The Pier at Solomons Island

The Pier is an aptly-named and very popular restaurant in Solomons Island, Maryland. It’s been on my list of KAP subjects for a while, but it requires a primarily east wind to fly a kite there, which is not very common around here. June 5 seemed to be the day for it, as the wind started out from the northeast in the morning, and it was supposed to remain that way for most of the day before slowly decreasing in speed in the late afternoon.

I was able to get there in early afternoon and was happy to find that there was still plenty of wind — actually greater than 10 mph rather than the forecasted 8 mph, which might not have been enough — but it was from the southeast rather than the northeast. The plan had been to fly from the north side of The Pier, but that wouldn’t have worked out so well with a southeast wind. That turned out to be a good thing, though, because the south side had better accommodations for kite flying, including a thin strip of grass with trees beyond the sidewalk, and it also allowed me to get the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge connecting St. Mary’s and Calvert counties in the background.

Once I found a suitable place to set up the kite, I waited for a clearing in the people walking by on the sidewalk and released it into the air. The 10+ mph wind presented no problems in getting this kite up and away. Once it was about 150 feet in the air, the next task was tying it off somewhere and attaching the rig. I normally use a dog stake for this purpose, but I couldn’t get it to go into the hard ground underneath the grass strip. Thankfully, the trees made a good alternative option, so I wrapped the line around one of them a few times and waited for another lull in the number of passersby. Once attached, I let out another ~200 feet of line and started taking pictures.

It ended up being a fairly short session. Upon checking the video downlink from my KAP rig, I decided that the first shot was higher than I wanted. I still took a bunch, of course, and edited the best of them, which is the first one above. For the next shot, I moved closer to The Pier and took in about half the line. I was happy with that composition, and since I’m always wary of wind forecasts that say the wind is going to die down, I decided that was good enough for the session. That shot is the second one above. Which do you prefer?

During the course of the flight, I had some nice interactions with people walking by. Most thought the kite and aerial photography rig were pretty interesting. One asked me if I had caught any fish, thinking I was fishing instead of flying a kite. She must not have been a fisherman (fisherwoman?) or kite flier to have made that mistake, but that’s okay. It’s probably good for me to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people even though I usually like to be in solitude while flying.

Here is a video detailing this KAP session. There are more on my KAP Vlogs page if you like that format.

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