This has been an awful winter for those of us who love to play in the snow. Yes, I am envious of the folks in Europe this year. But just for their snow. I have been patiently waiting to see the little flakes fall but my patience was running out. While on my way out to our local ski hill I stopped at the gas station and got a call from my friend on Big Cormorant Lake in MN. He said there was three inches covering the lake and I should come out. The wind forecast looked light so I went out skiing for a while. Sitting on the chair I thought to myself, I couldn’t stop thinking I should probably check it out. So I only skied for an hour or two and headed to MN. I am glad I did.
Saturday afternoon I got to the lake and met up with my buddy. He is an old veteran and an inspiration at 70+ years. We took his four wheeler out on the ice and unpacked. I got a wind reading between 9.5 and 11.5. My kite is rated at 10-22 so I knew it was going to be iffy. The good thing about light winds is the ease of which you can set up. No worries about controlling your kite – it doesn’t go anywhere. It was tough to get in the air but once it was up I was able to keep it going fairly easy and we were going about 15-20mph so it wasn’t too bad for cruising around. The snow depth averaged about four inches and was nice and soft due to the sun. But not mushy – just right. In case you are wondering, the ice is about two feet deep so no worries on that end. Like I said, we cruised around for a while and then got down to business. I wasn’t going to waste my opportunity to learn from this guy.
My change of direction hasn’t been real successful up to this point. In high winds I have had some success but with this low wind I lost power on pretty much every turn. And with the low wind that was a problem. In fact, my friend had to come over and give my kite a lift several times to get it up. I felt bad about that but there just wasn’t any other way it was getting in the air. So I worked on my turns until I felt he had had enough of lifting my kite and moved on to some close maneuvering.
My friend was telling me the kiting quarters in Padre can be tight with all the people and I need to be able to work around them. So we did some figure eights around each other. We practiced going underneath and on top of each others kite and lines. This exercise went pretty well since I was able to stay powered up for the whole thing. My kite handling skills are pretty good so this wasn’t that hard. I have to give props to the Kahoona for that. I haven’t flown enough other kites to really say this is the best kite but I can say it has worked well for me. It has always been pretty easy to control so I would recommend it to anyone looking for a first kite.
After a few runs back and forth across the lake we decided to just play for a while. Big Cormorant is a pretty good size lake and the snow cover is consistent across the entire thing. There aren’t many ice houses and most are near shore. The lake gets to depths of 60-80 feet in the middle so you don’t have to worry about anyone fishing out there. About four o’ clock we lost our wind so we packed up and headed back to the cabin. We chatted about Padre, kiting and kitemares for a while and called it a day. Even with the light wind it was a good day. The winds for the next day were predicted to be low. The predictions were wrong. You can read about that in my next post.