A Day Flying Kites In Portales

by Thom Moore

Well here we go. It was a very nice day here in the "big" city of Portales, New Mexico. I had a bad hankering to loft a kite because the winds were just about right, a little on the edgy side, but good enough to enjoy. So, I went out to my favorite spot, got my bearings and proceeded to get out my 100' patriotic Dragon kite (one of my favorites).

Well, the Dragon kite went up very gracefully and had staked out its claim on its portion of the blue sky canvas. So, being in my mini van, I "anchored" it securely on my rear view mirror and then proceeded to get another kite prepared to launch. As I said, it was a rather edgy windy day and I could hear the dragon doing it's thing high up above me.

However, as I readied my second kite, I noticed that I didn't hear anything. So I looked up and was immediately drawn to the fact that it wasn't there! "Oh no!", I thought and quickly scanned the horizon with my eyes, only to see my 100' kite being taken by the wind about a quarter of a mile away. Being the mild mannered person that I am, I began to have a sudden panic attack. Everything was thrown in the back of the van and I began driving like a maniac. All the while watching the sky to see where the Dragon kite was going to land.

I followed it out to the city garbage disposal station where all the trucks were parked for the weekend. Also the empty dumpsters reside there. All of course, were inside a locked gate. Also, my line and yoyo had been drug the whole distance and gently draped over a huge powerline.

Being a very small (12,000 pop) community and I knew our local electric coop director, I called him. I asked if there would be any danger in touching the line. He assured me that unless there was metal in the line, or that it was wet, there should be no problem. I hung up the phone, confident that I could just throw the line up and over the high line, but to my shagrin, it fell miserably short.

About that time, one of our local policemen came driving up and asked me if I needed help. I relayed my story to him, and he called one of our local sanitation employees out to unlock the gate and I was able to retrieve my 100' baby. Whew!

Well to say the least, I went home licking my wounds and my embarrassment and spent the rest of the day cleaning and untangling kite line. There you have it.

Well..........let's see what THIS Saturday brings, shall we?

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Top Story
by: Tim Parish

Wow - what a quick response to the newsletter, which only went out hours ago. Top story Thom, let's hope we get a few more like it! But every mild-mannered kiter ;-) is different so I'm sure there will be some fascinating variety.

Anyone else out there with a heart-stopping kite-loss tale?

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Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7