June 26, 2008
Honored to be in Saint-Honoré

I was invited up to Quebec in 2001, and I have to say, it was a hard trip. This time was better.

Saint-Honoré dans l'vent (Honoré is pronounced “on-or-ie”) is a seven hour drive north-east of Montreal. Last time I took an overnight flight, climbed into the back of a 12-passenger van, bumped over Canadian back-roads, and arrived battered and weary. This time, we stopped overnight in Montreal, were given a rental car, and followed the GPS where it told us to go. The trip was much, much better than before.

Last time, 16 of us shared a guest house with one shower. This time we enjoyed a wonderful hotel!

Last time, the bugs were horrible. This time, I took plenty of deet. And the bugs were still terrible!

Welcome to Quebec

Someone asked me, “Why are you going way up there??” And my immediate answer was “The people”.

Bridgitte Bussie’res and her fiance Lucien Villeneuve had charmed us to come back to Quebec for the tenth anniversary of their event. What we found was a small community completely involved in the effort to put on a great kite show. Around town, we saw welcome signs, posters, and creative displays in front of homes.

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The USA was the featured nation this time. (Haven’t seen that in a while!!) Guests included the Berkeley Wranglers, the Detroit Windjammers, and the Neotsu Gombergs. We were joined by Gary Mark and Carlos Simoes of Toronto and Jean Lemire, Jean Lamoureux, and Michele Berube of Montreal.

Saint Honor'e Saint Honor'e Saint Honor'e

The event is held at an active airport. That gave us lots of space and the fly-in of antique or collectible aircraft was interesting. But it was a bit disconcerting when an F-18 made several passes and then landed 100 yards upwind of our anchors. Fortunately, he knew exactly what he was doing!

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Between flights, the runways made a great space for buggying. And the local radar gave us precise warnings of wind and rain.

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The skies were overcast most of the week. We popped up as many showpieces as possible between thunderstorms. The crowds were small by any normal standard. But for a town of 1500, you had to consider them huge!

Kites were thoroughly soaked on Friday, but dried well enough to pack for the flight home Sunday. With half an hour notice that the storms were again approaching, we stuffed our crunch bags and headed for showers and dinner.

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Despite the warm welcome and huge fields, Saint Honor’e had its challenges. We had heavy winds, no winds, rain, and heat. And you know what happens to a Caterpillar when the breezes drop off and the air inside starts to warm…. (click here – over 18 only!!!)

We also had to contend with the local black flies—viciously efficient little machines that first inject Novocain to numb you, then stick with you with an anti coagulant so you bleed more easily. They slip into your hair and before you know it, you are itching and covered with welts. Ugh!!

Happy Caterpillar

Susie and I drove to Montreal Monday and arrived home Tuesday night – still scratching. On the way, we received an urgent call from the organizers of the festival here in Lincoln City. Regional television wanted to do a promotional segment the following morning on the beach – at 5 am…

A quick check of the internet confirmed that high tide was at 4:45 and sunrise at 5:30. It was dark. There was no beach, no wind, and no guest fliers yet in town. And I wouldn’t be back until Tuesday evening. But still – we had 21 Octopus coming to Oregon and the media wanted a story.

Long story short – I was on the beach at dawn. The reporter turned to me at one point and asked, “Are these optimal flying conditions??” “At 5 am – nothing is optimal", I replied…

So – we’re home from Canada. There are dozens of orders to be shipped and a large delivery of custom pieces to be sorted. As a result of the Sled promotion last week, we sold out in two days! So we’ve been hard at it!

A dozen good friends with large kite bags are filtering into town. Check back next week for news on the Octo-Summit. And remember that we leave for 10 days in South Africa on the 5th.
Update photos by C Simoes, R Gauthier, and D Gomberg

Sea Horse Sale!

Carlos Simones was one of our SeaHorse designers. Flying with him in Quebec was good fun. And that seems like a good excuse to promote his piece.

Order a five or 10 footer before July 10 and we’ll take 20% off the list price. The small ones are usually $40 and the larger ones $200.Click here for more details.

One other thing – we brought a few souvenirs home from Canada. Place an order for over $150 and remind us, and we’ll toss in a Saint Honor’e kite hat or a festival tee shirt (xxl). Quantities limited – first come – first served.


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