One thing I do really enjoy about Kaping, is the constant learning. Both what to do; and what to not do !
We are in a regular haunt, Rincon, Puerto Rico, where the winds have been around 20 MPH.
After waiting for rain to clear, and adjusting gear etc., I had a great session, with an abrupt end. The wind is generally
predictable here, in it's undpredictability. Strong wind sharply dropped to almost nothing; requiring a lot of fast
hand-over-hand line hauling to prevent everything from going over the cliff and down in to the sea.
Two days later, at the start of my next flight, shortly after launch, I noticed a big mistake. I had apparently left a couple
of snarls in the line, rolled and concealed them on to the reel. In an instant, half my mind chose to abort the flight,
while the other said that the snarls would tighten, as knots, to be dealt with later.
Before I had a chance to choose, the line parted right in from of me; letting my jaw drop while I watched the kite,
hauling the rig, head straight out to sea; flying strong and steady !
I watched, and watched then tried unsuccessfully to catch it on video, and to text my wife Annie. When I looked ahead,
it had dropped in to the water. But not before flying what seemed to be at least a half mile. The rig supplied enough
drag for the kite to stay aloft a surprisingly long time.
I must say it was a sad and awkward load-up to leave the site .... no mental checklist of furling and stowing the kite,
checking everything turned-off. A very empty feeling. The only bright light was the thought that I had likely backed
up the previous day's shoot. Turns out I had, something I am not always so good about.
The snarls were the other lesson. When I finally had the courage to try to determine the cause, my instinct
( or hind-sight ! ) was proven correct. I put the reel and surviving line on the hood of the car for an examination.
I had previously seen a dangling loose end, but had not looked at it closely.
As soon as I spread the line, and saw THREE ends, I knew the story: the " flying line " ( that running from the kite, back to the snarl ) had passed through another loop or loops. When the wind increased markedly while launching, I dragged the
"flying line " so quickly through the loops, creating enough friction to sever both the " flying line ", and the loop.
Thus the snarl I cut off my remaining -on-reel line not had FOUR ends. The first end created by me trimming the reel,
and out of the other side of the snarl, 3 ends.
Lessons: do not underestimate housekeeping; secondly, do everything possible to avoid flying with snarls.
Fortunately I travel with enough spares and parts that we plan to be back in the air this morning !
Be careful, out there !