A Great Day to Fly a Kite on the Beach

Gavin Carey showing his kite flying skills on the beach in Kitty Hawk.
Gavin Carey showing his kite flying skills on the beach in Kitty Hawk.
Near Perfect Conditions for Kite Flying

It was a great day to fly a kite on an Outer Banks beach. The wind was from the northeast at a steady 15mph, which is the perfect direction for a great time in a beautiful setting.

Someone had a small dragon kite in the sky, it’s red tail trailing the head as it danced in the wind.

But the fascinating story was the stunt kite dancing across the sky. There is something magical about watching a father and son fly a kite. The father, Craig Carey, was good, but kudos go to Gavin, his son.

The force of a 15mph wind on a 72” kite is amazing. And yes, Gavin—who is 11—did get dragged around a bit, but he had the kite under control the whole time.

A Cool, Windy Day

The sun was out, with a few clouds here and there, but the daytime temperatures remained cool, at least cool for early September. The wind and those cooler temperatures are part of the system that is steering Hurricane Irma and keeping the storm well to the south and west of the Outer Banks.

The red flags were flying and no sane person was going to go in the water today. Courtesy of Hurricane Irma, the surf was a churning mess with seas running 5-6’.

Although the hurricane is tracking up the west side of the Florida Peninsula, it is so large that it’s sending waves far to the north. Frequently those hurricane generated waves are a surfer’s delight but with the wind from the northeast instead of offshore, the break never had a chance to form.

Things should calm down later in the week—just in time for the ESAs, the Eastern Surf Association Championship at Jennette’s Pier September 17-23.

The ESA one of the largest amateur surfing organizations in the world, and the championship tournament bring out some outstanding surfers. Don’t let that “amateur” label mislead. A number of the older surfers are former pros and the better younger surfers use the ESAs as a training ground for professional competition.

Visitors Still Fill Outer Banks Roads

Vernal Pond at Jockey's Ridge. Waters are remaining above ground much longer than has been seen in the past.
Vernal Pond at Jockey’s Ridge. Waters are remaining above ground much longer than has been seen in the past.
Visitors Extend Outer Banks Stay

It’s the week after Labor Day and the roads are still filled with our visitors. That’s great. Here at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates we love our guests and we’re thrilled so many have decided to stay another week.

The big news, of course, up and down the East Coast is Hurricane Irma, and it does look as though the Outer Banks will be spared. There is, of course relief, but it’s hard not to be concerned—even frightened—for what so many have gone through and will go through.

It has been a great summer with lots of fantastic beach days. Somehow in all of that, though, a lot of rain fell. At last check, the Outer Banks was about 75% over average for the summer.

That much rain does have and effect, and one of the most dramatic examples of that is at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.

Across from the observation deck there is always a small pond at the base of the dune.

Called a vernal pond, it is an interesting phenomenon. Created by groundwater being forced to the surface, it is typically fairly small, although during periods of heavy rain it does swell.

And swell it has this year, to a size that is only seen after a tropical system dumps 5” or 6” on Jockey’s Ridge. The difference with what we are seeing now, is the pond has not shrunk.

The effect of vegetation is dramatic. Grasses are sprouting up where there has been none for years. Botanists we have spoken to are divided on whether that is long dormant seeds springing to life or windblown seeds.

The past few years have been a little bit over average for rainfall—althoough nothing like this year, and woody plants are becoming more apparent, especially along the banks of the more established parts of the pond.

There are other very different characteristics of the pond, now that it’s some 12 or 15 times larger that it has been. It’s so unique, so much an amazing example of nature at work, that a trip to see it is worthwhile.