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World Wide KAP Week - Part 2: Belle Isle

Friday, May 6, 2011:
Sunset Over Detroit From Above Belle Isle [2770L-Crop]
After getting home from work, the wind reports were looking good, so I decided to head back out to do some KAP. By this time, however, I only had a short while before sunset, so I decided to go somewhere close and familiar: I went to the island park of Belle Isle in the Detroit River where I have done lots of kiting and KAPping. I decided to return to the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon Tower where I have KAPped before (click here).

I set the tilt of the camera in the KAP rig at a steep angle to try to get different views than I had in previous KAPs here. I had hoped to get some shots of the carillon tower, then walk over and get some pictures of the nearby Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory that would be closer than a previous KAP of it .

Racing against a setting sun, I hastily set up my Rok kite and long-line launched it. I didn't wait as long as I usually do to make sure the kite is stable before attaching the KAP rig to the kite line. After a series of letting line out and reeling in, I got the rig up in the air. However, as with my episode at the Brewster Projects, I couldn't get the altitude I wanted. I assumed (correctly) that I was just getting shots of the ground and the base of the tower. I struggled with it a while before facing the fact that I would have to bring the kite down and adjust the bridle.

I reeled the rig in and landed it on the ground. I turned off power to the "peanut" so the pan servo wouldn't continue turning which can result in the picavet lines getting tangled in the gears. I set down my reel and then brought the kite down, pulling in line hand-over-hand and piling it on the ground. After moving the tow-point down about an inch or so, I walked the kite out for another long-line launch. The kite went back up very easily. However, the sun was now on the horizon and was no longer shining on the tower or the conservatory. Unable to get the shots I wanted, I adjusted the tilt of the camera to a few degrees below horizontal before sending the rig back up in order to get some sunset shots.

After the camera was far up in the sky, a police officer drove up. I was about 100 to 150 feet from the parking lot where he was, so we couldn't easily converse. I gave him a tip of my cap and went about my business of flying my kite. He watched for a little bit, then drove away.

After a few rotations of the pan axis, the sun was pretty much gone below the skyline of the city, so it was time to bring it in. However, the kite was now pulling very hard making it quite difficult to reel in. Therefore, I pulled a dog stake from my gear bag, screwed it into the ground, anchored the line to it, clipped a carabiner on the line and proceeded to walk the kite down. The kite and rig were up quite high, so I had to stop, pull the line back to the stake, re-anchor and walk down some more before getting to the camera rig. I removed the rig from the kite line, stowed it away in my bag, pulled the line back to the stake, re-anchored again and walked down the rest of the line to the kite. I quickly packed up the kite, reeled in the rest of the line, pulled up the dog stake, threw everything in the car and I was out of there. It wasn't a great KAP session, but not a bad way to spend an evening when my significant-other was busy with something else.

Click here to view my set of photos from that evening at
Or click here to browse the set of photos on a black background here at
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory and Botanical Garden


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