Posted April 29th, 2004, 07:34 AM
On our last cruise our meet and mingle group, decided because of the input of a kite flying veteran that we would all bring and fly kites. So we all clandestinely met on the top deck at stern behind the miniature golf course on the legend as we were sailing eastward from New Zealand to Tahiti, and we tried to fly kites. My friend Shelby and I tried for several attempts on a couple of days, but the best we could accomplish was what I refer to as kite dragging. If we could get enough line out fast enough the kite could escape the air pressure coming over the top of the ship causing a downdraft at the back of the ship. Generally the downforce pushed the kite onto the ship or onto a lower aft cabin balcony. I was concerned by a kite with sticks that we could injure someone and I decided not to try my kite with a stick frame, but shelby's was stick less and was all nylon like a parachute. This is normally a great flyer that we fly in the summer from the deck of his boat at the lake. It was not a great flyer on the cruise ship. It would hang a 200' directly behind us and spin in circles, like a parachute on a drag racer. The guy who originally said he had done this many times in the past tried several times too with a wood framed kite (that made me nervous) and it would crash hard into the ship. One time for less time than the Wright brothers first flight he got it up higher than the deck we were on by a couple of decks of height, unfortunately it was brief and pretty soon he was kite dragging it a couple of hundred feet behind the ship. The danger of the kite crashing into the ocean is pretty impossible on these big ships because the ocean is generally at least 100 foot below and their is so much wind that the kite could not drop 100 feet unless you had about 1000' of string, oh OK maybe it could at over 500', but basically it just can't drop that far because there is not enough mass to overcome the wind to drop, pretty much the same as flying. The only way the kite could get to the ocean was if the string broke, so use strong cordage if you want to try. I believe if you were sailing at 10 knots and with a cross or following wind you could probably fly a kite successfully, but on a ship at sea doing 21 knots, not a chance, IMHO. On a side note I ordered my kite on the internet from a New Zealand kite shop and had them ship it to the hotel concierge who held it for my arrival. I can't imagine taking a nice kite on the plane with me. Although a few people flew from the US to Auckland with their kites.
Legend of the Seas RCI 3/03 New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, Adventure of the Seas RCI 2/02 Southern Caribbean, Radiance of the Seas RCI 10/01 Vancouver to Hawaii, Millennium Celebrity 10/00 Eastern Mediterranean, Galaxy Celebrity 12/99 Southern Caribbean, Sensation Carnival 4/98 Eastern Caribbean, Majesty of the Seas RCI 1/96 Western Caribbean
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