Aboard the Ark: Day 8
WeatherGuru and I were, quite frankly, perplexed this morning. Whichever weather forecast we checked – 10 minutes later it had changed! Anyway I had decided I was going for the kite flying even if I only had a 1 hour window before the heavens opened – I am on my Ark after all so a bit of water means no threat to me.
I settled on returning to Barnhill Rockgardens between Monifieth and Broughty Ferry – I haven’t been there since I started this blog but spent some time there taking botanical photos earlier in the year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It offered me three benefits for kite flying on a wet day.
- There is plenty of grassy space if the tide is in (or if, as I found out, the beach is not great for kite flying from)
- There is a large four sided shelter with seating so whichever way the weather comes from it is possible to stay dry
- It has public conveniences which are open even during winter – not salubrious but basic and clean enough.
I arrived about 08:50 and had a wander along a deserted beach – I love this sort of solitary beachcombing and I could tell it was safe because there were people and pooch tracks going in the same direction as me. Once down the set of steps the beach is sheltered at the back with a narrow strip of dune cliff but it was really obvious that early this morning had seen a full high tide. Further out the very flat beach included muddy areas and rocks … I didn’t venture that far away from the dunes (Mother has a worry about such beaches having quick sands … I never argue with Mother!)
By 09:30 I had collected some big chunks of seaglass and decided that the grass area offered me a better flying ground. I am getting quite proficient at fastening the lines to the parafoil now and within minutes I had her airbourne … BUT the wind was shallow and gusty so I had lots of short low flights with a couple of better higher flights. All good practice with the controls and I got some figure 8s in even at low altitude.
I had lots of visitors – dogs are fascinated by kites; not sure if they think they are like the seagulls they like to chase or if they are just curious. Anyway I try to be aware of approaching dogs and hold off launching to avoid startling or exciting them. Several were put on the leads temporarily because they had shown undue interest in my flailing kite. I ended up having many short conversations and I guess that a middle aged woman flying a stunt kite is just not an ordinary spectacle in these parts! I had one lovely dog come and stand on the kite and refuse to move until he got a hug.
There were a few folk offering advice about good places to fly a kite (they suggested venues a car driver could easily reach but someone relying on public transport would struggle with) and then there were the comments about how to best launch it … I am going to sound like a kite snob here I know … a stunt parafoil is definitely not a kite that is launched by getting children to run with it! ever!!
By 11:30 the rain was set in for the day and wit kite dried and put away; lunch eaten and the beach strangely deserted I unfurled my folding golf umbrella and scurried for a bus to somewhere warmer and drier.
Tonight my umbrella is open in the porch in the hope of getting it dry ; Dog is curled up on the sofa (leather sofa deliberately with his blankie on it) dreaming about hedgehogs and pony kisses and I am blogging, writing some applications and catching up with some correspondence (such a glamorous life I lead!). By the way I got an update on the Pup tonight and at 9 days old he is 1.5 kg … and full of wriggles and squeaky grunts … lovely I can almost smell that puppy smell from here.