my own bed by midnight. Wednesday, I’m off to Germany.

Guest Fliers

Art Sale!

Susan and I decided it was time to class up the sky. So we’re marking down everything on our line art pages 20%!

Choose your favorite piece, select your colors, decide how many you want, and we’ll make them up for you.

This deal is only good through September 30.

Bubble Tubes

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