Kite-flying at West Coast Park
by Karine Goh
Today is the 3rd time we went for kite-flying at West Coast Park, thanks to my brother-in-law, Tim who made us a kite when he came to Singapore with May & Aren last month.
My husband, Terry & I decided to try if the kite "can fly high" when we woke up to a breezy morning three weeks ago. We went to West Coast Park as we heard that it is a popular place for kite-flying. There is a big field at the park but it was quite crowded with people playing baseball. We saw two kites in the sky though not very high up.
We found a good spot which is less crowded. Terry asked me to hold on & position the kite and released it when he told me to. We were quite lucky, the wind was strong & it took just a couple of minutes the kite went up to the sky. I was so excited to see the kite went higher & higher. When I tried to take a picture, it has gone really high up & could only see a tiny dot in the sky. Terry told me it could have gone even higher but the string is not long enough, he even need to hold on tightly in case the kite "gone with the wind". When my turn came, the wind die-down, the kite came down slowly and it did not go up again. What a pity! We spent about an hour. I can't wait to tell Tim & May that the kite CAN FLY REALLY HIGH!
Last week I got a chance to fly the kite "all by myself" and Terry took a few pictures to show Tim & May. The wind was not strong enough, so the kite did not go high but just stayed at a height of a tall tree. Then the sky getting darker & started drizzle, we packed up & went home with disappointment.
It was very sunny this morning. We went to the same place and same spot. There were two young children flying kites in the shape of butterfly & bird. Another two families also tried to fly their kites but were not successful.
The wind was strong, without much effort, the kite soon went up to the sky. It followed the direction of the wind & went out to the sea. When the wind suddenly turned weak, Terry & I got panic afraid that the kite might drop into the sea. We quickly retrieved the string thank God we managed to get the kite back in time.
Compared with other very beautiful kites, our "simple kite" flew highest & stayed longest in the sky. Tim did a great job!!
Although it was windy, the sun was too strong. We could not bear with the heat, got sun burnt. Glad that both of us had a chance to fly the kite high and steadily this time. I think my kite-flying skill improved each week, if Tim & May were here to witness it.
Kite-flying has became a weekend activity for Terry & I. We enjoy the fun & quality time together.
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Aug 25, 14 03:57 AM
Last week I came home from a KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) session down at Brighton beach, here in Adelaide, South Australia. The photos were a disaster, being totally washed out. Over-exposed, to be a little more technical. At the time I thought the problem was purely the position of the sun, relative to the direction of the camera...
Well guess what. Down at the same beach today, the photos had the same problem - and this time it definitely wasn't the sun. Camera damage seemed a small possibility since the rig had hit the sand at some speed last time, during a white-knuckle experience with the kite in rough air! Which turned out OK, but that's another story.
Anyway, once back home today, I did a little investigating with the camera, taking some test pictures from the back yard. It was a great relief to find the explanation for the bad images...
It seems that setting a fixed ISO is not a good idea for this camera in very bright lighting conditions. It can cause the camera to run out of adjustment room for other parameters, like shutter speed or aperture. When the camera was allowed to set ISO automatically, the exposure problem disappeared. Whew!
The Tyvek-sailed Carbon Diamond performed wonderfully today. It was, for the first time, hoisting the KAP rig into the air. Never has the rig been so steady for so long. Sway was almost non-existent. But whenever I handled the line the camera twisted back and forth due to the rather steep line angle from the rig to the kite. Without enough horizontal separation, the suspension lines do not provide the maximum resistance to twisting. It might be an idea to separate the attachment points even further, on the flying line.
The 2 meter (7 ft) Diamond was struggling to lift the camera in the fairly light winds coming off the ocean. At times, people on the beach had to duck under the line from me to the camera! The camera was behaving as a sort of aerial tether point, with the kite flying at a steep line angle from there.
Measured at shoulder height, the on-shore breeze was about 4.5kph gusting to just under 7kph. More of a day for the Multi-Dowel Sled really, which hardly feels a 280g weight on the line!
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