7-29-2010: New (uprighted) video loaded on "Nitty Gritty" :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International Kite Flying Contest

Today, I got to judge the JR's International Kite Flying contest on the HeliDeck. The scientists and engineers alike have been working on their kites in great anticipation of the contest that has been delayed twice. And what beautiful and interesting kites they made too! A good number of them were made with plastic bags, Caution tape, bubble wrap and any other scraps they could find on board. Very fun and I learned a lot about kite construction and aerodynamics. A recreational AND educational activity. That's what life on the JR is all about - Learning, Science-ing, and Socializing!

I chose not to make a kite for the occasion because I wanted to watch all the other kites instead of concentrating on keeping mine in the air. And I'm glad I did! It would have been fun to jump back 20 years to the day I built kites with my family but I would have missed the "Most Spectacular Crash" and the "You must be joking" kites. :) We also had categories for:

Most Colorful
Highest Flying
Most Creative
Most Dangerous
Smallest Kite
Best Constructed
Most Acrobatic

Below are the winners.
It was a wonderful day on the JR to have a kite flying contest. Everyone had fun showing their personality and kite flying skills. Even though we had a few casualties fall in the ocean, we still went back to work on the CORK smiling and recharged with sunshine.


  1. Very cool, Amanda!
    Q wants to know if you were able to get the kites out of the ocean. Don't plastic bags cause a problem for the ocean creatures?
    R wants to know what the guy in the front row is holding (2nd from the right). Is that a kite or a reel of some sort?
    Mrs. T. wants to know what kind of kite qualifies for the "YOU MUST BE JOKING" kite. :-)
    B asks, "Is it nice to fly a kite?"
    Ms. L asks, "Is it always windy at sea?"
    Mrs. T is curious how flying a kite on the open sea feels when compared to flying one on land.
    -were there prizes?

    Talk to you soon!

  2. Hi all,
    Q - Yes, we were able to get them out of the ocean with some gentle pulling and lots of patience. Yes, plastic bags can cause problems for the ocean creatures so we try our best not to litter in the ocean. In fact, we could get into big trouble if we litter! Don't want to do that!

    R - He is holding a reel of kite string. This group was a duo in which one guy let out the string and the other guy guided the kite. They got a prize, so it worked well for them.

    Mrs T - Haha, this was a fun category. Since everyone was charged with being creative with their kites, some of them were so ridiculous that you never think they would fly. The woman who won this category built a jellyfish kite out of plastic wrap and bubble wrap. The plastic wrap was the body. The bubble wrap was the tentacles. We all just laughed and said "you've got to be joking!" It never flew but it was a lot of fun to see them try.

    B - It was a blast flying kites! Everyone had so much fun. It's harder than it looks to get a kite off the ground and everyone seemed to enjoy the challenge. :)

    Ms. L - It's variable. The day we had the contest, winds were only 15-20 knots (12-16 mph) which was enough for some kites but not enough for some kites that were built for the wind we normally get (30-40 knots or 32-36 mph).

    Mrs T - Very different. On the ship, we only have so far to run to get the kite up, as opposed to the entire soccer field you have at parks. Plus, we have to watch out for the edge of the helideck (it has a guard but if you were charging for it, you could be in trouble). Also, there is extra pressure not to crash because it could really get torn up by the water, if not lost forever. Also, we have to be careful where we fly it - don't want to get it stuck in the derrick or any of our thrusters.

    Yes, we had certificates for the winners. And of course, bragging rights for the rest of the cruise! :)