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The Meaning of a Field or The Long Session of Memories



Sun Oct 16 18:26:55 CEST 2016
GF forecasted 4m/s
Hydra on 20m 38kg and 25m 38kg lines
Kymera in 25m 38Kg lines

This blog entry blobbed and expanded and wouldn't fit into the "chunky log" format any longer, so therefore I broke it out from that log. Although KL is a forum for kiting, kiting always takes place in some kind of a context. In this blog entry I have started from the field and from what I saw and allowed myself to associate memories in one or several steps. It also serves as a personal example of a place of importance.

This day I had a quite long session, from the time I first entered the field to the time I finally left nine hours passed (with lunch break however). Afterwards there was a nice exhausted feeling like after a days garden/outdoors work or from winter activities. This cloudy almost dream like autumn weather also helped in bringing back much memories from an area that I've returned to during different phases of my life.


The morning session


Todays heros - the Hydra and Kymera - I'm still very much in the process of getting acquainted with them.
In the background you can see "Filmhuset" (~House of motion pictures/film). There are many film related activities going on here. Part of Stockhom's university institutions, media related, is situated there, there are film archives and library, the film institute is also situated here. They hand out grants to support Swedish film making and distribution. Another activity of theirs is to run the Cinemateket activity. Films that are no longer on the repertoire and are considered to be of interest are shown again here. The most memorable movies that I've seen here are Metropolis by Fritz Lang and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" - by Milos Forman. I've seen the latter one four times. One time was in Milos Forman's home country, the former Czechoslovakia republic, during an inter rail trip in Europe 1990 (or was it 1991?). One thing that was different then was that there was an short informational pre-film that to a large extent appeared just to show that people with mental disabilities did exist. I could only speculate on why.
The Metropolis version I saw (quite unprepared and didn't really know what to expect) was the Giorgio Moroder tinted version with modern music - This was a hit! For those interested on Youtube there is a Fritz Lang interview ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or0j1mY_rug ) and a documentary about decaying film (the physical celluid strips i.e.), search of Metropolis film fragments around the world, tinting and music ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaVp1cFERUY ).

No no no, this is not a review or a full comparison (it is way too early at this point I'm just not familiar enough with the kites) - just some initial observations. I got some impressions and observed some differences. The Kymera was more a lighter wind flyer with a larger window and the Hydra a trickier kite that encouraged you to toss it around. Even if the Kymera was a good flyer it could easily make a transition into "trick mode". I wonder if part of the well flying properties of the Kymera is due to the billow, this is something that I've not seen in my other kites. If one leave trick/precision kites for comparison for a moment, the billow makes the kite more sail/wing like in appearance.

When tossing them around I had several line snags. Both bridles had very long "pig tails" (later learned that they were called leaders) - about a metre (to protect the sail during wrapped flying I suppose). I wonder if the increased mass of these could cause them to be flung outwards around the wing tip?


In front of the hill is where I saw the two Tramontana routine by the end of the nineties, that impressed me so much so that I got into kiting seriously.
The pink building to the left is called the fortress. From here the king could see how his tropes practiced pitched battles. Much later somewhere here, while my father still was a child, my grand father had been summoned for some home defense activity. He then got a sudden fatal heart (?) failure (why don't you ask for the details when you still can?). The hill to the right of the "fortress" is the most common place you end up in when doing kiting. Unfortunately it is quite popular among dogs as well.
Here I imagine is also a place where it was close that I never would have been born. My late father had with a couple of friends  built an early hang glider of the Rogallo type. Then my father got towed after a car - a not so healthy activity. I don't know where, but the road makes this place a good candidate. As a small child I saw that creation when being stored in an assembled condition. The fabric was red and white and the frame was made of aluminium. With some imagination similar to the Kymera in the foreground (allowing the grey to represent the aluminum), but with a higher content of red.

Cascade Hello World - I've made my first (half axel cascade) using the Hydra, without really being able to make a good proper single half axle (it is that darn pop up move on the second wing tip that refuses (and I've stopped bothering for now) to work for me. Only by pulling on the top wing I did a cascade of seven half axel cycles. No, this should really be 3.5 cycles (takes two half axels to complete a cycle). Could it be so that not giving too much slack can cause some pop up like pull on the wing that ends up highest after the main half axle pull (thus delaying the rixeling of the kite)?

Most of the time I flew the Hydra because it was windier than how the forecast usually feels for this field and due to assembly problems of the Kymera (what a disgrace), most likely due to my refusal to RTFM. Even worse, on Youtube there is a recurrent KL video "Dual Line Tutorial - Assembly and Disassembly (stunt kite)" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgHexOZ2LRY ). I have frequently got this as a automatic suggestion from Youtube - I have refused to watch this video since I "KNOW" how to assemble a stunt kite - arggg...! Now I need to resort to rubber bands to tension the sail. B.t.w. rubber bands are useful so I always have an abundance of them. Most of the time I use them to keep the lines wound up around the winder and also to keep the LSs and the TS together when the kite is in it's sleeve. I think that the ritual minimises the risk of forgetting a spreader - especially if the kite is disassembled in the dark.

Both kites becomes a bit "talkative" in the gusts trailing edge flapping (humming). There are no leech lines in neither kite, but the trailing edge of the Hydra is stiffer and can therefore take more wind since it is made of mylar. On the other hand the Hydra is most likely used when it is more wind...

Today the card flips worked out better with the Hydra, possibly due to the heavier frame. For the 540s, the Kymera had a really nice nice feeling (made me think of Jam Session in a way). The lazies felt tricky on the Hydra today, a bit less stable than I remembered from the first (windy/gusty) time I tried it. Later, weeks after this session was finished, I got some more insight into lazies/turtles during some sessions with the Kymera. I experienced that also the Kymera quite easily "de-turtled" during lazies compared to much that I've been flying lately (and more or less leaned the lazy on): Maestro 3, Infinity and Shadow. All the three latter just maintains the turtled position by themselves during the lazy. Kymera is more like that you need to control the turtle pitch by moving forward before initiating the lazy rotation - which means that there are no difficulties in leaving the turtle. There are always always things (aspects of tricking/flying) to investigate.


The lunch break

The kiting needs to wait for a while - I'm heading for a brunch with my family. During autumn walks I often can't stop myself - I take pictures of large and small things. On the way to the brunch I passed a place where a "crime" once was committed. As a student a long time ago I was being "cheered up" after an acute heart ache (embarrassing now yes) by a friend that arranged an in the forest grill session. He brought some sausages and started a open fire here on the ground to grill them. Now from the part forest rich non-densely populated part of Sweden where he came from starting an open fire on the ground was something perfectly natural to do. However, here to the east of Stockholm 28km^2 of the land is a national urban park (Ekoparken) and it is absolutely guaranteed that you may not have outdoors open fires directly on the ground. There was little wind that day, no leaves on the trees and plenty of smoke to reveal our activities. I wonder how it looked like from the tower? Although the event was started with the best of intention, I then felt double miserable, since I assumed that any remaining cash (the budget of students are often much limited) would need to be spent on fines.
Otherwise during no-risk-of-fire periods you may start open fires, well without damaging rocks then. This comes with an even larger "package" - the so called "Allemans rätten" (everyone's right)- you may access even private land. There are several do and don'ts here. Of course you many not enter someones garden e.t.c., log trees and treading on crops. However you may pick berries, mushrooms and flowers provided that they are not rare (defined in lists). You may sleep in a tent (for 24h?) in a place without the land owners permission. There are other things you may not do as well if you don't own the land: take branches/twigs from trees, fishing from (small?) private lakes (including cray fish), tap birch sap ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch_sap )... However lack of parking places can limit access to nature (which may not be in the land owners interest to do anything about). They can change status of land (expensive though) and build houses or place pastures with scary looking horses or cows so that areas are cut off. Nonetheless, he idea of not being allowed (as in other countries) to use your feet to get you "everywhere" feels strange to me. Well what was the topic ...... kites of course :).

This place is a lot fancier compared to when I visiting as a child (or didn't we just visit the restaurant?). Here my family focus on the important stuff - the dessert and candy. Yes, the tower is kind of a combined broadcasting facility, restaurant and tourist attraction.

This area got a lot of embassies and museums. Two of my favorite ones, which I visited a lot as a child, are the National Maritime Museum and the Technical Museum. Outside and to a certain extent inside the Museum) I also learnt to sail during a course with Optimist sailing dinghy, which my mother brought me to (much gratitude). Though the theoretical knowledge how to adjust the sails I got from a poster that happened to be placed in the bathroom of my best childhood friend - you can learn in close to any situation. I never sailed in that bay again, but did visit it much with an inflatable motorized dinghy. Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen/viken (the canal and bay) is a very nice area for walking or going through by boat ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen ). 
Two years ago me, my youngest daughter and her cousin went to the Technical Museum. That day there was also a maker fair there (so the children got an opportunity to practice some soldering i.a.). So after hours on a museum how do you clear your head efficient when you have a large field nearby? You guessed it - we continued with kiting! Why on earth are there not more days like this? Days like this are not forgotten.

Yes this is the place for the action that I've returned to many times. However, before I started seriously with kites I started out non-seriously. To the left there was a non-serious flying competition (still a long time ago). The winner would be the one that amused/entertained the audience and bribed the jury in the best way. I built a large dual line kite of bamboo sticks and black garbage bags. The lines were made of fishing lines. One model rocket was supposed to slide along one of the lines. When it reached the switch in the other rocket should fire downwards long the other line. OK this wasn't perhaps a very healthy activity, but the handles sat on a bar a bit out from me and I wore something looking as a wide construction helmet. How did it go? - not so well, I couldn't control the kite (it actually felt like it turned the wrong way (if that is possible), but I at least got a bottle of sweet arrack liquor (that traditionally go with pea soup on Thursdays https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punsch ) for the idea or as a comforting price?
More on rockets: a few years earlier in senior high school I made a project where model rockets were built (but the engines not: https://www.estesrockets.com/ ) and the height was calculated. The computer I had available at the time was my Sinclair Spectrum 48k computer. The program calculated new values of drag, mass and motion every (simulated) 0.01s (a quite arbitrarily number that I didn't do much to investigate the best value of) in the simulation. The most tricky part was launch and the measurement of the actual height. Theory and practice are two different things - there were several difficulties associated with the launch: too little launch current, communication with the helpers that performed the measurement (no we didn't have mobile phones at the time) and that most rockets were tricky to see when the were at their highest. Were did we do the tests - you guessed on the field, a bit more close to the tower than distant from it.

Ferry boats to Finland, Åland and Estonia departs from here. Also cargo is handled here. This view makes me think of the last time I saw my first balsa tissue model ( http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FnPmDSfs0VM/UaCH_uclECI/AAAAAAAACYI/W9x0DTJvqYc/s1600/Sonny.jpg -  I could find the drawing - isn't the www fantastic? ) - a free flying glider. The building of it was much assisted by my father, but the model was used, used, repaired, used again (sounds like my Jam Session). The originally white tissue was repaired, then replaced with red tissue, the fin was replaced, the nose weight replaced... I towed it up with the line, it unhooked at it's apogee, but instead of normally gliding downwards some thermal winds must have caught it because it just kept soaring and then set a straight path towards the silos. The last I saw of it was a small red (the original white tissue had been replaced by red in an earlier repair) dot near the top of the Silos. The evening before, the day it disappeared I had made an orange address note in a type writer and put it on the side of the fuselage, but it served no purpose. The morning after, me and my mother took a long walk on the other side of the water to look for the model, but the model was no ware to be seen.
The area that now is used for container cargo was until 1952 a bay where sea planes were anchoraged. There was a an airport for seaplanes here with passenger traffic to several destinations. When verifying/reading up on it before posting I got the slightly disturbing info that the name of one of the pilots here was Herman Göring before he made a darker career elsewhere ( http://www.svd.se/harifran-gick-flygen-fore-bromma-och-arlanda-3XQ1 ). Now this should not come as a complete surprise since he found his wife in Sweden. The times were different then my father used to remind me: when buying shoes you could have them X-rayed when testing them, radioactive aftershave was sold and funny ideas about the importance of the color of the hair and how peoples heads were shaped were widespread and accepted. When just being a small child and sitting on the lawn in front of his home my father was suddenly approached by a lady who said: "You don't look so Swedish". He didn't think this was a major thing at the time to my understanding but never forgot it. According to him at this time this was not at all a positive thing to say during this time and was an example of the ideas of that time. If this had anything to do with his dislike of any kind of flag waving, rituals and marches I do not know.

At least one time each autumn I try to walk in this area - it gives me a kind of relaxed peace of mind and sense of belonging. Actually I prefer this walk slightly later than this time of year when the treas are even more colorful, possibly even past that peak of color. The moments when I don't have anyone in view it kind of feels like memories from a long time ago are just as valid as recent ones.

No you can't say that "there is a dog buried here" - an English corresponding saying is "I smell rat". In fact there are many many dogs buried here. Not only dogs but cats, parrots and a circus horse as well.

Continuing the walk in these less crowded parts of Djurgården you eventually reach a bench with a view. If you look closely, close to the centre of the bench/table image on the other side you can see a red building with a green roof. This is Boghammar Marin, a shipyard for medium sized boats - typically no larger than ferry boats for in archipelago traffic.
To the right of the shipyard there is a lawn/park just at the sea. There I did my first successful dual line kiting sessions in perhaps 1984 or so. Without any to learn from and no internet I initially and unsuccessfully tried less open fields that had worked for SLKs without any success for this dual. I never progressed beyond figure square flying and hadn't heard of any tricks (and a can't remember if I even made any proper landings)- so I don't count this when answering the "kiting since" question. I still got this kite, though I need to verify that it is complete. Notice the dust layer - this kite has not been flown in about 30 years.
About the same time the tanker war had started. The High Speed Patrol Boat was exported in large numbers - civilian equipment yes, but then fitted with weapons. A new term was phrased(/became widely known?) the "boghammers" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boghammar ).
Several years ago when going to Stora Karlsö I was surprised to see the Boghammar sign. It turned out that also this ferry boat was made by them. Stora Karlsö ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Karlsö or https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Karlsö ) is situated outside the Gotland coast in the Baltic sea. It previously was a home for the families of the keepers of the light house i.a.. To describe it's nature I'd say that start with Gotland but then make it more extreme: the cliffs, the lime stone formations and the fossils. It is also home for a large share of the population of sea birds (and I'm not thinking of the Seagulls). The reason being the side of the steep cliffs offering so many places for nests. The maximum number of (human) guests at a certain time is limited. B.t.w. when going from Visby to Klintehamn where the ferry boat for Stora Karlsö departures from, you pass the atmospheric kite shop of Drak-Johan.


The Afternoon session

This version of a snag is something that I haven't seen before. Well if it would be too common I'll remove that label.

I was approached by an interested bystander. He was of the rare and much interested type that wanted to know "everything". He was from Portugal and had earlier built and flown 2-line kites. He seemed fascinated by any aspect except possibly for just keeping them in the air. Therefore pointed him to the nearest (nowadays online) store that sells (Prism) kites to get more modern kites and showed him the KL forum. When switching between kites and transferring the lines I continued to explain and mentioned that the name of the knot was larks head in English as well as in Swedish (word by word translation). He then mentioned that he as a child used to hunt larks for food using a slingshot. When I asked if that was no awfully difficult he answered (appearing both humble and proud): "Well, that is not for everyone". The owner of my most frequent lunch restaurant is also from Portugal. According to him he had seen this as a child, but not been involved in it himself. On the other hand he seemed familiar with how the flock responded to the first shot and the delay before you got a second chance. I don't know if any larks live in flocks or if it was so that people then were not so fussy about which species of bird they caught.

Power kiting foils is typically the type of kites that you see here. However I haven't as today seen any buggies or land boards as you can't (yes) see in this photo. What I've seen so far is people training how to use the kites. What you can see here is at least the red (to the right) and green (to the left) foils. In school during sports days we sometimes ended up here. On already then old style skates offering little support to the ankles, skating was the activity here. This round track is long and somewhat winding. Though the field appears to be flat, the small slopes gives an interesting aspect to skating. Last year (at least) they also had maintained tracks for cross country skis.

By the end of the day when I had finished doing my kiting I'd hoped to talk to the powerkiters and therefore headed in their direction. Hmm... could no longer see any in the dusk. Suddenly I thought I could see a white one instead of the green and red ones. No? Was I mistaken? Then I saw a man walking with a really large back pack and a correspondingly large chunk of fabric. I recognised him before he recogised me. It turned out to be one of the younger of my late fathers former colleges. He explained his activities here today by that he needed to practice handling of the paraglider. The actual use was limited to a few trips each year. He also told me that since he wasn't so large the paraglider was "only" 25m2 (or was it 28m2?). Anyhow with the right technique it seems to be possible to handle really large foils (however here for a different purpose than the kiting).

Conclusions for the day, some areas are meaningful and filled with contents, and also that:
The land, sea and sky can be used both for wonderful and terrible things!



Recommended Comments

I thought a lot about this entry over the past couple weeks while I've been moving into a new house (yay for not being renters anymore!) thanks for giving me so much to think about while lugging boxes! I love how you had chances to be both the source of knowledge for an excited dual-line flyer and to learn more about paragliding yourself!

I've lived on Vancouver Island pretty much all my life but I've moved far enough around on the island to have a few clusters of nostalgic sites like this. I had few memories of Clover Point before last year when I started flying. My only notable memory was finding a peregrine falcon on a rather windy day. I got a picture that we were able to use to read the (upside down) band and log a proper report!

"Allemans rätten"  seems like a great way to encourage a respect for the productivity of natural spaces. In Canada we at least technically can't privately own the shoreline, but even in government parks you usually aren't supposed to pick anything without various licenses (though people often ignore this)

I love the idea of combining rockets and kites! My BF used to play with rockets when he was younger but I never got into them. A quick look on Youtube seems to show the combination hasn't been well explored at all. The competition you described sounds like it would foster some serious creativity!

It sounds like your father was a real pioneer in the kiting world! It must have been inspirational. I remember trying to fly single line kites (probably the lame duck drugstore variety) with my family once when I was a child but I don't think anyone in my family knew much about flying. I'm starting to get my dad interested in learning though :)


Can't wait to hear more comparisons between the Hydra and the Kymera! They both look beautiful.

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On 1/1/2017 at 8:00 AM, Happyspoon said:

and to learn more about paragliding yourself!

Some insight only. Flying such a thing myself? - No way José! I prefer to have both my feet on the ground (and don't really like, putting it mildly, any form of roller coasters e.t.c. that my daughters would find at least acceptable). The truly adventurous genes must have skipped one generation. Did try small jumps with a hanglider though a long time ago and permanently decided that it was not for me. Although the feeling (even from these much limited attempts) was out of the ordinary, the risks can never make it worth for me (and it seems to come with large investments and to be much time consuming as well).

On 1/1/2017 at 8:00 AM, Happyspoon said:

but I've moved far enough around on the island to have a few clusters of nostalgic sites like this. I had few memories of Clover Point before last year when I started flying. My only notable memory was finding a peregrine falcon

Come on, I think you might put the threshold too high. Things that are everyday for one person are completely new to another. Things tends to be larger when written down than perceived by oneself during a brief thought. Also consider many people involved in (fictional) arts and literature. The degree of seriousness and attention to details can go over the top there. Why should fragments of real life stories be of less value?

On 1/1/2017 at 8:00 AM, Happyspoon said:

In Canada we at least technically can't privately own the shoreline, but even in government parks you usually aren't supposed to pick anything without various licenses (though people often ignore this)

Sounds like a civilized rule (shoreline) and a sensible counter action (remote area un-authorized mushroom/wild berry picking...) IMHO. It is neither illegal for a Swedish elk or a Canadian moose to eat huge amounts of blue berries- a few berries in a little basket during a Sunday picnic can't be that terrible.

On 1/1/2017 at 8:00 AM, Happyspoon said:

My BF used to play with rockets when he was younger but I never got into them.

Compared to kiting it was a higher share of preparation and looking forward to the result. You also need to fix things (build mostly) even though you have not broken them first as is often the case in kiting (if you are not into kite building i.e.). (Obvious reflections - yes)

On 1/1/2017 at 8:00 AM, Happyspoon said:

It sounds like your father was a real pioneer in the kiting world! It must have been inspirational.

Not really - he was more general in areas like this, but not into kiting. Also at the age when I flew my first dual (eighties) it was a small bonus that it was something that my father didn't do. 
Take yachts for an example, during summers this was the most common thing to do. It was so frequent and natural thing as a child so that it didn't occupy much thought. Sailing yachts and Stockholm's (inner) achipelago can't wow me even today - even though the nature there can be nice (I have already changed my mind; large and strangely shaped rocks far out in the archipelago in any weather and sunsets in red and yellow with water appearing to have a higher viscosity than usual is something extra). And then sailing also required (non-sailing) efforts - maintaining, taking it into and out of the water and occasionally be guarding the boat club during nights. I'm today boat owning FREE allowing my spare time to be less tied up. Perhaps I'm giving room for my daughters to one day find sailing exotic (though we have rented sailing dinghys a couple of times to at least give them some start)?

On 1/1/2017 at 8:00 AM, Happyspoon said:

I'm starting to get my dad interested in learning though :)

Good luck with this! If it works out this could be a source of OPKs on generous terms.

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