The Box Kite

6 03 2011

The kite-Before Flight

So when you live on a 13 acre island with 24 other guys, and you aren’t involved in an exciting hammer-toss tournament, how do you while away the hours?

I don’t know how it came to be, but for some reason, while stationed on Johnston Island, I had come into possession of 2,100 feet of parachute cord. Since we didn’t have any parachutes on the island, and no need for one, I was trying to find a way to put it to good use. One constant was the wind. So, 2,100 feet of parachute cord and plenty of wind…what to do…what to do. Build a kite!

With that thought, I went into the shop and built a kite; but, not just any kite…a big kite.  I made a kite seven feet tall. As I was applying the finishing touches, a few of the crew came in and, together, we flew the kite. Great success!

Well, if we could have that much fun with a seven-foot triangular kite, imagine how much fun a bigger kite would be. So, several of us began the construction of a box kite. The thing was five feet wide on each of its four sides by fifteen feet long.

It flew longer than the Wright Brothers!

After we finished construction, we decided a kite that large might need more of an anchor than just a couple of guys hanging onto the end of the line. So, we wrapped the cord around the hitch on the back of the only vehicle on the island and began to drive the truck forward to get the kite up. It actually flew! But there was one problem. The cord got caught over the corner of the roof of the riggers’ loft-a small building we used for a party building. Our kite never got more than about 50 feet in the air before it came crashing to the ground. Oh well, it kept us busy for one afternoon anyway.

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