The 10th Annual Morro Bay Kite Festival, organized by Shaun Farmer of Farmer's Kites and Surreys, was held on April 23-24, 2016.
Friday morning, I picked up Penny Lingenfelter from the airport, and we headed south for Morro Bay. As we were driving through Gilroy, we were hit by a huge downpour where I could barely see out the windshield. What is it with rain and kite trips this year? At least it has only been during the driving days and not the flying days. We arrived in Morro Bay with plenty of daylight left, checked in to our motel, and went to hang out with the rest of the kite fliers who had arrived for the festival.
Saturday morning, after getting breakfast from a really good bakery in town (I don't even know what it's called, everyone just refers to it as "the bakery"), we headed on out to the beach.
Setting up camp.
Uh oh. The marked off flying field was way too short. The back boundary had not been marked yet, but some of the people flying on longer lines were already standing far enough back that their feet were getting wet from the surf. And, tide was still coming in! So, the camps got moved, the field boundary got moved, and the back boundary was still as far into the water as you wanted to go. Throughout the day, a number of fliers, especially the teams, would end up with their feet in the water when a large wave came in. We had a good mix of individual, pairs, and team dual line and Rev demos throughout the day.
If you look closely at the next picture, you can see the yellow caution tape near the ground that was the field boundary, and the wet sand indicating how far in the largest sneaker wave came. It got within 20 or 30 feet of the sound table at the inland edge of the field. On another note, can you find the Vickis?
Ron Gibian had a couple of his single line kites up as well.
Saturday night there was a Rib Fundraiser Dinner where the kitefliers got to eat for free. The ribs were delicious. I hope they do it again next year.
Sunday came, and we got ready to do it all over again. We went to the bakery for breakfast again, and hit the beach again. As the second day of the festival started, the wind picked up and just kept picking up.
Some of the large kite display before the wind got out of hand.
I also noticed there was a High Surf Advisory and a Wind Advisory in effect on Sunday. They probably were in effect on Saturday as well, but I didn't take note. However, Sunday was a lot windier. It was already blowing around 20mph around noon, and 25mph+ before 1pm. You could see the sand blowing over the beach. Revs on the ground were quickly getting covered with sand. And, any time I bent down to do something, I was getting a face full of sand no matter if I was facing the wind or turned the other way. The audience was quickly disappearing too, a big change from Saturday when it felt like there was the most attendance we had seen at this festival. With the challenging conditions, we ended up wrapping up the festival early.
The kitefliers got out of the wind and some of us hung out for a bit since it was still relatively early in the day. Then it was time to drive home. Well, now we had to drive in this wind! I had a 200 mile drive to get home, and I'd say at least half of that was through 20mph or so crosswinds and headwinds. (I checked windfinder reports after I got home to get a sense of the wind speeds on my route.) I made it home safely, but I've got sand everywhere now.