Thursday, August 4, 2011

A flier's bliss - kiting on the beach in Tofino

Today I had the most amazing afternoon, it was brilliantly sunny and the sun's reflection was dancing off the water like millions of little diamonds. What an afternoon! For some folks when they come to Tofino they are jazzed by the surf and catching the ultimate wave. For me it is all about catching the ultimate wind in the sail of my kite. in 1995 motorcycle man and I came to Tofino and met a very nice man on the beach. He owned a local kite and beach shop and was on McKenzie beach with a multitude of colourful kites. I wandered over and chatted with him for awhile and he showed me a basic two string beginner stunt kite. I was hooked and in love with kiting the moment I tried it. I told motorcycle man I wanted - actually needed a kite of my own.  He wasn't as hooked on it as I was, but that was to change. The minute Detmar let motorcycle man fly I knew he was hooked.

There is an art to setting a 2 string kite aloft and even more of an art to keep it singing in the sky and dancing with its playmate the wind. We actually bought two kites that day and it was the beginning of a new love affair with the wind. Our gracious kite master took us flying the next day and taught us everything we needed to know about kiting. So here we are almost 10 years later on the same beach with our two kites and a few new additions to our kite collection. We bought new strings for our kites before we left Victoria and bought our daughter a 2 stringer of her very own. The gentleman at the kite store in Victoria was wonderful and helped us tune up our kites. He even gave my daughter a new foil kite to try, it differs from the other 2 stringers in that it doesn't have a frame and is more like a parachute sail.

Today the wind was perfect and calling my name with its sweet whispery song. We have a little kite that is called a prism micron and she is a little demon in the wind. She controls you and tells you where she is going to fly. She loves to fly fast, I love this little kite. But today I found a new love - the foil kite. I have a feeling one of these is going to be in my scooter storage case for quick flights. This kite is so easy to fly and the wind just picks it up sending it singing into the sky. There is something almost balletic flying a kite and you become a part of the sky and feel as if you are flying yourself.

I love the rush of the wind in my face as I am looking skyward and marveling at the beauty of the sun and sky. Tofino is the most magical place on earth when you are a flier, the wind is always different and yet the same. The soft marine clouds drifting over you almost seeming to envelop you. It is magical.  As I was flying the new kite a large eagle was circling overhead enjoying the same updrafts as my kite. It was pure bliss. I felt like I was 12 again and the feeling of pure joy at something so simple is a priceless feeling. Flying a 2 string stunt kite is not a passive affair, you are dancing on the ground with each movement of the kite.  Your hands are setting the rhythm and your muscles are straining as the wind beckons the sail higher.

Best of all my daughter has now been bitten by the kite bug.

foil kite


Fuzzy said...

what a sweet post. You can absolutely feel your passion for flying :)

Dar said...

Fuzzy - My soul feels like it is dancing when I am flying. It is such a simple thing, but brings me so much joy. You don't need a lot of money to take-up kiting and other than finding wind you can do it almost anywhere. Kites can get quite expensive, but if you are just doing it for pleasure it doesn't need to cost a lot. I still love my original kite and fly it now.